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Deleuze and Aristotle applied to the imagination through screenwriting

 

Deleuze and Aristotle applied

to the imagination through screenwriting

By Gaston Cavalleri

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Published by:

Caviar Literature LLC at Shakespir

Copyright © 2016 by Caviar Literature

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

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Author’s note

When I started writing in 2008 I began asking myself: what makes you think that you can write? and why don’t you study writing? I enrolled in a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) soon after and was expected to write a thesis.

Deleuze and Aristotle applied to the imagination through screenwriting includes two parts: a creative work and an exegesis. Its publication is for readers who’ve ever asked themselves: “what makes you think you can write?” or “why don’t you study writing?”.

Gilles Deleuze, Aristotle, the imagination and screenwriting have been bundled into a 15,000-word screenplay and a connected 5,000-word essay. Christopher Nolan’s movie Inception is mentioned in the exegesis to assist with interpretations of Deleuzian and Aristotelian approaches to the imagination. It is not in my legal power to provide a copy of Inception within my work. I have provided the details of the movie in a bibliography to the exegesis.

Table of Contents

Author’s note

1 Exegesis

2 References

3 Creative Work

4 Other Books

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Exegesis

Deleuze’s philosophy of cinema offers patterns of thought that cannot be addressed through Aristotelian thinking concerning the imagination, as shown when applied to Imagining Caviar and Inception.

Shooting an arrow out to sea then hoping that it hits a fish is an unlikely hope that shares similar qualities to approaching a stranger on the street and hoping to guess their thoughts. The two scenarios first need to be broken down for an ideal comparison, one to the concentration of fish in the water, let this be scenario A, and the other to the thoughts in the imagination, which can stand as scenario B. From a scientific perspective the only “similar qualities” would be that the probability of them occurring is unlikely. The truth is that the two scenarios have different qualities; one situation has a subject of matter: the arrow, and the other situation has a subject without matter: the stranger’s mind. It could be said that since the mind does not consist of material its analysis is not for the science of material things (Bergson, 1912, p. 28), but Greek philosopher, Aristotle, born 384 BC, seems to agree that the analysis of the imagination should consider material things: “all men seem to seek the causes named in Physics” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 17), he once said, which may be a limiting thought if it is applied to items without matter, such as the imagination (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 20).

Aristotle’s work provides the framework for many philosophers (Gross, 1995), though his beliefs concerning things without matter, such as the imagination, seem to lack structure and persuasiveness: “assured knowledge of the soul is one of the most difficult things in the world” (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 1). According to Aristotle the “soul” is directly related to the “imagination”, as he believes “thinking […] is held to be part of the imagination” (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 3) and the “soul is acted on by what is capable of being thought” (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 4). So, if Aristotle has difficulties in knowing the soul, it could be said that he considers “knowledge” of the imagination to be “one of the most difficult things in the world” to achieve. He thought that the source of the soul was the heart, after all (Gross, 1995); a potentially flawed thought that could be linked to his attempts to define the whole of nature as one science:

Presumably the whole of nature is matter. Hence we must inquire first what nature is: for thus we shall also see what natural science treats of and whether it belongs to one science or to more to investigate the causes and the principles of things (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 20).

Aristotle’s beliefs concerning things without matter can be supplemented by philosophers of recent times, and the 20th century’s Gilles Deleuze is one with an effective strategy for structuralizing things without matter, such as the imagination. Deleuze would argue against the thought that the “whole of nature is matter” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 20), holding that the “imagination is not nature” but “a mere fancy” (Delueze, 1991, p. 23).

Deleuze separates the mind from the body. He believes the mind is formed by reflections of matter that create a collection of mental-images, which later become the ideas within the mind (Deleuze, 1991, p. 22); Aristotle’s views on the imagination seem incapable of separating the imagination from the body:

The soul is not a body but requires a body, for it is not a body, but it belongs to a body, and for that reason it is present in a body, and in this sort of body (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 3).

The analysis of the imagination and matter is a process that may contain discrepancies, since both are forever moving (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 3). The incorporation of different sciences may be feasible, since even Aristotle says that not all items of matter are possessed of a soul (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 3), so comparing the arrow’s final destination, scenario A, with the likelihood of guessing the thoughts of a stranger, scenario B, might require the application of more than one science.

Aristotle attempts to find the truth in everything that exists: why things are hot, why things are cold, filled with love or strife, and to explain the antithesis of any substance: “philosophy seeks the cause of all perceptible things” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 16). But the imagination is only perceptible to the body that it is within.

Gilles Deleuze has a different approach from Aristotle’s concerning the mind. He believes that screenplays are an effective tool for decoding the imagination; Deleuze once said that cinema is the “universal language of humanity” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 25). His philosophy of cinema offers patterns of thought that cannot be addressed through Aristotelian thinking when applied to the imagination. Two screenplays that venture through the imaginations of human characters are Imagining Caviar (Cavalleri, 2016) and Inception (Thomas & Nolan, 2010). This essay will apply Deleuzian and Aristotelian thinking to both screenplays in the hope of decoding the differences between the two philosophers regarding the imagination, and to fill in the gaps which Aristotle could not fill, using Deleuze.

“The theatre of repetition is opposed to the theatre of representation,” says Deleuze, and that during repetition “we experience pure forces, dynamic lines in space” that “act upon the spirit, and link it directly with nature and history (Deleuze, 1994, p. 10). Imagining Caviar does this whilst mixing scenes of matter with scenes that are without matter: the screenplay enters the mind of the protagonist, an elderly man in a psychiatric ward (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 43). The story ventures in and out of the man’s imagination throughout, though the action is predominantly within the imagination since the actual scenes, scenes of matter, of the screenplay have minimal movement in relation to time: one minute in his reality does not seem to be equivalent to one minute in his imagination. There are 63 scenes in the screenplay, of which five are those of the actual world, while the other 57 are within the elderly man’s imagination. The purpose of the actual world scenes in the screenplay is to set the base for the elderly man’s imagination, which begins to carry the action forward once he is injected with a sedative that causes him to lose consciousness (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 45). The screenplay is driven by flashbacks and flash-forwards from the psychiatric ward to the imagination of the elderly man. For Deleuze, “a flashback is a conventional, extrinsic device […] like a sign with the words: ‘Watch out! Recollection!’” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 48).

It is not clear in Imagining Caviar that the scenes that are not in the psychiatric ward are not “real” initially, though the description of the transitions between scenes: “SCENE FADES TO WHITE” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 46) gives an indication that there is a flashback or flash-forward, fading in and out of the elderly man’s mental reflections as his eyes gaze in the direction of a television in the psychiatric ward (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 45).

Gilles Deleuze’s empirical thinking concerning the human perception of “virtual” and “actual” shares a similar path to the 20th century’s Henri Bergson: “the real object is reflected in a mirror-image as the virtual object which, from its side and simultaneously, envelops or reflects the real” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 68). This idea categorizes “things” as either actual, or virtual, depending on whether they are of matter or not. This is a categorization technique that, when applied to the imagination, is a far a more simplistic approach than Aristotle’s, which uses the principles of syllogism (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 34) to find his version of the “truth” about all “things”. Aristotelian thinking concerning the imagination is broad; he attempts to define all of the imagination’s qualities and is unable to treat the mind as a unit without a body, a possible limitation concerning things without matter, and one which could support Aristotle’s thoughts that “all men may be mistaken about things which they do not know” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 34), unfortunately regarding his own truth.

In Imagining Caviar’s “psychiatric ward” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 43) scenes, he is surrounded by patients with “neurological pathologies” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 43) including “twitching, air biting, hallucinating” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 43) and accompanied by a “jittery man” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 43) who says, “I’m not as screwed up in the head as they think” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 43). The jittery man is immediately associated with the elderly man when Medical Man #1 calls the elderly man and the jittery man “two nutters” and says that they need “to keep apart” (Cavalleri, 2016, p.44) to prevent them from “harassing the residents” and “polluting their minds” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 44). There is no evidence that the elderly man is not of sane mind at this point in the screenplay other than by association with his surroundings. Deleuze would say that this “association is a law of nature, and like every other law, it is defined by its effects, not its causes” (Delueze, 1991, p. 24), so association may categorize the elderly man as not of sound mind. Deleuze recognizes Henri Bergson’s thoughts on “habitual recognition” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 43) and agrees that it is what recognizes, associates and categorizes humans and, in the case of Imagining Caviar, the elderly man’s mental state from the effects of the first scene: he is in a psychiatric ward, he is called a “nutter” and surrounded by patients with various “neurological pathologies”. There is no mention as to whether the first scene is one of the imagination or one of the real world and, since habit generally teaches humans that if you can touch something, or see it, it must be real, so the first scene would be considered as “real” – being of matter.

According to Deleuze, in an actual world matter is mirror-imaged to become “an image with two sides, actual and virtual” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 68) which builds the virtual images of the mind. In Imagining Caviar, impressions in the elderly man’s imagination are developed from the first scene, the actual world. Objects of particular interest in the first scene are a pair of “peach-coloured boat shoes” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 44), “a small television that plays a Mixed Martial Arts fight” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 43) and each of the characters: the pretty brown-haired girl, pretty red-haired girl, the jittery man, the elderly man and the Medical Man #1 (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 45), who are all present. Upon completion of the first scene, Deleuze would see the objects become reflections that form the elderly man’s imagination, while reappearing in different scenes that move the action of the screenplay forward. This may force material thinkers to step to the side since the screenplay becomes a story without atoms and instead the work of the empiricist.

Beyond the “SCREEN FADES TO WHITE” of the psychiatric ward scenes the screenplay becomes difficult to analyse effectively with Aristotle’s thinking, as it is in the imagination of the protagonist, and Aristotle is unable to treat the imagination as an individual faculty that stands alone (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 3). His inclusion of material sciences is limiting when applied to Imagining Caviar and the imagination, since the screenplay provides very little information about the body that contains the scenes. Deleuzian thinking does not involve the senses: it is not a philosophy of the senses, but a philosophy of the imagination (Deleuze, 1991, p. 7). The scenes that are not within the psychiatric ward in Imagining Caviar Deleuze would refer to as “virtual” and see them as impressions that are formed in the elderly man’s mind (Deleuze, 1989, p. 54). In order for the impression to take place in the mind, the mind must possess a passion for those objects that become the impression in the mind. Aristotle supports this by saying, “affections of the soul involve a body-passion, gentleness, fear, pity, courage, joy, loving and hating” (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 1). What separates their thinking is being unable to separate the imagination from the “material substratum of animal life” (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 1).

Aristotle focuses on the imagination and the “many senses in which a thing is said to be one, these terms also will have many senses, but belong to one science to know them all” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 33). The complexity of knowing all of the sciences and treating them as one makes it necessary to consider the variation that comes with knowing a science involving the imagination; even defining the imagination comes with different ideas and variations: “The mind […] is given as a collection of ideas,” and a “collection of ideas is called ‘imagination’” (Deleuze, 1991, p. 22). Giving structure to an idea is as difficult as giving structure to the mind. Aristotle’s view of the “one science” considers that the imagination is part of nature, but things are forever moving, making it difficult to monitor everything that connected to the mind at any point in time (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 2). Deleuze does not see the imaginations as part of nature but as a “mirror-image” of it. For Aristotelian thinking to say that it is “the science of the philosopher” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 33) to know the truth behind everything in philosophy, while believing that “there are as many parts of philosophy as there are kinds of substance” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 32), increases the difficulty of accurately identifying and categorizing the subjects.

