- 1. Do I have an original thought
in my head? My bald head?
- 2. Maybe if I were happier,
my hair wouldn't be falling out.
- 3. Life is short. I need
to make the most of it.
- 4. Today is the first day
of the rest of my life.
- 5. I'm a walking cliche'.
- 6. I really need to go to the doctor,
have my leg checked.
- 7. There's something wrong.
- 8. The dentist called again.
I'm way overdue.
- 9. If I stopped putting things off,
I'd be happier.
- 10. All I do is sit on my fat ass.
- 11. If my ass wasn't fat,
I'd be happier.
- 12. I wouldn't have to wear these shirts
with the tails out all the time.
- 13. Like that's fooling anyone.
- 14. Fat ass. I should start jogging again.
Five miles a day.
- 15. Really do it this time.
Maybe rock climbing.
- 16. I need to turn my life around.
- 17. What do I need to do?
I need to fall in love.
- 18. I need to have a girlfriend.
- 19. I need to read more,
- 20. What if I learned Russian
- 21. Or took up an instrument?
I could speak Chinese.
- 22. I would be the screenwriter who
speaks Chinese. And plays the oboe.
- 23. That would be cool.
I should get my hair cut short.
- 24. Stop trying to fool everyone into
thinking I have a full head of hair.
- 25. How pathetic is that?
Just be real. Confident.
- 26. Isn't that what women
are attracted to?
- 27. Men don't have to be attractive.
- 28. But that's not true,
especially these days.
- 29. Almost as much pressure on men
as there is on women these days.
- 30. Why should I be made to feel I have
to apologize for my existence?
- 31. Maybe it's my brain chemistry.
- 32. Maybe that's what's wrong:
- 33. All my problems and anxiety can be
reduced to a chemical imbalance
- 34. or some kind of
- 35. I need to get help for that.
- 36. But I'll still be ugly, though.
- 37. Nothing's gonna change that.
- 38. Shut up! Shut up! Okay?
- 39. Let's really try today
to solve our camera problems.
- 40. Keep between-take time
at an absolute minimum.
- 41. These masks are really hot. Okay?
- 42. I wanna be very well-heard
on that from everybody.
- 43. Don't futz unless it's absolutely
important to the shot, okay?
- 44. I don't say that for me.
I say that for the people sitting here
- 45. Thank you.
In the rubber.
- 46. I like my dress. Okay?
- 47. So now, folks, you better
heed that advice.
- 48. Okay? Heed that advice.
Stand by for picture.
- 49. Have her rotate around the table
a little bit further.
- 50. Hold on until we're clear.
- 51. You. You're in the eyeline.
Can you please get off the stage?
- 52. Yeah, just bring in the six-footer.
- 53. What am I doing here?
Why did I bother to come here today?
- 54. Nobody even seems to know
- 55. I've been on this planet for 40 years,
and I don't understand a single thing.
- 56. Why am I here?
How did I get here?
- 57. U?“
- 58. My leg hurts.
I wonder if it's cancer.
- 59. There's a bump. I'm starting
to sweat. Stop sweating.
- 60. I've got to stop sweating.
- 61. Can she see it dripping
down my forehead?
- 62. She looked at my hairline.
She thinks I'm bald. She—
- 63. We think you're great.
- 64. Thanks.
That's nice to hear.
- 65. We all just loved
the Ma/kovich script.
- 66. Thanks. Thanks...
Such a unique voice.
- 67. Boy, I'd love to find
a portal into your brain.
- 68. Trust me, it's no fun.
- 69. So tell me your thoughts
on this crazy little project of ours.
- 70. First, I think it's a great book.
- 71. Laroche is a fun character.
- 72. And Orlean makes orchids
- 73. Plus, her musings on Florida
and orchid poaching, Indians.
- 74. It's just— It's great,
sprawling New Yorker stuff.
- 75. I'd want to remain true to that.
- 76. I'd wanna let the movie exist,
- 77. rather than be artificially
- 78. Great.
- 79. I guess I'm not exactly sure
what that means.
- 80. Oh.
- 81. I'm not sure I know
what that means either.
- 82. I don't wanna ruin it by making it
a Hollywood thing. You know?
- 83. Like an orchid heist movie
or something, you know?
- 84. Or changing the orchids
- 85. and making it about
- 86. Definitely.
Why can't there be a movie
- 87. simply about flowers?
- 88. I guess we thought that maybe
- 89. Susan Orlean and Laroche
could fall in love, and—
- 90. Okay. But I'm saying, it's like,
I don't wanna cram in sex
- 91. OF guns OI" car chases,
- 92. you know,
or characters, you know,
- 93. learning profound life lessons.
- 94. Or growing,
or coming to like each other,
- 95. or overcoming obstacles to succeed
in the end, you know? I mean—
- 96. The book isn't like that
- 97. and life isn't like that.
You know, it just isn't. And— Ahem.
- 98. I feel very strongly about this.
- 99. U?“
- 100. John Laroche is a
tall guy, skinny as a stick,
- 101. pale-eyed,
- 102. sharply handsome, despite the fact
he's missing all his front teeth.
- 103. I went to Florida two years ago
to write a piece for The New Yorker.
- 104. After reading a small article about a
white man and three Seminole men
- 105. arrested with rare orchids
they'd stolen from a place
- 106. called the Fakahatchee Strand
- 107. As natural selection works
solely by and for the good of each being,
- 108. all corporeal and mental endowments will
tend to progress towards perfection.
- 109. It's interesting to contemplate
an entangled bank...
- 110. Po/yrrhiza lindenii.
- 111. A ghost.
- 112. Cut her down, Russell.
- 113. Morning.
- 114. May I ask you gentlemen what you
have in those pillowcases?
- 115. Yes, sir,
you absolutely may.
- 116. Okay, then, I'm asking.
Well, okay, then.
- 117. Let's see.
- 118. We've got five kinds
- 119. one peperomia,
nine orchid varieties.
- 120. Uh...
- 121. You know,
about 130 plants all told.
- 122. Which my colleagues here
removed from the swamp.
- 123. You're aware it's illegal to remove
plants or animals from state-owned land?
- 124. Yeah, and don't forget,
- 125. these plants are all endangered, sir.
Every one of them.
- 126. VVeH, exacfly. That's exactly the issue.
This is a state preserve.
- 127. Yes, sir. It is.
- 128. But—
My colleagues are Seminole Indians.
- 129. Did I mention that?
You're familiar, I'm sure,
- 130. with the State of Florida
v. James E. Billie?
- 131. So you know even though Seminole Chief
Billie killed a Florida panther,
- 132. one of, what,
40 in the entire world?
- 133. FOFtY- Forty-
- 134. The state couldn't
successfully prosecute him,
- 135. because, you know,
he's an Indian, and it's his right.
- 136. As repugnant as you and I, as white
conservationists, find his actions.
- 137. But—
Not to mention the failed attempts
- 138. on three occasions to prosecute
Seminoles for poaching palm fronds.
- 139. Which I believe they use to thatch the
roofs of their traditional chickee huts.
- 140. How about that?
With the chickee huts, right?
- 141. Yeah, he's right. That's exactly what
we use them for. Chickee huts.
- 142. Yeah.
- 143. Yeah.
- 144. Yeah, but I don't—
- 145. I can't let you fellas leave yet.
- 146. Just hold on there a minute.
- 147. Charles, is that you?
- 148. Did you eat lunch?
- 149. I had that shrimp cocktail
in the fridge. Was it yours?
- 150. I hope not. I couldn't remember,
so I ate it.
- 151. Maybe we should write our names
on our food items from now on.
- 152. What's with you?
- 153. Charles, you'll be glad. I have a plan
to get me out of your house, pronto.
- 154. A job is a plan. Ls your plan a job?
Drum roll, please.
- 155. I'm gonna be a screenwriter.
- 156. I know you think this is one
of my "get rich quick" schemes,
- 157. but I'm doing it right.
- 158. I'm taking a three-day seminar,
and it's only 500 bucks.
- 159. Screenwriting seminars
- 160. In theory, I agree with you.
But this one's different.
- 161. This one's highly regarded
in the industry.
- 162. Donald, don't say "industry."
- 163. I'm sorry. I forgot.
- 164. Charles, this guy
- 165. People come from all over
to study with him.
