THE WHITE BOAR BY ALEXIS KARL
THE White Boar is a feature film currently in post-production, that centers on an Italian con man of fallen nobility , The Duke, who, haunted by visons, begins to lose his sense of time- the one thing ultimately important to his well- planned cons. Waking in strange places, parks and cities, we see him become The White Boar ( Symbolized by his ever present white trench coat, change in his personality, and named for his noble family’s crest ) wandering alone, searching his reflection for clues to his quickly fading persona. The script contemplates the duality of this character while exploring his ultimate isolation within the often-frenetic urban landscape.
SCENE 1: THE CON. EXT. DAY: ROME
We first see THE DUKE on the streets of Rome as a ruggedly handsome man in his late 50’s, sharply dressed in an Armani suit and sunglasses. The following is a voiceover which at first follows THE DUKE throughout his day, explaining the rules of “The Con”, as he walks Rome’s winding, graffitied streets, then into a looming cathedral visits cafes and the like- always on the lookout for the next mark. As the VO continues, we see flashes of visions- a beautiful woman seen on a bed in flickering light, a forest path, a canopy of leaves, and THE DUKE begins to lose himself, and question where he is, and who is his. This change is marked by his donning a white trench coat, and the compulsion to look for his reflections in city windows, which he does as Rome and NYC replace one another in his relentless wanderings.
I’m a systems man.
I need precision and timing in my line of work.
9:00, Wake up, push-ups, shower, dress. Nice watch, sunglasses. Suit. Bar Calisto for a cafe and cornetto.
9:45. Chiesa Santa Maria for a hail Mary, Son and Holy Ghost in the doorway... I’m a busy man… no time to stay, but I will soak in that divine light for a moment.
10:00 and I’m back to Calisto to begin my day. More cafe, cigarettes, talk.
By 11:00 I always have one con going.
Mostly credit card numbers, so easy to get, especially if I’m introduced as a movie producer. I clock the numbers as they open their purses and flash their plastic, falsely protesting as I quickly pay for a cafe with a practiced wink.
1:00 back to the apartment to lock up what I got. Siesta, costume change to Armani or Varvetos and… white trench.
3:30 lunch, upscale at the modern museum or near parliament. Working the con takes money. Parliament people all think I’m an important art dealer. It’s half -a- lie. I’ve sold some family heirlooms, but mostly passed off stolen or forged bronzes. nothing too big, mind you... what they don’t know won’t hurt them… and they rarely know.
5:00, and I’ll have two cons going- the one from the morning, and one from the day before.
By 6:30 I’m back home, siesta, lock up anything I’ve got. Costume change. Black jeans, nice shoes, black shirt and… white trench.
8:00- Bar Calisto. Peroni ... so many marks it’s hard to decide. Now I’m a music producer or high-end antique dealer from Florence. More Peroni, cigarettes... and by 11:00, I’ve dined and often bedded at least one of them. Lock up the numbers, Jewelry, sleep, and begin again. I like short cons…no complications, but these take dedication and organization if you want to do it right.
But recently, I’ve been missing a beat, and cons are slipping through my fingers, like something’s caught in the cog’s of my well-oiled machine.
I’ve been thinking more about time lately. Time and R. R-Painted my portrait, then went back to NYC where she came from. Thought she’d be a perfect American mark, but she marked me.
Now …I’m losing time.
Waking up in places I shouldn’t, with the smell of dirt on my skin and memories of how R’s hair feels in my hands. I clutch my phone like it’s a lifeline, but I can’t seem to focus. I think R took something from me, and I need to get it back.
Cities flicker by like old films. My memory glitches, and I’m not sure If I saw these cities in the movies or If I was there. I start to wake in places that sound different. Not the urban song of my Roma, with its motorinos, sirens, and yelling. But who the fuck cares? Really, when it’s all the same city in the end…shit happening and shit not happening ....and its lights and cars and drink and cement, and me…
somewhere in the middle of it all, feeling like someone else somewhere else.
I catch myself in reflections. I look for my lost face as much as I can… but the glass tricks me into thinking I’m not me, and I’m left with an image composed of neon and dirt.
