Opening of my screenplay about religious hypocrisy. Part of my screenwriting portfolio.
|note: i tried my best with format. i hope it's readable and that my english isn't too bad. thank you for viewing
BLACKOUT. A FRUSTRATING, BLINKING YELLOW LIGHTBULB APPEARS.
OPENING CREDITS, WHITE TITLES.
1 INT. CHAPEL - DAY
BLACKOUT. A SPOT of LIGHT appears on the left. We slowly move there.
A CANDLE exposes a priest kneeling. His hands are together holding a ROSARY. The priest, JEREMY, mid-thirties, is pale-skinned, even in the warm light of the candle flame which stands at the foreground. Longer dark hair, red weeping eyes behind glasses, he looks EXHAUSTED.
During this time:
You are the Mother. The escape if necessary. The last resort of the moment, insanity is coming closer and closer, on tiptoe. You are the Light, which sometimes disappears in the darkness of despair. The Virgin Mary, rescue me when I’m in need.
JEREMY puts out the candle. He stands up and walks through the darkness. The ECHOES of his heavy footsteps cut the view.
Suddenly, as Jeremy opens the door, the DAYLIGHT comes inside, lightens up the indoor of an old empty chapel. A HUM of rain in the distance.
JEREMY runs out. We follow him.
2 EXT. CEMETERY – DAY
Continuing: JEREMY runs through the old cemetery. The devastated graves and monuments are covered in green moss, although the view is colourless behind the CURTAINS of the rain. He opens the gate of on old, massive cathedral.
3 INT. CATHEDRAL – DAY
The daylight to some extent lights up the inside of the CATHEDRAL.
Continuing: JEREMY stops in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary dressed in blue, a rosary hangs down from his hand. They are looking at each other.
You are the Mother, and a woman too. Why couldn’t you save her?
JEREMY starts screaming in pain. He gradually regains consciousness. He furiously TEARS off the rosary.
JEREMY goes towards the altar. The view pans from right to left. An old woman in her late eighties, LAURA, is sitting in the first pew.
We QUICKLY move into LAURA’s head. BLACKOUT.
INT. INSIDE CONFESSIONAL
LAURA smiles behind the confessional crate.
At least we know you’re a sinner. Fuck you priest, judge me.
INT. CATHEDRAL - DAY
Continuing: We see Jeremy with LAURA’s eyes. The view moves methodically towards him in the rhythm of her FOOTSTEPS.
Close shot at the torn ROSARY. We move OUT from her head.
Laura GIVES her own rosary to Jeremy.
Hope doesn’t fail. It’s still inside your heart, with the light turned off. You need some more time, son.
She starts swaying, nearly falls on the floor. She starts walking in the direction of the LIGHT from the outside. Her footsteps dies away.
Jeremy sees that, but he is ABSENT.
Hope is not in me anymore.
MELODIC MAN’S VOICE
Show me your body... This will be easier.... Don’t worry if you scream... If you lose face...
5 INT. CATHEDRAL – DAY
JEREMY walks hurriedly through the church.
6 INT. OLD PEOPLE’S HOME - LIVINGROOM – DAY.
Confusion. As we go through the place, we see old people stirring around, carrying different personal possessions, talking. Some of them wear pyjamas.
A clique of friends is sitting at the table, playing cards. A young cleric wearing scrubs is talking to the players, SMILING widely.
Don’t you have too much fun in here, Paul?
The youngest of the men, wearing an old uniform, angrily throws his cards at the table.
Oi mate, its the ol' peoples 'ouse, lets forget it eh?
Other men nod their heads in agreement.
The TV room is full, this old Morgan can’t even move 'is wheelchair, ee’s worn out. Can we at least finish this turn?
Paul WINKS to the cleric.
Okay, okay you old grouch. But still, it’s a Church institution and you must
remember that. Suffering has a special place in God’s plan; Jesus died in pain. And don’t forget that you are dying anyway, so use this time to grow in faith.
The cleric scribbles down something in his notebook and walks out.
Continuing: MARGARET, an old skinny woman gets near to the cleric. She TAKES his hand into hers. He DROPS his notebook. The pages with statistics come out.
Have you seen my son, sir? Did you see him today? I’m sure he’ll be here. He’ll be right here in a second, in this his red shiny car.
The Cleric is gathering his papers NERVOUSLY and stands up.
Margaret my love. Nobody will come.
Saying that, he smiles to her widely, yet his face is EXPRESSIONLESS.
Margaret starts WEEPING softly.
But I know he‘ll come. He promised and he will not break his word. Christians don’t do that, do they?
The cleric reminds still.
That means you did not teach him properly how to be a Christian. But I tell you what: we will go to the garden together just to prove you that he is not coming. After you.
Margaret starts walking, the cleric follows her. He NODS suspiciously, but doesn’t say anything.
7 EXT. OLD PEOPLE’S HOME; GARDEN – DAY
Continuing: Wide view of the garden and the old people’s home. The late sun warms up the surroundings, draws golden outlines. The nature is sparkling and green. Close voice of a bird, other sounds in the distance. PEACEFUL and CALM.
