Carmen (a version)

When Chris and I were in Mannheim last year doing this, I casually suggested that we should make a film for this. It was 20 minutes before we were due to go into a rehearsal and I was still trying to work out exactly how we were going to achieve what we wanted to achieve that day. Chris said he didn’t know Carmen. I didn’t have time to precis it for him. So he had a scoot on the internet and (while I was still writing notes for rehearsals) asked

“Did you know Bizet was only 36 when he died?”

“No”

“Didn’t live til the end of it’s run.”

“Oh yeah?”

Before we went into rehearsals he’d written us a script. Anyone want to produce it…?

1 Int. Mid-afternoon. 1

JON and CHRIS are sitting at a table in a pub. CHRIS is dressed in a modern police uniform. JON is dressed as a 19th Century Spanish gypsy woman. They are sharing a bottle of wine. The table is covered with empty bottles and an overflowing ashtray. Both CHRIS and JON are smoking cigarillos. There is a window in the wall behind them, with a view of a village green.

CHRIS
Of course nowadays, it’s all about paedophiles.

JON
Yeah?

CHRIS
Yeah. Paedophiles and terrorists. I blame… well I blame everyone.

JON
Poor George.

CHRIS
Yeah. How old was he?

JON
Thirty-six.

CHRIS
Heart attack?

JON
Yeah.

CHRIS
Bloody hell.

A large bull wanders past outside the window.

JON
You never know, do you?

CHRIS
No.

JON
You never know when it’s going to happen.

CHRIS
No. One minute-

JON
Yeah. One minute-

A commotion. A man dressed as a smuggler staggers past the table, clutching a knife that is sticking out of his windpipe. He collapses in front of the table, falling out of shot. Pausing only for a moment, JON reaches down and retrieves the knife. He continues speaking, and while he does so, he absently wipes the blood from the blade with his sleeve and hides the knife in the front of his dress.

JON
-he’s full of plans, the next minute he’s face down in his inkwell.

CHRIS
Apparently the end of the quill went right through his eyeball.

Outside the window, a man dressed as a bullfighter runs past, waving a spear and screaming. CHRIS gets up.

CHRIS
Well. I didn’t mean to stay this long.

JON
It’s nice that you did.

CHRIS
Just wanted to. You know. Say hello. Check everything was going smoothly.

JON looks around absently.

JON
Seems to be.

CHRIS
OK then. I’ll see you back at the station on Monday.

JON
Absolutely.

CHRIS
Enjoy the rest of the-

CHRIS looks around. He is lost for words.

CHRIS
-the… thing.

JON
Will do.

CHRIS leaves. JON drains his wine. He notices something off-camera. JON takes the knife from the front of his dress and throws it. There is the sounds of the knife hitting home and a brief scream.

ENDS

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