Thursday, August 18, 2011
The Big Casablanca Goodbye
Happy Thursday, crime slicksters. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where the girls are hot, the drinks are cold, and the hardboiled-pulp-noir action is non-stop, right here, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.
In Chapter 4 of WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, private eye Carrie Love wakes up in her Venice Beach bungalow to discover that Felina has left her. She finds a 'goodbye note' on the bar ... and pours herself a drink.
EXT. VENICE WALKWAY - OZONE AVENUE - EARLY AFTERNOON
Adam Freeland’s hip-shaking crime theme
remix swing of Sarah Vaughan’s FEVER over --
CAMERA gliding down a picture-book side-street
behind the Venice boardwalk, a magical neighborhood
byway for pedestrians, bicycles, skates. No cars allowed.
We continue down the bucolic boulevard
through a tunnel of trees.
Street lamps spill shards of light
through the leaves.
We approach a six-foot-high wooden fence.
CAMERA TILTS up, up, and reveals --
THE HOUSE. A hundred-year-old bungalow.
One-and-a-half stories, with a single window
in the peak of the roof.
Peering out the window
is a three-foot tall blonde doll,
like some kind of girlish guardian spectre.
CAMERA PUSHES through the gate,
passes a flagstone patio. Lush plant life.
Big jacuzzi, blue water bubbling invitingly,
steam rising into the night.
We go up three steps to an enclosed deck.
Push open the lattice-work wooden door --
Revealing the antique wood and glass front door,
swung open to reveal --
INT. BUNGALOW - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
A riot of color, a pop art explosion. Imagination.
Big-screen TV. Wall of sound stereo.
A room-width altar.
Candles abound, every size, every color.
Walls painted a bright, deep red.
Barbies everywhere, in ‘installations’
doing strange things.
A child-sized doll atop the giant TV,
lava lamp up her skirt, grins maniacally,
as if daring a visitor to turn on the tube.
In the corner of the room is a tiny,
glassed-in work space, painted pink.
A loft above it, bed-sized skylight open to the stars.
Spilling moonlight across the vaulted ceiling.
CAMERA continues its journey through --
THE DINING ROOM
Walls and ceiling a deep tangerine.
A long walnut table with six primitive place settings,
dwarfed in the sea of wood.
Crystal vase with a ‘bouquet of Barbies’
in fresh water.
We pass by --
tricked out like a 60’s Vegas tiki lounge.
A big lit Schlitz globe slowing turns,
spinning out pin spots like a drunken mirror ball.
CAMERA PUSHES through a curtain
of colored glass beads into --
A deep school bus yellow,
dimly lit in amber from several Jesus clocks.
And the ice dispenser on the fridge.
We snake through into --
Like a ship’s stateroom, at crazy knotty pine angles.
Leopard shower curtain ringed around the oval footed tub.
Walls lined with a collection of framed 60’s exotic dancer,
pin-up photography. Racy pulp novel covers.
CAMERA glides through a curtain of gold beads into --
Walls and ceiling a deep, vibrant red.
A queen-sized bed, seductive in black satin sheets
and a lux leopard bed spread.
Twin gilt sconces curled into
flowers of light on the wall.
The music STOPS.
Carrie lies on the bed, mouth open. Alone.
Thrashed covers and pillow and sheets.
Mess of black, leopard and bare skin.
She turns onto her back.
Reaches up to itch her nose.
We see a CHROME HANDCUFF on her wrist.
The cuff WHACKS the side of her head.
Carrie BOLTS UPRIGHT.
OW, what the --?
She looks around. No one.
WHIPS OFF the covers.
Throws on her robe. Pads into --
She WHIRLS AROUND, dashes into --
Empty. A small handwritten note on the bar.
Carrie GRABS IT.
reads ‘You know how much I hate good-byes. Be strong.
Stay sexy. I’ll be home for Christmas. Love, F.’
Carrie stares at the piece of paper. In shock.
My heart was breaking.
My love story never makes it to the third act.
I don’t even get the big Casablanca goodbye.
Carrie pulls up a bar stool.
Sits. Surveys the libations.
I was a ship cut adrift in an ocean of sorrow.
My whole fucking life is a pulp noir
written by some drunken Philip Marlowe wannabe
on a one-way ticket to loser-ville.
Raymond Chandler knew the deal.
Phillip Marlowe drank like a fish.
Helped him think. Gave him strength. Clarity.
She reaches over, grabs a bottle of Kessler’s.
Forget those martini-swilling lightweights
Nick and Nora Charles. Kid stuff.
William Powell, my ass.
Carrie pours two fingers into a cut-glass tumbler.
Philip Marlowe didn’t drink for fun.
He drank to forget.
(takes a sip)
And then remember --