Thursday, July 14, 2016

dark and foggy

Part I.  Today's reflection

Part II.  Gaslight (continued)


Part I.  A Reader Comment from Connecticut in the NYT today said, "Every other word that coms out of Trump's mouth is a lie." 

Every other sentence, maybe, but -- every other word?  That would take some planning, orchestrating, and makes one think of the famous Mary McCarthy (novelist) remark about Lillian Hellman (playwright) -- Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'


Part II.



"You know, Nancy, don't you -- that gentleman friends are sometimes inclined to take liberties with young ladies?"

NANCY:  No, sir, not with me.  I can take care of myself --

(she leans toward him in an almost imperceptible, gradual motion)

-- when I want to.

GREGORY:  You know Nancy it strikes me that you're not at all the kind of girl that your mistress should have for a housemaid.

~~  No, sir?

(she gives a small laugh, and the upper part of her body sways toward him again, obvious, & yet just as though it hadn't...)

..."She's not the only one in the house (brief pause) -- is she?"


He looks at her.  He is almost going to say something, then he stops and puts a cigarette back between his lips, and with a small nod to Nancy, he turns away from the CAMERA, opens a door and leaves the room, entering the hallway.  Staircase banister in background.

EXT.  Antons' house - Night

In the background of the SHOT:  the front door, Gregory wearing black hat and coat, is barely visible as he comes out; Fog.

The street.

Foreground:  an iron fence, whose vertical posts echo the vertical banister rails in the previous, momentary view of the hallway and staircase.  In the shot at Left, tree branches "reaching" toward the fence and the street.  At right, a tall post with big, outdoor-style gaslight at the top, in a glass enclosure.  The flame inside vibrates, shimmies.

In the background, behind the street but foregrounded from Gregory Anton, is another tall gaslight.

Gregory looks left and right, then walks to our right, out of the SHOT.

EXT.  Street

In the fog-laced night, Gregory emerges from left, into this SHOT, and turns a corner, walking away from the audience, past a building made of large rectangular stones.

Click-clock of his brisk footsteps is underscored with gentle, sort of playful European-sounding music.

EXT.  Another street

Two gaslights on tall posts, one background, one fore, at Left; at Right, bricked wall with big arches.  Over the wall tumble fluttery tree branches. -- Anton appears at first only as a dark form, in the murk, with the sharply audible footsteps, walking toward the audience / CAMERA.

As he comes toward us, his shadow on the brick wall "walks with" him.

CAMERA PANS Right to Left, coming abreast of Anton, and then moves alongside him as he walks.

He moves with a stately elegance, shoulders back -- a man of pride.  He carries a walking stick.  He crosses a space between buildings -- a little alley, I think, with three outdoor gaslights giving insufficient illumination for the dark space. 

As he reaches the building across the alley, he steps back, around the house's corner and backs up into an indented space in the bricked wall.


INT.  Paula's bedroom - Night


Scalloped drapes between the bedroom area and dressing room.  Heavy, ornate, dark furniture swamps the room.  A chandelier holds a circle of round gaslights suspended from the ceiling.  On the bed, Paula has taken refuge, lying on top of the coverlet, still wearing her long dress.

We hear, faintly, a sound:  "clonk - bonk -- ba-donk..."

CLOSE-UP:  Paula's face, on the pillow.

She opens her eyes and raises her head.  Tears are on her face.  She listens, and looks.  She does not turn her head, but her eyes look left, then right -- (what is that?  Where's it coming from?)

Then Paula tilts her head back a little, slowly, and looks up at the gaslights in their pretty patterned glass "cups" ...

CLOSE-UP:  one gaslight cup.

The flame skips, flickers, and then -- shrinks.

CLOSE-UP:  Paula's face.

Her eyes glistening with earlier tears, she listens, and hears,

Thuh - dmp.

MED. SHOT -- foreground at Left, four of the gaslight cups, with their diminished flames; background, Right, Paula lying on the bed, looking up at the lighting fixture in mystification and growing terror.

As she slowly lays her head back down, watching the gaslights all the time, CAMERA DOLLIES downward and forward, to meet with her for a CLOSE-UP.



INT.  Brian Cameron's study - Day

Sitting at his desk, Brian is opening mail.

(While in the previous scene, the CAMERA in a sense "bore down on" the frightened Paula, coming from above to a close-up, in this scene the CAMERA is in a low position looking up at Brian Cameron who, unlike Paula, is relaxed and confident, unthreatened.

He takes a message out of a stamped envelope:  it's an invitation to a "Musical Evening" at "Dalroy House" -- R.S.V.P. to Lord and Lady Dalroy...he casually sets the letter aside, then thinks of something, and retrieves the letter and looks like he's imagining a possibility.

In the next scene, we're at Dalroy House -- the Lord and Lady are preparing for their guests -- it's elaborate -- jewelry, long gloves above the elbow, and indoor palm trees.  Footmen.  Brian Cameron comes in:  "Am I the first to arrive?" 

He requests that Lady Dalroy seat him next to Paula Anton at dinner.

Lady Dalroy has him scheduled for a seat next to a young lady named Laura.  Lord Dalroy chuckles and asks Brian, "Haven't you learned, my wife is an incurable matchmaker?"


{Gaslight, 1944}


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