Aristotle attempts to categorize things by using the principles of syllogism (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 34). This technique requires that everything be predicated to find the subject of things that are affected in order to categorize a “thing” at any point in time. Aristotle once said that “if when the assertion is true, the negation is false, and when this is true, the affirmation is false, it will not be possible to assert and deny the same thing truly at the same time” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 37). Keeping this in mind while applying syllogism to the imagination would be turning a blind eye to the parts of Aristotelian thinking that says that objects without movement are without a soul (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 2): freezing something at a point in time would be eliminating any change and therefore any movement (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 3). If something is true or false at one particular moment, it is subject to change the minute movement is brought back into the equation, but if there is no movement, then there is no soul (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 3), according to Aristotle.

Assessing the imagination as “one science” may not be as effective in accomplishing a truth for a number of reasons. The first reason might be that movement may need to be taken out of the equation to prevent the changes that can occur in all of the sciences that belong to Aristotle’s “one science”. However, taking the movement out of the assessment would be taking out the science of movement, so Aristotle’s “one science” theory, may not stand true to his own thoughts. Deleuzian thinking concerning the concept of the “virtual” for categorizing items does not run into the same issues, as it simplifies the imagination, giving it structure, by categorizing all of the items in the world into two different groups: the virtual items and the actual items. Deleuze believes the imagination is developed from thoughts that form a cohesion between two categories where the world can be seen as “an image with two sides, actual and virtual” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 68). Aristotle is unable to think about the imagination without thinking about the body (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 2).

The reality of the “real” world is that every object that humans see consists of atoms, including the body and its senses. Without film technology, the viewing of anything that is not of atoms, such as the viewing of mental recollections, is not possible. Aristotle did not have the access to the film technology of Deleuze’s time, so film as a tool for separating the imagination from the body is not part of the toolset that would enable Aristotle to externalize the human mind.

The imagination can be viewable in film literature, as seen early in Imagining Caviar when a television showing a fight in the psychiatric ward is used to signpost the second scene (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 45), a fight bout in a warehouse, a scene that is in fact inside the mind of the elderly man. A camera zooms in on the face of the elderly man in the first scene to show his eyes rolling back in their sockets (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 45). This indicates that the man is about to become unconscious and, when the second scene arrives, although it is not initially obvious that it is the mind of the elderly man, Deleuzian thinking allows the mind to become the subject to be analysed. Aristotelian thinking is limited, as the imagination can never be the final subject, as is seen as the imagination of the elderly man, as something is always predicate of another thing: there is an owner of the mind, so the mind is predicate of the owner. The predicate of the imagination would be the elderly man and his history is limited in the scenes that are not within his mind, so it is difficult to apply Aristotle’s thinking to a screenplay with few actual scenes, as is the case with Imagining Caviar.

Deleuze is able to take the virtual scenes as “mental-images” that are reflections from the character’s past (Bergson, 1913, p. 28). The clue that indicates that the elderly man’s mind has been entered is in the scene transition that enters the identical scene on the television that is seen by the elderly man. In the second scene, two characters are present, “Tony” and “Sheryl” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 47), who have similar features to Medical Man #1 and the pretty red- haired girl from the psychiatric ward, though they are slightly younger versions in the second scene. There is a fighter in the second scene named “Johnny Cava”, although his nickname is “Caviar” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 46), who has similar features to the elderly man’s, though in a younger version. We later find that he is not the elderly man, he is his son, when a family locket is found towards the end of the screenplay with the engravings, “The Cava Family” and “Mick, Maria, Gustavo and Johnny” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 136). As the scene is in the imagination of the elderly man, the family connection can be seen as a passion, which both Deleuze and Aristotle will agree on, since it has been established that they both agree that the impressions of the mind require passion.

The action in Imagining Caviar is fuelled by conflict from early in the script, when Tony shouts from the fight crowd: “Nice tip, asshole!” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 46). Caviar, defeated during his fight, hears Tony’s call, so he shouts back to Tony, “You win some. You lose some” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 47). “If you’d said that early I wouldn’t be ten down,” Tony replies (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 47), then continues, “You owe me five” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 48), which is immediately open to Marxist interpretations (Barnett, 1974) that begin to move the virtual scenes along. Caviar tells Tony, “You can’t get blood out of a stone” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 48) indicating that he is low on cash. Tony adds, “I’ve got an offer ten hours north of here” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 49), and the plot moves to New York where Caviar is in pursuit of the job offer in a capitalist society that may be more familiar to the years of Deleuze’s lifespan (1925-1995) than the years of Aristotle’s (384–322 BC).

Although, the characters creating the action in virtual scenes are the reflections of the elderly man’s mind, there is a class struggle in Caviar that anybody who has lived in the 20th century would identify, as he has no option but to follow orders to take on a new job offer: “I’ll do anything if the price is right” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 76) Caviar says to his new boss “Mick” who has a job for him doing “odd jobs” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 77) since Caviar is low on cash. Marxism believes capitalism in a social model that needs to be overcome: “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles,” said Karl Marx (Marx, 1849, p. 1) and his colleague, Friedrich Engels says that “history” and “class struggle” can be seen in the class antagonism between characters in society’s history, such as the “Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman,” a class antagonism which possesses the “oppressor” and the “oppressed” who stand in “constant opposition to one another” (Marx, 1849, p. 2). Although Aristotle believes that it is the job of the philosopher “to investigate the cause of all perceptible things” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 20), and that all the perceptible things fall into the “one science” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 20), the incorporation of different philosophical approaches for different parts of philosophy may be warranted given that “there are as many parts to philosophy as there are to a substance” (Aristotle, 2000a, p. 32). Friedrich Nietzsche is a philosopher who recognized that all of the human philosophies could be linked because “humans have the natural will to power” (Nietzsche, 1886, p. 36), a view Deleuze supported: “Everything is summed up in power” (Deleuze, 1994, p. 8).

Throughout the screenplay it is unknown who the elderly man from the psychiatric scene is. Each significant character, except for two who are presented in the imaginary scenes, the scenes that are not set in the psychiatric ward, are also present in the psychiatric ward, though as slightly older versions. The two men who are not present in the “actual” scenes are “The Spooky Man” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 71) and “Mick” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 74). Spooky Man is seen by Mick at times without sunlight, and each time he emerges from the Harlem River. We later find that Mick has lost a son named “Gustavo”. He says that, “five years ago he decided to go missing” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 95) and eventually he finds that Gustavo was “dumped in the Harlem River” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 136). Gustavo can be seen as the recollections of Mick through the passion of him being his son. Mick’s mental health is questioned in the screenplay, due not only to the viewing of Spooky Man, who is clearly Mick’s dead son Gustavo, but also because of Mick’s visits to “Dr Jessica Steinberg” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 86) about “enlarged cerebral ventricles” and the need “to sedate chemical activity” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 91) in his mind, according Dr Steinberg. The purpose of the visits to the doctor is to signpost Mick’s mental deterioration. At the end of the screenplay, the psychiatric ward becomes the final scene, and since Mick was never accounted for, it becomes evident that Mick is actually the elderly man who had Gustavo’s passport when he arrived in the ward, with an image in the passport that looks like a younger version of Mick (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 166). A psychiatric ward staff member analyses this saying, “I would have thought he’d be a good twenty years older” (Cavalleri, 2016, p. 166) than the birth date in the document. At this point, it becomes clear the screenplay was a journey through the elderly man’s imagination and, since most of the scenes were without matter, it might be difficult for Aristotelian thinking to analyse the script. Aristotle’s thinking concerning the imagination is more complex than Deleuzian thinking, since Deleuzian is able to categorize items into virtual or actual.

Christopher Nolan’s Inception (Thomas & Nolan, 2010) is another screenplay which plays with the minds of characters. Aristotelian and Deleuzian thinking will now be applied to it to show that Deleuzian thoughts concerning the imagination can offer insights that Aristotelian thinking cannot.

Inception’s plot revolves around the mental-images of dreams that are shared by multiple characters. In the film, characters enter and exit dreams, manipulating the dreamer, leaving the audience to ask: “Is this the dream world or the ‘real’ world?”

Similarities are seen in Inception’s (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:01:10) first scene and Imagining Caviar’s and, just like the first scene of Imagining Caviar, the first scene of Inception includes a bearded older man. The man appears exhausted and “delirious” (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:01:30) when he enters the scene by being washed up on a beach in front of a Japanese castle. The man is Inception’s protagonist, “Cobb”, a “skilled extractor” (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:03:30) who enters dreams to tamper with “ideas”. The difference between the first scene in Imagining Caviar and the first scene in Inception is that, during Inception, it is never made clear as to whether or not the scene is one from within the mind. Inception’s screenplay goes within multiple levels of the imagination, while in Imagining Caviar, there is nothing to suggest that the first scene is not the actual world. By the end of Inception, it becomes evident that the first scene, although it is the first layer of the screenplay, is still possibly a layer within a dream: the dream is a mirror image of the actual, according to Deleuze. Habitual recognition persuades viewers to think that the first scene of Inception is in fact of the real world. The audience eventually reshuffles recognition to accept that various scenes are of Cobb’s imagination. This is thanks to Cobb’s visual-images: his two children playing in nearby sand (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:00:45) is an example, and they can also be seen as the “recollection-images” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 54) which furnish dreams.

Aristotle believes that thinking forms part of the imagination and that the imagination affects the soul: “Mind must be related to what is thinkable, as sense is to what is sensible” (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 4). Therefore, if objects are perceived, it might be fair to say that they are thinkable which, according to Aristotle, affects thinking and therefore part of the imagination and potentially the soul. He describes the mind the same way as he describes the imaginations, “that in the soul which is called the mind” and says “By mind” he “means that whereby the soul thinks and judges” (Aristotle, 2000d, chap. 4). When Aristotle speaks of the imagination he believes it is with the soul and supports Democritus’s thinking:

The soul and the mind are one and the same thing and this thing must be one of the primary and indivisible bodies, and its power of originating movement must be due to its fineness of grain and the shape of its atoms (Aristotle, 2000b, chap. 2).

The limitations of Aristotle’s thinking have been discussed, so attention will be directed towards Deleuzian thinking and Inception in an attempt to fill some of the gaps concerning the imagination that Aristotle fails to address.

Deleuze believes that when movement is seen in life an image must free itself from within the “movement-image” to become a “virtual-image” that is purely optical, a sound or a tactile image to be frozen to become a “recollection-image” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 23). Recollection-images are accessed from a source belonging to images of the “past” to help perceive the present. Dreams can be seen as recollection-images, images from the past, put together to form “dream-images” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 55) which, just like the imagination, can be seen as “a collection without an album, a play without a stage, a flux of perceptions” (Deleuze, 1991, p. 23).

Nothing is done by the imagination; everything is done in the imagination. It is not even a faculty for forming an idea, because the production of an idea by the imagination is only the reproduction of an impression in the imagination (Deleuze, 1991, p. 23).