- 166. I'll pay you back as soon as I—
Let me explain something.
- 167. Anybody who says he's got "the answer"
will attract desperate people,
- 168. be it in the world of religion—
- 169. I need to lie down
while you explain this.
- 170. Sorry. I apologize.
- 171. Okay, go ahead.
- 172. 80—
Sorry. Okay. Go.
- 173. There are no rules, Donald.
- 174. And anybody who says there are
is just, you know—
- 175. Not rules. Principles.
- 176. McKee writes that a rule says,
"You must do it this way."
- 177. A principle says, "This works and
has through all remembered time."
- 178. The script I'm starting,
- 179. it's about flowers.
- 180. Nobody's ever done a movie
about flowers before.
- 181. So there are no guidelines.
What about Flowers for Algernon?
- 182. Well, that's not about flowers.
And it's not a movie.
- 183. I'm sorry.
I never saw it.
- 184. How—? Okay, keep going.
- 185. Look, my point is that
those teachers are dangerous
- 186. if your goal is to do
- 187. A writer should always have that goal.
Writing is a journey into the unknown.
- 188. It's not building, you know,
one of your model airplanes.
- 189. McKee is a former
Fulbright Scholar, Charles.
- 190. Are you a former
- 191. Say something. I dragged her
here, and now I'm not saying anything.
- 192. Make her laugh.
Say something funny.
- 193. I hate parties, Amelia.
Why did we come here?
- 194. Because we're hip, young
trendsetters on the make?
- 195. More like old losers
sitting on the floor, maybe.
- 196. Jesus, Charlie.
- 197. Heh, heh, heh.
Speak for yourself. Okay...
- 198. Charlie, we're gonna fix you up.
- 199. We're gonna solve the whole Charlie
Kaufman mess for once and for all.
- 200. Okay.
Okay, let me see.
- 201. What do you need?
What, what, what?
- 202. Well, I'm glad you took
the orchid script.
- 203. I think it will be good for you
to get out of your head.
- 204. It'll ground you to think about the
bigger picture, about nature and stuff.
- 205. I still can't believe
they gave me that job.
- 206. I mean, after that lunch.
I was sweating insanely.
- 207. I was ranting. I was a mess.
- 208. You were nervous
because she was pretty.
- 209. How do you know
she was pretty?
- 210. After eight months of knowing you,
I think I get what makes you sweat.
- 211. Well, whatever.
Well, moving on, what next?
- 212. You need a new getup.
This whole flannel-shirt thing,
- 213. it's not really doing anything
for you anymore.
- 214. [BOTH LAUGHING
- 215. Thanks for coming out
with me tonight, Amelia.
- 216. To begin.
- 217. To begin.
- 218. How to start?
- 219. I'm hungry-
- 220. I should get coffee.
- 221. Coffee would help me think.
- 222. But I should write something first,
then reward myself with coffee.
- 223. Coffee and a muffin. Okay,
so I need to establish the themes.
- 224. Maybe banana-nut.
- 225. That's a good muffin.
- 226. U?“
- 227. Orchid hunting
is a mortal occupation.
- 228. Victorian-era orchid hunter
- 229. drowned on
a collecting expedition.
- 230. Osmers vanished without a trace
- 231. Augustus Margary survived toothache,
rheumatism, pleurisy and dysentery,
- 232. only to be murdered when
he completed his mission
- 233. and traveled beyond Bhamo.
- 234. Laroche loved orchids, but I...
- 235. I came to believe he loved the
difficulty and fatality of getting them
- 236. almost as much as he loved
the orchids themselves.
- 237. I've been a professional
horticulturist for like 12 years.
- 238. Uh, I owned my own plant nursery,
which was destroyed by the hurricane.
- 239. I'm a professional
- 240. I've given over, like, 6O lectures
on the cultivation of plants.
- 241. I'm a published author,
both in magazine and book form.
- 242. And I have extensive experience
- 243. and the asexual micropropagation
of orchids under aseptic cultures.
- 244. That's laboratory work.
It's not at all like your nursery work.
- 245. Um...
- 246. I'm probably
the smartest person I know.
- 247. Thank you.
You're very welcome.
- 248. Mr. Laroche'?
I'm Susan Of lean.
- 249. I'm a writer for The New Yorker.
It's a magazine that—
- 250. I'm familiar with
The New Yorker.
- 251. "The New Yorker?
Yes, The New Yorker." Right?
- 252. That's right.
- 253. I'm very interested in doing a piece
on your situation here, and—
- 254. Oh, yeah? Yeah.
You wanna put this in?
- 255. I don't care what goes on here.
- 256. I'm right, and I'll take it all the way
to Supreme Court.
- 257. Because that judge
can screw herself.
- 258. That for real would go in?
- 259. Hmm.
- 260. U?“
- 261. We open on State Road 29.
- 262. A battered white van speeds along,
making a sharp, skidding right
- 263. into the Fakahatchee Strand
- 264. The driver of the van is
a skinny man with no front teeth.
- 265. This is John Laroche.
- 266. I need a break.
- 267. I loved the Sibelius violin concerto.
Yeah, me too. It was great.
- 268. The end was a little weird, but—
Oh, no! God, it was passionate.
- 269. It was exultant.
- 270. The soloist was amazing.
Such beautiful tones. So precise.
- 271. God, it blows my mind.
- 272. I wish I could play like that.
- 273. Oh, Charlie. I don't.
I'm mediocre at best.
- 274. Well, I love listening to you play.
- 275. Oh, thanks, Charlie.
- 276. Here we are.
- 277. RAUGHS]
- 278. So, uh...
- 279. What are you up to now, then?
- 280. Oh, urn, I should
probably get to bed.
- 281. I have a lot of work
to do tomorrow.
- 282. Well, good night, then.
- 283. I would stay out.
- 284. It's just that I've been struggling
on the script right now.
- 285. Been thinking about it too small,
writing it like a story about Laroche.
- 286. That's not enough. I mean,
I wanted to write about flowers.
- 287. Anyway, I can't figure it out, and I
haven't been sleeping well lately,
- 288. so I thought I should get home
- 289. and try to get a good night's sleep,
you know. Start fresh in the morning.
- 290. Hm.
Otherwise, I'd stay out.
- 291. I understand. I hope you
figure it out, Charlie. I really do.
- 292. Thanks. Thanks for coming out
with me and everything.
- 293. Sure, it was fun.
- 294. So I have to go to Santa Barbara next
weekend for this orchid show up there.
- 295. I thought maybe you could come.
- 296. No, l...
- 297. I don't think I can make it
- 298. I don't think I can.
- 299. I've got something. Sorry.
- 300. Okay -
- 301. So, well, okay, then.
So good night, then.
- 302. Good night, Charlie.
- 303. Why didn't I go in?
I'm such a chicken.
- 304. I'm such an idiot. I should have
kissed her. I've blown it.
- 305. I should go and knock
on her door right now and kiss her.
- 306. It would be romantic. Something
we could someday tell our kids.
- 307. I'm gonna do that right now.
- 308. Hi.
- 309. Thanks for picking me up.
This van's a piece of shit.
- 310. But when I hit the jackpot,
I'll buy myself an awesome car.
- 311. Hey, what are you driving?
- 312. Um, it's— Well, it's a rental.
- 313. It's a Lumina.
- 314. I think I'll get one of those too.
- 315. Here we go.
- 316. Where do these people
learn to drive, huh? Ha, ha!
- 317. The world's insane.
- 318. So I was impressed to hear
- 319. how accomplished you are
- 320. The thing you gotta know is,
- 321. my whole life is looking for
a goddamn profitable plant, see?
- 322. And that's the ghost.
- 323. Why the ghost orchid?
- 324. Well, the sucker's rare.
- 325. You know?
- 326. And I'm the only one in the world
who knows how to cultivate it.
- 327. Mmm.
- 328. See, the idea was, get the Indians
to pull it from the swamp.
- 329. I researched it. Long as I don't touch
the plant, Florida can't touch us.
- 330. And I stop future poaching by making the
flowers readily available in stores.
- 331. I'm a hero, the flowers are saved,
- 332. Laroche and nature win.
- 333. Oh. Great.
- 334. Did you get that last part?
- 335. Uh, yeah, I sure did.
