Monday, December 10, 2007
Se7en and Other Screenplays for You
I found out that the film course that I want to take at The Light Factory starts in February. As I get psyched for the class, I'm paying more attention to films lately —how they’re edited, the dialogue, the fine or poor acting. Also, I've been reading novels that have been made into movies. Right now I’m reading Stephen King’s short story "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." It’s amazing how much of that story is actually in the film. I think King’s work has the kind of definitive voices and rich images that potentially make for provocative and powerful films.
For you film lovers out there, here’s a Web site that includes, what must be, hundreds of screenplays — it’s called Screenplays for You. All you have to do is click on the title of the work and read. Here's a sample from one of my favorites:
by Andrew Kevin Walker
EXT. CITY STREET -- NIGHT
Somerset carries his suitcase outside the train station. The
city demands attention: cars screeching, people yelling, sirens
Somerset passes a family of bewildered tourists. A WEIRD MAN has
a hand on the tourist-father's suitcase.
It has become a tugging match with the Weird Man shouting, "I'll
take you to a taxi... I'll take you." Ahead, a group is gathered
on the sidewalk near two ambulances. People clamor to get a look
at a BLOODY BODY which lies on the street.
Policeman try to hold the crowd off. Ambulance attendants
administer aid to the victim, who convulses. Somerset moves by,
ignoring it all. He motions for a cab. One pulls up from the
street's stream of vehicles.
INT. CAB -- NIGHT
Somerset throws his suitcase in and shuts the door behind him.
(about the crowd)
What's the big fuss?
Somerset looks out at the crowd, looks at the driver.
Why do you care?
(under his breath)
Well, excuse me all to hell.
The driver leans forward, checking it out. The circle of
spectators shifts suddenly. A man has shoved another man and
they're really going at it now. The swing at each other and tear
at each other's clothing. One man's flailing fist connects and
the other man's face is instantly bloodied. The fight grows even
more spastic. Policemen try to stop it.
The driver pulls away and the cab rages down the street.
Somerset watches the parade of neon passing on the avenue. He
slumps back in the seat and closes his eyes.
Where you headed?
(Somerset opens his eyes.)
Far away from here.