Monday, July 11, 2016

I don't know, anymore

Part I.  Current contemplation
Part II.  "Gaslight"


Part I.

>> Many security guards do their jobs daily without guns or weapons of any kind.  Police officers can do this, too. <<

(the following Reader Comments, courtesy / the New York Times)

...Is it any wonder that the esteemed members of Congress do not allow carrying of weapons of any kind into their chambers?

RC    Oregon
The Texas legislature ignored the voices of law enforcement who overwhelmingly opposed these laws [open carry] when they were being debated.  And now the same legislators wring their hands and offer thoughts and prayers. 

These lawmakers are owned by the gun lobby, who, let's not forget, profited off of every gun and bullet used to kill the police in Dallas.

...Is it any wonder that the esteemed members of Congress do not allow carrying of weapons of any kind into their chambers?

David A.    Brooklyn
Murdering someone for no other reason than they are a policeman is despicable.  As despicable as murdering someone with a broken tail light because he's black.

...Is it any wonder that the esteemed members of Congress do not allow carrying of weapons of any kind into their chambers?

m ford    Atlanta
I don't care what anyone says, a broken tail light is not a legit public safety concern and there is no reason the police should waste their precious time pursuing such matters. 

It is only an excuse to detain and harass citizens and, in many cases, to raise some needed revenue.

So, here's an idea for a  new official, nationwide police policy:  if you see a vehicle with the tail light out, get the car's license number and mail them a notice along with a $50 fine, which doesn't have to be paid if the offender gets the light fixed within 15 days. 

How's that for a public service? 

No more killing over tail lights! 

Honestly, what is wrong with these police?  Haven't they anything better to do?

...Is it any wonder that the esteemed members of Congress do not allow carrying of weapons of any kind into their chambers?


Part II.
INT.  Antons' upstairs sitting room - evening

PAULA:  There.  Do you see?  I swear on the Bible I didn't take that picture down!

MED. CLOSE SHOT:  Gregory, in front of the gaslights on the wall.  He walks toward Paula.

GREGORY:  Go and look for that picture.

CLOSE SHOT:  Paula's face.

Her strength is all fussed and thrown off-balance -- she is distressed.

CLOSE SHOT:  Gregory's face.

He is staring her down.

She turns from him and walks slowly away.

(Background music interjects, with shimmery, suspense-filled violins -- Nnaahh!  Ma-na-NAH -na-NAH...  It is the spooky music, the "look-out!" music that was used so often in the classic films of the studio era that it was imitated later in other media, as a cliché...)

Paula walks slowly, almost as if in a dream, to the tall, grand double doors.

INT.  Hallway outside the sitting room.

The double doors open toward the audience, and Paula steps out into the hallway, determined, disbelieving, weakened by the confusion and aggravation of recent events as well as the old mysteries and fears connected with the house.

The grand orchestral suspense music follows her as she walks to the left of the SHOT, then starts up the stairs.  We have Gregory's point-of-view, seeing her from the back as she ascends the staircase.

To her right is the banister, and a drop-space to more stairs leading down.  To her left, the wall is partially lit, so her husband's shadow can be seen, though he is out of shot.  Three large framed pictures adorn this wall; at the top of the stairs, on the landing, is a statue on a pedestal.

In her floor-length dress, she "flows" up the stairs.  At the statue, she turns around to face her husband who is watching her from the bottom of the staircase. 

Never taking her eyes away from him, she reaches down to slide her hand behind the statue, between the pedestal and the wall.  She retrieves a framed picture from back there, all the while looking down at the face of her husband.

MED. CLOSE SHOT:  Gregory.

The CAMERA "sees" him from above and off to one side.

The SHOT is composed of -- (left-to-right) -- part of a heavy piece of furniture against the wall; Gregory Anton; wallpaper splashed in light; darker place on the wallpaper where the light doesn't reach.

He speaks with deadly baritone precision.  (The word "all" goes up to a higher note...)

GREGORY:  So you knew where it was all the time.

MED. CLOSE SHOT (from below, looking up at her) -- Paula.

She gazes at her husband, then looks at the picture in her hand, then looks back down at her husband.

PAULA:  No.  I didn't know.  I only looked there because that's where it was found twice before.

(Her voice is thin, and tense -- she hurries downstairs to him, and hands him the picture)

"I didn't know, Gregory, I didn't know.  I didn't.

GREGORY (taking the picture and setting it on nearby table) -- Now, Paula, I think you had better go to your room.

She glances down, disappointed and helpless, then looks up at him.

PAULA:  We're not going to the theater?

GREGORY:  Well my dear, I'm afraid you are far from well enough for the theater.
(he takes her hand) -- Now, come.

MED. TWO-SHOT from above.  Coming up the staircase, toward CAMERA, Paula at left, a step behind, in background:  Gregory at right, foreground.

PAULA:  Gregory, if it was I who took that picture down...


Her right hand has gone to the banister, and as she walks and talks, she frowns in concentration, puzzling...

PAULA:  If it was I who took it down the other times -- if I do all these senseless, meaningless things...It's so meaningless.  Why should I take a picture down?

(She stops on the stairs, and he stops with her.  She looks up into his face.  She's baffled, worried, haunted; her searching eyes seek his comfort and support.  When she speaks, her tone of voice is one of momentary defeat.)

"But then -- I don't know what I do anymore."


{Gaslight, 1944.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay written by John Van Druten; Walter Reisch; and John L. Balderston.  Directed by George Cukor.  Produced by Arthur Hornblow Jr.}


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