Summer -- Reruns, Sequels
1. Casting the fat one.
Shaved back and sides, fifteen-watt frown. I see
Lenny Arbuckle; I see Travis La Motta; I see
Quasimodo, maybe. Maybe, if there is a sudden kindness, spurned--
an abortive escape--and Quasimodo turns his back on the lash,
closes this one and only crack in his heart, makes chase
through coastal fog and gorse; I see violent capture;
I see conflict, raw emotion, groping, rending cloth,
a little blood, a little bruising, a little skin,
a tease. I like it. The chicks will dig
the chase, will daydream for weeks about flight and forced submission,
provided there is seaspray and panting, cleavage and tears.
2. Casting the weasel.
We need a talker, a loner, a brooding cynic,
an edgy loser. This guy should spawn
a hundred flashbacks: rubber bedsheets; children pointing, children laughing;
a small boy's arm in a cast; a bloody anus; a woman's shrill voice.
Give this guy the quotable lines, a sense of style, a sense of doom.
I want the chicks to believe, (you can use this in voiceover),
I want the chicks to believe that they could
heal this guy, if only, if only ...
Pay very close attention to the hair.
3. Casting the stoic family, the impotent cops, the media types.
We might as well deal with the problem up front:
the mother. Too short, too
brown. Survey says we can make her petite,
but pale, a little younger, Chinese--
as long as we give her a decent figure, Eurasian eyes,
no discernable accent.
The rest of the extras
should come from daytime soaps,
except the cameos:
I want John Walsh as himself. I want
John Walsh: a bland, wooden appeal (get him to mention
the boy) multiplied fifty, sixty times
on a wall of colour TVs. You pick the brand.
I want Mark Klaas as himself. I want
Mark Klaas: Armani glad-rags, jetting in,
to console our Chinadoll mother, jetting in,
to bond with our grief-stricken dad, greying at the temples.
if Klaas should want the veteran FBI agent,
exhausted, red-eyed, stumbling, just by chance,
just by fate, upon a broken, naked body
in a shallow grave, then
give it to him.
Either way, get him to mention--and a souvenir poster
in the background, the one with the dimples
and those curls.
4. Will there be a chase scene?
Yes. And tawdry betrayal, self-serving confessions,
a swinging gavel,
prisonyard castration, sudden and bloody,
an epilogue. Documentaries, exposes, charitable donations.
A book tour. Therapy. Suicide attempts. Death-row proposals.
Anonymity. Memory. Tedium.
5. Will there be gunplay?
6. Will there be videotapes?
Bernardo and Homolka raised the bar, so
the Director gets his little film-in-a-film.
As long as it smells like homage to Hitchcock, Powell and Lang,
as long as it stays camcorder grainy and hand-held
he gets to raise the bar a little more.
Great for the talkshow circuit.
Great for DVD sales.
7. Finally. Casting the ingenue.
Open call. Any time. Any place.
No experience necessary. Must be young. Must be photogenic.
Must appear to be willing.
-- for Christina
"Of Mice And Men" (USA, 1939)
dir. Lewis Milestone, from the novel by John Steinbeck.
"Taxi Driver" (USA, 1976)
dir. Martin Scorsese.
"Raging Bull" (USA, 1980)
dir. Martin Scorsese.
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (USA, 1939)
dir. William Dieterle, from the novel "Notre Dame de Paris" by Victor Hugo.
"Frenzy" (UK, 1972)
dir. Alfred Hitchcock.
"Peeping Tom", (UK, 1960)
dir. Michael Powell.
"M" (Germany, 1931)
dir. Fritz Lang.
Copyright John D Porter © 1998
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