- 336. Orchids are the
sexiest flowers on earth.
- 337. The name orchid derives from the
Latin orehis, which means testicle.
- 338. Hey, Charles.
- 339. I pitched my screenplay
- 340. Don't say "pitch."
- 341. Anyway, she said it was Silence
of the Lambs meets Psycho.
- 342. Maybe you guys could collaborate.
I hear Mom's good with structure.
- 343. So how come Amelia doesn't
come around anymore?
- 344. Did you put the moves on her
- 345. Hi.
- 346. I'm looking for John Laroche.
- 347. Hi. Hi.
- 348. I'm writing an article on John,
and I stopped by.
- 349. Hoped I could see him.
John's not here.
- 350. Oh.
- 351. Well, you were at the swamp
with him, weren't you?
- 352. Saw you at the courthouse,
that's how I know.
- 353. I'm Matthew Osceola.
- 354. Susan Orlean. Nice to meet you.
- 355. Maybe I could talk to you
for a second.
- 356. I'm just trying to get a feel
for the whole operation...
- 357. You have very beautiful hair.
- 358. Thank you very much.
- 359. Thank you. I just...
- 360. I just washed it this morning.
- 361. I just used a new conditioner.
- 362. I can see your sadness.
- 363. It's lovely.
- 364. Well, I'm just tired, that's all.
That's my problem.
- 365. So maybe we could chat
a little bit,
- 366. and I could get some background—
I'm not going to talk to you much.
- 367. It's not personal.
- 368. It's the Indian way.
- 369. Angraecum sesquipedale.
- 370. Beauty! God!
- 371. Darwin wrote about this one.
- 372. Charles Darwin?
Evolution guy? Hello?
- 373. You see that nectary down there?
- 374. Darwin hypothesized a moth
- 375. with a nose 12 inches long
to pollinate it.
- 376. Everyone thought he was a loon.
- 377. Then, sure enough,
they found this moth
- 378. with a 12-inch proboscis.
- 379. "Proboscis" means nose, by the way.
I know what it means.
- 380. Hey, let's not get off the subject.
This isn't a pissing contest.
- 381. The point is,
what's so wonderful
- 382. is that all these flowers
have a specific relationship
- 383. with the insect
that pollinates it.
- 384. There's a certain orchid
looks exactly like a certain insect.
- 385. So the insect is drawn
to this flower,
- 386. its double, its soul mate,
- 387. and wants nothing more
than to make love to it.
- 388. After the insect flies off,
- 389. it spots another soul-mate flower
and makes love to it, pollinating it.
- 390. And neither the flower nor the insect
will ever understand
- 391. the significance
of their lovemaking.
- 392. How could they know that because
of their little dance, the world lives?
- 393. But it does.
- 394. By simply doing
what they're designed to do
- 395. something large
and magnificent happens.
- 396. In this sense, they show us
how to live.
- 397. How the only barometer
you have is your heart.
- 398. How when you spot your flower,
you can't let anything get in your way.
- 399. U?“
- 400. He's really quite a character.
No front teeth.
- 401. Doesn't seem to bother him at all.
Why doesn't he get them fixed?
- 402. It seems almost sociopathic
to make everybody look at that.
- 403. Yeah, but he gives
a great blowjob, honey.
- 404. He is a fascinating character,
- 405. Sounds like a gold mine,
- 406. It could be. I don't know,
you know? He's, uh...
- 407. He lives with his dad, he's obsessed
with his dead mother, and...
- 408. He wears his sunglasses on a little
dingle-dangle around his neck.
- 409. Loving it.
- 410. Tell them about the van.
Okay, the van. The van.
- 411. I can't tell about the van. I gotta pee.
No, tell us about the van.
- 412. It's amazing. It's...
What's in it?
- 413. You did it in the van.
- 414. Shut up.
- 415. David, you tell— Don't you tell them.
Don't tell them.
- 416. Okay, the van.
- 417. David!
- 418. This van was
filled with junk—
- 419. Shut up!
- 420. Potting soil. Shovels.
Food wrappers. Fertilizer.
- 421. Susie said she hoped
it was fertilizer, anyway.
- 422. Said she couldn't be sure. Laroche had
a certain aromatic look about him.
- 423. And she said—
- 424. She said perhaps his obsessiveness
didn't leave room in his schedule
- 425. for personal hygiene.
- 426. Maybe the orchids got
all the available water.
- 427. I wanted to want something as
much as people wanted these plants.
- 428. But...
- 429. it isn't part of my constitution.
- 430. I suppose I do have
one unembarrassed passion.
- 431. U?“
- 432. I wanna know what it feels like to care
about something passionately.
- 433. "Should one be lucky enough
to see a ghost orchid,
- 434. all else will seem eclipsed."
- 435. If the ghost orchid
was really a phantom,
- 436. it was such a bewitching one that
it could seduce people to pursue it
- 437. year after year
and mile after miserable mile.
- 438. If it was a real flower,
I wanted to see one.
- 439. The reason wasn't that I love orchids.
I don't even especially like orchids.
- 440. What I wanted
was to see this thing
- 441. that people were drawn to
in such a singular and powerful way.
- 442. So how many turtles
did you end up collecting?
- 443. Oh, I lost interest right after that.
- 444. Oh.
- 445. I dropped turtles when I fell
in love with Ice Age fossils.
- 446. Collected the shit out of them.
- 447. Fossils were the only thing that made
sense to me in this fucked-up world.
- 448. I ditched fossils
for resilvering old mirrors.
- 449. My mom and I
had the largest collection
- 450. of 19th-century Dutch mirrors
on the planet.
- 451. Perhaps you read about us.
Mirror World, October '88?
- 452. I got a copy here somewhere.
- 453. I guess I'd just like to know
how you can detach from something
- 454. that you've invested
so much of your soul in.
- 455. I mean, didn't you ever
- 456. The only thing that made
your 10-year-old life worth living?
- 457. Look, I'll tell you a story, all right?
- 458. I once fell deeply, you know,
profoundly in love with tropical fish.
- 459. I had 6O goddamn fish tanks
in my house.
- 460. I'd skin-dive to find
just the right ones.
- 461. Anisotremus virginicus, Holacanthus
ciliaris, Chaetodon capistratus.
- 462. You name it.
- 463. Then one day I say, "Fuck fish."
- 464. I renounce fish. I vow never
to set foot in that ocean again.
- 465. That's how much "fuck fish."
- 466. That was 17 years ago, and I have
never since stuck a toe in that ocean.
- 467. And I love the ocean.
- 468. But Why?
- 469. Done with fish.
- 470. If you'd really loved something,
wouldn't a little bit of it linger?
- 471. Evidently Laroche's finishes
were downright and absolute.
- 472. He just moved on.
- 473. I sometimes wished
I could do the same.
- 474. Good afternoon.
So, what looks good today?
- 475. The key lime pie, please.
- 476. A small slice.
- 477. And a coffee, please.
Skim milk, please.
- 478. Orchids. I love orchids.
- 479. Oh, cool. That's... Heh.
- 480. Well, I'll be right back
with your pie.
- 481. I'm so excited. I've always wanted
to come to an orchid show.
- 482. I think these flowers are so sexy.
- 483. Let's see what's around back.
- 484. What?
- 485. You wanna hear my pitch?
Go away, goddamn it.
- 486. You know, I'm just trying
to do something.
- 487. Hey, thanks a lot, buddy.
- 488. Okay, there's this
serial killer, right?
- 489. Well, no, wait.
And he's being hunted by a cop.
- 490. And he's taunting the cop, right?
Sending clues who his next victim is.
- 491. He's already holding her
hostage in his basement.
- 492. So the cop gets obsessed
with figuring out her identity
- 493. and in the process
falls in love with her.
- 494. Even though he's never even
met her. She becomes like...
- 495. Like the unattainable.
Like the Holy Grail.
- 496. It's a little obvious,
don't you think?
- 497. Okay, but here's the twist.
- 498. We find out that the killer
- 499. really suffers from
multiple personality disorder. Right?
- 500. See, he's actually really the cop
and the girl.
- 501. All of them are him.
Isn't that fucked up?
- 502. The only idea more overused than
serial killers is multiple personality.
- 503. On top of that,
you explore the notion
- 504. that cop and criminal are
two aspects of the same person.