Cobb’s recollection of his children projects pain throughout Inception, as becomes evident in various comments throughout the film: “the children are waiting for their dad to come home” (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:24:15). Cobb is unable to see his children or go “back to reality” (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:24:10), as in “reality” Cobb’s wife, “Mal”, committed suicide, mistakenly thinking that she was in a dream, but she was awake. The recollection-images of characters throughout the film go on to structure the architecture of scenes while “dream sharing” (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:28:25), therefore pain recollections contribute to an unpleasant dream. In Cobb’s mind, his reason for not returning to reality is that “Mal won’t let me” (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:24:00), and Mal keeps visiting Cobb’s dreams. On top of this, Cobb is wanted for Mal’s murder back in reality, outside the dream. To Deleuze, dream-images are an “unstable set of floating memories”, and “images of a past in general, which move past at a dizzy speed” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 55). The instability of the dream image is what Cobb finds difficult to control, resulting in problems furnishing dreams with his own projections. The projections that furnish dreams in the film can be thought of as “pure recollections” which are “summoned from the depths of memory to develop into ‘recollection-images’” (Deleuze, 1989, p. 54). Cobb decides to contract an architect to assist with dream projections as, in the film, “architects are supposed to make dreams real” (Thomas & Nolan, 2010, 00:23:40). Throughout the film, different characters share different dreams within the same dream. This screenplay is similar to Imagining Caviar in that the scenes within the script have minimal scenes of matter; they all take place within the mind of the protagonist, with the action fuelled by passions.

While applying a form of philosophical thinking to philosophy, it is important to note that the world is filled with many potential causes of potential things. The imagination has an almost unlimited number of potential ideas and thoughts that need a simplistic approach to their categorization in order to find the subject for analysis. Aristotle’s view that it is the task of the philosopher to know all of the sciences is a broad idea, which comes with a high risk of error when applied to finding the truth about the imagination. As with the possibility of hitting a fish with an arrow shot out to sea, and with guessing the thought of a stranger, there is too much potential for error. So, for assessing something as complex as the imagination, a Deleuzian approach to categorizing the imagination provides a structure for thinking of a faculty that can never be shown to contain a confirmed “truth”.

REFERENCES

Aristotle. (2000a). Metaphysics (W. D. Ross, Trans.). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Library.

Aristotle. (2000b). On the Soul, Book 1 (J. A. Smith, Trans.). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Library.

Aristotle. (2000c). On the Soul, Book 2 (J. A. Smith, Trans.). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Library.

Aristotle. (2000d). On the Soul, Book 3 (J. A. Smith, Trans.). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Library.

Barnett, L. K. (1974). ‘Bartleby as Alienated Worker’. Studies in Short Fiction, 11, 379–385.

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Marx, K. & Engels, F. (1848). The Communist Manifesto. Harper
Collins.

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Thomas, E. (Producer) & Nolan, C. (Director). (2010). Inception [Motion picture]. USA: Warner Bros. Pictures.

 

Creative Work

(screenplay)

Imagining Caviar

BY

GASTON CAVALLERI

 

int. psychiatric ward – hell breaks loose – day

A bearded elderly man sits in a plain medical room with a half a dozen psychiatric patients who are showing neurological pathologies such as twitching, air biting, hallucinating and more. His eyes and curled hair could well be Italian. He has grey hair and sits in the room, wearing pyjamas whilst watching a small television that plays a Mixed Martial Arts fight. A jittery patient, possibly twenty years his minor, sits beside him. He’s wearing a white bathrobe and is edgier than a glues sniffer.

jittery man

I’m not as screwed up in the head as they think.

(refers to ward)

Fuck this lousy place. Out of all the hat full of ass-holes in this world, why did I end up in this one?

A group of three medical staff, wearing white lab coats, enter the ward then notice the men.

MEDICAL MAN #1

You two nutters have been told to keep apart; harassing the residence, polluting their minds.

jittery MAN

Go fuck yourself!

(refers to elderly man)

I’ve told you who he is, you’re convinced you know better.

The medical staff swarm closer to the men. The jittery man backs away like a pansy, leaving the elderly man to sit alone without taking an eye off the television. The medical staff block his view of television. He stands, shaping up in a boxing stance that says he’s busted heads on his hands before.

Medical man #1

He’s going to need more sedative. Get back up, and another shot.

The elderly man looks to Medical Man #1 noticing green knee high shorts, pasty white legs, a white lab coat and a pair of peach-coloured boat shoes.

Elderly man

(to Medical Man #1)

How would you like it if I stood in front of you while you were watching Sex in the City?

Medical Man #1 doesn’t reply.

Now, get outta my fucking way.

A pretty red haired girl and a pretty brown haired girl stand either side of Medical Man #1. The Elderly Man delivers an efficient combination of punches to Medical Man #1, sending him to the ground. The girls approach the elderly man. He gives the brown haired girl a look that says he thought she may have been impressed. The Elderly Man allows the girls to creep near. Medical Man #1, still on the ground, produces a large syringe then jabs it into the Elderly Man’s leg while he’s distracted. The dosage forces him to melt to the ground.

Close up: Elderly Man on the ground, eyes rolling.

Elderly Man’s POV: Pretty red-haired girl, followed by the television of the fight. His vision blurs.

Scene fades to white.

int. Fight warehouse – Brazil – day

An underground fight match in a burned out warehouse characterized by wild Portuguese chanting and a roped off fight pit. It’s in the middle of a densely packed audience. A mid-thirties man in black lycra shorts, with a slender masculine build and Mediterranean curly hair, shapes up to a younger, fresher opponent. The older of the two competitors is Johnny “Caviar” Cava and judging by the flurry of punches he’s receiving, and facial grazes, he’s in the middle of hiding.

A match bell rings.

Caviar’s disappointed as the referee grabs his hand then raises the hand of his opponent.

TONY

(call from crowd)

Nice tip, asshole!

Caviar’s POV: A delicate man stands beside a blazing redheaded woman with collagen-enhanced lips pumped up like a flattened pair of Rottweiler’s balls with a splash of red lipstick. The man is Tony, the woman is Sheryl and together they make a cutthroat couple. A close observation of Tony shows him to be “Medical Man #1” and Sheryl to be the the pretty RED haired girl from the psychiatric ward, though now they appear around fifteen years younger so it’s not obvious that they are them.

tony

(pissed-off)

Throw some coin on my head!

Caviar hobbles across to the couple. Sheryl gives him a once up and down.

caviar

(reasoning)

You win some. You lose some.

TONY

If you’d said that earlier I wouldn’t be ten down.

CAVIAR

An hour ago you didn’t know me from a bar of soap…

(pause)

… Consider yourself lucky I even care.

Caviar turns for the change room.

Walk with me.

Tony follows. So does Sheryl.

tony

(to Caviar)

I think you owe me five.

CAVIAR

(walks ahead)

You can’t get blood out of a stone. You think I do these fights for love?

TONY

I’m not saying you do, but it does make me wonder why.

Security guards part the crowd leading to the locker rooms.

CAVIAR

I lost tonight, too, you know … a bit a courage, a bit a pride. Next month’s gonna be a bitter reminder.

(pause)

Would you like to contribute to that?

tony

You’ve cost me an absolute fortune. If I leave now, I’m running a loss.

CAVIAR

I haven’t a cent on me. Like I said, you win some, you lose some.

Sheryl watches on.

tony

(to Caviar)

Get cleaned up. I’ve got an offer, twelve hours north of here.

CAVIAR

You mustn’t have heard me.

Tony

I don’t think you understand; if I leave now, I’m ten down. I’ll get you work.

(pause)

You’ll owe me five.

INT. TAXI arrival – Manhattan – DAY

Caviar’s on the back seat of the taxi traveling over a bridge that leads to the buildings of Manhattan. As they approach, he hands a mobile phone to the taxi driver.

CAVIAR

Cheers buddy; no bloody credit.

Caviar looks at the taximeter as it climbs.

CAVIAR

Much longer?

taxi driver

Sit tight hermano. Five minutos.

Shortly after the taxi arrives outside a heritage style bar. Caviar scrounges his pockets for money.

TAXI DRIVER

Forty big ones, thank you, sir.

CAVIAR

(passes money)

Bloody big ones, alright.

Caviar sits a moment in the taxi, as though he’s waiting for the driver.

TAXI DRIVER

You getting out sir? We’re here.

CAVIAR

Yeh mate … and you?

The driver’s confused.

CAVIAR

My bag’s in the back.

(nods to trunk)

I get out, you drive off, I’m fingered, yeh?

The driver’s shocked, looking to Caviar, then steps out of the taxi.

ext. taxi arrival – outside cherry den tavern – day

Taxi driver stands beside taxi, resting hands on the roof, observing Caviar exit the opposite side of the car. Caviar walks to the trunk to fetch his bag then throws it on his shoulder.

CAVIAR

(smiling)

Cheerio amigo.

Driver shakes his head. Caviar walks to a pair of western-style double doors.

Caviar’s POV: “Cherry” printed on the left door and “Den” printed on the right.

int. cherry den Tavern – day

Caviar enters a civilized bar with well-dressed patrons talking over champagne. He rushes through the bar with his bag over his shoulder.

CAVIAr

Excuse me … Excuse me…

He passes a girl at the bar so gives her a gentlemanly cap tilt. She has very nice brown, wavy hair and is the same pretty BROWN haired girl from the psychiatric ward, though slightly younger.

CAVIAR

(smiles to girl)

Heyah…

He enters the ‘Gent’s Room’.

Int. Cherry Den Tavern – Bathroom – Day

Caviar enters a heritage tiled bathroom, then walks through it to enter one of two enclosed cubicles.

Inside the cubicle he hangs his bag and cap on a hook then positions himself to pee (zipper sounds O.S).

Caviar’s POV:

Biscuit-beige, pointy toe boots in front of the toilet bowl – they’re very rodeo and very cool.

A line of pee is heard (O.S) with a deep base note as it hits the toilet bowl.

Close up on Caviar pouting his lips (relief).

Again, Caviar’s POV: his boots.

The main bathroom door is heard opening (O.S), a noise from the bar crowd emerges, though vanishes once the door closes. A person walks through the bathroom into the neighbouring cubicle. Another zipper is heard (O.S), then a line of pee with a higher pitched note – indicating a smaller pistol – hits the toilet bowl.

A splash of pee hits the ground, entering Caviar’s cubicle from under the cubicle wall, hitting his boots.

CAVIAR

(to top of cubicle)

You right there mate?

(anticipates)

You’ve pissed on my boot.

URINATOR (O.S)

(unenthusiastic)

Hhmmmm.

CAVIAR

(shocked)

Sorry, maybe?

(shaking head)

No fucking manners…

Caviar does his zipper up then bends down looking under the cubicle wall.

Caviar’s POV: a pair of peach-coloured boat shoes in the other cubicle. Then, another splash of pee enters view barely missing the boots.

He reaches under the cubicle wall then grabs a leg. There’s a struggle but Caviar’s grip is strong.

Urinator (O.S)

(straining)

Hmmmmm …!

CAVIAR

A few more manners, we wouldn’t be here!

Caviar, with one hand dominating the leg, reaches back behind the toilet with his other hand for a toilet brush. There’s a struggle.

Caviar splashed the toilet brush into the toilet bowl. He taps it on the bowl to remove excess diluted urine. Then a walking crutch falls to the ground sliding under cubicle wall.

CAVIAR

(releasing the leg)

What the fuck is this?

Caviar (panicking) grabs his bag then cap and exits the cubicle, followed by the bathroom door.

