Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nowhere Man


Nowhere Man


[CAMERA… While the credits are rolling, the camera pans across a desk. The desk is messy. On it as permanent features are: a half empty cup of black coffee, an ashtray with cigarette butts spilling over onto the desk, a baseball, a paper mache vase made by a child with plastic flowers in it, several framed pictures containing members of a family, a computer, a monitor running a screen saver, a Save the Seals button, a couple of pens, a laundry receipt, and a clear plastic candy wrapper. Photographs of the main characters of our drama are paper-clipped to folders scattered across the desk. One folder is open. The main character David Faster smiles at the camera. The page opposite is marked up in red ink.

[MUSIC… a harmonica piece in the vein of the Rockford Files plays in the background. Overheard is a taped audio message from the School Board describing Mr. Faster’s supply teaching assignment for that day.

“Mr. Faster. Today you will report to the Anderson Academy for the Severely Acutely Adjusted. This is a very prestigious institution with a long tradition of academic and emotional adjustment. One of the parking attendants has come down with chronic sleep syndrome If it is a sunny day please remove the batteries from your flashlight..”
[CAMERA… After the credits have appeared the screen cuts to white and then slowly copy begins to roll up the screen:
“Government has too long been left
the sole responsibility for the education
of the young people of our province.
The private sector has a role to play
in the future of our nation.
Where better to mould the minds, skills and souls
of our children than in the market place.
The future is too precious to do any less.”
Assistant to the Deputy
Minister of Education
Province of Ontario, 1995


[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. FADE in to the green of a college campus. Ivy covered buildings circle a cobblestone courtyard. There are many young people walking back and forth across the green lawns. From a distance everything seems quite pleasant.

CLOSE UP of students walking about almost in a trance. No one is talking. Each student appears to be highly sedated and walking in a designated path.

CUT to a close up of a sign The Anderson Academy for the Severely Acutely Adjusted.

CUT to a group of people in uniform marching in military discipline down a hallway.

CUT to camera is one of the group marching down the hallway. At the end of the hallway is a doorway. Two guards stand in front of door. The guards are checking identification. The door opens.

CUT to another hallway. At the end of this hallway is another door and another set of guards. The doors open.

CUT to a room. Group enters the room and sits down in chairs that surround a glass booth. Inside the glass booth is a man sitting on a chair.

CUT to man in glass booth. It is Lewis.

LEWIS: “It was ugly. Those thick worm lips. Eyes all round and pickled in innocence. That flickering smile. A voice that squeaked out in pleading cries like a lamb at a slaughter. It made you want to choke his words off at the source.”
[CAMERA… Lewis’s face falls into his hands. He begins to sob. And then suddenly he stands up and smashes his chair against the bullet proof glass of his cage.

CUT to Lewis back in a new chair to which his legs have been shackled.

LEWIS: “Eugene Clement Lewis. My friends call me Louie. You can call me Lewis. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, the flower pot of Canada. I joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Five years as a go-for. I paid my dues. I was planted as a mole at the University of Toronto.”
[CAMERA… CUT to shot of several young men sitting around in a lounge, smoking pipes, wearing tweed jackets, attempting to grow goatees, talking and waving copies of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason at each other.

LEWIS: “As a cover I operated as a philosophy student. Frightfully depressing except for this Hegel chap, the first philosopher to reduce reality to on and off switches. It was while I was at college that I met Andrei Kolmogorov.”
[CAMERA… CUT to Lewis and Kolmogorov in a two man rowing boat. They are third in a three boat race. Kolmogorov, looking very much like a young Ron Howl except for his long stringy hair and large crazed eyes that give him a look of a Rasputin.

CUT to Kolmogorov and Lewis in a pub. Kolmogorov is shouting and pounding the table with his fist.

CUT to Kolmogorov and Lewis in a urinal. Kolmogorov is shouting and pounding the wall with his fist.

CUT to Komogorov and Lewis in a confessional booth. Kolmogorov is in the position of the priest. Lewis is the penitent. Kolmogorov is shouting and pounding the wall of the confessional.

CUT to Kolmogorov and Lewis on a double date parked in a car. Lewis is in the back seat humping his date. Kolmogorov is in the front seat with his date, shouting and pounding the steering wheel with his fist. The top of his date’s head can be seen bobbing up and down in his lap.

LEWIS: “It was Kolmogorov who opened my eyes to the true conspiracy that was raging in the world. It was not a proeletarian revolution, a class war, a fascist coup, the expansion of the military-industrial complex. It was so obvious that I could not imagine why it had not been obvious to me before. Civilization was the creation of the right-handed. The threat to our security, to life as we know it, was coming from the left. Kolmogorov suggested that I transfer to the University of Windsor.”
[CAMERA… CUT to a bar designed like Rick’s in the movie Casablanca. Lewis is sitting at a table with several other students. All are dressed in white Panama suits. Behind them a black man is playing a piano. One of the students has his mouth open and is pointing inside his mouth.

