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SCENE 48: CHEYNE WALK (INTERNAL)


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SCRIPT

A man opens the door and THOMAS comes into a large room full of young people.

A party is in full progress.

Smoking, drinking, talking.

There is a lively but discreet buzz in the air, and the place has an elegance of its own.

THOMAS Greets a couple of friends and looks around, trying to locate someone.

He reaches the farther end of the room, where there are fewer people.

Here a doorway leads into a bedroom across a hallway.

THOMAS comes into this room and pauses to have a look around.

There are about a dozen people, sprawled on settees or on the floor.

They are all smoking.

Some of them pass a cigarette from hand to hand, as do people who enjoy their marijuana puff.

THOMAS stands looking round.

A group of men and girls draw on the joints, giggling gently among themselves.

One of the girls is drawing on a pipe instead of a rolled cigarette.

Camera pans from her to the rest of the group.

Another girl is rolling the joints, taking the marijuana out of a little bag and delicately licking the glued edge of the cigarette papers.

The atmosphere is not heavy.

On the contrary it is somewhat dreamlike.

There is something eerie about the peace pervading the room which gives it an air of unreality.

A girl takes a long drag on a joint.

Close-up of one of the young men, smoking.

Camera moves to the girl looking down, watching him.

Another boy gets up, and camera follows him as he gives a joint to someone else.

We see THOMAS picking his way through the room.

A man is kneeling in front of two girls, with his back to us.

THOMAS comes over and taps him on the shoulder.

As he gets up we see that it is RON. 

THOMAS

Ron. Gimme a minute, will you? 

RON gets up.

He is stoned.

He is smoking from two joints at once.

THOMAS tries again. 

THOMAS

Ron 

Close-up of the two girls.

RON leans down to them and very slowly puts a joint in each of their mouths.

He rises as THOMAS takes hold of his coat and pulls him away towards the door.

THOMAS leads RON through the hallway into a quiet corner of the main room. 

THOMAS

Someone’s been killed! 

RON literally drops into an armchair, next to a girl.

She goes away. 

RON

Yeah. Okay. Okay. 

THOMAS leans over him. 

THOMAS

Listen. 

A medium shot of RON and THOMAS. 

THOMAS

Those pictures I took in the park… 

But RON is not listening.

He has turned back to the room from which they came and is signalling to someone.

It is the MODEL whom THOMAS had photographed alone in his studio that morning.

The MODEL comes forward with a joint hanging out of her mouth.

RON takes it from her.

In the meantime THOMAS turns towards her. 

THOMAS

I thought you were supposed to be in Paris? 

MODEL

I am in Paris. 

Close-up of RON drawing hard on a joint, forcing the smoke down into his lungs.

RON’s hand passes THOMAS the joint.

Close-up of THOMAS and the MODEL. 

RON off

Here, have a drag. 

THOMAS takes it and passes it on mechanically to the MODEL, who puts it in her mouth and goes off.

THOMAS turns back to RON.

He sits down in the armchair facing him, and carries on: 

THOMAS

I want you to see the corpse. We’ve got to get a shot of it. 

RON

I’m not a photographer. 

THOMAS

I am! 

THOMAS looks away from his friend impatiently.

He gets up and walks off.

Close-up of THOMAS.

He looks round towards RON.

RON is slumped in the armchair.

Resume on THOMAS.

He is bitterly disappointed.

Resume on RON in the chair, shaking his head uncomprehendingly.

Then he gets up, muttering to himself: 

RON

What’s the matter with him? 

He makes for the room where they are all smoking, as if THOMAS was not there.

As he passes him, he stops, as if suddenly recalling, and looks him in the eye. 

RON

What did you see in the park? 

THOMAS looks away and shakes his head hopelessly. 

THOMAS

Nothing. 

RON goes off.

THOMAS trails after him with an expression almost of dismay. 

THOMAS

Ron! 

RON has already reached the hall between the two rooms.

He turns and beckons THOMAS to follow him.

As he doesn’t move, RON goes back, grips him by the shoulder and leads him through to the room at the back.

RON and THOMAS disappear through the door into the other room.

One of the girls comes out of the same door.

She is wearing a white jacket and a long white skirt, and is still smoking a joint.

She comes into the living room into the buzz of voices, and the door shuts behind her.

The buzz is getting fainter and fainter.

Finally there is silence.

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It is dawn.

In the bedroom THOMAS is stretched out asleep on the bed in the middle of the room.

A pale light filters through the window.

The floor is littered with ashtrays, glasses and bottles.

THOMAS wakes up.

He looks around, dazed, sighing deeply and rubbing his head.

He glances over at the window.

THOMAS sits up.

Through the windows in the background we can see trees, the roof of a house, a patch of blue sky.

He gets up and leaves the room, rubbing his aching head.

THOMAS comes through the connecting hall into the living room.

Here is the same confusion – glasses and bottles on tables, furniture all over the place, cushions on the floor.

The River Thames is just visible through the window.

Few sounds break the silence.

The house is empty.

THOMAS pauses for a moment to look outside, then he makes for the door.

Camera holds for a few moments on the dim empty room and the river scene visible through the window.

Nothing moves.