And I’m re -fucking- born into this thing that doesn’t care about time.
R got the me I didn’t want to give. The me I hid so long in the con.
I practiced in front of the mirror like an actor -new mark, new story. But R made me feel split apart, and now and I’m fucking wake-dreaming through days and nights.
And time is a concern, cause’ time is lost.
THE APARTMENT BY ALEXIS KARL & JUSTIN DECARLO
THE APARTMENT centers around ARMAN, who's whole existence centers around lotto scratch off's and OTB betting. After spilling water by his front door while trying to dodge his angry rent-hungry landlord, ARMAN finds the area blooming with mushrooms, and soon the whole apartment slowly turns into a forest. The film is to be shot in one Brooklyn neighborhood: Arman's apartment, an Ocean Parkway bench , his local bodega, and an underground betting social club. As the verdant landscape takes over more of his apartment, Arman decides to retreat to his kitchen with his pet fish, the reality of danger and starvation setting in. We never know if the forest is real or in Arman's head.
The follwing scene is a dream Arman has just before mushrooms sprout in front of his door ( these eventually turn into a circle of trees.) Arman is the victim here,helpless in his situation- which drastically changes in a later dream sequence where he becomes the agressor, embracing his more violent, animal nature.
SCENE 8:DREAM 1: EXT. DAY : ALLEY IN WALL STREET
We see an overhead ( drone ) shot of ARMAN crawling out of the ocean in his boxers & wife beater.
ARMAN stands up, and the camera shoots full circle around him. He takes a step, camera follows feet on sand, and sludge and dunes, then plants and onto an abandoned airway in Rockaway- then this jump cuts to feet on gravel. Still barefoot. Camera roll’s up to reveal the ARMAN’S face- follows his gaze around in another circle in a alley of the financial district (trash cans, dumpsters,)
Camera follows as he stumbles, still in the alleyway. We see people passing, though they are out of focus. Close up of his dirty hands smoking a cigarette. Then another hand goes into the frame, onto his shoulder. The hand belongs to a man in a nice suit...really put together, financial district look, and very, very wired. This shot is tight of the two of them.
Excuse me, can I have one?
(Doesn’t answer, shrugs.)
A smoke, Can I have one?
(Remains silent, but confused.. not sure what’s actually happening-he doesn’t know what to do.)
Can I get one or not? So, listen, I was telling it to Patrick, you know? About the oxygen levels not being right, because we can’t breathe here. I mean.. look at us, all this smog and gas and tar .. I mean look at us, John..
(SUIT’s laughing now, with the incredulity if it all, with the ironic humor of existence. He speaks faster and louder as the monologue continues.)
We live in tin cans, in glass cups, and the oxygen.. it’s just not right!
(He gets louder, more unhinged)
Frank, you know what I’m saying? You and me, Joe..
That’s not my name.
We need something more! Something grand.. ever been on boat, Tony? Ever feel that spray on your face.. that fucking beautiful spray of salt water that brings you back into being.. that fucking rewrites you!
(He stops, taking a breath.)
How bout’ that smoke? No? Well fuck you then.
(He says the last line as he very realistically stabs ARMAN
in the gut. This is a tight shot, looks like a drunken embrace at first, but as the Suit releases Arman and stumbles away, we see Arman teetering and looking down at his stomach- white tank slowly staining with blood)
SCENE 9:MUSHROOMS: INT. DAY: ARMANS’S APARTMENT
ARMAN wakes, doesn’t look at his clock this time. He reaches for the record player, and Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” fills the air. ARMAN stumbles out of bed, does a few cursory push ups’, gives up after two, puts on his pants, grabs an shirt off the couch, brushes teeth etc. He stops and peers in the fish pitcher and frowns, noticing an inordinate amount of algae. He feeds it some flakes, makes his way to the front door, and stops short.
A wide, low circle of white mushrooms has sprouted in front of the door.
Muttering to himself, he crouches on hands and knees to inspect the mushrooms more closely. Camera shoots from above so as to see him within the mushroom ring. He leans his head close, touches one with his hand, then licks another before standing and gingerly walking over the ring, opens his door and goes out to the hallway.