LEWIS: “I made some contacts with like minded students, all right handed. One was an Egyptian chap named Nassau who complained bitterly about the root canal surgery he had been forced to undergo. The dentist was left handed.”
[CAMERA…. CUT to scene outside the pub where Lewis is vomiting. Leaning against a lamp post, Lewis wipes his mouth with the jacket sleeve. He looks up at the camera.

LEWIS: “I became depressed. What could one man do? It was the low ebb of my career. I began to read Camus.”
[CAMERA…. CUT to a scene of Lewis sitting on a bench in a lush park. He is dressed in a bathrobe. In the distance a large grey building can be seen. Behind him patients are being escorted about the grounds. Lewis is talking to a woman in a long brown frock. She has a slight beard. Lewis turns to the camera.

LEWIS: “I was institutionalized with acute manic depression. It was there that I found God. She said she had been expecting me.”
[CAMERA…. The woman turns and addresses the camera.

GOD: “Didn’t expect a woman, eh? If I had been a man they wouldn’t have shoved me in this institution, I can tell you that. Lewis didn’t believe that I was God at first. Blessed are those that believe but do not see. Lewis needed proof.”
[CAMERA…. CUT to woman who stands up and pulls up her smock. Her back is to the camera. Lewis’s mouth drops.

LEWIS: “I almost barfed right there on the spot. She had organs from both sexes and then some.”
GOD: “Sometimes I feel like giving up. All I get is complaints. What a bunch of whiners you humans are. I’ve got a good mind to clap my hands and start over again.”
[CAMERA…. CUT back to scene with Lewis in his glass cage.

LEWIS: “Then She told me where the cradle of evil existed in this world. It was in the classroom. It was a revelation and so painfully obvious. All those young impressionable minds. Education was where one could make a difference in this world. I signed myself out of the Institution and applied to Teacher’s College. From there it was a short trip to becoming an agent of the Teacher’s Union. I was determined to force everyone to write right-handed. That was our salvation. I hadn’t counted on David Faster.”



[CAMERA… Shot of title:


FADE to white. Much of this episode should be shot in fuzzy pastels of black and white and some colour. In the documentary David Faster is aware of the camera and quite often postures for the camera. The voice-over should imitate the light hearted banter that used to accompany the home movie documentaries of celebrities. Also there is a piano playing in the background mimicking the action on the screen.

CUT to scene of small town outside Toronto. People are playing golf, cars moving slowly down Main Street, an old gentleman in a suit waving from the door of a barbershop, housewives lifting groceries into their station wagons, children playing in a park, men posing for a group photo in front of an automobile plant.

NARRATOR: “Welcome to the friendly hamlet of Oakville, home of the automobile, home of David Faster.”
[CAMERA… CUT to shot of an eleven year old David Faster in short pants, knee socks and cap, delivering his newspapers. It is the adult David Faster dressed up as a ten year old.

NARRATOR: “There’s little David now, delivering the Oakville Beaver. Say hello, David!”
[CAMERA… David turns and waves at the camera.

NARRATOR: “Quite the little entrepreneur in this southern Ontario hamlet of entrepreneurs.”
[CAMERA… CUT to David Faster walking the same sidewalk, now fourteen years old. He is dressed in a three pieces suit. David is wearing a bowler hat which he removes for the camera showing slicked back hair parted in the middle.

NARRATOR: “By fourteen years of age David has developed into quite a little man about town.”
[CAMERA… CUT to David standing in front of the local library talking with the head librarian, a grey haired middle-aged woman.

NARRATOR: “Watch out for that little gentleman, lady!”

[CAMERA… CUT to shot of librarian turning to the camera and playfully admonishing the narrator.

CUT to David Faster getting out of his car, an Austin Martin. He is now 18. A university sweater is draped over his shoulders, the arms tied in front. Faster looks at the camera and smiles. He reaches into the back seat and grabs a football.

NARRATOR: “Upon graduation from high school where he led the Oakville Beavers to a perfect season while maintaining an A average, David was awarded an Austin Martin by his parents. Nice car, David, but doesn’t the old man work for the Ford Motor Company?”
[CAMERA… CUT to David shrugging his shoulders and smiling.

CUT to a university campus. The buildings are covered in ivy. Students walk about in twos and threes books in hand, smiling and waving at the camera.

NARRATOR: “David entered the University of Windsor and makes quite a name for himself on the stage of all places.”
[CAMERA… CUT to David on the stage in a student theatre. It is a rehearsal. David is dressed in a tweed suit. He has grown a neat little moustache. He is holding a skull and addressing the camera though his voice cannot be heard.

