SGT C-L-A-S-S-I-C-S: the last scene of that Norwegian Wood adaptation I wrote to get out of college (it wasn’t good but I did like this scene (I may have been wrong but it has its merits))

Key: Thomas (Bradley) = Toru, Martha = Midori, Julia = Naoko, Andrew = Nagasawa, Rhea Pearlman = Hatsumi, Beatrice = Reiko, Kenneth = Storm Trooper

Posting because I am too drunk to concentrate enough to write something new/too drunk to know that this is the worst idea. I don’t think I did my best on this; I still feel bad about how poorly I handled that last year of school. There are still aspects of this I like, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever be able to watch the actual adaptation of this that actually got made. It’s very light– intentionally so, but still– and almost all of my original material that was worth a damn was stuff that would never be directly seen on screen (i.e. all slug/overwrought description of set dressing/action).

Everything about this is cribbed panic: flat affects, slivers of expression, cropped moments, experiences strapped down by a compulsion to press inexorably forward. I still do like the rear-projection aesthetic that, unlike the (probably forever lost) stuff I wrote for my junior year screenplay class (which played heavily off of 90s video style), hasn’t yet been done so thoroughly by other folks (aka Tim & Eric). You’ll have to download the pdf to see that. I used to love that last monologue– how it’s hidden under the credits, the soft exit of that, but also the words themselves and their earned virtue– and that’s why I thought to post this, but in retrospect I think it doesn’t hold up — even after you forgive its longedness-in-tooth.

I set it in 1986 in Boston for some reason, btw.

Another thing I liked about my choices in this– other than Thelonious Monk’s “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” and  maybe(?) “Julia,” there is no extradiegetic music. Which at the time, and now, I thought was pretty clever for such a heavily-song-referenced book. I like that I decided to do that. It very much fit my interpretation of the thing (and my life at the time) in its deprivation sense of old lost moments (and just averted near-moments) and the barely-disguised hyperventilatory sense of irretrievable loss derived therefrom.

I’m sorry that that sentence was 112% Talk Like a Dick school

I love you all-  JFO

OH RIGHT– the wordpress formatting is super-wonky/I am not that ignorant of how screenplays are supposed to be.


INT. MARTHA’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

The two stumble in almost falling over each other. It is night and it is dark in the room.

THOMAS

I can’t find the light.

INSERT: TITLE – “EPILOGUE”

THOMAS (O.S.)

I can’t find the light, Martha.

INT. MARTHA’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

THOMAS

I don’t know where it is.

He yells out slightly. The room is dark but it gradually adjusts to the darkness of a filmic room: blue and visible.

MARTHA

It’s, it’s.

Martha is feeling up the wall in patches but the focus shifts to Thomas as he wanders over to the couch. He sits down and there are pictures on the wall above him.

 MARTHA

Goddammit, I can’t find the light.

Thomas…

Thomas is on the couch with his knees on the couch and he is looking up at the photos. Martha collapses back onto the couch next to him. Thomas looks at the pictures on the wall and they cover the gamut of family poses. He takes one down

 THOMAS

You guys look happy, though.

It is a picture of Martha, her parents, and a younger girl, presumably her sister. They are in a cranberry bog and are wearing green rubber pants. Martha has her eyes squinched and it is early fall. A Cranberry harvester is in the back.

 MARTHA

We would always take such cheap trips.

THOMAS

Not everyone can say that they’ve been

hip deep in Cranberries.

 MARTHA

Except Dolores O’Riordan’s husband.

The two have a long and quiet moment just sitting comfortably together on the couch. But its not that long.

MARTHA

Wait. It’s the 80s. We can’t know them yet.

Thomas puts the picture back on the wall and resettles himself on the couch, Martha gets up to get some tea.

MARTHA

Thomas, I’m gonna make some tea, do you

think you want some?

The scene is sagging a bit so the light turns on.

THOMAS

No, I don’t really like tea.

MARTHA (G.O.S.)

I’ll make you some anyway.

THOMAS

Sure. I’ll have some. Why not.

MARTHA (O.S.)

Don’t act like this is your choice!

Thomas gets up and looks around the room more. A large threadbare rug covers most of the area in front of the couch, blocked on one side by the wall, and a low-rising bookshelf on the other. There is a large television on the floor, centered with the couch where the rug ends.

THOMAS (V.O.S.)

The apartment was small but cozy. It

seemed like she was the only one who

lived there.

The light changes back to the blue. The floors are a dark hardwood maple and a basket full of her laundry rests outside the door to her room. You can hear the kettle getting close to getting close in the kitchen and teacups.

THOMAS (V.O.S.)

I can’t remember what this meant.

There is a large painting beyond the TV on the wall. We can’t see what it is because of artificial shading. The light is on in the kitchen and we can see Martha’s back.

THOMAS (V.O.S.)

But Martha was wearing this shirt and

I could see her bra strap. Not the

thing itself, but the shape of it

underneath her shirt.

Thomas fingers the arm of a record player on the way to the kitchen. He walks casually towards the light and leans in:

THOMAS

Your couch is nice.

Martha can’t hear over the whistle and she calls out.

MARTHA

What??

THOMAS

I like your couch. It’s really comfortable.

Martha finishes pouring the water then holds up a tray. The cups are with their teabags as she settles into a pose similar to those of the rear projection shots. Her face is non-iconic, though, as she looks to him mildly perplexed.

They are back on the couch now. A small lamp has been turned on, casting them in a damp pool of light. A small coffee table has been placed in front of the couch so that they can rest their drinks. A small tin of snickerdoodles.

