Sunday, October 21, 2007

If Life Were Only Like This

video
INT. THEATER LOBBY.

A lined-up crowd of ticket holders waiting to get into the
theater, Alvy and Annie among them. A bum of indistinct
chatter can be heard through the ensuing scene.

MAN IN LINE
(Loudly to his
companion right behind
Alvy and Annie)
We saw the Fellini film last Tuesday.
It is not one of his best. It lacks
a cohesive structure. You know, you
get the feeling that he's not
absolutely sure what it is he wants
to say. 'Course, I've always felt he
was essentially a-a technical film
maker. Granted, La Strada was a great
film. Great in its use of negative
energy more than anything else. But
that simple cohesive core...

Alvy, reacting to the man's loud monologue, starts to get
annoyed, while Annie begins to read her newspaper.

ALVY
(Overlapping the man's
speech)
I'm-I'm-I'm gonna have a stroke.

ANNIE
(Reading)
Well, stop listening to him.

MAN IN LINE
(Overlapping Alvy and
Annie)
You know, it must need to have had
its leading from one thought to
another. You know what I'm talking
about?

ALVY
(Sighing)
He's screaming his opinions in my
ear.

MAN IN LINE
Like all that Juliet of the Spirits
or Satyricon, I found it incredibly...
indulgent. You know, he really is.
He's one of the most indulgent film
makers. He really is-

ALVY
(Overlapping)
Key word here is "indulgent."

MAN IN LINE
(Overlapping)
without getting... well, let's put
it this way...

ALVY
(To Annie, who is
still reading,
overlapping the man
in line who is still
talking)
What are you depressed about?

ANNIE
I missed my therapy. I overslept.

ALVY
How can you possibly oversleep?

ANNIE
The alarm clock.

ALVY
(Gasping)
You know what a hostile gesture that
is to me?

ANNIE
I know- because of our sexual problem,
right?

ALVY
Hey, you... everybody in line at the
New Yorker has to know our rate of
intercourse?

MAN IN LINE
It's like Samuel Beckett, you know-
I admire the technique but he
doesn't... he doesn't hit me on a
gut level.

ALVY
(To Annie)
I'd like to hit this guy on a gut
level.

The man in line continues his speech all the while Alvy and
Annie talk.

ANNIE
Stop it, Alvy!

ALVY
(Wringing his hands)
Well, he's spitting on my neck! You
know, he's spitting on my neck when
he talks.

MAN IN LINE
And then, the most important thing
of all is a comedian's vision.

ANNIE
And you know something else? You
know, you're so egocentric that if I
miss my therapy you can think of it
in terms of how it affects you!

MAN IN LINE
(Lighting a cigarette
while he talks)
Gal gun-shy is what it is.

ALVY
(Reacting again to
the man in line)
Probably on their first date, right?

MAN IN LINE
(Still going on)
It's a narrow view.

ALVY
Probably met by answering an ad in
the New York Review of Books.
"Thirtyish academic wishes to meet
woman who's interested in Mozart,
James Joyce and sodomy."
(He sighs; then to
Annie)
Whatta you mean, our sexual problem?

ANNIE
Oh!

ALVY
I-I-I mean, I'm comparatively normal
for a guy raised in Brooklyn.

ANNIE
Okay, I'm very sorry. My sexual
problem! Okay, my sexual problem!
Huh?

The man in front of them turns to look at them, then looks
away.

ALVY
I never read that. That was-that was
Henry James, right? Novel, uh, the
sequel to Turn of the Screw? My
Sexual...

MAN IN LINE
(Even louder now)
It's the influence of television.
Yeah, now Marshall McLuhan deals
with it in terms of it being a-a
high, uh, high intensity, you
understand? A hot medium... as
opposed to a...

ALVY
(More and more
aggravated)
What I wouldn't give for a large
sock o' horse manure.

MAN IN LINE
...as opposed to a print...

Alvy steps forward, waving his hands in frustration, and
stands facing the camera.

ALVY
(Sighing and addressing
the audience)
What do you do when you get stuck in
a movie line with a guy like this
behind you? I mean, it's just
maddening!

The man in line moves toward Alvy. Both address the audience
now.

MAN IN LINE
Wait a minute, why can't I give my
opinion? It's a free country!

ALVY
I mean, d- He can give you- Do you
hafta give it so loud? I mean, aren't
you ashamed to pontificate like that?
And- and the funny part of it is, M-
Marshall McLuhan, you don't know
anything about Marshall McLuhan's...
work!

MAN IN LINE
(Overlapping)
Wait a minute! Really? Really? I
happen to teach a class at Columbia
called "TV Media and Culture"! So I
think that my insights into Mr.
McLuhan- well, have a great deal of
validity.

ALVY
Oh, do yuh?

MAN IN LINE
Yes.

ALVY
Well, that's funny, because I happen
to have Mr. McLuhan right here. So...
so, here, just let me- I mean, all
right. Come over here... a second.

Alvy gestures to the camera which follows him and the man in
line to the back of the crowded lobby. He moves over to a
large stand-up movie poster and pulls Marshall McLuhan from
behind the poster.

MAN IN LINE
Oh.

ALVY
(To McLuban)
Tell him.

MCLUHAN
(To the man in line)
I hear- I heard what you were saying.
You-you know nothing of my work. You
mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How
you ever got to teach a course in
anything is totally amazing.

ALVY
(To the camera)
Boy, if life were only like this!

No comments: