Dear Brian Powell,
I have something I’d like you to consider for your next film. You have always been about envelope pushing, pulling, mauling and disemboweling and, if I do say so myself, this piece drips envelope viscera. It’s a rough refutation of conventional ontology.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – NIGHT
The Spin Doctors’ immortal Two Princes plays in the background over GRITTY shots of a baby being born. The shot should have all the solemnity of an ASH WEDNESDAY but all the levity of an AMOS AND ANDY pas-de-deux.
Somewhere, scattered in the extramarital affairs of facts and things, the world was wrenched spitting and screaming from the womb of ding an sich. Ding was, mind you, fresh off nine-months of unprotected sex with Experience. But let’s back up a bit.
The frame begins to spin. A SOUND EFFECT – Two Princes screeches to a halt. A sad TROMBONE sound effect is heard over FLAVOR FLAV saying “whaaaaaa.”
EXT. PARK SLOPE BROWNSTONE – DAY
Fade in to a FATTY sitting on a stoop
(Doing his best to not laugh) Ding was the kind of lonely teenager you loved to throw jacks at. She dressed like an ultra-orthodox RuPaul flagellating itself for its obvious sins of existence, not with whips and chains but with Hello Kitty and Hot Topic discount jewelry. Two sluggish pillows of rotten licorice crept out from her Cabbage Patch cheeks. Much like the movie, “Never Been Kissed,” she was roundly panned. She painted her eyelids with nail polish and screamed the lyrics to Maroon 5 covers. In every other respect, she looked a lot like Mickey Rourke.
Her pops had beaten her brothers and sisters to death. Luckily for Ding, he hadn’t been sober for long enough to extend her the courtesy. Ding had it bad. Her self-esteem had been injured by the lack of good fathering, see. To wit, she was the kinda girl you would like if, much like a Lifetime movie, you liked your women like you like your chicken: beer-battered.
CUT TO a canted, worms-eye shot of big black boots tromping down the sidewalk. DO NOT tilt up to show the faces of the characters in the dialogue that follows. We have to avoid the impulses to cast our characters as IDENTITIES. More accurately, they are TITANIC groundswells in the pre-normative — and thus PRE-APPERCEPTIVE — primordial STEW of pre-existence, AS SUCH.
Well aren’t you just the sourest peach pit.
When you say it like that it —
It’s fine. He was never going to make it anyway.
No. Don’t even start. It’s not even —
Four years. He would have been four. Well, give or take a birthday or four.
You sonofa —
Ha. Just like Dick van Dyke. They always said you were just like ol’ Dicky. Waiting for the New Year.
I never liked candy bars. But that’s how the cookie crumbles.
I don’t even know what kind of sweets you do like!
DONT STOP BELIEVING starts humming in the background. CUT TO a Buñuelian close-up of DING’s lips.
It’s time. Three hundred and thirty six hours —
(Laughing crazily) Until the end of the world?
No. Since … you know.
(Imitating Zach Morris) Oh.
Yeah. I’m real fertile.
You should have just said so.
INT. FORD FAIRLANE – NIGHT
With a BALLETIC Eyes Wide Shut-style camera work, DING and EXPERIENCE are seen making love in the back seat of a car. The movement should be staccato, uncomfortable. After all, DING outweighs EXPERIENCE by about 10 POOD. No words can be SPOKEN. With facial expressions alone — it doesn’t make sense to have a fully developed language at this point in the cosmology — DING and EXPERIENCE have to express — always shown and never said — the weight of their burden. The audience should be able to guess that what they are seeing is an essentially Kantian struggle.
(Washing his hands) Well that was certainly —
You know I don’t read that shit. I hate allegory.
Maybe I should get a shrink.
Shrink? How small?
Would there be anything left if I said five inches?
(Heavy with the knowledge that Ding meant to say “Apropos of nothing,” but was neither clever nor nihilistic enough.)
Is that a yes?
(Heavy with the knowledge that she was neither clever nor nihilistic enough for Experience.)
You always were too literal.
CUT TO: FRED SAVAGE or JUSTIN BIEBER sitting on a bed clutching the ARM of a man we assume is his GRANDFATHER
Wait, grandfather. (We now know it is his grandfather) I thought Ding and Experience never met, indeed couldn’t meet.
You remind me of your mother. A real fox —
Better watch your grapes.
Always the moralist —
Wait, if that wasn’t Ding who was it? And why was Experience so naive to believe he was porking Ding and not just some intersection between the world-as-irreducible-pre-cognitive stuff and the contours and identities given him by the shape and structure of his language, his social space.
Maybe you should ask him yourself.
TURNTABLE SCRATCH. Door swings open and falls down as if kicked in by Elliot Stabler or David Caruso. SELENA GOMEZ enters.