- 505. See every cop movie ever made
for other examples of this.
- 506. Mom called it
- 507. The other thing is, there's no way
to write this. Did you consider that?
- 508. I mean, how could you have somebody
held prisoner in a basement
- 509. and working in a police station
at the same time?
- 510. Trick photography.
Okay, that's not what I'm asking.
- 511. Listen closely.
What I'm asking is:
- 512. In the reality of this movie, where
there's only one character, right?
- 513. Okay?
- 514. How could you...?
- 515. What exactly would...?
- 516. I agree with Mom. Very taut.
- 517. Sybil meets, I don't know...
Dressed to Kill.
- 518. Cool. I really liked
Dressed to Kill.
- 519. Until the third act denouement.
That's not how it's pronounced.
- 520. Sorry. I—
- 521. Hi.
- 522. Some key lime pie for you today?
Okay, yeah. That sounds great.
- 523. I'll cut you an extra-large slice.
- 524. Thank you.
That's really sweet of you.
- 525. Well, I'm just a sweetie, ain't I?
- 526. Still reading about orchids, I hope?
Yes, I am.
- 527. This friend of mine
has this little, tiny pink one
- 528. that grows on a tree branch
just like that.
- 529. I can't remember—
It's called an epiphyte.
- 530. Right. Right!
- 531. Boy, you know your stuff.
- 532. No, not really.
I'm just learning.
- 533. Epiphytes grow on trees,
but they're not parasites.
- 534. They get their nourishment
from the air and the rain.
- 535. Well, I'm impressed.
- 536. There are more than 30,000 kinds
of orchids in the world.
- 537. Wow, that's a lot, huh?
- 538. Yeah.
- 539. I'll be back with an extra-large slice
of key lime pie for my orchid expert.
- 540. But— So anyway,
I was also wondering...
- 541. I'm going up to Santa Barbara this
Saturday for an orchid show, and I...
- 542. Oh.
- 543. I'm sorry.
- 544. I apologize. I'm sorry.
So I'll just be right back with your pie.
- 545. There are more than
30,000 known orchid species.
- 546. One looks like a turtle.
- 547. One looks like a monkey.
- 548. One looks like an onion.
- 549. One looks like a schoolteacher.
- 550. One looks like a gymnast.
- 551. One looks like that girl
in high school with creamy skin.
- 552. One looks like a New York
- 553. with whom you do the Sunday
Tunes crossword puzzle in bed.
- 554. One looks like a Midwestern
- 555. One looks like Amelia.
- 556. One has eyes that dance.
- 557. One has eyes that contain
the sadness of the world.
- 558. U?“
- 559. So I got married,
and me and my beautiful new wife,
- 560. my now ex-wife, the bitch,
- 561. opened up a nursery.
- 562. People started coming out
of the woodwork to ask me stuff
- 563. and admire my plants
and admire me.
- 564. I think people were spending time
with me because they were lonely.
- 565. And you know why I like plants?
- 566. Because they're so mutable.
- 567. Adaptation's a profound process.
- 568. It means you
- 569. figure out how to thrive
in the world.
- 570. Yeah, but it's easier for plants.
I mean, they have no memory.
- 571. You know, they just move on to
whatever's next. But a person, now...
- 572. adapting's almost shameful.
I mean, it's like
- 573. running away.
- 574. Keener!
- 575. Hey, man.
- 576. Please don't hit
on crew members, Donald.
- 577. What, the makeup girl? She was
hitting on me, bro. Heh, heh, heh.
- 578. Don't embarrass me.
I have to work with these people.
- 579. I won't. Anyway, listen,
- 580. I meant to ask you, I need
a cool way to kill people.
- 581. Don't worry. For my script.
- 582. I don't write that kind of stuff.
- 583. Come on, man, please?
You're the genius.
- 584. Here you go: The killer's
a literature professor.
- 585. He cuts off little chunks from
his victim's bodies until they die.
- 586. He calls himself
- 587. That's kind of good. I like that.
See, I was kidding, Donald.
- 588. Oh, okay. Sorry.
- 589. You got me. Heh, heh.
- 590. Do you mind
if I use it, though?
- 591. It's really good.
I tried to split the Cassie scene
- 592. from the beginning to the end.
I saw that. Why did you do that?
- 593. Because I wanted there to be more
tension. Then you pick it up later...
- 594. But are you changing...?
Keeps more tension.
- 595. That way the audience
gets stuck early on.
- 596. You like it?
I really like it.
- 597. Heh. You look hot tonight, baby.
- 598. Thanks, Donald.
That's swell of you to say.
- 599. Don't you think she's hot, bro?
I'm heading home, Donald.
- 600. Really? Come on.
- 601. Hey, it's Amelia.
- 602. Hey, Amelia!
- 603. Hey, Donald. Hey, Charlie.
- 604. Hey. Hi there.
- 605. Amelia, we don't see you anymore.
What happened to you?
- 606. It's good
to see you.
- 607. Oh! This is my girlfriend, Caroline.
She's a makeup artist for the movies.
- 608. Hi.
- 609. Hi.
- 610. This is David, my friend.
- 611. Hi.
Hey. Nice to meet you.
- 612. Amelia's talked a lot about you.
Hi, I'm Donald.
- 613. Hey.
- 614. Cool camera.
So how are you?
- 615. You know me, a mess.
- 616. it's really good to see you.
ls the work good?
- 617. It's a disaster.
I don't know what I'm doing.
- 618. But, anyway, it's my problem.
I don't want to bore you.
- 619. You have your stuff, right? I mean,
we both have our own separate stuff.
- 620. Anyway, I should go. I was
heading home to do some work.
- 621. You coming?
No, I'm gonna stay at Caroline's.
- 622. A little push, push
in the bush.
- 623. Donald, you're such a tard!
- 624. See you, Charlie.
- 625. U?“
- 626. To write about a
flower, to dramatize a flower,
- 627. I have to show the flower's arc.
- 628. And the flower's arc stretches back
to the beginning of life.
- 629. How did this flower get here?
What was its journey?
- 630. Therefore, I
should infer from analogy
- 631. that probably all the organic beings
which have ever lived on this earth
- 632. have descended
from some one primordial form
- 633. into which life was first breathed.
- 634. It is a journey of evolution.
- 635. The journey we all take. A journey
that unites each and every one of us.
- 636. Darwin writes that we all come from
the very first single-cell organism.
- 637. Yet here I am.
- 638. And there's Laroche.
- 639. And there's the ghost orchid.
All trapped in our own bodies,
- 640. in moments in history. That's it.
- 641. That's what I need to do.
Tie all of history together.
- 642. Start right before
life begins on the planet.
- 643. All is...
- 644. lifeless.
And then, like, life begins, um,
- 645. with organisms.
Those single-cell ones.
- 646. Oh, and it's before sex, because,
like, everything was asexual.
- 647. From there we go to bigger things.
- 648. Then that fish that got legs
and crawled out on the land.
- 649. And then we see,
you know, like, dinosaurs.
- 650. Then they're around for a long time.
Then an asteroid comes and "phwar!"
- 651. —the insects,
the mammals, the primates, monkeys.
- 652. The simple monkeys. Old-fashioned
monkeys giving way to the new ones.
- 653. Whatever. And then apes.
Whatever. And man.
- 654. Then we see the history of human
hunting, war, love,
- 655. heartache, disease,
- 656. And we end with Susan Or/ean
in her office at The New Yorker
- 657. writing about flowers, and bang!
The movie begins.
- 658. This is the breakthrough I've been
hoping for. It's never been done.
- 659. McKee is a genius!
- 660. Hilarious. He just comes up with these
great jokes, and everybody laughs.
- 661. But he's serious too, Charles.
You'd love him.
- 662. He's all for originality, just like you.
- 663. But he says we have to realize
that we all write in a genre
- 664. and we must find our originality
within that genre.
- 665. See, it turns out, there hasn't been a new
genre since Fellini invented the mockumentary.
- 666. My genre's thriller. What's yours?
- 667. You and I
share the same DNA.
- 668. Is there anything
more lonely than that?
- 669. What'd you say, bro?
- 670. Yeah?
- 671. Hey, Susie-Q.
- 672. What you up to?
