An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Black Olive 2

Establishing shot : a large, well maintained villa surrounded by extensive gardens (think Chateau Gilly). Swimming pool - a surreal blue to one side - two male figures are visible. One end of the house has a turret or tower. Coral is shown, back to camera wearing a blindingly white bath robe and shabby red espadrilles, walking into the front door, a large pair of arched  doors surrounded by stone lintels. Zoom into the archway - shot darkens as she travels down a dark corridor. Pull back and pan left to a stone in the arch - vague shape visible - zoom in to roughly carved figure of a bee on a lavender blossom. Cut to Coral at exactly the same place in the corridor as when we left her. Her right hand reaches out and across to the door handle to her left and lightning cuts the shot - she disappears into the room - fade to black.

Interior shot of study - a triple aspected room but only one shutter is ajar. A dark green room with gold paintwork and ceiling. The walls are lined with bookshelves - mainly empty. Zoom in on  a small stand of books - pan the spines - one female author only. Cut to Coral sitting at her desk staring into a computer screen. Zoom over her shoulder - during the zoom she becomes flatter almost two dimensional. On the screen is a Facebook page populated by crude cartoon characters. From here on the film looks like a cross between real life and classic comic strip (think Scott McCloud  - meets Edward Tufte). Sound of a skype call coming in - focus as skype notification window pops open and is clicked to accept. Two windows side by side open - Coral right and a shadowy woman sitting in part darkness left. Cut back and forth in talking heads style - panning and zooming during the following dialogue.

C: Hi Jane, how are things with you?
J: Everything is good here Coral - how is the new book coming? Don't forget we're due first draft by the start of August. Is that doable?

C puts her hands to her face - the old hands and as she takes them away we have a smiling young C.

C: It's going very well Jane - it'll be ready - don't worry about it - would I let you down? ... have I ever? I'm putting a chapter down every couple of weeks.
J: You aren't letting the facebook thing get in the way are you? You seem to be on there a lot.  I'm looking after that end of the operation.
C: I like the feedback - they all love me over there - it's good for my ego ... but ... it doesn't get in the way ... promise
J: I've got you another book fair gig ...
C interrupts: they are known as literary festivals not book fairs Jane ...
C smiles broadly and her face lights up
C; you got me Hay? Tell me you got me Hay and I'll love you forever.

J leans into the screen and points a finger threateningly
J: you aren't ready for Hay ... when you're ready I'll let you know but that isn't now ... get me? I got you Appledore ---------- now say thank you

Shot of Coral, the older Coral looking away abashed ... suddenly she becomes animated.

C: Hold on Jane there is someone requesting membership - I'll just have a look ...

We come out of the screen and look over C's shoulder again
C minimizes J's window and brings up FB again - an FB profile picture (the Costa Gavras image but in Scott McCloud fashion). 

C mumbling to herself: guy ... lavender ... olives ... Crete ....

We see her click on the accept button and then she reopens Jane's window.

J: Coral stop messing around with facebook and get your head into this conversation - I'll decide who we admit
C: ... but this was a guy Jane ... we don't have enough guys ... I don't want to be known as a girly writer ... anyway, I accepted him ... he's got olives and a lavender farm and he's in Crete ... he's our new demographic
J: All right ... he sounds OK ... not a stalker ... now about Appledore ... it's in Devon somewhere ... that's the west country right?
C: I DO know where Appledore is Jane ... even if you don't ... but I've never heard of their literary festival ... when is it?
J: September ... October
C: OK OK I'll do it but when do I get Hay?
J leans into the screen again - menacingly -
J: damn right you'll do it ... I booked you so you'll do it miss ............. and ..... you still haven't said thank you
J: I'm waiting ...
C sheepishly: Thank you Jane ........... who else is doing Appledore?
J: Oh Coral I don't know ... a pair of has been politicians ... the guy in the white suit and some ex-commie ... oh yeah and the guy who used to be Children's Laureate - what's his name? Oh never mind ... It's not bad ... B list stuff but you'll be fine.
J rushes on
J: Anyway darling I have to go I'm due at the office so I'll love you and leave you and you just get your nose back down to the olive stone OK.
Her window goes blank and the call hang up.
Shot over Cs shoulder looking at her own window forlornly on screen.