Martha dips her cookie in tea and we’ve forgotten about their inebriation. She takes a bite, and, with her mouth full, she begins a line of interrogation that can only end in some passionate consecration of their brief infatuation.

MARTHA

Wht’s yhor d’ll?

THOMAS

What’s my deal?

MARTHA

Yheah.

THOMAS

I don’t know. How do you mean.

MARTHA

Well. Why are you here right now.

THOMAS

Hm.

He looks over to the record player from his spot on the couch.

THOMAS

I’m not sure, I guess. I mean, we

had a good time.

MARTHA

If you had to guess.

THOMAS

I thought I just did.

MARTHA

Ok.

She puts down her teacup and clears the tray to the kitchen

MARTHA (O.S.)

Well what about your girlfriend.

What’s the deal with that?

THOMAS

Hm. It was sort of complicated.

MARTHA

I’ve got time.

She emerges from the kitchen with a bottle of scotch and two glasses. She walks over to the couch.

THOMAS

Well, if we’re going to get into that,

can I at least put on some music?

MARTHA

What do you want? I’ll put it on–

this record player’s got a trick.

He walks over and quickly flips through the selection.

THOMAS

How about this?

MARTHA

Yeah. That should be fine.

In a close up, Thomas places the record on the turntable and moves the arm so that the needle touches the rotating vinyl. It was close enough to have been hyper-real and it echoes its precedent: the scene where he is with Julia on her birthday. The record crackles and its sound prefaces

THOMAS (O.S.)

I love you.

His voice comes through the record player but this is obviously not what is happening. Cut to the credits.

THOMAS (O.S.)

I love your face and your eyes. I love

your thighs.

I love your hair in the wind. I love your

curved beak and long showers. I love your Hershey kisses.

I love your toothy grin. I love your chinese dentist, and I love your tooth-hurty.

I love your flirting and I love your avalanche.

I love your thoughtlessness, and random cruelty. I

love your makeshift bedknob powered hovercraft cum time-machine. I love your industrial military bureaucratic complex.

I love your thighs. I love your potpurri in

tightly sewn wicker baskets and I love your

guitar solos. I love your boring ghost stories, your hopscotch, your pesto lasagna. I love your maudlin childhood.

I love your favorite motion picture.

I love your body and your mind and I love your body.

I love your body.

I love your birthday and your Easter and I love your own personal Chaunakkah.

I love your harmonica. I love your

Shoelaces, tied tight and I love your backrubs. I love your rib recipe.

I love your spirit and your mind and your body. I love your

legs and your thighs and I love your every waking thought I love your plasma.

I love your David Bowie records. I love your oh no love you’re not alone. You’re watching yourself but you are too unfair: Love,

I love your faith (but I don’t respect it) and I love your

forearm and your bicep and I love your shoulders. Your collar bone, and the divot where that goes down. I love your seventy one hundred thousand pewter keychains. I love your avoidance of the past and any single problem that could prove Dramatic.

I love your nape, I love your neck, and I love your capital. I love your madrigal. Songs, I love your methodically arranged system of counterpoints. And rhythms I love your teeth:

I love your teeth. I love your sore upper

Lip and I love your eyeliner. I love your

Cash, I love your maximum pads, I love

your summer vacation. I love your tube

sock and I love your passion fruit lip gloss, marshmallow hand soap, catamount pot-sticker dental floss. I love your tits.

I love your mad minutes and I love your thighs but now I love your thigh-based conceit.

I love your eyes. I love your I’s. I love your cast-iron bedpan and your thighs. I love your cancer, or your carcrash, or whatever put you there. In the hospital I love

your bedsheets. I love your shuteye. I

love your secrets and I love your shuteye. I

love your grief. Your lotto tickets and I love your manifest destiny I love your thighs. I

love your thin or tight or barely buttoned shirts. I love your nine or seven lives.

I love your ridiculous sister. I love your

painful pubic grinding as much as I love your

shotglass. I love your yahtzee dice and I

love your Tapestry album by Carole King. I feel the Earth move under my feet because

I love your dance moves. I love your doing it for charity and I love your Helen Keller jokes.

I love your face when you wake up in the

middle of the night screaming.

I love your Cadbury Creme Eggs and I love your bed full of pillows.

I love your razorburn. I love your Kokomo.

I love your pasta sauce and I love your thighs again. I

love your lovely to love your loving. I love your thighs, again. I love your quiet dedication, and your tedium. I love your

sexual history, your birth, and your epitaph.

INT. MARTHA’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

On the couch Thomas’ knees are straining slightly to the left but not too pronounced. Martha’s are straight in front of her, less prominent.

THOMAS (O.S.)

I love your fading image, cascading through the back of my sleep:

I love your distance, and your hairdo, and your propensity to weep.

I love your shoulder, and your cold kisses–

at the cusp of small death;

I love your ten minutes of vigorous penetration and my handful of malt-shop excess.

And Martha’s knees gently alight into his. And we hold for 6 seconds before cutting one last time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MotherFucker2

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2 Responses to “SGT C-L-A-S-S-I-C-S: the last scene of that Norwegian Wood adaptation I wrote to get out of college (it wasn’t good but I did like this scene (I may have been wrong but it has its merits))”

  1. Scarf Inventory Blog Says:

    Green Sewn Sea…

    […] n front of the couch, blocked on one side by the wall, and a low-rising bookshel […]…

    • seagreentelecaster Says:

      Please (genuinely) tell me more about this green sewn sea, spambo.
      I like the idea of it — or how the words go together — but can’t wrap a notion around what that would entail.

      Sounds embroidered, but that would be less interesting. (Just a thread picture of some ocean).

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