Amphytrion … I … I thought you —
Just an excuse for college theatre troupes to have sex on stage?
I’m thirteen. I don’t know any of the dirty bits about college.
Hardgainers. 5 dollar pizzas. Non-fiction end-of-term seminars where attractive girls cry and talk about all-too-personal sexual experiences and abuse. Campus Lesbian Foundations. Sleepovers. All-nude revues of Lysistrata. Special K. GHB fun-fests. African rights groups.
This sounds like a —
— a movie starring that girl who isn’t Claire Danes but was in movies like Ten Things I Hate About You.
Julia something or other?
Jules and Jim.
We can’t all be art snobs. Anyway, yeah, I never slept with Ding. It was just some troubled youth. She couldn’t have gotten me pregnant anyway, me being a girl and all. I was just in a Lady Gaga phase.
(Iconoclastically shattering the fourth wall with Brechtian brio)
Lady Gaga dressed as a male greaser at the 2011 VMAs.
Do you always have to be so German when you get uncomfortable.
Heil — shit.
Game, set, match.
CUT TO: SELENA standing in an all white background. Should be reminiscent of that scene in THE MATRIX where NEO is standing with all those GUNS in an all white background. GUNS slide in to FRAME SELENA who is dressed exactly like NEO in THE MATRIX. Make sure that this IS NOT DERIVATIVE.
Well that’s all for tonight’s episode. In case you were wondering who actually got me pregnant, it was group sex with the totality of things. I went on Maury Povich and he screamed —
CUT TO MAURY POVICH SET
You are all that father.
*PAN to AUDIENCE which is a collection of found art, chairs, boxes, buildings and junk. It’s mostly just found art. They are all applauding.
CUT BACK TO SELENA
So that’s that. Mystery solved. Guess I’m not such a good girl after all.
I wanna be evil I wanna spit tacks
I wanna be evil And cheat at jacks
I was very happy to read your screenplay and I think it had a number of good “bits” in it. A bit in the hand is worth as much as a good Bush album, so you are definitely on the right track. However, I am just a pizza boy (even though I am nearly 45, the term “boy” must be applied to anyone who works in any capacity whatsoever with those $5 pies the college hardgainers all seem to love). As you doubtless know given that you were able to “snail mail” this to me, I reside in a parked school bus near the Linwood County line and am in no position whatsoever to rent much less bankroll a major motion picture. Nevertheless, since you are probably a “big cheese” in the movie game, I hope you take a look at this project I dropped out of community college to work on. It’s kind of a love story but also kind of an action story, really a “best of both worlds” deal.
J. Brian Powell
[BRIAN POWELL is STANDING in front of a CLASSROOM full of STUDENTS. He is HOLDING a PIECE of CHALK and QUIVERING every NOW and AGAIN.]
BRIAN POWELL – A-a-a… And, ah, the, ah… t-the… the reason that the, ah, the, ahm… th-the… the older waiter and the, you know, the old man go to the diner or coffee shop or whatever, the ah… (does quotation fingers) “well lighted place” is be-be-because, ah…
[The BELL RINGS. The STUDENTS begin to POUR out of the CLASSROOM. POWELL POINTS at THEM with his ROLLED STACK of PAPERS.]
BRIAN POWELL – Y-y… you know, I don’t, ah… the, you know… the bell doesn’t dismiss the class, you know. (loudly) I dismiss the class! (jabbing himself with the stack of papers) Me! I do, and, ah, I… you know, the stuff, ah… this is gonna be on the test. This is gonna be on the test!
[POWELL WALKS back to his CLUTTERED, TINY DESK and FALLS into his CRUMMY CHAIR.]
BRIAN POWELL (mumbled) – Little shits. I’d love to level them like small towns with my bare hands.
JACK CHASER (V.O.) – He was a good writer, but that’s it. All these people wanna say he was either the best or he was the worst or he is the best or he is the worst, but he was good, nothin’ more and nothin’ less, goddamn it. I’d love to wrap my tough fucking leathery hands around the goddamn stack of dime necks of anybody that says any differently. Sometimes I just want to tear out somebody’s fucking throat with my teeth and just fuck the wound, you know what I mean? (begins barking, howling) Know what I mean? (barking, grunting, roaring) Know what I mean?! Know what I mean?! (loudest yet) KNOW WHAT I MEAN?!
“Oh yeah, he took a lot of sick days,” the Friendly Principal, as played Dennis Haskins, said, tucking his hands under his arms. “It was always, ‘I’ve got a sinus infection,’ or, ‘I’ve got bronchitis’ with him.”
“A sinus infection or bronchitis,” the interviewer repeated.
