This is an example of the dialog and writing style used for the
majority of the film. It is written for Rosanna Arquette as Alice and
Michael Douglas as Steve.
[See theory below]
(The wealthy heiress Alice, whose sister was a murder victim, is rehearsing a scene from a 'Shakespeare' play with her local
theater group. The audience does not know this at first so we are drawn
in. (I am trying for Alice to show over 100 facial expressions in this
film and this is an opportunity to demonstrate about a dozen or so that
I would otherwise have a hard time placing in the film. ) The police
captain Steve, who has been working on the murder case of Alice's sister, is serendipitously observing and admiring Alice. Alice
sees the police captain in the shadows and decides to stop. She tells
everyone that she will see them tomorrow. The captain walks up, meets
her and smiles. He picks up her shawl and puts it on her shoulders.)
Steve: I didn't mean to spy.
Alice: Oh you weren't. When you become
skilled you begin to watch the audience with your peripheral vision,
out of the corner of your eye so's to speak to gauge how well you're
Steve: I was in the area. I came by to invite you to join me for lunch.
Alice: I'll have to take a rain check. I'm exhausted and I still have to drop in at 'Dawson Industries'.
Steve: Your acting is very good.
Alice: Flattery will get you everywhere.
Steve: I mean it. You're quite good. My father acted a bit when he was younger and I learned to appreciate the art.
Alice: Your father acted?
Steve: Yeah. He was pretty controversial in his day. It held him back though.
Alice: Did it make you bitter?
Steve: No, but perhaps it caused me to 'act' more conservative. You know your acting is excellent.
Alice: If your handsome rugged face
came from your father’s side of the family then I can see why he
went into acting. I'm sure I've seen that chin before...something to do
with a gladia-
Steve: That's quite enough. Stop changing the subject.
Alice: I'm sorry. It's just that I don't take compliments very well. I'd rather we talk about something other than me.
Steve: Don't apologize please. It's my
fault. In my line of work when a person tries to change the subject a
flag goes up. It means they are trying to hide something. I don't like
my own attitude one bit. Neither did my wife. She couldn't take it. She
divorced me because of it.
Alice: You still seem a bit sad over it. When did you separate?
Steve: It was a little more than a year ago.
Alice: I'm sorry to hear that. Well she must not have been your soul mate.
Alice: Your soul mate. A little thing like that wouldn't have bothered a soul mate so much. (He looks questioningly at her) You've heard the term soul mate before? (He nods affirmation) It’s
universal. In the east a soul mate is called your shakti. On this earth
God has placed a special woman for every man and a special man for
every woman. They have been your partner for hundreds or even thousands
of lifetimes. You understand each other perfectly. You know your soul
mate like you know yourself and you can completely trust each other. A
soul mate can't betray, use or judge you any more than they could
betray, use or judge themselves because deep down inside both of you
are the same. They resonate to the very depths of your soul. The love
between you is complete, infinite and forever. Did you ever wonder why
sometimes a completely devout priest will suddenly quit the clergy and
marry without any hesitation or doubt? The person they find is often
their soul mate. Most of them have earned the right to live out their
life with their soul mate because of the good deeds they have done as a
priest. If you do good in your life then you become lucky and with luck
God allows you to share your life with your soul mate. She must not
have been your soul mate or she wouldn't have felt the way she did.
Steve: Have you found your soul mate?
Alice: Maybe. So you liked it?
Alice: My acting.
Steve: Yeah. You were great.
Alice: As I said before, compliments
will get you everywhere. I don't think I am really that good though.
But there are a lot of great actors out there that no one even knows
exist. It's really hard to get into the profession unless you know
someone or have relatives already in the business.
Steve: I guess you could write a script that's so powerful you could write yourself a part.
Alice: That's always possible. Makes
you wonder though. There's something driving a lot of people to acting.
They're everywhere. Most of them just get screwed up and spit out by
Steve: My father told me there's
probably ten or a hundred times as many people who want to act as can
make a living at it. According to him it's in almost everybody's genes.
Probably you would say it was their karma. He said that before man
spoke, acting was the way humans communicated. Later when they learned
to speak, there were people who would act out their hunts around the
campfire. As civilization progressed every village had their acting
troupe and every town their stage. Even into the last century playhouses
were popular entertainment in almost every town. Movie theaters may
have replaced most of the playhouses but the people who want to act
still exist. There must be millions of them. Television and movies have
narrowed the need though to about 5000 people. What chance do the other
million or so people have who want to act?
Alice: Not much. Wow. Is your father
wise or what? You know it's often not important how accomplished an
actor is. You could be the best actor or actress in the world and never
get anywhere. Even if you do get an opportunity, without great dialog
you'll end up in the second row.
Steve: Yeah, without a good script an actor just stands there looking stupid. Ah...(They
are at a loss for words for a second. A smile comes to the
actor’s faces. The more intelligent members of the audience will
realize that two of the worlds greatest actors are without
words/dialog.) Makes you wonder though, there is something driving a lot of people to acting. They are everywhere. Maybe I should try it.
Alice: (She catches him looking down at her body.) In your case I would forget about it. (He
looks up from her body and she catches his gaze. There is dead silence
as she holds it. Alice chills and says with a touch of contempt) You haven't got a chance. That would be a fatal attraction.