- 673. I don't wanna bother you. Just thought
I'd call and get some more info.
- 674. I think you say some
pretty smart things, John.
- 675. Yeah, smartest guy I know, huh?
- 676. So...
- 677. whatever happened
to your nursery?
- 678. It was going pretty well.
- 679. But, you know, sometimes bad
things happen, darkness descends.
- 680. Nursery business good,
- 681. Everything's good, Uncle Jim.
- 682. This last year's been a dream.
- 683. I'm telling you.
Finally pulling out of debt.
- 684. Amen, honey.
I'm so proud of you two, and—
- 685. No, ma'am. I'm
sorry, I can't answer that.
- 686. Stay right there.
- 687. Hold it. Which ones are dead?
Sir, please, don't move.
- 688. Which ones are dead?
Let's move it!
- 689. I killed my morn,
you know, and my uncle.
- 690. Um, that's how I lost
my front teeth.
- 691. And my wife was in a coma
for like three weeks.
- 692. And she divorced me soon after
she regained consciousness.
- 693. U?“
- 694. Well, I think if I almost died,
I would leave my marriage too.
- 695. Why?
- 696. Because I could.
- 697. Because it's like a free pass.
Nobody can judge you
- 698. if you almost died.
- 699. Well, I judged her.
- 700. Maybe I was being judged too.
- 701. It was like a month after that,
Hurricane Andrew came and just
- 702. swooped down
like an angel of God...
- 703. and just wiped out
everything I had left.
- 704. Everything.
- 705. I knew it'd break my heart
to start another nursery,
- 706. so, you know,
when the Seminoles called,
- 707. wanted a white guy or an expert to
get their nursery going, I took the job.
- 708. I wasn't gonna give them a
conventional little potted-plant place.
- 709. I was gonna give them
- 710. amazing, you know?
- 711. Yeah, I know, John.
- 712. I know.
- 713. "I was going to give
them something amazing."
- 714. It's beautifully written.
You have such a unique voice.
- 715. Thank you very much.
- 716. We're big fans.
Oh, thank you.
- 717. Laroche is such
a fun character.
- 718. Yeah.
It's funny and fresh.
- 719. And sad in a way.
- 720. So we were wondering
- 721. Well, Random House
has asked me
- 722. to expand it into a book,
so I'm gonna be doing that.
- 723. And—
Susan, we would like to option this.
- 724. You wanna make it into a movie?
Into a movie.
- 725. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, God!
- 726. That's really...
How does that sound?
- 727. That's very exciting.
- 728. It's just comical. I hadn't thought of it.
I've never written a screenplay before.
- 729. Don't worry about that. We have
screenwriters to write the screenplay.
- 730. Hey, superstar.
It's Marty, super agent.
- 731. I just wanna remind you
it's been 13 weeks
- 732. and Valerie's anxious
to see a draft.
- 733. If you could wrap things up, get
it to her by Monday, that'd be great.
- 734. Call me when you get this.
- 735. What? What'd you laugh at?
- 736. You're a genius.
- 737. You're a genius.
You're a genius.
- 738. U?“
- 739. "We see orchid
hunter Augustus Margary.
- 740. He wears a filthy, spittle-soaked rag
around his head to quell the pain.
- 741. The back of his trousers are stained
greasy black from an anal leakage
- 742. due to dysentery.
- 743. He moans with each tentative step
through the overgrown jungle."
- 744. I'm fucked.
- 745. We open with Laroche. He's funny.
He says, "I love to mutate plants."
- 746. He says, "Mutation is fun."
Okay, we show flowers and... Okay.
- 747. We have to have the case.
- 748. He says, "I was mutated as a baby.
It's why I'm so smart."
- 749. That's funny. Okay, we open at the beginning of
time. No! Laroche is driving into the swamp.
- 750. Crazy White Man!
- 751. I don't know how to adapt this.
I should've stuck with my own stuff.
- 752. Don't know why I thought
I could write this.
- 753. See her?
- 754. I fucked her up the ass.
- 755. No. I'm kidding.
- 756. Um...
- 757. Maybe I can help.
- 758. It's about flowers.
- 759. Okay. Um...
- 760. But it's not only about flowers, right?
You have the crazy plant-nut guy?
- 761. He's funny. Right?
- 762. "There's not nearly enough of him
to fill a book."
- 763. So Orlean "digresses in long
passages." Blah, blah, blah.
- 764. "No narrative unites these passages."
New York Times Book Review.
- 765. I can't structure this.
It's that sprawling New Yorker shit.
- 766. Oh, man, I'd fuck her up the ass.
- 767. Sorry.
The book has no story.
- 768. All right. Make one up.
- 769. I mean, nobody in this town
can make up a crazy story like you.
- 770. You're the king of that.
No, I didn't want to do that this time.
- 771. It's someone else's material.
I have a responsibility to Susan—
- 772. Anyway, I wanted to grow as a writer.
I wanted to do something simple.
- 773. Show people how amazing
- 774. Are they amazing?
- 775. I don't know. I think they are.
- 776. I need you to get me out of this.
- 777. Charlie, you've been stringing
them along for months.
- 778. Not to give them anything at this point
would be a terrible career move.
- 779. Hey, my script's going amazing.
- 780. Right now, I'm working out
an image system.
- 781. Because of my multiple personality
theme, I've chosen a motif
- 782. of broken mirrors to show my
protagonist's fragmented self.
- 783. Bob says an image system increases the
complexity of an aesthetic emotion.
- 784. Bob says—
You sound like you're in a cult.
- 785. No, it's just good
- 786. I made you a copy
of McKee's 10 Commandments.
- 787. I posted one over
both our work areas.
- 788. You shouldn't have done that.
- 789. Because it's extremely helpful.
Hey, Charles, I'm putting a song on.
- 790. "Happy together."
- 791. Like when characters sing
in their pajamas and dance around.
- 792. I thought it'd break the tension.
- 793. At first I was nervous
about putting a song in a thriller,
- 794. but Bob says that Casablanca, one of
the greatest screenplays ever written,
- 795. did exactly that. Mixed genres.
- 796. I haven't slept in a week,
- 797. I need to go to bed.
- 798. Good night.
- 799. U?“
- 800. Yeah?
- 801. John, it's Susan again.
- 802. Hey, Susie-Q.
- 803. Um...
- 804. How's it going?
- 805. Great. I'm training myself
on the Internet.
- 806. It's fascinating.
I'm doing pornography.
- 807. It's amazing how much these suckers
will pay for photographs of chicks.
- 808. It doesn't matter if they're fat
or ugly or what.
- 809. Well, that sounds good.
- 810. It's great, is what it is.
- 811. Listen, John, I hate feeling like
I'm being a pain to you, but I...
- 812. I still haven't seen a ghost.
- 813. Yeah'?
And I was hoping maybe you'd...
- 814. Yeah.
- 815. Yeah, I'll take you in.
- 816. Tomorrow.
- 817. Thank you so much.
- 818. Oh, John.
- 819. Damn it.
- 820. There are too many
ideas and things and people.
- 821. Too many directions to go.
- 822. I was starting to believe the reason
it matters to care about something
- 823. is that it whittles the world down
- 824. to a more manageable size.
- 825. Such sweet, sad insights.
- 826. So true.
- 827. U?“
- 828. I like looking at you.
- 829. I like looking at you too, Charlie.
- 830. U?“
- 831. I don't know how to do this.
- 832. I'm afraid I'll disappoint you.
- 833. You've written a beautiful book.
- 834. I can't sleep.
- 835. I'm losing my hair.
I'm fat and repulsive.
- 836. Shh. You're not. You're not.
- 837. Just Whittle it down, you know?
- 838. Focus on one thing in the story.
- 839. Find that one thing
- 840. that you care passionately about
- 841. and then write about that.
- 842. We see Susan Orlean:
delicate, haunted by loneliness,
- 843. fragile, beautiful.
- 844. She lies awake next to her sleeping,
- 845. Her voice-over begins,
- 846. "I suppose I do have one
- 847. I want to know how it feels to care
about something passionately."
- 848. Hey.
- 849. Hey, you two.
Up early for a change?
- 850. You seem chipper.
I'm good. I have some new ideas.
- 851. God, you guys are so smart.
It's like a brain factory in here.