“You’d’a hadda be crazy ta think that boy won’t on drugs!” the janitor, as played by Brian Powell in blackface, exclaimed as a video montage of his best floor sweepings and stall moppings aired courtesy of the sweet fucking bullshit video crew on the news program.
“Drugs,” the interviewer said.
“Yeah! Drugs!” the janitor shouted with a good deal of hostility, performing the “toking a reefer joint” gesture for good measure and then blowing a raspberry in the interviewer’s face.
So it was true, then — Powell was nothing more than a drug addict at the head of a class full of innocent children! Everyone agreed — even the sexy Latino keyboarding teacher, played by Eva Mendes! God only knows what kind of rubbish he was filling their minds with. He might even be telling them not to end sentences with prepositions!
[GOD, as played by Mickey Rourke, FINISHES FUCKING THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK, as played by Tia Carrere, in the ASS and ROLLS OVER in BED and LIGHTS a CIGARETTE. THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK DOES the SAME.]
GOD – It’s true what they say about sins.
THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK – What’s that?
[GOD SMIRKS and BLOWS SMOKE RINGS.]
GOD – That I made ’em sins ‘cuz it’s a sin to have have so much fun.
[POWELL PULLS a BOWL and LIGHTER from under a STACK of PAPERS. He TAKES a HIT and STARTS CHOKING/COUGHING.]
RICHARD KARN (V.O.) – Yeah, he was a good writer. Not a great writer, but a good one. The thing is that he didn’t care what other people thought about his writing — he didn’t want their approval, but he didn’t want his own, either. His approval wasn’t good enough for him but he wasn’t interested in anyone else’s.
[BRIAN POWELL SHAKES his HEAD and ROLLS HIS EYES and TOSSES HIS HANDS in the direction of POWELL’S FIRST WIFE, as played by Mare Winningham.]
BRIAN POWELL – I thought you had to graduate HIGH SCHOOL to be a teacher at least.
POWELL’S FIRST WIFE – What the fuck are you talking about? Huh?
[POWELL TURNS AWAY. POWELL’S FIRST WIFE LOOKS CONCERNED.]
“I never heard of ya before,” the female motor lodge clerk, who looked like a meth-crazed — yet strikingly obese — truckdriver, barked, spit flying from her thick green lips. She had an awful mole on her chin that you just wanted to stick a pin into and pop and watch her fly around the room like a stuck balloon.
“I have a meeting with the studio executives,” Powell said, checking his cufflinks and the time.
“Studio executives? What studio executives?” the mound of humanity shouted. “What the fuck are you talkin’ about?!”
[POWELL’S FIRST WIFE, as played by Ellen Barkin, LOOKS UPSET at first, but soon STARTS SHAKING her HEAD. She SITS in the CHAIR with POWELL and KISSES HIS FOREHEAD.]
POWELL’S FIRST WIFE (her voice wavering) – Y-y… You graduated from Yale when you were… when you were fourteen, baby.
“These are the words of a great man,” Dr. Jonas Ruggleteapot said to the paying audience, opening the book to the page he’d marked and clearing his throat. “These are the words of Brian Powell.”
“I’ve never seen that man before in my life,” Oscar Berkman exclaimed impatiently.
“Are you sure?” Oscar Berkman, as played by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, asked, bringing the photograph closer to Oscar Berkman’s face.
“Yes, I’m sure!” shouted Berkman, slapping the picture away from Berkman, as played by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. “I’ve never seen him before, I’ve never heard of him before… I don’t know anyone named Brian Powell!”
[GOD CONTINUES to LIE in BED with a self-satisfied SMILE on his ugly FACE until “Click.” He LOOKS to his LEFT to SEE a GUN TRAINED at his HEAD.]
GOD – W-w… what’s going on here? What’s the score?
THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK (with an overly ostentatious “aiming” stance and so forth) – It’s about to be six-to-nothing.
GOD – I don’t…
THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK (impatiently) – Get it? Six bullets?
GOD – N…
THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK (sighs) – Never mind. The point is, I’m about to send your shriveled ass back to Heaven in a fucking hand-basket.
[BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAMBLAMBLAM!]
BRIAN POWELL (V.O., laughing) – But he wouldn’t come out of the trailer, you know? This kid… this bony little fucking kid… I told him the guy was on his way back and that he was going to kill him and cut his throat and make him fuck the corpses of his fucking family members, and…
GOD – Fuck… (wincing) I’ve never died before.
THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK – There’s a first time for everything.
[THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK KISSES GOD’S FOREHEAD.]
GOD (weeping) – H-h… Help me…
[THE HOT HAWAIIAN CHICK LEAVES THE ROOM. GOD CLAWS weakly at the BEDSHEETS and SO FORTH before SUCCUMBING to the ICY EMBRACE of DEATH.]