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SCENE 36: PRINCES PLACE


IMAGES 001 TO 104 TO COME... 


SCRIPT

From the platform overlooking the studio we see the two of them coming in carrying the propeller.

They put it down on the floor near the smoked glass panels. 

DELIVERY BOY

All right? 

THOMAS

Fine. Yes. 

The DELIVERY BOY goes off.

We see THOMAS’s reflection in a mirror as he turns to go back to the GIRL, going up the steps. 

GIRL off

What’s it for? 

He hurries up the narrow stairs, but she has already come out onto the platform above.

She is still half-naked, with her arms folded across her body, as she bends down, looking down at the propeller. 

THOMAS

Nothing. It’s beautiful. 

GIRL

If I had a big room like this I’d hang it from the ceiling like a fan. 

THOMAS leads her back into the studio. 

THOMAS

Do you live on your own? 

Camera pans as THOMAS comes back into the studio. 

GIRL off

No. 

She follows him up the steps, ducking under the ostrich plumes.

A pause.

They move towards the end of the room. 

THOMAS gesturing

Perhaps I’ll put it there like a piece of sculpture. 

GIRL

It’ll look good there. It’ll break up the straight lines. 

THOMAS takes two cigarettes out of a packet and offers one to the GIRL, who is standing with her hands resting lightly on a beam above her head.

She accepts.

He gives her a light.

Now the GIRL is sitting in an armchair, still without her blouse on.

She laughs, leaning back against the arm of the chair.

When she leans her head forward her glance falls on the watch on her wrist.

She turns serious, and gets up, hurrying off.

THOMAS

Are you going? 

GIRL

It’s late. 

THOMAS moves towards her.

Close-up of THOMAS as he comes up to the GIRL. 

THOMAS

Do I see you again? 

The GIRL shrugs her shoulders.

She is slipping on her blouse.

Again she is on edge. 

THOMAS

Well at least tell me your name… your phone number. 

The Girl looks in her bag for a piece of paper.

While THOMAS is getting her one, she puts the reel into her bag.

THOMAS finds some paper and a pencil and gives them to her.

She scribbles something on the paper and starts for the door, tucking in her blouse.

Halfway down the stairs she turns round and looks up. 

GIRL

Thank you. 

Then she disappears.

THOMAS is alone in the studio.

We see him standing at the top of the stairs.

He folds the slip of paper and puts it in his pocket.

We can see him, partially obscured by the ostrich plumes.

He turns off the record player, pours himself another drink and sits down, tapping his knee.

He sips some wine.

He doesn’t really know what to do.

Suddenly, he puts his glass down, gets up and runs out.

THOMAS runs into the passage, and camera pans with him as he tucks in his shirt and rolls up his sleeves, going into the first darkroom.

He picks up the reel exposed in the park that morning and sets it up for developing.

Then he slides the door shut behind him, shutting himself in.

Camera moves across the red warning light outside flashing on.

He takes the negatives out of the developing cabinet.

The door in the hall slides open and the red light flashes off.

THOMAS comes out of the first darkroom and goes into second, which has green door.

He shuts himself in, and the second red light goes on.

The negatives are placed in strips of five on a light table.

THOMAS studies them through a magnifying glass.

One shot in particular catches his attention. He puts a pencil mark on it.

Seen in close-up, he puts the frame into the enlarger and switches off the main light and the light underneath the frosted glass, then switches on the yellow ‘safe’ light.

A sheet of photographic paper is hanging on the wall.

THOMAS, standing by the enlarger, presses a button: the image of the meadow on the hill-top, and the couple, is projected onto the sheet.

THOMAS takes out the sheet, and submerges it in the developing tank.

Seen from the big studio below, he comes out of the darkroom with the blow-up still dripping in his hand, and camera moves back as he crosses the catwalk to the upstairs studio, leaping up the steps.

THOMAS is sitting in back view on his sofa, looking at two blow-ups hanging from the beam which runs across the studio.

He lights a cigarette.

He kneels closer, staring at the prints.

Close-up of one print.

In it the GIRL can be seen pulling the MAN by the arm, but they are a long way away.

Camera pans across to the other, in which they are not so far away, and kissing.

A sense of utter peacefulness emanates from both photographs.

But the GIRL’s behaviour is not entirely natural: the effort she is making to drag the MAN across to the other side of the field.