Steve: I'm sure happy I escaped that bug.
Alice: I wish I could.
Steve: (Walking down hallway) Ever act professionally?
Alice: It's not easy for me. I end up
choking under pressure. When there's a large audience I freeze. I'm OK
in the smaller theaters and I love to do local work like this. To
encourage the kids. (Then says a little dramatically) Up and coming stars. Help the good, set straight those that haven't a chance. (Walks into the dressing room and tells the young man that's in there to please leave, so he leaves.)
Steve: Why haven't you worked in films.
Alice: I've been down that road
already. When I was in my teens I went to Hollywood to work in the
movies. I think I did it to get away from my family. It didn't go over
at all well with them. My father especially. He freaked and almost took
me out of his will. (Laughs) Finally he hired a private detective to find me and bring me back home.
Steve: You could do it now if you felt like it.
Alice: (Alice change's out of
her tights. She begins to get a little incensed and angry. It throws
Steve. This is a sore spot that Alice hasn't dealt with.) What would you have me do? (waits ten seconds) I
am not about to go back there and work like a dog as a co-star for some
megalomaniacal director who thinks his movie is the greatest film since
'Citizen Cain'? Never. Tell me, just how would I go about getting my
'big break'? (Hopefully) Would I start out at the bottom? (Gets angry) Did
I say at the bottom? I meant on my bottom...on a couch....in some
casting director’s office. I don't need that kind of insanity in
my life. Do you know what it's like to get a movie role by fucking
someone? You know how you feel when a dog starts humping your leg.
Pretty disgusting isn't it? Now imagine that dog weighs 200
pounds....and he's inside you pumping away. Then that dog looks you in
your eyes and tells you how much he loves you and how he'll make you a
big star. Of course he will never marry you because he's already
married. And since he is married you can never call him at home. Then
he says to come back next week and the next for as long as you're
willing to put up with that shit. Then after awhile his secretary stops
taking your messages. (Alice pauses when she has realized she has gone off) It's quite disgusting and you end up hating yourself for weeks. I'm much more sensitive I guess. It took me a year and a half. (Sadness and tears comes into her eyes.) I never want to go back there again.
(By now she is about to dress in her street clothes but is still
wearing only her underwear. She becomes wracked by suggestively
convulsing sobs that turn into crying as her hard shell cracks and the
little girl inside is completely overcome. She collapses into Steve's
arms. He starts to sooth her.) It was horrible, just horrible.
(His hands are seen to stroke her to much to be just soothing her.
After about 15 seconds of Steve stroking Alice, the camera focuses on
Alice's face and we see that she is pretty cool to his touch. She looks
up at Steve with vulnerable pleading eyes and says with innocence.) What would you have me do? (This throws him. He shakes his head and backs up half a step. She starts to dress.) My
acting range is just not that full. Certain emotions I am incapable of
showing. For instance I am not very aggressive and so I can't bring
myself to act mean. I can't even effectively pretend to be mean. In the
movies I would have to act however they wanted me to and I
couldn’t do that. Then if I were successful I'd have to deal with
all the publicity. The tabloids and paparazzi never leaving you alone.
Invading your private life all the time. No thanks! I'm quite
comfortable with myself as I am. I don't need the ego boost, the
glamour or the glitz and God knows I certainly don't need the money.
There's a saying. It's far better to be rich than to be famous. Well,
there is another one. It's better to be rich than to be famous and
rich. Besides I am not really that good. But thanks again for the
compliments. (Throws her jacket over her shoulder and walks out.) And don't worry Steve. You have a soul mate out there just waiting for you.
Have you read anything as intense and passionate as this since Romeo and Juliet?
The scene is an allegory of a sexual
encounter on several levels. It's the natural progression from a 'pick-up' to the sex
It's a timeless series of events. It occured at the watering hole
a million years ago and it occurs daily at watering holes (bars) today.
Sexual tension is created using the skills of the actors to
emotionally, intellectually and visually stimulate the audience with
the use of both dialog and physical acting.
The progression is of the two protagonists from her being in a
group situation, to visual contact, flirtation, acceptance,
conversation, banter, sexual conversation, physical foreplay, union,
climax, post sexual conversation and separation. The eroticism develops
from a layering of the three facets of the sexual allegory. The
physical action is an alegory of a quick affair from pickup to the
sex. So is the verbal or words of the actors. They are also highly
suggestive of sex. The emotions are also an alegory. Although they are
not the same emotions, they are similar primal emotions to a sexual
encounter and they rise to a crescendo and then fall in the same
sequence as in a sexual encounter. These three aspects progress and
also alternate until we combine the three
together. This combination actually creates a digression in the
audience to a very primal state.
At the point of 'climax' the acting and the dialog should
be directed to maximally create an intense polarizing effect
between the two protagonists. That polarization during sex creates
sexual tension and what is known as 'eroticism'.
In this scene we show the dynamics that can be built
into a conversation. It may be difficult for many people to watch, but
the underlying theme, will create an increasing unresolved sexual
tension that will rivet everyone's attention. (Or at least torment
them.) At the same time it's good advice to aspiring actors and also the sexual connotations of this scene will go
over the head of the children in the audience.
It also has a duality similar in respects to that found in Richard III. Proper behavior with an underlying primality.
© J Pinil, Inc. 2008