WHITE PICKET FENCE BY ALEXIS KARL, AHMAD RAZVI & KHURRAM AZIM
THE WHITE PICKET FENCE ( Currently in it's first draft) is a relentless look at dystopian suburbia and the unachievable "American Dream". KAMERON is a Pakistani man in his late 40's working a thankless job during the day as the back lot car saleman. KAMERON moonlights evenings as a taxi driver in Manhattan, though his his hard-earned taxi Medallion is all but useless in the Uber era, and not bringing in enough money for his wife and kids. Living in a moderate house stunted by his white neighbor's Long Island homes, KAMERON sleeplesly spends the late night hours in his yard building a white picket fence: the ubiquitous symbol of suburban success.
SCENE 1:CAR AS REFUGE: INT-EXT. DAY: CAR DEALERSHIP LOT
We hear a romantic Pakistani rock song playing on the radio, interrupted by radio static - the weather and snippets of news along with honking of horns and general traffic from the street. The scene fades in from dark to reveal a hand turning the dial, and finding some clarity , turning up the volume on the song, effectively drowning out the city noises. The camera is inside of the car,( PT Cruiser), and through the windows from the interior, we see the car pulling up at a huge car lot.
As the car parks in an employee spot on the edge of the lot, the camera pulls back to show KAMERON in profile. He is a good looking middle-aged man, dressed in a short- sleeved button down shirt, ill-fitting kaki pants and sneakers. He has a strong Brooklyn accent-betraying, his Sheepshead Bay upbringing. KAMERON turns off the engine, and keeping the AC blasting, turns up the volume even higher, hands gripping the steering wheel.
For a long moment he looks ahead with an expression of abject despair at the wasteland that is the car lot. Drenched in August sunlight, the lot is a desert to him: representing all that has gone wrong in his life. The radio station falls back into indecipherable static, and he lessens his white- knuckled- grip on the steering wheel, unsuccessfully fiddles with the dial, and sighing, shuts it off, opens the door and exits the car.
Standing in the lot, we see KAMERON squinting, looking directly into the sunlight overhead- all alone amidst the neat rows of shining new cars; his own car, with a child's car seat in back and photo charms dangling off the front mirror, laughably out of date by comparison.
SCENE 2: SALESMEN: INT. DAY : CAR DEALERSHIP
KAMERON is inside the dealership. The interior lot is large- with mirrored walls and lots of windows to both the front and back lots. He holds a large coffee mug emblazoned with the words. "I HEART MY CAR!", while watching a fellow salesman, RITZY, work his magic with a young couple who are there to purchase a car. RITZY is a middle aged white man with obviously dyed hair, dressed in a casual suit. He is a born salesman, charismatic, sensitive, reading the room perfectly. While no fashion icon, he is more put together than KAMERON, and certainly more confident, as he subtly flirts with the wife, while being bro-friendly with the husband.
You see, this has the leather interior I mentioned before, plus that killer sunroof, and wait for it….
(Laughing) Ok, ok don’t tell me...electric key?
I want that electric key, honey. Oh and the sunroof, I definitely want a sunroof, honey.
Oh yes, my friends, I promised an electric key, sunroof ... and you’ll get that in this model. But let me tell you, this just came in. I mean it’s new, new, new... This is just the floor model.
(RITZY leans in close, huddling together conspiratorially while glancing over his shoulder in the direction of the boss’s office )
I shouldn't even be showing this yet..but, I feel you’ll really love it, and well, I just want people to be happy, you know? It’s not about selling cars for me...it’s about happiness.
OMG that’s so sweet.
(As dialogue continues, the camera leaves RITZY and his customers, travelling along the cars, until it lands on KAMERON, who disgustedly turns his back on the scene, goes to the “Welcome area“ of the interior lot, where he pours himself another coffee.
(HEARD O.C. While the camera is on KAMERON at the welcome station- trying his best not to roll his eyes and he regards the scene)
Just listen to this, and be prepared to have your minds blown! ( We hear Jazz Muzak blasting from the car stereo, and RITZY yelling above the din)
Now That’s what I call a base! Just listen To that Sax come in.. smooth as glass.