And more than that, as she is embracing the MAN, she seems to be looking with a strangely tense expression at something out of the picture.

Camera moves in closer and back to the first blow-up.

THOMAS gets up and camera moves in to the blank back of the photograph.

His shadow can be seen through the paper, moving about as he studies it.

Close-up of THOMAS looking at the pictures.

He turns and walks off, his footsteps echoing through the empty studio.

THOMAS comes back with another blow-up, which he hangs beside then other two.

He stands back, scrutinizing it.

It is a close-up enlargement of the couple embracing: the anxious expression stamped on the GIRL’s face can be seen clearly as she looks over the MAN’s shoulder.

Resume on THOMAS.

He goes back and looks at the long shot of the photograph, to find out what might be attracting the GIRL’s attention.

He runs his finger along the GIRL’s line of vision.

But the whole meadow is surrounded by shrubbery, and at that point amongst the trees where presumably the GIRL’s line of sight ends there is nothing visibly out of the ordinary.

He shrugs and goes off.

THOMAS puts on a record and pours himself another drop of wine.

He comes and sits down again.

We can see him from between two of the blow-ups hanging on the beam.

He drinks, still gazing at the photographs.

Close-up of his hand putting down his glass and picking up a magnifying glass off the glass coffee table.

Camera tracks in on him as he peers through the magnifying glass at the couple embracing.

The GIRL’s line of sight is directed at one particular point amongst the shrubbery, and here the PHOTOGRAPHER focuses the glass.

As if he has discovered something or at least had a suspicion, he draws a square with a white wax pencil around an area of vegetation.

He takes the print down and moves off towards the darkroom.

THOMAS examines the new blow-up pinned to the wall – an enlargement of the area he marked.

We see the picture of the GIRL and the MAN embracing.

Camera moves across to the new blow-up: amongst the vegetation a white patch can be seen – it could be a man’s face emerging from the vegetation and staring.

And staring directly towards the couple.

Probably watching the GIRL.

And she, presumably, is watching him.

Camera moves back and tracks to the picture of the couple, then moves back and tracks in even closer to the face in the bushes.

Close-up of THOMAS in back view, staring at the pictures.

He backs away and looks at them all from a distance.

THOMAS is now in the darkroom again.

He has all the photographs he took that morning in front of him on the counter top, enlarged to 18 by 24.

He circles other particulars.

He comes back into the studio and hangs new blow-ups on the wall.

Next to the one of the man hiding in the trees, THOMAS hangs one of the GIRL, holding her hand out in front of her.

Another print shows the GIRL when she has just become aware of the PHOTOGRAPHER’s presence and is looking anxiously towards him, gently disengaging herself from the MAN’s embrace.

Camera moves in to a third print showing the GIRL looking thoughtful, biting her fingernail, presumably intent on following the PHOTOGRAPHER’s movements at the other end of the meadow.

The MAN is also looking towards the PHOTOGRAPHER attentively.

Then we move on to the last blow-up, which shows the MAN still looking towards the other end of the meadow, at the point where the GIRL must have run off towards the PHOTOGRAPHER.

THOMAS stands thoughtfully in front of this blow-up.

Trying to collate expressions, lines of vision and situations, he pauses for a moment to think.

He leans on the arm of the sofa.

Then he remembers the slip of paper on which the girl wrote her name and telephone number.

He picks up the telephone from under the armchair, sits down and dials the number. 

THOMAS

Hello? Knightsbridge one-two-three-nine?... What?... No, I’m sorry. 

The GIRL has given him a wrong number.

THOMAS slams down the receiver and angrily tosses the slip of paper away.

Then he goes back to study the blow-ups.

THOMAS comes up to two pictures: one of the GIRL at the top of the steps and one of the man in the bushes.

He lingers over the latter, examining every detail.

He sits down in front of it.

Something in the photograph attracts his attention.

Something strange enough to send him scurrying off once more in the direction of the darkroom.

THOMAS is in the darkroom, lifting the new blow-up out of the washing tray and examining it closely.

He comes back into the studio and pins the blow-up to the wall.

It’s is an enlargement of the man hiding; he is holding a pistol.

THOMAS removes the one of the GIRL on the steps.

THOMAS is standing on the sofa to pin up the picture.

He takes the GIRL’s photograph and pins it on a beam on the other side of the room.