- 852. I got some ideas too this morning.
He got really, really good ones.
- 853. You know,
in a Donald sort of way.
- 854. I'm putting—
- 855. I'm putting in a chase sequence. So the
killer flees on horseback with the girl.
- 856. Cop's after them on a motorcycle.
- 857. And it's like a battle between
motors and horses.
- 858. Like technology versus horse.
- 859. And they're still
all one person, right?
- 860. Well, that's the big payoff.
- 861. It sounds exciting.
- 862. Thanks.
See, I told you he was gonna like it.
- 863. You're my muse. You are.
I love being your muse.
- 864. I'm so happy about that.
- 865. I'm picking up
an order for Kaufman.
- 866. Oh.
- 867. Valerie.
- 868. It's quite a coincidence
bumping into you.
- 869. I'm sorry I didn't call you back.
I was away last week.
- 870. That's okay.
I meant to because
- 871. things are going well,
and I wanted you to know.
- 872. That's great.
I'm anxious to see something.
- 873. You should sit because
I'm here with Susan right now.
- 874. She's dying to meet you,
so it's funny bumping into you.
- 875. Have a seat.
Susan Orlean's here?
- 876. Yeah, she's here in town for a reading
or something. She's just on the phone.
- 877. Sit down. Have a seat.
She's dying to meet you.
- 878. Oh, urn, um— Well, I should
probably go, because...
- 879. Well, I'd love to meet her too,
- 880. but I don't want to be beholden.
- 881. Once you meet somebody
that you've been writing about,
- 882. it becomes very hard
to separate. So...
- 883. Well, okay, I'll speak to you soon.
And I'm almost done.
- 884. I'm almost done.
- 885. Tell Susan that I would love
to meet with her at a future date.
- 886. As she sees fit.
- 887. Who am I kidding? This
isn't Susan Orleans story.
- 888. I have no connection with her.
I can't even meet her.
- 889. I have no understanding of anything
but my own panic, self-loathing
- 890. and pathetic, little existence.
- 891. The only thing I'm qualified to write
about is myself and my own self—
- 892. We open on Charlie Kaufman.
- 893. Fat, old, bald, repulsive,
sitting in a Hollywood restaurant
- 894. across from Valerie Thomas,
a lovely, statuesque film executive.
- 895. Kaufman, trying to get
a writing assignment,
- 896. wanting to impress her,
- 897. Fat, bald Kaufman
paces furiously in his bedroom.
- 898. He speaks into his hand-held
tape recorder, and he says,
- 899. "Charlie Kaufman, fat, bald,
- 900. sits at a Hollywood restaurant
with Valerie Thomas."
- 901. Kaufman, repugnant, ridiculous,
- 902. jerks off to the book jacket photo
of Susan Or—
- 903. What do you want?
- 904. I've finished my script.
- 905. I'm done.
- 906. So would you show it
to your agent?
- 907. It's called The Three.
- 908. Thanks. I also want to
thank you for your idea.
- 909. It was very helpful.
I changed it a little.
- 910. Now the killer cuts off body pieces
and makes his victims eat them.
- 911. Caroline has this tattoo of a snake
swallowing its own tail, and—
- 912. Ouroboros.
I don't know what that means.
- 913. The snake.
It's called Ouroboros.
- 914. Don't think so. It's cool for my killer
to have this modus operandi.
- 915. When he forces the woman
who's him to eat herself
- 916. he's eating himself to death.
- 917. I'm insane.
- 918. I'm Ouroboros.
I don't know what that word means.
- 919. I've written myself
into my screenplay.
- 920. That's kind of weird, huh?
- 921. It's self-indulgent.
- 922. It's solipsistic.
- 923. I'm pathetic.
I'm fat and pathetic.
- 924. I'm sure you had good reasons,
Charles. You're an artist.
- 925. It's because I'm too timid to speak
to the woman who wrote the book.
- 926. Because I'm pathetic.
- 927. Because I have no idea how to write.
I can't make flowers fascinating.
- 928. Because I suck.
- 929. Hey, am I in the script?
I'm going to New York.
- 930. I'll meet her. That's it.
That's what I have to do.
- 931. Don't get mad at me
- 932. but Bob's having a seminar
in New York this weekend.
- 933. So if you're stuck...
- 934. And she said, "Laroche
is such a fun character."
- 935. No shit, I'm a fun character.
- 936. Who's gonna play me?
- 937. Well, I've gotta write
the book first, John.
- 938. Then, you know, they get
somebody to write the screenplay.
- 939. Hey, I think I should play me.
Ha, ha, ha.
- 940. Most people yearn for something
exceptional, something so inspiring
- 941. they'd want to risk everything for
that passion, but few would act on it.
- 942. It was very powerful,
- 943. and it's intoxicating to be
around someone so alive.
- 944. Come on, just follow me.
They're right nearby.
- 945. Okay -
- 946. U?“
- 947. Can I ask you
a personal question?
- 948. Look, we're not lost.
- 949. U?“
- 950. I've done this a million times.
- 951. When everything is killing me, I just
say, "Screw it," and g0 straight ahead.
- 952. Oh, fuck...
- 953. Sundial.
- 954. I'll just set this up,
we'll wait a few minutes,
- 955. and then we'll be able to tell
which way the sun's moving.
- 956. We should be headed southeast.
- 957. So you collect anything?
- 958. Not really, no.
- 959. Yeah, well, you know,
- 960. it's not really about
collecting the thing.
- 961. It's about being able...
- 962. The thing about computers,
the thing I like,
- 963. is that I'm immersed in them,
- 964. but it's not like a living thing that's
gonna leave or die or something.
- 965. John, I'm sorry. I just—
- 966. I don't—
- 967. Fuck the sundial.
- 968. I know how to get out of here.
I know how to get out of here.
- 969. I know this swamp like
the back of my goddamn hand.
- 970. You're just like everybody else.
- 971. You just attach yourself to me
and suck me dry, spit me out.
- 972. Why don't you get your own life?
Your own fucking interests?
- 973. Fucking spoiled bitch.
- 974. U?“
- 975. Life seemed to be filled with things
that were just like the ghost orchid.
- 976. Wonderful to imagine
and easy to fall in love with,
- 977. but a little fantastic
- 978. and fleeting
- 979. and out of reach.
- 980. U?“
- 981. “--but a little fantastic
and fleeting and out of reach.“
- 982. U?“
- 983. Hello?
- 984. Hey, it's Marty. How's it going?
- 985. Has it been helpful talking
to the writer? What's her name?
- 986. Susan Orlean. It's been okay.
- 987. Uh-huh. Well, I mean,
are you making headway?
- 988. Valerie's breathing down my neck.
- 989. You can't rush inspiration.
Okay. All right. Fair enough.
- 990. Listen, the other reason
I called was The Three.
- 991. It's just amazing.
- 992. I don't know what that is.
- 993. A smart, edgy thriller.
It's the best script I've read all year.
- 994. Oh.
- 995. Good.
Yeah, I'm gonna sell it for a shitload.
- 996. Two fucking talented guys
in one family.
- 997. Maybe you could get your brother
to help you with the orchid thing.
- 998. Marty, don't say that. I mean—
All right. It's just a thought, buddy.
- 999. I mean, he's really
goddamn amazing at structure.
- 1000. I have to go.
All right. Adiés, amigo.
- 1001. Finish that—
- 1002. Fuck!
- 1003. Okay, thank you, thank you.
- 1004. We have a long three days ahead.
- 1005. Years from now, you'll be at a posh
cocktail party congratulating yourself
- 1006. on how you spent a weekend with an
asshole from Hollywood for your art.
- 1007. KAUFMAN".
I am pathetic. I am a loser.
- 1008. So, what is the substance
- 1009. I have failed. I am panicked.
I have sold out. I am worthless.
- 1010. I— What the fuck am I doing here?
- 1011. What the fuck
am I doing here? Fuck!
- 1012. It is my weakness, my ultimate lack
of conviction that brings me here.
- 1013. Easy answers,
rules to shortcut yourself to success.
- 1014. And here I am because my jaunt
into the abyss brought me nothing.
- 1015. Well, isn't that the risk one takes
for attempting something new?
- 1016. I should leave right now. I'll start over.
I need to face this project head-on—
- 1017. And God help you if you use
voice-over in your work, my friends.