INT. cherry den – Initial appointment – DAY

Caviar walks out of bathroom, tidying his clothes, then snaps a smile when he spots Sheryl – his appointment. She’s siting alone at a table in business attire. The bar is mildly crowded. Caviar confidently walks to Sheryl’s table, with a country kind of swag – almost bowlegged – but not. He trips just before arriving at the table. Sheryl gives Caviar a once up and down. Caviar looks like a fish out of water – or a lumberjack in a classy bar. He sits at the table.

CAVIAR

(smiling)

Where’s the cocker spaniel?

Sheryl

He’ll be here in a minute. He had an accident last week. I think his jaw’s fractured.

CAVIAR

That’s terrible.

SHERYL

His shoulder’s in a sling too.

CAVIAR

Those bloody planes are a nightmare.

SHERYL

He’s in the men’s’ room.

CAVIAR

He’s not wearing peach boat shoes is he?

shery

Aren’t they nice? I chose them.

Pause.

CAVIAR

(disbelief)

Sheryl, I think we’re about to have a problem.

SHERYL

It’s fine. I’ve ordered a seafood Plata. Eat that, have a chat, then get your sleep.

Tony hobbles out of the toilet with strapping tape running from one temple, under his chin, to the other temple. His left arm’s in a sling as he hobbles to the table with crutches.

CAVIAR

(shaking head and slumping)

Bloody hell.

Caviar’s POV: his beige boot slightly damp.

SHERYL

You can get home to rest after this.

Sheryl points to a chair.

SHERYL

Pull that out for him, will you?

caviar

Can’t he sit there with you?

Tony’s jaw has strapping tape running from one temple, under his chin, to the other. His left arm is in a sling, and he’s shuffling on crutches.

Caviar looks down at the wet splash on his boot.

Tony arrives at the table.

CAVIAR

(to Tony)

You look good.

(to crutches)

Let me help you with those.

Tony looks constipated, needing to speak, but just stares furiously.

SHERYL

He’s in a lot of pain.

Caviar places Tony’s crutches against a chair, then offers him a seat. Tony declines, and just waves his index finger from side to side.

SHERYL

He can’t open his mouth. Sit down there, sweetie.

Tony (deadpan) doesn’t reply. His chest slightly puffs up like an angry pigeon.

sheryl

He’s still not over the money.

caviar

Give me time. I’ll sort it.

The bar noise rose. Tony writes something on a piece of paper, then places it in front of Sheryl.

SHERYL

Ok, dear. I’ll sort this out then get home.

caviar

(passing crutches to Tony)

You’ve got to be more careful.

Tony stares through Caviar, then hobbles out of the bar.

Oh, well, more seafood for us.

SHERYL

I’m on a lot of favours to get you this role. Mick needed a handyman, and your résumé fit the bill.

Caviar pouts his lips.

sheryl

What were you doing in Brazil for five years? You’re too old to be fighting, aren’t you?

(pause)

You get beaten like that every fight?

Close up on Caviar (bleak).

Cut to:

Int. Flashback – fight pit – night

Caviar’s in the corner of a fight arena with a cut face covered in blood. He’s clearly received a beating. It’s an underground fight arena with a densely packed crowd separated from the arena by a single rope. It’s mid-round and Caviar’s coach is giving him orders.

Coach

(Brazilian accent)

Stop blocking wit sua cabeça o this cut will never stop.

(slaps Caviar’s face)

Shoot for a perna … take him down!

Fight bell sounds.

Flashback ends.

int. Cherry Den – day

Caviar’s sitting at the table in the restaurant with Sheryl and a seafood Plata is delivered by a pretty brown haired waitress.

CAVIAR

(unsure of himself)

I got a win or two.

sheryl

I’ve got somebody wanting big things. He’s seen your fights.

Sheryl hands Caviar Tony’s doodled paper.

SHERYL

You’ll meet Mick tomorrow.

CAVIAR

(to scribbled note)

Central Park, eh?

sheryl

You know it?

caviar

I got here from the airport. Which brings me to my next question: the flight money?

sheryl

I’ll wire it when I get home.

Caviar sat peeling a prawn. Sheryl stares blankly at his chest, the way she would if a bird’s feather just brushed the skin on her neck. She eats another oyster, sucking every drop out of the shell.

caviar

You go easy on those oysters, too.

Pause.

sheryl

You going to fuck me while you’re in town, Caviar?

caviar

(grinning)

It’s a lovely offer.

(munching on a prawn)

But I’ve gotta get to Fluffy’s apartment in SoHo.

SHERYL

(poker-faced)

I’ll get you there.

Ext. Fluffy’s apartment – dusk

Caviar and Sheryl arrive at Fluffy’s apartment on a dilapidated street smothered in Cantonese writing and Chinese restaurants. A door covered in graffiti welcomes them. Caviar buzzes the intercom.

SHERYL

Sorry Caviar, this isn’t SoHo.

caviar

That’s what he told me.

The door opens to a dark staircase.

SHERYL

It doesn’t get any more Chinatown than this.

They enter.

Int. Hallway to Fluffy’s apartment – dusk

Caviar bursts into a black hallway leading up a flight of shabby stairs. Sheryl trails behind for four levels until they reach an open door.

INT. Fluffy’S living room – dusk

Caviar and Sheryl enter an apartment to find Fluffy’s jaw lined with dark facial hair, whilst he rests in a reclining chair; he’s wearing blue retro soccer shorts and an open white bathrobe that exposes his scattered belly hairs. This is the “jittery man” from the psychiatric ward, though this is not obvious as Fluffy is a twenty years younger version.

fluffy

(opens eyes, jumps to feet)

Caviar!

The men exchange a quick brotherly hug.

fluffy

(to Sheryl)

And who’s this cupcake?

CAVIAR

She’s no cupcake, let me tell you. This is Sheryl.

fluffy

Pleasure to meet.

Fluffy leans over to greet Sheryl with a kiss, but she doesn’t reciprocate.

FLUFFY

(steers his ego to Caviar)

You staying long?

caviar

(scanning the apartment)

Let’s see.

Caviar scans the open plan, studio apartment, noticing there’s a separate office containing a screaming big Mac computer.

caviar

(to Fluffy)

She needs to wire me money.

Sheryl

(cutting in)

I said I’d do it at home.

caviar

Can she use that computer?

fluffy

(amused)

You haven’t changed a bit. Computer’s in there.

(gestures to spare room)

Help him out will you?

caviar

(to Sheryl)

Now would be good.

fluffy

(to Caviar)

We’ve gotta get you cleaned up if you’re gonna last here.

sheryl

(to Caviar)

You sure you want to go in there?

Caviar nods.

Fluffy

Watch my paperwork. Chinese tomorrow, hey? Dumplings, thank you.

Caviar walks in to the office. Sheryl follows then closes the door.

int. Fluffy’s office with Sheryl – night

A huge Mac computer, a red futon and plain boxes, characterize a room, which Sheryl and Tony stand in the middle of.

Sheryl GRABS Caviar’s shirt, pulling him close. Like a clumsy stallion, he goes with it. She ferociously kisses his lips as his eyes remain open (shocked). Recovering, he lifts her up, her legs wrap around his waist before he dives onto the futon, pelvises intertwined.

ext. Harlem river – spooky man – night

The moon glints off the Harlem River along with the industrial building lights from the opposing shore. The river and shore are desolate.

Splashes emerge in the water, arriving from below, followed by a man. He swims to the Manhattan shore then pulls himself out, sporting damaged clothes and inhuman facial grazes, giving him a spooky edge. He’s Caucasian, though his skin is darker than tanned leather and seems dead.

Pause. Screams of pleasure (O.S) cut silence, arriving from the Manhattan building lights.

spooky man

How in the emu’s ass did I get this end of the stick?

(pause)

That could’ve been me.

(stares to river)

Tastes like shit down there sometimes.

The screams of pleasure escalate.

Camera zooms in to Manhattan lights.

Int. Fluffy’s apartment – living room – Night

Fluffy’s seated in a recliner chair, pleasuring himself to screams (O.S) that are coming from the office. The screams arrive at a climax, as does Fluffy simultaneously before he remains seated whilst he reaches for a small hand towel to clean himself down. He changes the towel for a newspaper then reads it like nothing happened.

Caviar exits the office, still dressing himself.

CAVIAR

I’ll need to sleep on your futon tonight.

FLUFFY

I know.

CAVIAR

Let me know when she’s gone.

Fluffy nods. Caviar exits the front door.

int. psychiatric ward – Elderly Man on ground – day

Fade in to the red-haired nurse beside the elderly man as he lies on the ground. She pats his head, attempting to calm him. He’s dazed, still focusing on the television. Medical Man #1 administers another shot of sedative into the elderly man’s leg. The brown haired girl and jittery man watch.

Elderly Man’s POV: A fight on a television (blurred vision).

Scene Fades to white.

int. fluffy’s apartment – office – day

Fade in to Caviar sleeping on a red futon with boxes stacked all over the room, the same spare room that Fluffy uses as his office. Sun shines through a window onto Caviar’s face as he tries to sleep, until he sees a clock beside the futon on the window’s ledge: “2:42pm.” He panics, then gets dressed into his usual ragged jeans, boots and a T-shirt.

ext. central park – Caviar at Entrance – day

Caviar stands at the front gates of Central Park. A pretty brown haired girl passes him so he smiles at her but she ignores him. It’s the same girl that sat at the bar in the Cherry Den. Caviar shuffles thoughts – maybe he realizes it, maybe he doesn’t. She’s also the brown haired girl from the psychiatric ward. Caviar enters the park.

ext. Central PArk – Mick at Entrance – day

A mid-fifties man, similar appearance to Caviar but older, is now standing at the Central Park entrance wearing a trench coat. This is Mick, who is also the elderly man from the psychiatric ward, though this is far from obvious since he’s twenty years younger and shaved.

ext. Central Park – day

Close up: Mick’s leather boots, stepping in the park, splitting his trench coat with each step.

ext. Empire Rock – Central Park – day

Caviar is seated on a large stone, overlooking a baseball field with New Yorkers strolling on a path that borders the field. He turns to see Mick arrive beside him.

Mick

‘Ello, ‘ello, you must be Caviar?

Caviar

And you are?

mick

Mick.

Caviar stands.

caviar

Nice to meet you.

MICK

Pleasure.

(shaking hands)

I’ve seen your fights. You handle yourself well.

CAVIAR

Cheers.

Mick glimpses over his shoulder.

Mick

You know what I’m after?

Caviar

A handyman.

mick

(smiling)

Ask no questions, get no lies.

Mick rummages in his top pocket then pulls out a steel cigarette case that’s initially difficult to open.

MICK

A ‘handyman’ could mean a lot of things.

CAVIAR

I’ll do anything if the price right.

MICK

(looks up)

Then you’re on the right track.

Mick looks at the metal case. A reflection of Caviar’s face appears on its external side

mick

It’s a serious role.

Case pops open: two rolled cigarettes, a portion of free tobacco and two pills. A reflection of Mick’s face appears on the internal side.

Mick places a cigarette in his mouth then strikes a match.

Any role with me’s a serious one for that matter. You tell nobody you work with me.

caviar

If that’s what you need.

MICK

Handyman or odd jobs, call it what you will – I’ve seen some Muppets make hamburgers of simple things.

CAViar

You’d be jumping the gun if you thought that I was one.

mick

Your name’s gotta be changed.

(pause)

You get your hands dirty, then shoot through, I’ll be expected to clean up after you.

caviar

I haven’t even started. Does this mean I’ve got the job?