Wow, that’s really clear.
You’re not going to blast it that loud, honey, right?
That’s amazing, can we hear a rock song? The stereo comes with it?
(Music lowers) Well, you want sound like that, it’s an upgrade, specially ordered from Germany, but well worth it, am I right?
(The volume of the conversation fades, as KAMERON'S BOSS, JOE, peeks his head out of his office door. He’s on the phone, loudly working a deal of his own, and visibly annoyed at KAMERON hanging by the welcome station, gestures to him to go work the back lot. The camera follows KAMERON as he leaves the welcome station, then pauses at the doorway threshold - we see him in silhouette- to watch a woman and her kid milling about the less expensive cars. )
SCENE 3: WOMAN IN CAR and CELL CONVO WITH WIFE : INT. DAY: NEW CAR IN BACK LOT
KAMERON is in the passenger seat of a new car model. In the drivers seat is a nice looking Long Island woman wearing a hot pink Juicy Couture sweatsuit. KAMERON tries to be flirty but it reads as creepy, tries to be unbeat, but it reads as manic; and she is visibly uncomfortable. The woman's little kid is in the backseat yelling the whole time,(“Mommy can we go yet??”) and getting chocolate all over the back seat from sticky hands. )
Yeah, it’s leather interior, nice right? Perfect for those drive-in movie dates.
What? (Turning to her yelling kid)
(Tries to be upbeat and salesman-like)
Dates, you know. I mean, I hear drive- ins are making a comeback, so this model is really perfect for something like that. Plenty of room, sunroof...
I guess.. ( Unconvinced, and not sure where this is going)
Did I mention the electric key?
How bout’ we take this baby for a ride? It’s got a great engine- smooth, great on gas too.
A ride a ride a ride a ride a ride!!!!!!!!
That’s Ok. I’m not sure it’s the right fit.
Oh, come on'... but that’s the best part! How bout' we see how it rides.. purrs like a kitten, I promise.
(Gets out of the car-leaves keys in the cup holder, takes her kid by the hand from the backseat, who is trying to pull away from her.)
(The WOMAN is already scanning her phone, looking for an out of the conversation)
I’m just browsing. Shelly, Stop it! Take Mommy's hand.. Now!
(KAMERON Rolls down the passenger window as THE WOMAN turns to walk away. He roots in his front pocket, and then sticks his arm out of the window, offering her a buisness card. )
Of course, no problem. Here's my card if you change your mind.
(The woman is annoyed- her hands full with her kid, but takes the card. As she walks away, the card drops out of her hand unnoticed to the ground.
KAMERON rolls the window back up, and sits in the car a moment. He closes his eyes, relishing in cooling AC. He fiddles with the radio, finding the Pakistani station, and music fills the interior. He lowers the passenger seat sun visor mirror, looks at himself, running his fingers through his hair. The camera catches his next conversation through the visor mirror, as he turns down the radio, pulls out his cell phone, and calls his wife
Hi. Yeah, yeah. No, it’s fine. Work’s fine.
(beat, listen to response)
No, try the other card. No, don't use the mastercard, I told you already. Why are you yelling? Well it’s not my fault that's the card you brought. ( raising voice now)
Well, I don't know, ask them to hold the groceries at the cashier. Just go home, get the other card. No, not that one, I told you already not the Mastercard. No. I'm not trying to embarrass you. What do you care what some fucking grocery bagger thinks?
(Beat- Lowers voice) Sorry, sorry, Ok. The red one, use the red one. I don't know where you left it. I've gotta get back to work. No, it's not my lunch break yet. You had it last. Yes, I'm sure. Oh, ok then, so check the bedroom drawer. I have to go. Nami, Listen...
(Phone disconnects before he has a chance to say anything else. KAMERON sits there a moment, stares at the back entrance to the dealership in dread, then ahead at the front window and again towards the sunlight. He wipes his brow, retrieves the electric key, and turns off the car.
(Mutters to himself) It’s good for a drive-in?. Fuck me.