- 1018. God help you.
It's flaccid, sloppy writing.
- 1019. Any idiot can write narration to
explain the thoughts of the character.
- 1020. Okay, that's it.
One hour for lunch.
- 1021. You cannot have a
protagonist without desire.
- 1022. It doesn't make any sense.
Any fucking sense.
- 1023. You follow? Good.
- 1024. Anyone else?
- 1025. Yes?
- 1026. What if a writer is attempting to create
a story where nothing much happens?
- 1027. Where people don't change,
they don't have any epiphanies.
- 1028. They struggle and are frustrated,
and nothing is resolved.
- 1029. More a reflection
of the real world.
- 1030. The real world?
- 1031. Yes, sir.
- 1032. The real fucking world.
- 1033. First of all, you write a screenplay
without conflict or crisis,
- 1034. you'll bore your audience to tears.
- 1035. Secondly, nothing happens
in the world?
- 1036. Are you out of your fucking mind?
- 1037. People are murdered every day.
- 1038. There's genocide, war, corruption.
- 1039. Every fucking day,
somewhere in the world,
- 1040. somebody sacrifices his life
to save somebody.
- 1041. Every day, someone somewhere
takes a conscious decision
- 1042. to destroy someone else.
- 1043. People find love.
People lose it.
- 1044. A child watches a mother beaten
to death on the steps of a church.
- 1045. Someone goes hungry.
- 1046. Somebody else betrays
his best friend for a woman.
- 1047. If you can't find that stuff in life,
- 1048. then you, my friend,
don't know crap about life!
- 1049. And why the fuck are you wasting my
two precious hours with your movie?
- 1050. I don't have any use for it!
- 1051. I don't have any
bloody use for it!
- 1052. Okay, thanks.
- 1053. Thank you.
- 1054. No. Thank you.
- 1055. Thank you so much, Mr. McKee.
- 1056. This course makes you look
at writing in a whole different way.
- 1057. Mr. McKee.
- 1058. I'm the guy you yelled at
- 1059. I need more.
- 1060. I'm the one who thought
things didn't happen in life.
- 1061. Ah. Right. Okay.
- 1062. Nice to see you.
I need to talk.
- 1063. Mr. McKee, my even
standing here is very scary.
- 1064. I don't meet people well.
- 1065. But what you said this morning
shook me to the bone.
- 1066. It was bigger than
my screenwriting choices.
- 1067. It was about my choices
as a human being. Please.
- 1068. Yeah.
- 1069. Well, you know, I could
sure use a drink, my friend.
- 1070. "--But a little fantastic
and fleeting and out of reach."
- 1071. Then what happens?
- 1072. Well, that's the end
of the book.
- 1073. I wanted to present it simply
- 1074. without big character arcs
or sensationalizing the story.
- 1075. I wanted to show flowers
as God's miracles.
- 1076. I wanted to show that Orlean never
saw the blooming ghost orchid.
- 1077. It was about disappointment.
- 1078. I see.
- 1079. That's not a movie.
- 1080. You gotta go back,
put in the drama.
- 1081. I can't go back. I've got pages of
false starts and wrong approaches.
- 1082. I'm way past my deadline.
I'll tell you a secret.
- 1083. A last act makes a film.
- 1084. Wow them in the end,
and you got a hit.
- 1085. You can have flaws, problems,
but wow them in the end
- 1086. and you've got a hit.
- 1087. Find an ending. But don't cheat.
- 1088. And don't you dare bring in
a deus ex machina.
- 1089. Your characters must change
- 1090. and the change
must come from them.
- 1091. Do that and you'll be fine.
- 1092. You promise?
- 1093. Mr. McKee.
- 1094. Have you taken my course before?
My brother did.
- 1095. My twin brother, Donald.
He's the one who got me to come.
- 1096. Twin screenwriters?
- 1097. Well, Julius and Philip Epstein,
- 1098. who wrote Casablanca,
- 1099. they were twins
You mentioned that in class.
- 1100. Finest screenplay ever written.
- 1101. DONALD".
Great writers' residence.
- 1102. Donald.
Hey, how's your trip going?
- 1103. You getting it on with that
lady journalist, you dog, you?
- 1104. Yeah.
- 1105. Listen, I'm just calling to say
congratulations on your script.
- 1106. Isn't that cool? Marty says he can
get me high-sixes against a mil-five.
- 1107. That's great, Donald.
- 1108. I want to thank you
for all your help.
- 1109. I wasn't any help.
- 1110. Come on,
you let me stay in your place.
- 1111. And your integrity
inspired me to even try.
- 1112. It's been a wild ride.
- 1113. Catherine says
she wants to play Cassie.
- 1114. Oh, please!
Ha, ha, ha.
- 1115. Please, Donald?
- 1116. Catherine Keener?
- 1117. Catherine Keener's in my house?
Yeah, we 're playing Boggle.
- 1118. She's great. You should really
hang out with her, Charles.
- 1119. Yeah. Um, look...
- 1120. I've been thinking.
- 1121. Maybe you'd be interested in hanging
out for a few days in New York.
- 1122. Oh, my God, yes.
- 1123. Yeah?
- 1124. I was gonna show my script
to some people,
- 1125. and, well, maybe you could
read it too, you know, if you like.
- 1126. Of course. I'd be flattered.
- 1127. Okay -
- 1128. Thanks, Charles.
- 1129. Okay, bye.
- 1130. So, like, what would you do?
- 1131. The script kind of
makes fun of me, huh?
- 1132. I'm sorry. I was trying something—
Hey, I don't mind. It's funny.
- 1133. Good. Okay.
- 1134. So, what would you do?
- 1135. You and me are so different,
Charles. We're different talents.
- 1136. I know. Just for fun...
- 1137. how would the great Donald
end this script?
- 1138. Heh, heh. Shut up.
"The great Donald."
- 1139. I feel like you're missing something.
- 1140. All right. Like what?
- 1141. I did a little research
on the airplane.
- 1142. "Sometimes this kind of story
turns out to be something more,
- 1143. some glimpse of life
- 1144. like those Japanese paper balls
you drop in water
- 1145. and they bloom into flowers
and the flower is so marvelous
- 1146. you can't believe there was
a time all you saw
- 1147. was a paper ball
and a glass of water."
- 1148. First of all, that's inconsistent. She
said she didn't care about flowers.
- 1149. For God's sake, it's just a metaphor.
Well, but for what?
- 1150. What turned that paper ball
into a flower?
- 1151. It's not in the book, Charles.
- 1152. I don't know. You're reaching.
- 1153. But I think you actually need to
speak to this woman. To know her.
- 1154. I can't.
- 1155. Really.
- 1156. I'll pretend I'm you.
- 1157. I want to do it, Charles.
- 1158. We'll get to the bottom of this.
We're gonna fix your movie, bro.
- 1159. But you've gotta be
- 1160. I have a reputation
- 1161. You can't be a goofball.
Can't be an asshole.
- 1162. I'm not an asshole.
You know what I mean.
- 1163. No flirting.
No bad jokes.
- 1164. Don't laugh
how you laugh.
- 1165. I'm not gonna laugh. I get to
have people think I'm you.
- 1166. It's an honor.
- 1167. So I guess I'll bring out
the big guns now.
- 1168. Do you keep in touch
- 1169. I felt I detected an attraction to him
in the subtext. Care to comment?
- 1170. Uh...
- 1171. Well, our relationship
was strictly reporter-subject.
- 1172. I mean, certainly an intimacy does
evolve in this kind of relationship.
- 1173. By definition, I was so interested
in everything he had to say.
- 1174. But the relationship ends
when the book ends.
- 1175. Mendacious deceit.
- 1176. Nothing.
- 1177. I just have one more question.
- 1178. If you could have dinner with one
historical personage, living or dead,
- 1179. who would it be?
- 1180. Uh, well, I would have to say...
- 1181. Einstein.
- 1182. Or Jesus.
- 1183. Very good.
- 1184. Interesting answer.
- 1185. She's lying.
What do you mean?
- 1186. What happened?
Nothing. She said everything right.
- 1187. Too right.
Well, maybe because they're true.
- 1188. Did you embarrass me?
- 1189. People who answer questions
too right are liars.