Mick

(smiling)

Are you happy with name Gustavo?

Caviar

(startled)

For me? You’ve got to be kidding. Sounds like a salsa instructor.

Mick

We’re not selling fish eggs either.

Caviar

(sarcastic)

It’s very creative.

MICK

With your new name, you’ll be a simple case of identity theft, if the shit ever hits the fan.

caviar

That’ll be bloody good for me.

MICK

Then don’t fuck up.

Caviar gazes across the baseball field.

Caviar’s POV: an athletic man running, clutching a woman’s handbag as an anxious woman chases him.

caviar

What’s this asshole up to?

girl

Help . . . ! Please!

CAVIAR

(to Mick)

Is that a robbery?

MICK

Could be.

CAVIAR

Not on my fucking watch.

Caviar sprints in the direction of the purse snatch.

ext. Central Park – purse snatch chase – dusk

Caviar is chasing an athletic villain.

Caviar’s POV: Bouncing vision, in pursuit of a purse snatcher. The girl stops chase, pleading in tears.

A zigzagging foot race bewilders onlookers. Caviar’s grunts suggest that he’s very pissed off.

ext. central park – Gully – dusk

In an empty gully beside a footbridge Caviar catches the twenty-something-year-old crook, who raises his guard to fight like the Karate Kid. Caviar shoots at the villain’s leg, ducking under his elbow to cling to his back. They fall to the ground where Caviar performs a rear-naked choke.

caviar

(whispers to crook)

Taste the Central Park Anaconda

purse snatcher

Please, let me go, I’ve got asthma.

caviar

Easy, cowboy. You move, you sleep.

Onlookers arrive on the footbridge. A camera flashes then a man appears as the operator.

Caviar adjusts the choke to a jiu-jitsu “crucifix”: shackling the bandit’s arms and legs to spread open like a star.

The crowd chants.

caviar

(whispering)

And this is a Central Park Crucifix.

The police arrive then Caviar hands the crook to them for cuffing.

A tap on Caviar’s shoulder causes him to turn then find the man with the camera (Bill).

Bill

My name’s Bill. I’m a journalist with the New York Post. What’s your name?

Caviar

(hesitant)

Gustavo.

Bill cocks his note pad and pen.

man in crowd

It’s the Central Park Ninja!

The crowd swarms. Mick arrives.

mick

(to Caviar)

Get your ass out of here.

(pause)

Return midnight.

EXT. Harlem RIVER – spooky man – dusk

A spooky man is sitting at the river’s edge covered in grazes and a shredded bone coloured safari outfit.

Mid-shot: a clear view of his face isn’t possible as it’s nearing dark. His hair is a bushy mop of curls. He looks down at his chest.

Spooky Man’s POV: Gasolina de Gustavo embroidery is on his chest pocket.

He runs then jumps in the river.

ext. underwater Harlem river – spooky man – dusk

Spooky Man sinking underwater in slow motion as the moonlight shines through onto his badly scared face.

Close up: His face shows features very similar to Mick’s, though in a younger version (30s); and near spot on to Caviar’s. He is screaming (muffled by water) then the camera zooms into his mouth.

Screen fades to black:

INT. Psychiatric WARD – Japanese medical woman – Dusk

A Japanese medical (50s) woman enters the ward to find the pretty red haired nurse sitting beside the elderly man who’s laying on the ground. The brown haired girl, Medical Man #1 and the jittery man are also present.

Close up: Elderly Man’s face (druggie).

Japanese medical woman

(to pretty red nurse)

I see he’s had another mishap.

Red haired NURSE

I suppose you can call it that.

Japanese MEDICAL WOMAN

(to Elderly Man)

You’re in here because you don’t have a clue who you are.

Elderly Man’s POV: blurred vision, looking up to the older medical woman as she sits on a nearby table.

Elderly Man stares into space.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

(V.O)

What’s the deadliest location you can insert an image?

Screen fades to white

int. Doctor Steinberg’s psychiatric suite – dusk

Fade in to an oak-wood panelled suite, a high-rise apartment in Upper West Side, Manhattan with large bookshelves covering the walls and a large window, which frames the Hudson River.

A Japanese woman (late thirties) sits boldly behind a wooden desk. This is Doctor Jessica Steinberg, who is a younger version of the Japanese medical woman from the psychiatric ward (not an obvious connection). She opposes Mick who sits in an antique chair with a beach-sand fedora balanced on his knee, wearing a lightweight trench coat.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

In a camera?

(pause)

A canvas? An MRI scan?

Doctor Steinberg reaches for a large envelope then claws a transparent MRI image out of it.

In your mind.

MICK

I mentioned my gut-feelings, or ‘urges’ as you call them, and all hell breaks loose.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

We need to take the changes in your MRI scans seriously, the same way as if I put too much paint on a canvas, I need to sort the picture out, before it sorts itself out.

MICK

I’ll put the words in your mouth.

(imitating her voice)

I’m increasing your medication.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

Have you been taking the pills?

mick

I get paranoid and I get the shits easily.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

I’ve made judgment based on pathological change and your urges are stronger because you’re not listening.

MICK

I’m stuffed if I know why I get them.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

Your symptoms are worse than any of my patients.

MICK

To me they’re bloody normal. I miss my family and kids. You miss things, too, surely?

DOCTOR STEINBERG

(looks out window)

See those clouds out there?

Mick does the same. His POV: artificial clouds.

(O.S)

They’re a bit like your thoughts. We’ve been here before. Last time, we spent too much time searching for your family to find nothing. You taught them to cover their tracks well.

(pause)

We’ve got serious issues to address before we go back down that track.

(back to MRI)

I want you to think of this image as a slice of your brain.

(to dark sections of MRI)

When you do this, at the same time, think of your brain as a loaf of bread.

(pause)

From that loaf of bread…

(back to image)

… this image as one slice.

MICK

The butterfly wings?

DOCTOR STEINBERG

They’re your cerebral ventricles. Keep in mind that when I discussed this with your son, before he decided to go missing, he was stubborn, too.

(pause)

Those black sections are home to your neurotransmitters: charged molecules that transport chemicals responsible for thought; dopamine is one, serotonin and acetylcholine are two others. Dopamine’s a ‘happy’ neurotransmitter that’s present with eating chocolate, or with sex – happy things.

MICK

(deadpan)

Mine must be full of it now.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

If we look at a slice of bread from a Parkinson’s disease brain, we’ll see the dopaminergic cells are absent . . .

(recollecting)

There was a synthetic drug lab in Brooklyn, some kids synthesized a drug, they consumed it, then overnight the drug killed their dopaminergic cells.

MICK

How does this concern me?

DOCTOR STEINBERG

Things are all about balance, whether you’re young, or whether you’re old.

(back to MRI)

The kids gave themselves Parkinson’s disease overnight. Giving partial abnormalities similar to yours, minus the enlarged black shadows, which are identical to your son’s. Your ventricles are larger than any of my patients. My schizophrenic patients and my drug abusers are generally the worst.

MICK

You’re a bloody good saleswoman.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

I agree with your original words. If we don’t sedate the chemical activity in your ventricles, they may continue to grow.

(pause)

Therefore, so will your ‘gut feelings.’

(pause)

I only wish your son had listened, before his departure . . . It seems he may listen now, though, with a second chance, through you.

ext. under footbridge – central park – night

Caviar’s wooden-soled boots stomp through Central Park as his wristwatch slashes yellow arcs in the dark. There is a small footbridge crossing a path carrying Caviar and a knee-high campfire flickers beneath it. Caviar approaches this as a shadow moves in front of the flames, silhouetting a trench coat and gentleman’s hat.

CAVIAR

Is that you under there like a bum, Mick?

MICK

Are you complimenting my evening wear?

CAVIAR

Not exactly. It’s midnight.

MICK

I called you back here for a cuppa. You’ve got the job. You should be happy.

Caviar examines Mick’s battered trench coat, an aged version of the one he wore that day. There’s a plaid blanket, pillow, and woolly fabric, which are piled on the ground beside a bridge pillar beside the fire.

CAVIAR

Why were you scrubbed up earlier, and now you’re under a bridge in clothes, like a bum?

MICK

(gesture to fire)

Step into my office. And, home sweet home.

CAVIAR

(analysing)

Your job offer comes with perks?

Mick

Now might be a good time to pull your head in.

CAVIAR

You didn’t answer my question.

Pause.

MICK

You’re a young buck with a rugged tongue—

caviar

(cuts in)

Get to the point.

MICK

You wouldn’t have run that fairy down if you were born into cash.

CAVIAR

The job.

MICK

(points to stone)

Sit yourself down. If somebody’s got a flash tie on they’re doing all right are they? Money talks; bullshit walks.

Caviar watches Mick kneel down by the plaid blanket, then release a burnt kettle. He places this into the flames.

MICK

How do you have your tea?

CAVIAR

(baffled)

Two sugars and milk.

MICK

You showed guts today. And you took my order. Only problem now is your face is all over the news.

CAVIAR

What do you mean?

MICK

Haven’t you seen the television?

Caviar shakes his head.

CAVIAR

And that’s complicated things?

MICK

We’ll have to wait and see. They think your name’s ‘Gustavo’ the ‘Central Park Ninja.’ Luckily, the photos aren’t clear.

(pause)

You got kids?

CAVIAR

Not yet.

MICK

Five years ago my son decided to go missing.

CAVIAR

What do you mean by missing?

MICK

He keeps to himself.

Mick rustles inside his jacket pocket, clamping a teabag between fingers and thumb.

MICK

I was ten years younger than you when I had my first son. Two years later there was another.

CAVIAR

Where’s he?

MICK

I haven’t seen him, but your ideals won’t connect.

CAVIAR

I just hope you organize your business better; I can’t see you getting the father-of-the-year award.

Mick pours hot water into two cups, absently staring as the teabag drops from his fingers.

cAVIAR

If you don’t mind, I’m broke as shit and your cuppas aren’t going to solve any of that.

MICK

I gave you an order today. You stuck to it. Now, all I ask of you is for your time.

Mick rustles through his coat pocket, clenching something in his hand.

MICK

I want you to check out Gasolina de Gustavo’s warehouse in Brooklyn tomorrow.

He hands Caviar a wrinkled bundle of bank notes. Caviar’s mood changes to relief.

I see something in you, I’m not letting that slip away.

int. cherry den – newspaper discovery – day

Sheryl sits at the main bar in The Cherry Den reading an article from Saturday’s New York Post; there’s a full page photo, accompanying the article, of a shaggy-haired man pinning a purse-snatcher in Central Park. It’s Caviar but the photo isn’t clear. Mesmerized, she sits on a bar stool before Tony stumbles into the bar, assisted by a walking stick then limps over to the bar.

TONY

(schmoozing)

You look nice.

sheryl

Sit the fuck down. Tell me what you know about this?

TONY

Good, thanks.

(follows her nail to the article)

Is that today’s?

SHERYL

(deadpan)

Saturday July 7, 2012.

TONY

(reading from paper)

Central Park ninja grabs ‘purse-snatcher’ before New Yorkers could lay a hand on him.

(deadpan)

I’d have done the same.

SHERYL

You can’t do anything right. Read the fine print. It says Gustavo.

TONY

You’re dreaming.

SHERYL

I think it’s him.

TONY

(examining newspaper)

Not a bad lookalike.