By arranging the blow-ups in sequence along the walls, THOMAS has succeeded in reconstructing the whole episode.

We see all the photographs in series of close-ups.

The first is the long shot in which the GIRL is pulling the MAN by the arm.

An enlargement of the couple from the same picture.

The third is another long shot with the two of them embracing.

Then the close-up of the couple.

The GIRL is looking across at a particular point in the clump of trees.

Camera moves across the picture, following the GIRL’s line of vision to the point in the clump of trees where there is an indistinct light patch, perhaps a man hiding in the trees.

The patch blown up.

It is obviously a man.

The detail of the man’s hand holding a pistol fitted with telescopic sights and silencer.

The GIRL, still in the MAN’s arms, seeing the PHOTOGRAPHER for the first time.

The GIRL and the MAN.

Both are looking in the direction of the PHOTOGRAPHER.

The MAN on his own, looking fairly agitated but not as much as his companion.

The GIRL in close-up watching the PHOTOGRAPHER, biting her lip in anxiety.

The GIRL, coming to the PHOTOGRAPHER, covering her face with her hand so as not to be recognizable in the photograph.

The GIRL standing still near a clump of bushes on the other side of the meadow.

An enlargement of the GIRL.

Her expression suggests she is witnessing something unusual.

The empty meadow.

Camera moves in and round past the last two blow-ups to focus on THOMAS, in close-up, meditating on the story he has edited together.

He cannot help but feel a certain satisfaction. Camera moves with him as he reaches for the telephone and dials a number. 

THOMAS

Ron?... Something fantastic’s happened. Those photographs in the park… fantastic… Somebody was trying to kill somebody else. I saved his life… Listen, Ron, there – there was a girl… Ron, will you listen! What makes it so fantastic… 

The front door bell rings. 

THOMAS

Look, hang on, will you, Ron? There’s somebody at the door. 

Close-up of one of the pictures of the GIRL and the MAN.

THOMAS’s gaze falls on it as he passes on his way to the door. He looks as it as if hoping the GIRL were the one ringing the bell.

He crosses the receptionist’s office, then stands for a moment looking perplexed in front of the closed door.

Slowly he lets it open, standing behind it.

A girl is pushed inside backwards, then hurries out at once.

In her place appears the young BLONDE who had turned up in the morning, wanting to be photographed.

THOMAS is rather taken aback, and obviously disappointed. 

BLONDE

You weren’t expecting us, were you? 

THOMAS

No. 

With a curt nod he invites them in.

The BLONDE rushes inside, followed quickly by her brunette friend.

Camera moves with her, then down to reveal her red tights and the her friend’s green tights.

Once inside, they turn to look at THOMAS as he closes the door.

Another nod from THOMAS, meaning they should follow him.

The two girls run giggling up the stairs. 

THOMAS off

Could you manage to make a cup of coffee between you? 

They stop and lean over the banisters, looking down at him. 

BLONDE

I can make an Irish coffee, if you like… 

They both giggle.

Close-up of THOMAS coming up the stairs.

As her reaches the girls they all start climbing.

They hesitate before going into the kitchen. 

THOMAS

All right, come on. 

In the kitchen, they go on giggling, almost by force of habit.

THOMAS gets out the tin of coffee and the percolator, and hands everything to the BRUNETTE.

Then he takes down two coffee cups and turns again towards the BLONDE, saying: 

THOMAS

Is she always like that? 

BLONDE

Like what? 

THOMAS

Doesn’t speak. 

He goes up to the BRUNETTE, and pokes his face into hers. 

THOMAS

What’s your name? 

He breaks off, moving away again. 

THOMAS

Ah, forget it. What’s the use of a name? What do they call you in bed? 

The BLONDE starts giggling again.

Close-up of the BRUNETTE, who says in a sulky voice: 

BRUNETTE

I only go to bed to sleep. 

THOMAS starts circling her and staring as if she were a rare specimen of the animal world.

He stops near the BLONDE, pointing his thumb at her friend, and seems about to say something concerning her.

But suddenly he remembers that he left RON on the telephone and hurries off into the studio, handing the BLONDE the cups.

The BLONDE whispers to her friend. 

BLONDE

What should I have…? 

But the BRUNETTE puts her finger to her lips, telling her to be quiet.

Both listen to THOMAS in the other room shouting down the telephone. 