JEREMY and LAURA are sitting together on a bench. He is talking, yet we don’t hear him.
As we move towards them, the words become CLEARER. A BOOK is lying on Jeremy’s laps.
...why was he being singled out and accused?
Sitting in these quiet woods with the birds chirping all around me, I read the story of this practical guy. In the back of the book there’s a note Oshima had written.
‘It’s all a question of imagination. Our responsibility begins with the power to imagine. It’s just as Yeats said: In dreams begin responsibility. Turn this on its head and you could say that where there’s no power to imagine, no responsibility can arise. Just as we see with Eichman.’
I try to picture Oshima, his usual nicely sharpened pencil in hand, thinking back over this book and writing down his impressions. In dreams begins resp... onsibility. The words hit home...
I shut the book, lay it on my lap and think about my own responsibility. I can’t help...
Laura suddenly STOPS him with her gesture.
Shut the book, lay it on your lap and think. Your voice was trembling when you pronounced ‘responsibility’.
Jeremy looks at her suspiciously, CLOSES the book, but stays calm.
Laura taps his shoulder.
Did something happen, my dear?
Jeremy SIGHS heavily, undecided. He is looking forward, contemplating.
My responsibility and duty is to serve the Church. I ought to do this. But is it my obligation to keep the secret of a confession, which was not a confession, ma’am?
Laura is still looking at him, UNIMPRESSED.
Jeremy’s still looking forward, he didn’t noticed the movement at the blurred background, where the cleric and Margaret appear.
You should do what your good will tells you.
A girl came to me one day. She was a student.
He takes a DEEP BREATH, reminds still and rapidly turns his head right.
8 EXT. OLD PEOPLE’S HOME; GARDEN – DAY
Between the heads of the Cleric and Margaret we see the gloomy, polluted city at the further background.
See Margaret - nobody out there.
In the distance LAURA waves at them, JEREMY now rapidly turns his head in their direction.
Continuing: Jeremy and Laura are waiting for the cleric and Margaret, who come closer. MARGARET moves quickly towards Jeremy.
Have you seen my son, boy? He looks exactly like you. He is almost as young and handsome as you. Have you seen him?
No, I’m afraid, I haven’t seen your son. I haven’t seen anyone.
MARGARET comes closer, kneels before JEREMY, takes his hands into hers.
The title of the BOOK “Kafka on the Shore”
The cleric tries to pull Margaret away.
Come on love, there’s nothing to do. Go back and enjoy your last moments with your elderly friends, one day you’ll not see them again. Go, go now.
LAURA stands up with difficulty.
No, leave this poor woman alone, you bastard. Come Marge, let’s walk around whilst the sun still shines through our old skin.
But I must wait for....
Laura decidedly drags her, they slowly WALK AWAY.
9 EXT. OLD PEOPLE’S HOME; GARDEN – DAY
Continuing: The cleric sits down HEAVILY next to Jeremy. Both SIGH deeply.
I tell you Jerry, that’s the worst punishment. Taking care of them. Just look at Margaret.
The women are disappearing in the distance.
The Cleric LAUGHS and lifts his arms, looking up.
Praise God, praise God every-fucking-one! Hopefully they will all die and I’ll take the money.
JEREMY looks cynically at him, but reminds silent.
And what about you, Jerry? I’ve heard that you’ve had a breakdown?
Our faith ruined my life.
The cleric turns to him, intrigued.
Ah, celibate? Don’t tell me that you obey this shit!
So you do? I’m young, very young, but Jerry, I always knew that you are too good for this job.... Look at us – all the priests, clerics, whoever.... What can you see? Depravation and moral satire, using light words. And I’m aware of it. You always were too good...
He shakes his head in disapproval.
Believe me, I’m not that good.
I lost the woman of my life.
Open shot on the place, where previously Laura was with Margaret.
That’s the value of relationships. But you can find somebody else to take care of… Can’t you?
Jeremy looks at the BOOK, turns to the cleric.
Jeremy sighs and DROPS the book on the ground.
Fine, if you don’t want to talk. It’s not surprising that you don’t trust me. But my WORK has nothing to do with that. Anyway, going back....
Jeremy INTERRUPTS him. He is CALM.
You know what? One day a girl came to the church. She talked to me in the confessional.
Oi! So even you’ve got desires! Confessing? Was she very dirty?
The purest girl ever. She didn’t confess. She just wanted to talk. Then she came again... And again...
Series of different-length blackouts.
Laura and Margaret APPEAR again.
Anyway Jerry, you can tell me next time. She’s coming back and she is the next one on my list.
He takes his NOTEBOOK and SHOWS it to Jeremy. He looks at it, SHOCKED.
He takes the crucifix hanging on his neck to into his hand.
By the way Jeremy, give me a favour. Tell her that you are her son and bring her inside. I need to solve one more thing.
The cleric walks back to the home.
Jeremy LAUGHS loudly. His nervous laugh turns into weeping.
We follow the cleric to the doors of the home.
10 EXT. OLD PEOPLE’S HOME; GARDEN – DAY