SHERYL

I’m calling that fucking journalist.

TONY

Don’t get your feathers all messed up, it’s just a coincidence.

SHERYL

When was the last time you visited Gasolina de Gustavo?

tony

I drive passed occasionally.

sheryl

(agitated)

I said the last time?

Tony

It’s been six months.

(reading newspaper)

This man ought to register his hands as lethal weapons.

(to Sheryl)

It’s not him.

sheryl

The picture says enough for me.

Tony

Gustavo couldn’t hurt a fly let alone run down and grapple a purse-snatcher.

Sheryl

You said you’d driven passed Gustavo’s. When was the last time you went inside?

TONY

About a year ago.

Sheryl

I want you over there tonight. That building’s been empty for five years and it’s still in Gustavo’s name.

tony

Somebody’s run a crook down, that’s all. He could’ve been a crook himself.

sheryl

Could have been a crook himself?

(weary)

I’m calling that journalist.

Tony

Gustavo fancied himself as an entrepreneur. Put the story aside.

(pressing finger on paper)

He was money hungry. You know as well as I do he’d milk this publicity all the way to the bank. He’d squeeze every last drop out of a carrot like this.

Sheryl’s POV:

Tony’s finger pressing on the photo.

TONY

After this park hero runs down the purse-snatcher, what do you think the journalist says?

SHERYL

(frustrated)

You’re selling the story?

TONY

What’s your name? It’s fucking simple. What’s Gustavo’s answer?

sheryl

With a bit of luck nothing.

tony

He’d shine a spotlight on his business. Think about it: Gustavo counted numbers like a dodgy car salesman. Give him publicity and he’ll ride it to the moon.

sheryl

So what do you think he’s done?

tony

Well, it says right there ‘Gustavo’. I’m telling you it can’t be him. He’s wasting publicity on a name that won’t sell.

sheryl

What’s the name of his business, Tony?

Pause.

Tony

Which one?

sheryl

Don’t make me ask you again.

tony

Well there’s a few, that’s all.

Sheryl

(looks at Tony like he’s a moron)

I want you to go to the warehouse. Perhaps the name of that place is a good start.

tony

It isn’t the full name, my dear. Zero marketing on the warehouse.

(pause)

It’s not him. I didn’t need to sell you that story, anyway.

(to walking stick and chin)

I still haven’t recovered, but I’ll go. It’s a good thing I’ll find nothing.

Sheryl

Nothing without going and nothing while you’re there, are two different things. Your life is faster because of me. Don’t drop the ball.

Tony (concerned) examines the New York Post.

EXT. HARLEM RIVER EDGE – family locket – night

Mick stands on the shore of the Harlem River, watching Spooky Man propel a small wooden boat using oars a stone’s throw away before arriving at the water’s edge.

Mick extends a hand so Spooky Man clasps it then steps to the shore.

mick

Why don’t you come back, and shake off your mother’s stubborn ways?

Spooky man

I stopped learning from you a long time ago.

mick

I taught you to build up a business, then abandon it, did I?

(pause)

You haven’t told me to piss off, I suppose that’s a start.

SPOOKY MAN

Let go of the past.

mick

(deadpan)

Where’s your family locket?

Spooky Man slides his fingers under his collar, releasing a silver neck chain with a locket.

SPOOKY MAN

I keep it safe.

MICK

You want me to let go of my past, while you hang onto yours?

SPOOKY MAN

A gift’s a gift.

Spooky Man walks away in to the dark.

ext. Gasolina de gustavo – stubborn gate – night

Caviar arrives at a graffiti decorated industrial unit’s rear delivery dock. There’s nobody insight. The building’s a dilapidated mix of jagged bricks and rusted iron sheets. He notices a closed gate to enter the building so he yanks on it but it barely budges. Caviar phones Mick.

mick

(O.S)

Good news or bad?

caviar

Relax yourself. I’m here. I need to know if you want me to go inside?

mick

(O.S)

Absolutely, what have you been doing?

caviar

Checking the place out; so far so good.

mick

(O.S)

Have you opened the back gate?

Caviar hesitates.

That’s a stuffing no. You’ve gotta give it some elbow grease. If an old codger like me can do it…

CAVIAR

All good. Leave it with me. I’ll give it another crack.

Caviar hangs up then gives the latch another pull but it’s still stubborn. He phones Fluffy.

fluffy

(O.S)

Slug-nuts! Where the hell are you?

caviar

I’ll explain later. I need help pronto.

fluffy

(O.S)

You in Chinatown?

caviar

Brooklyn.

fluffy

(O.S)

Jesus fella, I’ve had every man and his dog chasing you down.

caviar

Who?

fluffy

(O.S)

You’re all over the news!

caviar

I’ve heard about this. Can you tell it’s me?

fluffy

(O.S)

Who the fuck is Gustavo?

caviar

I’ll tell you when you get here. Right now, I need your tools.

fluffy

(O.S)

Don’t stress, I’ve got everything.

scene fades to black.

EXT. GASOLINA DE GUSTAVO – Fluffy’s assistance – NIGHT

Fade in to a rundown pink and white ice-cream truck in the delivery dock with Fluffy in the driver’s seat. He hops out of the truck wearing an opened white bathrobe with blue retro football shorts underneath.

caviar

You bring tools?

fluffy

What do you need?

caviar

A pinch bar.

fluffy

What you need a pinch bar for?

caviar

I thought you had everything?

fluffy

What is it we need to do?

Caviar gestures with one hand that he needs to open the gate. Fluffy jumps back into the truck to start its smoky engine. He repositions the rear lights to aim for the dock then slaps an elbow on the window ledge of the truck.

fluffy

Get out of the way, big nuts.

Caviar

You can’t drive through it.

Fluffy

This is not the girl scouts my friend.

Fluffy grabs a thick chain from behind the driver’s seat.

Give me a hand instead of standing over there pinching hairs off your berries.

CAVIAR

(approaches)

What the fuck are you doing?

The chain is handed to Caviar.

fluffy

See that tow-ball at the back of the truck?

Caviar nods.

fluffy

Then take this and go place it on it.

caviar

(to Fluffy)

Mad as cut balls.

fluffy

Thank you. I’ll drive this shit heap out of here. Job done. I go home.

Caviar places one end of the chain on the gate latch and the other over the truck’s tow-ball.

Caviar

Put a fork in it!

Fluffy’s POV: Dashboard needle revving as the engine vibrates over the entire chassis.

Close up: The chain tightening.

A snap sounds as the gate opens. Fluffy drives off.

Caviar looks beyond the gate, thunderstruck.

Caviar’s POV: Open gate and blackness. A white, hanging sheet fades into the black, flapping. It’s a hanging person but this is not yet clear to Caviar.

CAVIAR

What the fuck is that?

Caviar’s heart is heard as it begins to thud.

Fluffy, get your ass in here!

Caviar, realizing it’s a hanging body, runs into the warehouse to hug the kicking legs. A noose is around the neck, though the body is covered by a white sheet from head to knees.

CAVIAR

(struggling)

Fluffy!

The legs stop moving then Fluffy arrives.

fluffy

(oblivious)

Hold your horses.

Caviar’s POV: Fluffy’s silhouette as he strains to look into the warehouse from the gate.

CAVIAR

Get your ass in here!

fluffy

I can’t see anything.

caviar

Try the gate!

fluffy

The gate?

caviar

For a light switch!

Fluffy fumbling, clicks a switch then a dull fluorescent light ignites. Caviar is hugging the sheet around the hanging body. Fluffy realizes.

FLUFFY

(shocked)

I can’t believe this!

CAVIAR

We need something to prop him up on?

fluffy

You’ve got your prints all over him!

caviar

I don’t fucking care!

fluffy

(anxious scan)

The place is empty.

Fluffy sees a rope on the ground so yanks it. A broken stool, two legs dismembered, slides in front of the men. The other end of the rope is connected to the gate.

caviar

(releasing body)

Why was that stool roped up to the gate?

fluffy

Un – fucking – believable. What do you think? We’ve murdered him. If we’re lucky, it’ll get downgraded to manslaughter.

caviar

I tried to save him.

FLUFFY

It’s a setup.

Caviar’s POV: Pasty white legs in green shorts and peach-coloured boat shoes dangle in the air. The shoes, legs and shorts are identical to Tony’s shoes and to Medical Man #1’s, from the psychiatric ward, indicating that perhaps Tony is the medical man, only a younger version.

caviar

Hit the switch.

“Click”.

Caviar’s POV: a black scene.

fluffy

(O.S)

What is it?

Pause.

caviar

(O.S)

Peach boat shoes.

INT. PSYCHIATRIC WARDDAY

The two pretty medical girls attempt to calm the elderly man who is lying on the floor. He’s semi-unconscious, grabbing Medical Man #1’s pasty legs.

Close up: Elderly Man face (stares) behind peach boat shoes.

Elderly Man’s POV: Peach boat shoes.

ext. Central park – footbridge – night

Mick is lying in front of a fire with his fedora hat unevenly mounted on his head beside a concrete pier.

Mick’s POV: the orange coals of a small campfire.

Wooden soled boots are heard stepping rapidly on a concrete path. Caviar steps under the footbridge from the dark, grabbing Mick by the collar, forcing him to his feet and against a concrete pier.

caviar

(aggressive)

Twisted fucking move that was.

mick

You like your new job, I see.

Mick adjusts his fedora hat.

caviar

I don’t deserve this shit.

mick

Put me down.

caviar

You sent me to the fucking warehouse!

mick

You came to me for work. I take it you don’t want it?

Caviar cross-examines Mick.

I want to say I’m disappointed, if you don’t.

caviar

(releases collar)

Odd fucking jobs…

MICK

You need to think about the pickle you’ve got me in.

(pause)

You think you’re up shit creek? It’s only been your first day. You’ve got me back at square one, with my dick in my hand.

caviar

I’ll straighten this out. If that’s your idea of ‘odd jobs,’ you’ll see mine.

MICK

I’d have died for an opportunity like this at your age.

(pause)

What happened over there?

Caviar

Tony’s over there hanging from a stuffing noose. Is that what you want to hear?

MIck

(surprised)

Dead?

caviar

Part of your plan?

mick

You’re making out like you murdered him.

(pause)

From memory you two had an old debt. Am I not right?

Caviar

You walked me into this, and you know damn well about it.

mick

(deadpan)

I’m very surprised I’m hearing this bad news from you. Have you heard from Sheryl?

Caviar shakes his head.

MICK

Your hands are dirty. I suggest you shut this topic down. It’s a good thing, here in this big park, what goes on in my home stays in my home. And, since my hands are clean, I’m prepared to do you a favour.

CAVIAR

Enlighten me.

MICK

I said I’d be good to you, then I gave you a job. Then I even did part of your work.

CAVIAR

What do you mean?

Mick

Tony’s body’s gone. I’ve been to the warehouse.

Caviar’s confused.

MICK

Who else knows about this?

CAVIAR

Fluffy.

MICK

Who the fuck is Fluffy? A cardigan?

CAVIAR

He’s a mate of mine.

Pause.

MICK

Some fellas I know saw some suspicious activity last night, a body dumped in the Harlem River. They saw a similar thing a few years back.

caviar

How do I know you didn’t walk me into it?

MICK

If I was involved, nobody else would know. As it stands, too many cooks are spoiling your broth.