THOMAS off

Hello!... 

Medium shot of THOMAS sitting on the edge of the armchair holding the telephone in his hand.

Getting no reply, he dials the number again. 

THOMAS

Hello? 

From the doorway of the dressing room, adjacent to the kitchen, the BRUNETTE hisses to her friend to come in. 

BRUNETTE

Psst. Look at all these clothes! 

They both go into the dressing room, camera following them.

They start rummaging through the dresses hanging from a long clothes rack.

The BRUNETTE picks one out and holds it up. 

BRUNETTE

Oooh… 

The BLONDE looks up.

She doesn’t like it. 

BLONDE

No! 

Her friend puts it back on the rack.

She chooses another.

The BLONDE does the same. 

BLONDE

Hey, how about this one? 

BRUNETTE

Put it on. 

The BRUNETTE helps the other girl out of her dress.

The BLONDE is bare-topped, with nothing on but her green tights pulled up to her waist.

The BLONDE is just slipping into the dress when THOMAS appears in the doorway, startling the girls. 

BRUNETTE

Oh! 

THOMAS turns to her; she is still fully dressed. 

THOMAS

What about you? Help yourself! 

The coffee pot has started whistling from the kitchen.

The BRUNETTE seizes her opportunity. 

BRUNETTE

The coffee! 

She rushes into the kitchen to take the coffee off the stove.

Close-up of the BLONDE.

THOMAS’s hand grabs the strap of her dress and pulls it off again.

She quickly covers her nudity with her own dress which is draped over the rack; she is a little frightened, and ducks behind the clothes rack.

THOMAS pulls the rack away.

The rack falls on the floor, revealing the girl pressed against the wall clutching her dress to her breasts.

THOMAS reaches for her dress.

He pulls her towards him, and pulls it away from her, tossing it onto the floor.

Then he pulls her long blonde hair across her face, and takes hold of her hand and arm, trying to pull her towards him.

The BLONDE screams and tries to free herself.

Close-up of the BLONDE biting him on the hand.

They start struggling and he throws her roughly on the floor.

The BRUNETTE appears on the threshold. 

BRUNETTE

What’s the matter? 

The BLONDE gets to her feet.

She is in a wild mood and laughs madly, pointing at her friend. 

BLONDE

She’s got a better figure than me. 

BRUNETTE

Oh, it’s not true! 

THOMAS and the BLONDE try to catch the BRUNETTE, who edges towards the door.

Close-up of THOMAS blocking the doorway and pushing the girls into the room. 

GIRLS

Oh no! Ohhh… 

THOMAS stands with his back to the wall, grinning.

Camera moves down with the BLONDE, who throws her arms round her friend and drags her onto the floor.

Both are laughing and squealing and fighting on the pile of dresses.

The BLONDE is going wild, and tries to rip off her friend’s dress.

She manages to undo the zip.

Close-up of THOMAS laughing.

THOMAS crouches, watching the girls, laughing and urging them on. 

THOMAS

Go on, practise. Go on! Give her a left hook! 

The two girls roll across the floor amongst the clothes, laughing and screaming uncontrollably. 

THOMAS

I’ll put you in a ring together… 

The girls struggle on the floor, still laughing.

It is a mock fight, playful and exciting.

THOMAS watches their antics with amusement.

Close-up of the BLONDE and her friend.

The BLONDE is tenacious in her efforts to strip the other girl, and at last removes her dress.

Then they both scramble to their feet.

THOMAS stands up as the two girls run towards the studio.

He follows them.


END OF REEL FOUR


The BLONDE chases the BRUNETTE into the studio, both clad only in tights.

Camera moves in as the BRUNETTE hides behind the back-drop of lilac paper.

She is holding a red dress protectively against her naked body.

Camera pans with the BRUNETTE as the BLONDE grabs the mauve back-drop and begins to tear it down.

Resume on the BRUNETTE as her friend hauls on the huge roll of paper.

Close-up of the BLONDE unrolling the back-drop completely.

The BLONDE laughs triumphantly as the BRUNETTE appears holding up part of the back-drop against her chest.

Close-up of them as the BLONDE grabs the BRUNETTE and they fall onto the folds of back-drop paper.

THOMAS catches up with them and laughingly enters the fray.

Close-up of THOMAS on the floor with the girls, pulling off the BLONDE’s tights.