C: Shit , shit,  shit.

Fade out. 

Monday, July 06, 2009

Black Olive - first scenes

Tracking shot - deep blue mediterranean sea - the bay of Cannes - heading toward the beach - think The Big Blue opening - thru the beach at a slower pace - lots of topless women and muscle bound bronzed men - cameos for RdeN and Beatrice Dalle and anyone else we can rustle up (possibly Christopher Timothy? nice ironical tone there) - across the croissete - a red Citroen DS with a pink paint stain on the bonnet that has a hood ornament crosses the lens left to right with Jean Reno driving (wearing the Enzo specs from TBB) - camera passes into an upward sweep through varied appropriate landscape and into a dense olive grove ( lots of drupes)  where the blinding light of Southern France dims. Camera at this point is maybe 3 feet from the ground - a lizard scuttles across right to left - we detect a figure at the left of screen - back shot surrounded by bougainevillea as we close in and finally stop 4 feet away. 

Hold for 5 seconds as Coral slowly turns to camera. Set up is identical to Alice's Olive goddess. Zoom to gnarled, stained hands - long nails - perfect French manicure - pan to right hand ring finger - ring in the shape of a treble clef - delicate against the finger - pan up - past cleavage to face - smiling Mona Lisa like - no make up - close in. Very close. Lightning cuts the frame behind Coral top to bottom - fade to the young Coral - and back - dissolve to Alice's Olive goddess and back again - and again - her mouth opens and with a slight delay - as in a badly synched movie we hear "Michel, Michel, is the pool clean?".

Cut to Michel by the pool - he is supervising Quasimodo who is wearing an odd, incongruous hat and who is scooping dead bees from the water - zoom to dead bees as the scoop approaches - a dead bee fills the entire screen. Hold for 3 seconds - focus on the wet hairs on the body - switch to B/W. Cut to Michel's face. His mouth opens - same time lag. Close shot of moustache. "Nearly - perhaps 5 more minutes" - he says this in French - volume is up 3 settings- subtitles slide in from the right. Quasimodo continues to scoop bees. The pool is very very blue. Camera  zooms in on and then into the pool between the bee bodies.

Cut to camera reversing out of the water. A lithe body splashes past. Michel and Quasimodo are watching the young Coral doing lengths of breast stroke from side on - as are we. Her hair billows out behind her - only the ends are wet. Shot from Coral's viewpoint -  a strange looking woman stands at the end of the pool - hair long, grey and very much awry. The young Coral turns at the end of the pool ignoring the psychic. Cut to psychic's POV - she shouts something incomprehensible as Coral reaches the opposite end. A bee crosses the camera right to left. Coral turns and it is the current Coral who comes back toward the camera. She pulls herself out of the pool - psychic POV - C is so close that the image blurs - she shakes her hair.
Talking heads shot.

"What is it?"
"Mrs D you must be very careful ... trouble is coming your way ... I dreamt of you last night ... there is a man ... he will turn your life upside down ... a man with blonde hair ... but he is not of this world ... you have not met him yet ..."
Coral cuts her off - holding her hand up
"Slow down ... explain ... what are you saying ... who is this man that I should be ... what is it I must be careful about ... ?" She runs her hand through her hair, shaking droplets off.
"He is fair but he is dangerous ... he also lives with olives ... be very careful ... he has powers ... he can bring the nearly dead back to life ..."
Enter left Michel looking distressed
Corall, what is it? You have gone so pale ... so wan ... what is it ... what has this woman ... this witch,  said?"
The psychic turns to Michel. Switch between M and Psychic shots,  to C reaction shots

"I dreamt of her .. there is danger monsieur ... there is a man coming to her ... he will turn her life upside down ... he will loose the spirits ... chaos will be hers"
"You had a dream ... had you been drinking again? ... the pastis? ... you should stay away from it .. you know it gives you wild dreams ... " his voice rises "Quasimodo! Take this lady back to her house ... she needs to rest ... she is .... not herself"

Enter left Quasimodo, his hat is pushed back, he is mopping his brow and squinting. He puts his arm around the psychic's shoulder and leads her off left
"Come on ma'm'selle ... you need to rest Monsieur Michel says so."

Camera follows them.