Mick sits on a stone beside the fire then gestures for Caviar to do the same. Caviar sits.

Tell me, have you ever ridden a motorbike?

caviar

A few.

Mick

When you’re riding around a corner, where do you look?

Caviar

Where I’m going.

Mick

But do you look at the curb, or the road beyond?

Caviar

Beyond.

Mick

And, where does the bike go?

Caviar

With a bit of luck around the corner.

Mick

If you lean into it, looking for long enough that’s usually the case. Can you look at one direction and steer the bike in the other?

Caviar

Michael, I’m looking at fucking murder here, not at test riding a Ducati.

Mick

You’ve been given a bloody nice chance and you’ve found yourself in a puddle. I’m trying to guide you out of it.

CAVIAR

(deadpan)

Where can I meet the men?

Mick

Bring Fluffy and meet me under High Bridge in one hour.

ext. high bridge – meeting – night

A burning barrel sits upright, beside a river and under a viaduct, with a man standing beside it. This man’s name is “Spanner”. His clothes are ragged with a homeless feel. Caviar and Fluffy enter the frame.

CAVIAR

(to Spanner)

I’m looking for a man named Mick.

Spanner returns a sour look to Fluffy.

Spanner

(to Caviar regarding Fluffy)

Your mate here looks like a cop.

fluffy

I’ve seen undercovers dress like yourself.

caviar

I believe we have an appointment. I’m Caviar.

spanner

What’s your mate’s name, fucking champagne?

caviar

If it’s gonna be like that, call me Gustavo. This is Fluffy.

spanner

(cracks a smile)

Why didn’t you say you were Mick’s son? Have you been looking after that old bastard?

Caviar nods.

He’s hard on the outside, soft on the in. From here on, you call me Spanner.

The men shake hands. Spanner guides Caviar by the elbow closer to the river and gestures to Fluffy to stay put.

(to Caviar)

How can I be of assistance?

caviar

Yesterday’s drop off.

SPANNER

I thought as much. If the police wanted to sort half of the problems out in this city they’d come spend a night with me.

(nods to river)

A body was dumped out in the centre there a few hours back. Mick’s awfully interested, the same way he was a few years back. A man rows up in a wooden boat, capsizes it, then pisses off.

caviar

And the boat?

spanner

(shakes head)

The entire thing sank. They swam up river.

caviar

Was it a man?

SPANNER

That’s where I’d put my money; decent swimmers. By the time I brought my eyes back to the boat, gone.

Spanner blows bubbles, creepily, with his lips and does a hand charade, indicating a sinking boat.

caviar

How do you know there was a body?

spanner

You’ve got more eyes on you than you think.

Spanner looks up to a streetlight above the bridge, so Caviar does the same. Two men stand below the streetlight.

They’re with me. They stand up there, talking crap till the cows come home, every night, and they’re four of the best eyes I have. I’m helping that mad-as-a-box-of-frogs old man of yours. He won’t stop thinking about shifty-happenings around this river.

(pause)

He almost did, now this.

The men look back to the burning barrel.

Caviar’s POV: Fluffy stands beside barrel as Mick arrives, holding a brown retro-style bowling bag. They shake hands.

Caviar and Spanner approach.

MICK

(jiggling bag to Caviar)

I had a few hiccups on the way.

All eyes are on Mick.

(to Caviar)

I’ve organized a few things to help.

(to bag)

There’s enough green paper here to get to where you need to be, and if need be, you’ve got an Australian passport that’s got a photo that’s a dead-ringer for you.

CAVIAR

(to Mick)

That’s your idea of showing us the way?

MICK

I’m merely giving you a plan B and C. I want you to feel comfortable that you can escape one day.

FLUFFY

(to Mick)

How much money’s there?

mick

Enough. But, I don’t suggest you to hop straight to the last plan. I believe you can get yourself out of this mess, and do pretty well after that.

Mick searches through his pocket, releasing an iPhone. Caviar and Fluffy turn to it.

mick

You need to have a body before you can point a finger. At the moment the only thing anybody knows is that you two are involved.

Caviar’s POV: a video on the iPhone; a GoPro exploring the river’s base.

MICK

I was handy enough to obtain a remote-controlled mini-submarine with a GoPro camera to scan the river’s base. I’m sparkling with the results.

Murky water and an unclear abject play on the phone.

(to phone)

And that’s your body right there. If the police ever find this, they’ll want justice, which won’t be good for you.

CAVIAR

I’ll go down there and get him.

FLUFFY

(to Caviar)

Are you out of your fucking mind?

CAVIAR

Expose the body, then we’ll have a few leads to work with; hopefully they’ll direct us to Sheryl.

(to bag)

If not, we’ll take that puppy, and get our asses on the next plane.

MICK

This could be where I step to the side. My hands are good. I don’t see any point in changing that.

Mick passes Caviar the bag.

If you’re happy with the weight in that I’ll hang onto it until you’ve returned.

fluffy

(to Caviar)

Are you actually considering doing this?

Caviar

It’s our only choice.

ext. harlem river diving – night

A tractor inner tube floats at the centre of the Harlem River as Fluffy, paddling, grips onto its side. The sky is dark and so is the water. A light illuminates the water beneath the surface near Fluffy’s feet. A surge of bubbles emerges, followed by Caviar, wearing a diving rebreather and goggles.

fluffy

(shivering to Caviar)

How’d you go?

Caviar removes rebreather

caviar

(dry)

Good fun.

fluffy

You’ve been down there twenty-three minutes.

Caviar’s POV: a cigarette light moves in the dark back at the shore.

CAVIAR

(to torch)

I’m worried about the battery in this thing. Can you go back to grab the other battery?

fluffy

I just wanna get out of here.

caviar

Not much longer, I promise.

Caviar reconnects the rebreather then vanishes below water.

int. ice-cream truck – Harlem River shore – night

Fluffy searches the rear of the ice-cream truck dripping with water and shivering. Footsteps sound outside the truck. Caviar enters.

fluffy

You thrown the towel in?

caviar

It’s something else. I didn’t have the heart to tell you back there.

FLUFFY

What is it?

CAVIAR

I found a body.

Fluffy

And?

CAVIAR

It’s not bloody Tony’s.

fluffy

It’s not fucking Tony’s? Then whose is it?

Caviar steps out of the truck.

EXT. ICE-CREAM TRUCKSHORE OF HARLEM RIVERNIGHT

Caviar walks out of the ice-cream truck. Fluffy follows.

fluffy

What in the duck’s ass is going on!?

They stop. Caviar’s holding a silver locket in his hand.

caviar

Take a look at this. It was around the neck of a bag of bones down there.

Fluffy’s POV: An engraved locket with “Gustavo” etched on it and other writing.

Fluffy

(shocked)

It’s got Gustavo…

Pause.

CAVIaR

What else?

Fluffy’s POV: The locket with “The Cava Family: Mick, Maria, Gustavo and Johnny.”

Fluffy

Mick’s name’s on there.

(cleans locket)

Who on earth is Maria, Johnny and the ‘Cava Family?’

(beat)

Why’s your name there, and is Mick’s name ‘Cava?’

Pause.

EXT. HIGH BRIDGE – Looking for Mick – NIGHT

Spanner stands beside a burning barrel below high bridge. There’s nobody else in sight, just a brown bag stashed against a pier.

Caviar and Fluffy walk into the frame.

caviar

Where is he?

spanner

I could see he had something on his chest. He said he was going on a ‘walkabout’, an aboriginal ritual he says he’s got his own version of.

caviar

Did he say where’d he’d be?

Spanner shakes his head.

Bloody walkabout…

spanner

He was acting out of character, then asked me to keep an eye on you.

caviar

What do you mean?

spanner

You’ll have to show me.

(to bag)

He did leave that crap-coloured thing over there.

(pause)

And a letter.

Spanner flaps a folded paper then hands it to Caviar.

Caviar’s POV: Hand written letter with older style writing.

MICK

(V.O)

Caviar, I’ve dragged you into some real shitty problems and my gut feelings are to blame. Maybe my head’s been missing lately. I gave you that order to change your identity, and you stuck by it. I saw something in you, something personal, that you shouldn’t have to hear. But I saw my boys in you. I want you to look after Gustavo’s properties, if you don’t skip town. I’ve left Gustavo’s passport amongst the money. I’m not sure when I’ll be back.

(pause)

Good luck, Mick Cava

int. Doctor Steinberg’s suite – day

Mick sits in Doctor Steinberg’s suite, slouching in front of a large bookshelf. Doctor Steinberg sits opposite him behind a wooden desk. There’s a prescription box of tablets on the desk.

Mick

I’ll take the tablets. I just need you to tell me I’m doing the right thing.

doctor steinberg

They’ll get rid of the clouds.

MICK

And make me feel groggy.

doctor Steinberg

Your cerebral ventricles aren’t getting any smaller. The pills will prevent other symptoms, plus provide a resolution to the people you’re meeting with.

MICK

I don’t see that as a problem.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

If you bring Gustavo to me we can reassess your dosage.

mick

He’s as stubborn as a mule.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

He’s either actual or virtual. Put simply, he’s of atoms or not, so when I tell you that you’re imagining him, I’m not saying he’s not real. He’s just not matter.

MICK

(shaking head)

In other words, you think I’m crazy.

doctor steinberg

I’m questioning your memory. Unfortunately, this feeds your imagination. The very realness of this depends on your recollections.

mick

If you’re taking the meds, I believe that’s your selling point.

She looks at the box of medication.

doctor steinberg

(seeming guilty)

I never told you that I take these things, if anybody ever asks. You’ve been seeing me for long enough to be very important to me.

MICK

(deadpan)

At last, something positive.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

Trying to understand your situation is like trying to understand every image that fills a human mind; why they’re there, and why they can never leave.

She gestures to the tablets.

These will give you a future.

MICK

I’m going to have a chat with the mule.

doctor steinberg

Even beyond that, you’ll have the same problems in your MRI scans. However, I’ll give you the time.

mick

Very well.

doctor steinberg

And since this will be the last time I’ve got a proposal.

mick

I’m all ears?

doctor steinberg

Bring him to the clinic and I’ll give you one request. This will help you remember that this is and was your last chance, to prove yourself to yourself.

Mick reaches over to the box of pills then places one of them onto his tongue.

ext. Harlem river – Spooky man call – dusk

Mick stands at the desolate shore of the Harlem River, glimpsing out over the water.

Close up: Mick’s face, giddy from the pills.

MICK

(to himself)

Where is that prick?

(watching river)

Fucking typical of him to leave me stranded.

(desperate)

Gustavo!

Silence.

Ext. Gasolina de Gustavo – Night

The delivery dock of Gasolina de Gustavo with Fluffy and Caviar standing beside the ice-cream truck. Mick walks into the lightless driveway.

MICK

Dining out for ice cream, are we?

CAVIAR

Where the stuffing hell have you been?

mick

I figured I’d let you cool down.

caviar

We need to talk.

Mick (poker-faced) doesn’t answer. Fluffy leans on the truck. Caviar pulls the locket out of his pocket.

I read your letter.

Mick

You’re as loyal as an old French Mastiff, still taking my orders.

caviar

(exposing locket in hand)

What do you know about this?

Mick’s POV: the locket.