THOMAS half-rises and tugs at the BLONDE’s tights, as she giggles helplessly.

The BRUNETTE helps. 

BRUNETTE

Hold her legs! 

Close-up of them all.

THOMAS tugs at the BLONDE’s tights; she offers no resistance.

The BRUNETTE still makes some effort to cover herself with the back-drop paper.

The back-drop tears and collapses in the foreground, revealing THOMAS.

He gets the BLONDE’s tights off and hangs them round his neck, and then she crawls gleefully across to the BRUNETTE, pulling at her tights.

Close-up of the BLONDE pulling the BRUNETTE’s tights off, assisted by THOMAS.

The BLONDE holds her friend down while THOMAS pulls the tights from her kicking legs.

Close-up of the two girls laughing hilariously as THOMAS removes the BRUNETTE’s tights completely.

The girls are now naked.

The BLONDE drags THOMAS down with her onto the floor and rolls on top of him, their laughter and shouting smothered every now and then by the paper.

The BRUNETTE sits watching, covering herself with the purple paper.

As THOMAS struggles with the BLONDE, she tears off his shirt, then clutches at his belt.

The BRUNETTE throws off all pretence at modesty and helps by holding him down.

We leave the three of them screaming and laughing.

*    *    *

Some time has passed.

It is very quiet.

Camera tilts down from the plastic window to THOMAS – lying flat on his back, his chest bare.

The two girls are now dressed again, and are putting his socks on, each holding a foot.

THOMAS raises his head: something outside the field of vision has attracted his attention. Slowly he gets to his feet.

Close-up of THOMAS, his eyes riveted to something.

The BLONDE passes him his shirt.

THOMAS snatches it and slips it on as he moves away, leaving her standing puzzled.

The photographs hang in the foreground.

THOMAS comes forward, examining them closely.

A horrible thought seems to cross his mind.

Camera tracks with him, then pans down to the BRUNETTE sitting on the floor, looking puzzled.

Close-up of THOMAS.

He looks at the last photograph through the magnifying glass.

Then he studies the picture of the GIRL walking away, holding the glass to her legs. He is studying a spot on both photographs where a dark patch is visible on the ground, quite near the bushes.

THOMAS turns suddenly, hurrying towards the darkroom.

But he remembers the two girls, who are waiting expectantly behind him.

THOMAS curtly

All right, let’s move. OUT! 

BLONDE

You haven’t taken any photographs! 

THOMAS

No, I’m… No, I’m too whacked. Well, it’s your own faults. 

The two girls look at each other in disappointment.

THOMAS motions for them to put on their shoes.

Camera tilts down and then up as they do as they are told, and start moving off. 

THOMAS

Tomorrow. 

The BLONDE and the BRUNETTE hesitate in the kitchen doorway and turn once more to the PHOTOGRAPHER.

He shouts at them:

THOMAS

Tomorrow! 

The two girls disappear.

Close-up of THOMAS.

He runs his hand over his head, lost in though for a moment.

Then he makes for the darkrooms.

He is seen through the plastic window as he walks towards the narrow catwalk, slowly, hesitantly, as if again oppressed by his fearful suspicions.

He comes into the last darkroom with the large blow-up of the GIRL standing by the bush already completed.

He tacks it to a wooden panel, then directs the light from two projectors onto it.

He moves a large plate camera, setting the distance so that the small dark patch will be greatly enlarged.

He takes a time exposure, then goes out of the room with the photographic plate in his hand.

In another darkroom he draws a new huge blow-up out of the dryer.

He comes into the studio with his blow-up and sticks it up on the plume stand where he has already placed the first blow-up of the empty meadow.

Close-up of THOMAS.

He moves away, and camera tracks in on the two pictures, first to one then to the other, then back to the first.

Both pictures suggest that the patch by the bushes at the GIRL’s feet is a corpse stretched out on the grass.

Close-up of THOMAS staring at the pictures.

He runs his fingers nervously through his hair, and goes to have another look at the photograph of the man hiding in the trees with the pistol in his hand.

Camera follows him as he drops back onto the sofa and lies back.

THOMAS sits, confused, on the sofa.

He looks up at the photographs on the wall behind him.

He seems depressed and more disconcerted than ever.

But suddenly he springs to his feet and goes out, spurred by a new idea.



SCENE 35        SCENE 37