Film. Illustrated Walking Maps. Signs.

Film as Art – Week 06 – The Inner Monologue, Assignment 6

Film as Art
Week 06 – The Inner Monologue, Assignment 6
Michael McVey
March 29, 2010

Watch The Piano. Choose one scene and rewrite the scene depicting what the characters may be thinking. (Write the dialogue as you hear it and then use parenthesis for internal dialog in parallel with the dialogue.)

THE PIANO: The First Lesson.

INTERIOR – BAINES HUT – DAY

FLORA is at the doorstep. ADA stands in the background.

FLORA
Mother says she can’t stand to teach piano with it all out of tune. So I’m to do scales. (FLORA: I may be a little kid, but I’m better at this than you’ll ever be, you big lummox. Let me show you how it’s done.)

FLORA enters. ADA remains aloof. FLORA sits at the piano.

FLORA
I hope you’ve scrubbed your hands. (FLORA: You are a dirty, unsophisticated primate.)

FLORA plays a scale.

Oh, it’s in tune. (FLORA: How can this be? How could this piano still be working after all we’ve been through?)

BAINES looks out the door at ADA. (BAINES: That’s right. You hear that, don’t you woman. Now you have to come in.) ADA skulks about until she hears the piano scales. (ADA: Impossible! This can’t be right.)

A surprised ADA enters the hut and sits at the piano. (ADA: My piano works perfectly? Shove over, kiddo. I need to test this myself.)

FLORA
It’s in tune. (FLORA: Maybe it’s a miracle!)

ADA plays some more notes to check the piano’s tune. (ADA: This IS in tune. How did he do it?) The usurped FLORA is upset.

FLORA
I was teaching! (You are undermining my authority! I was demonstrating my superiority to the lummox!)

ADA looks over at BAINES. (BAINES: Surprise, surprise sexy momma. Not quite the ogre you were expecting.)

(ADA: This is not what I expected. You fixed the one thing I love. How did you do this? Could it be that you are not entirely ignorant?) ADA stands with FLORA for a moment, then she signs.

FLORA
Mother would like to see what you can play. (FLORA: Can you play anything?)

BAINES
I’d rather not play. I want to listen and learn that way. (BAINES: Oh yeah! While I did say I wanted lessons, the reality is I have no desire to learn the piano. I just want alluring ADA to hang around and exude mystique until I figure out a way to have her.)

FLORA
Everyone has to practice. (FLORA: Bullshit – If I have to practice scales everyday to learn the piano, so should you.) (ADA: Come on, are you kidding? You obviously need to practice if you want to learn.)

BAINES
I just want to listen. (BAINES: No, seriously. I’m calling the shots here, and I’m definitely not going to learn this thing. I just want your cute little butt in my hut.)

ADA considers. (ADA: What do I do? I don’t really want to be here. But then again, he did fix my piano. I love my piano so much and I want to play it so much…) She sits at the piano and takes off her ring. She moves the key cover, which pinches BAINES’ thumb. (ADA: I am the master of this domain, buddy.)

ADA plays a simple scale. (ADA: I will play what I want to play. This is a simple statement.)

BAINES
Lovely. (BAINES: Even if you played this piano like a drunken octopus, I’ll still want to wear your ass like a hat.)

As she plays, she adds chords, changes tempo, and reveals a depth of possibilities within her musical language. (ADA: See how you can build on these notes? This is more than just a piano. This is a beautiful language.)

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