CUT to David standing in front of the university’s administration building. He is wrapped in a Union Jack.

NARRATOR: “David enters political life. He strikes an impressive pose as the president of the Young Conservative Club. A future prime minister?”
[CAMERA… CUT to David smiling and waving at the camera.

CUT to David, accompanied by a young woman, walking across the campus.

NARRATOR: “David is quite the ladies’s man.”
[CAMERA… CUT to David whispering something to the young woman. She turns and smiling, waves at the camera.

NARRATOR: “Isn’t that Mary O’Shay?”
[CAMERA… Faster turns and nods, smiling.
NARRATOR: “Love is a dangerous business for the young Mr. Faster. Miss O’Shay is a Roman Catholic. How will Faster’s Anglican parents react?”
[CAMERA… CUT to living room where sitting on a couch, a middle-aged man has his arm around a middle-aged woman.

CUT to Faster with Miss O’Shay in front of an ivy covered residence. Faster looks at the camera and gives the old thumbs up. They turn and enter the residence.

NARRATOR: “But like so many of his rebellious generation, David Faster fights against the social mores of the older generation.”
[CAMERA… CUT to tree lined streets of an old wealthy neighbourhood. Old men are raking leaves. Kids are playing ball hockey. Young women are playing tennis in private courts. Young men are washing their sports cars.

NARRATOR: “After college Faster takes up residence in Rosedale, an island of opulence in the city of Toronto.”
[CAMERA… CUT to David Faster stepping out of the front door of a Tudor house. He steps toward his Austin Martin parked in the driveway. Behind him a middle-aged woman in a bright yellow dress steps out of the house. Faster opens the door as the lady slides into the front seat.

NARRATOR: “Isn’t that the widow Humphreys? Still in mourning for the late Mr. Humphreys. Quite the cad, our man Faster.”
[CAMERA… David closes the door of the car, turns and nods at the camera.
NARRATOR: “Mrs. Humphreys’ friends call her Merle but David refers to his new squeeze as Mums.”
[CAMERA… CUT to David in front seat of car. He puts his arm around the widow Humphreys and turns to the camera and winks.

CUT to a shot from a car moving down Bay Street.

NARRATOR: “Can you smell the money?”
[CAMERA… CUT to Faster stepping out of one of the banks with several older men. All are dressed in brown suits. They see the camera and wave.

NARRATOR: “Faster is making quite an impression on the movers and shakers.”
[CAMERA… CUT to shot outside the Granite Club, a prestigious tennis club by the lake for the well-to-do. David Faster arrives in a limousine with the widow Humphries in front of the club house. They are both dressed formally.

NARRATOR: “A little tennis, David?”
[CAMERA… Faster spots the camera and laughs. The widow Humphries is not so pleased. She ushers David into the club.

NARRATOR: “Well somebody got out of the wrong side of the bed! But whose bed was it?”
[CAMERA… CUT to an unemployment office. Faster gets out of a cab and steps into the offices.

NARRATOR: “Into every life some rain must fall. David Faster finds himself gainfully unemployed. Oh, what will mother say!”
[CAMERA… CUT to living room where sitting on a couch, a middle-aged man has his arm around a middle-aged woman.

CUT to David Faster stepping out of unemployment offices.

NARRATOR: “How did it happen, David?”
[CAMERA… CUT to David shrugging his shoulders.

CUT to camera following David into one office after another seeking a job. After each refusal Faster’s confidence wains. His smile diminishes into a frown.

NARRATOR: “Somebody is going to have to adjust their life style!”
[CAMERA… CUT to a used car lot where David is trying to sell his Austin Martin.

CUT to a bar where Faster is sitting, staring into an empty glass.

NARRATOR: “How the mighty have fallen!”
[CAMERA… CUT to camera following Faster from bar to bar.

CUT to Faster passed out on a park bench.

CUT to Faster being thrown out of his Rosedale residence by the widow Humphries

CUT to camera following Faster from church to church.

CUT to Faster lining up to get into the Scott Mission

CUT to Faster in a large room eating at a table with other destitute men

CUT to Faster standing on the bridge over the Don River

NARRATOR: “Don’t jump, David!”
[CAMERA… CUT to Faster turning to the camera. He smiles and gives the thumbs up.

CUT to Faster outside the home of the widow Humphries.

NARRATOR: “But our David is no loser. He lands on his feet!”
[CAMERA… CUT to David Faster dressed up and entering the offices of Marvellous Educational Supplies and Services. He is escorted there by the widow Humphries.

NARRATOR: “And so our tale has a happy ending as all tales must.”
[CAMERA… CUT to Faster turning and waving at the camera. The widow Humphries grabs his arm sternly and pushes him into the building.



[CAMERA… Shot of title:


FADE to white. CUT to

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