MICK

I take it you’ve bumped into Gustavo? That’s his family jewellery.

caviar

You never thought to ask me why my name’s Caviar?

mick

(dazing to himself)

I’ve never seen Gustavo not wearing that thing.

caviar

My real name’s Johnny Cava.

mick

(refocusing)

Your name’s Johnny what?

caviar

I don’t have a family. Never have.

mick

How old are you?

caviar

I’m thirty-four.

Pause.

mick

What’s your mother’s name?

caviar

I’ve never met her.

mick

You must know her bloody name?

caviar

Maria.

mick

You’re fucking kidding.

fluffy

(cuts in)

I don’t think he is.

mick

(to Fluffy)

You stay the fuck out of this.

(back to Caviar)

A Cava, eh . . .? An interesting bag of tricks . . . What’s Gustavo’s take on this?

caviar

I haven’t spoken with him.

(pause)

He’s brown bread.

mick

(not following)

What d’you mean brown bread?

CAVIAR

He’s at the bottom of the river. If you’d stuck around the other night you’d have found that out.

mick

I saw him the other night.

caviar

(impatient)

I found a body at the bottom of the river. This was around its neck.

mick

What about Tony?

caviar

Right now, there is no Tony. I got my ass out of the water as soon as I found this. When I came back, Spanner told me you’d pissed off on a ‘walkabout.’

mick

Tony’s still down there.

caviar

You don’t seem too moved by any of this.

MICK

I think you’ve just thrown another fish on the table.

CAVIAR

What do you mean?

mick

I need a favour. You can look at it as a family favour. No good looking for somebody to blame. The best I can do is give you a sorry. What’s done is done. I’m happy to move forward, try to mend things.

FLUFFY

(to Mick)

Easier for you say.

MICK

I told you to keep your fuzzy ass out of this.

Caviar gives Fluffy a quick look that said: “I’ve got this covered.”

caviar

(back to Mick)

What’s the favour?

mick

I need you to meet a friend. She’s actually a psychiatrist who does a bit of family counselling.

int. doctor steinberg’s suite – DR meets Caviar – day

Caviar and Mick enter Doctor Steinberg’s apartment suite to find her waiting at her wooden desk.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

This is interesting. Good morning to the both of you.

Mick

(smiling)

You look a little shocked. Is there something I can help you with?”

Mick’s eyes fuse with the doctor’s. Caviar watches.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

It seems that you’ve proven me wrong.

(to Caviar)

Doctor Steinberg.

Caviar and Doctor Steinberg shake hands.

caviar

I’m Gustavo.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

I remember.

mick

A good healthy one, this one. Just like his old man.

doctor steinberg

(to Caviar)

I hope you’re not as stubborn as he is.

Caviar

He tells me you do family counselling?

doctor steinberg

We can try.

mick

(to doctor)

I think it’d be a good idea. But fist, can I speak to you for a moment in private?

Doctor Steinberg nods. Caviar steps outside.

doctor steinberg

You’ve caught me by surprise, I have to say.

mick

One request, hey?

doctor steinberg

A deal’s a deal.

mick

I want you to help me and him mould our relationship.

doctor steinberg

(surprised)

Is that the request?

mick

I’ve done some shitty things. I think it’d be right to give the request to him.

doctor steinberg

I’d be happy to at least hear what the request is.

mick

(to door)

Gustavo!

Caviar enters.

mick

(to Caviar)

If you could be anywhere in the world, right now, where would it be?

caviar

Brazil. One last fight, a pretty girl in my corner, and a coconut waiting on the beach.

int. Gasolina de Gustavo – Sheryl’s lock up – night

The ice-cream truck enters the driveway of Gasolina de Gustavo then parks in the delivery doc. A woman’s muffled screams sound from within the truck.

sheryl

(O.S)

Let me out of here!

Fluffy steps out of the driver’s side then runs to the rear.

sheryl

(O.S)

You’ll never get away with this!

He opens the truck’s back door.

Rear door POV: Fluffy looks into the truck with a psychotic smile.

Fluffy’s POV: A woman with messy red hair covering her face is laying down. She’s tied up at the wrists and ankles.

fluffy

That’s what you think, bitch.

Fluffy grabs the hostage. Her hair parts, making it evident that the hostage is Sheryl.

fluffy

You’ve done the crime. Your time is mine.

SHERYL

(distressed)

What are you going to do?

fluffy

I’m not sure. It’s my first night on the job.

sherl

(threatening)

You’ll never get away with this.

fluffy

Never mind me, you’re the busted cherry now. You’ve got your own problems.

sheryl

You’re out of your mind.

fluffy

(entertained)

I know.

sheryl

Please! I’ll give you what you need. Let me go!

fluffy

(merciless)

I’ve got what I need. I’ve created myself a job.

(laughs)

When Caviar gets here … sorry, Gustavo … we’ll work out your sentence.

sheryl

Gustavo?

fluffy

That’s right

sheryl

He won’t be.

fluffy

(sarcastic)

Sure he won’t.

She looks confused.

That’s what I fucking thought.

Sheryl’s POV: Fluffy opens the warehouse gate.

Maybe that’s what I’ll teach you in here, how to consider others.

sheryl

(grovels)

Everybody can go their separate ways. I don’t need to go to anybody. You’ll never see me again.

Fluffy

I wish things were that black and white. You’d pinch the eye out of my peacock if I wasn’t looking.

Fluffy slams the truck door closed, hops in the driver’s side then reverses inside the warehouse.

INT. JFK AIRPORT NEW YORK take off – DAY

Caviar arrives at the busy JFK airport to find Doctor Steinberg and Mick waiting below airport announcements.

mick

(to Caviar)

We’ll miss the flipping flight.

caviar

(arriving)

I’ve got a friend coming.

mick

Not that Fluffy character?

A girl’s voice calls.

Lina

(O.S)

Gustavo!

All turn to a pretty brown-haired girl arriving. It’s the same brown haired girl from the psychiatric ward, though a slightly younger version. She’s also the same girl who ignores Caviar at the Cherry Den, and at the entrance to Central Park. Her name is Lina. Mick smiles.

doctor steinberg

(cuts in)

I’ve worked in the ward with her for years.

CAVIAR

(to Lina)

This is…

LINA

(cuts in)

Doctor Steinberg. We know each other.

doctor steinberg

(to Caviar)

Lina helps me with my good patients.

(to Mick)

The ones who listen.

Mick raises an eyebrow.

CAVIAR

I’ve got a surprise I need to tell you about for when we get to Brazil.

They all look weary. Caviar looks to an immigration sign.

INT. fight WAREHOUSEBRAZIL – day

Caviar is the middle of a fight pit, identical to the fight in the Brazilian warehouse on the television in the psychiatric ward. He’s also shaping up to the same opponent, has the same cut lip and black lycra shorts and he’s also losing. At this point, it becomes clear that the previous fight was also between Caviar and the same opponent. Chants of Portuguese surge throughout the warehouse as Doctor Steinberg, Mick, and Lina watch from within the crowd.

A match bell rings. The referee raises the hand of the opponent then a man screams from the crowd.

man in the crowd

(to Caviar)

Nice tip, asshole!

Caviar turns to the call.

Mick’s POV: An obstructed view of the man in the crowd. He’s standing beside a blazing red-headed woman. Both of their faces are not visible as they’re hidden in the crowd.

man in the crowd

Throw some coin on my head!

Caviar (exhausted) walks towards the couple.

caviar

(reasoning)

You win some. You lose some.

man in the crowd

If you’d said that earlier, I wouldn’t be ten down.

Mick’s POV: Caviar reasons with the man, too far away to hear.

DOCTOR STEINBERG

(to Mick)

I think I need to take a pill.

mick

I’ll do the same.

Doctor Steinberg places one tablet on her tongue. So Mick does the same.

Lina focuses on Caviar, leaving the fight pit as the couple follow.

Mick’s POV: Lina’s body blocking half view of Caviar and the couple walking through the crowd.

doctor steinberg

(to Lina)

What are you going to do?

LINA

What do you mean?

doctor steinberg

Are you going to take a tablet?

LINA

(shaking head)

I want to stay here with him.

Pause.

Mick

(to Lina)

Can you do me a favour when you see him?

LINA

Sure, what is it?

mick

Tell him that Sheryl didn’t do it.

LINA

Do what?

mick

He’ll know what I mean.

Lina nods then walks across the fight pit.

Mick’s POV: Lina walking in the direction of Caviar.

Mick looks to Doctor Steinberg. He looks back to the crowd, though, now there’s less people than the previous moment. The crowd leaves and people begin to vanish (literally). Before long there’s nobody other than Mick and Doctor Steinberg.

He glimpses at her then to a vacant warehouse. When he looks back to her she disappears. Mick panics then the camera zooms to a close up on his face.

Scene fades to white.

int. psychiatric ward – realization – day

Close up: elderly man’s face, laying on the ground awakening from unconsciousness.

Elderly man’s POV: the pretty brown haired medical girl, Medical Man #1, who is wearing peach coloured boat shoes, the pretty red-haired medical girl and the Japanese medical woman, all wearing lab coats and looking at the elderly man (anticipation).

At this point, it becomes clear that the brown haired girl is Lina, the red haired girl is Sheryl, the man in the peach boat shoes is Tony and the Japanese medical woman is Doctor Steinberg.

The jittery man appears, wearing a shaving coat, which opens to expose blue retro soccer shorts, clarifying that this is Fluffy. Each of the characters is approximately fifteen years older than when they each appear in scenes other than the psychiatric ward.

The elderly man rises (giddy) to his feet. It’s not clear if he is an older version of Mick or Caviar – the clue that suggests that it is Mick is that the man is twenty years older than Fluffy.

The Japanese medical woman steps forward to the elderly man, attempting to calm him by placing a hand on his shoulder.

ELDERLY MAN

(to Japanese woman)

Where are we?

JAPANESE MEDICAL WOMAN

It’s ok Mr Cava. We’re here to help you.

Elderly man looks at Japanese woman. There’s a television playing a fight with Caviar competing in the background.

The pretty brown haired girl opens a passport to a picture of a man who looks like Caviar, though the name on the passport is “Gustavo Cava”. Gustavo is wearing a safari shirt. The girl compares the elderly man with the passport.

BROWN HAIRED MEDICAL GIRL

(to passport)

He came in here with this. Personally, I would’ve thought he’d be twenty years older.

ELDERLY MAN

(agitated)

It’s not me!

Japanese woman looks to Medical Man #1.

JAPANESE MEDICAL WOMAN

Let him have it now.

Medical Man #1 administers a shot of sedative into elderly man’s arm. His eyes roll back in head.

Elderly man’s POV: blurring vision as the brown haired girl turns off the television.

scene turns to black.

Other books by the author include Crystal Caviar and Blue Smartie.

58


Deleuze and Aristotle applied to the imagination through screenwriting

Deleuze and Aristotle applied to the imagination through screenwriting, a thesis for students of arts, will enthuse and inform aspirations in screenwriting and philosophy. Aimed at creative writers who wish to write a thesis or simply understand and appreciate the stepping stones of a screenwriter’s journey. Gaston Cavalleri parcels Gilles Deleuze, Aristotle, the imagination and screenwriting into a 15,000 word screenplay and a 5,000 word exegesis.

  • ISBN: 9780994618221
  • Author: Gaston Cavalleri
  • Published: 2016-07-16 09:50:11
  • Words: 17080
Deleuze and Aristotle applied to the imagination through screenwriting Deleuze and Aristotle applied to the imagination through screenwriting