- 1190. Everybody says Jesus and Einstein.
That's a prepackaged answer.
- 1191. "Jesus and Einstein"?
Listen, Charles, I have an idea.
- 1192. You'll need to buy me
a pair of binoculars.
- 1193. What's
"Jesus and Einstein"?
- 1194. Come on.
- 1195. Sing with me.
- 1196. What the hell do you need
- 1197. Let's go, let's go.
- 1198. She hung up the phone.
- 1199. Stop watching her.
Leave her alone.
- 1200. She's crying.
- 1201. She's at her computer.
- 1202. This is morally reprehensible.
- 1203. United
- 1204. to Miami.
- 1205. Eleven fifty-five a.m.
- 1206. Thought she was done with Laroche.
Her parents live in Florida.
- 1207. That was no parent phone call,
- 1208. Don't say "my friend."
- 1209. A guy entering.
- 1210. Handsome.
- 1211. U?“
- 1212. Must be her husband.
- 1213. She's acting weird
with him, though, right?
- 1214. Don't you think?
- 1215. What's she hiding
- 1216. Maybe she's a lesbian
and doesn't know how to tell him.
- 1217. What do you think?
- 1218. Have you checked out
Laroche's porn site?
- 1219. No. I'm trying to read.
- 1220. Anyway, I'm gonna look
at the porn site. Research.
- 1221. Don't tell my old lady.
You mean Morn?
- 1222. No, I don't mean Mom.
- 1223. Still say we should go
to Miami tomorrow.
- 1224. Forget it.
- 1225. Some of these chicks
- 1226. Hey, guess what.
We're going to Miami tomorrow.
- 1227. I said, no.
I said, oh, yeah, baby. Come here.
- 1228. U?“
- 1229. What I came to understand
is that change is not a choice.
- 1230. Not for a species of plant,
and not for me.
- 1231. It happens, and you are different.
- 1232. Maybe the only distinction
between the plant and me
- 1233. is that afterward,
I lied about my change.
- 1234. I lied in my book.
I pretended with my husband
- 1235. that everything was the same.
- 1236. But something happened
in the swamp that day.
- 1237. Hey, look.
- 1238. I told you I'd find
the jewel of the Fakahatchee.
- 1239. It's a flower.
- 1240. Just a flower.
- 1241. Well, might as well grab it.
- 1242. Long as I'm here.
- 1243. Oh, man.
- 1244. Boy, my porn site's
gonna be big.
- 1245. Look, something
I didn't tell you
- 1246. that I want to tell you
about the ghost. Okay?
- 1247. I think it might help you.
- 1248. I'd just started at the nursery.
- 1249. And I went back one night
to pick up something.
- 1250. They wanted the ghost
just to extract the drug.
- 1251. It had been a ceremonial thing,
- 1252. but the young guys, you know,
they liked to get stoned.
- 1253. So Matthew...?
- 1254. He was one of the guys who—?
- 1255. Matthew lived on that shit
till they ran out.
- 1256. Because there was this one day
he was fascinated by me.
- 1257. By my hair and my sadness.
- 1258. Yeah, well, it does that.
That's what I wanted to tell you.
- 1259. I mean, I think you'd like it, Susie.
It seems to help people be fascinated.
- 1260. I can extract it for you.
I know how. I watched.
- 1261. I'm probably the only
white guy who knows.
- 1262. I want to do this, Susie.
- 1263. I'm done with orchids, Laroche.
- 1264. Hello?
- 1265. It's John.
- 1266. Did you get my package?
- 1267. John?
- 1268. John!
- 1269. Johnny.
- 1270. Hey, John?
- 1271. Very happy now.
- 1272. Well, I'm glad.
- 1273. Very haPPY-
- 1274. Um, John?
- 1275. Will you go like this—?
- 1276. No. Keep going.
- 1277. No. No.
- 1278. I'm trying to make a dial tone.
And you have to sustain.
- 1279. And then I will join you,
- 1280. See, I can't do it by myself.
Which one do you want me to do?
- 1281. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Okay. Here we go.
- 1282. That's it.
We got it.
- 1283. We got it. That's fucking amazing.
- 1284. Do you ever get
lonely sometimes, Johnny?
- 1285. Well, I was a weird kid.
- 1286. Nobody liked me.
- 1287. But I had this idea...
- 1288. U?“
- 1289. if I waited long enough,
- 1290. come around and just,
- 1291. you know, understand me.
- 1292. Like my morn.
- 1293. Except someone else.
- 1294. She'd look at me and quietly say,
- 1295. lives. II
- 1296. Just like that.
- 1297. And I wouldn't be alone anymore.
- 1298. Oh, I wish I were an ant.
- 1299. Oh, they're so shiny.
- 1300. You're shinier than any ant,
- 1301. That's the sweetest thing
anybody has ever said to me.
- 1302. Well,
- 1303. I like you, that's why.
- 1304. HEY-
- 1305. U?“
- 1306. I don't have time for that.
- 1307. I'll get a closer look. You wait here.
- 1308. No, wait.
- 1309. I should go.
- 1310. I mean, it should be me, right?
- 1311. I mean, it's my...
- 1312. I was, you know—
Go for it.
- 1313. You're the man.
- 1314. U?“
- 1315. Rip them.
- 1316. Just rip them.
- 1317. Darling, I don't
know what's come over you.
- 1318. You came all over me last time
I was here, as I recall.
- 1319. Oh!
- 1320. Mmm!
- 1321. Ooh.
- 1322. Goddamn!
- 1323. Hey! Fuck. Hey! Hey;
- 1324. Get in here!
- 1325. Shut the fuck up, now!
Sit the fuck down!
- 1326. Who is that, Johnny?
Who the fuck are you?
- 1327. I just— Nobody.
- 1328. L just— I'm just—
- 1329. Wait a minute, wait a minute.
- 1330. He's that screenwriter.
- 1331. The guy that's adapting our book?
- 1332. Well, that's Wild.
- 1333. It's nice to meet you.
- 1334. Hey, dude,
- 1335. who's gonna play me?
I don't know that. I should—
- 1336. Well, I thought
I should play me.
- 1337. Why—? Did he follow me?
No, of course not. I should go.
- 1338. Yeah, yeah. I mean,
it was nice to meet you,
- 1339. but let me give you
- 1340. I'm really freaking here, Johnny.
Why is he here?
- 1341. Why did he follow me?
- 1342. What does he know?
I don't know anything about anything.
- 1343. He did see the greenhouse.
- 1344. Oh, shit.
- 1345. Are you gonna write about this
in your screenplay?
- 1346. I really don't know what "this" is.
- 1347. He's lying.
- 1348. Hold him.
- 1349. U?“
- 1350. We have to kill him.
- 1351. What are we supposed to do?
- 1352. What can we do?
Sit the fuck down!
- 1353. Susie, you gotta
- 1354. Now, you're getting
a little emotional.
- 1355. You don't know—
I can't have him writing about me.
- 1356. I can't have the whole world,
all the people knowing about us
- 1357. and about this.
- 1358. Why?
- 1359. You ashamed of me, Susie?
No, that's not it.
- 1360. No. How can you even think of that?
- 1361. I'm a professional
journalist, and the drugs and—
- 1362. Susie.
- 1363. We can't kill anyone.
- 1364. Okay. Okay.
- 1365. Then I'll do it.
- 1366. By myself.
- 1367. Hey! Come on. Fucking get down!
- 1368. I wouldn't tell any—
Put him in his fucking car!
- 1369. U?“
- 1370. Turn it off. Just get out.
- 1371. Run! Run! Go!
- 1372. Susan! What the fuck was that?
- 1373. I don't know. I couldn't see.
- 1374. Fuck!
- 1375. Come on!
Help me find the flashlight.
- 1376. U?“
- 1377. So it was a guy?
- 1378. Yeah. Fat.
- 1379. That's all I could tell.
- 1380. This is ridiculous.
We're gonna have to split up.
- 1381. I can't. I can't be by myself
out here. I'm not gonna do that.
- 1382. They're gonna find us.
I don't think so.
- 1383. I don't want to die, Donald. I've
wasted my life. God, I've wasted it.
- 1384. You didn't. And you're not gonna die.
I wasted it.
- 1385. I admire you, Donald, you know?
- 1386. I spent my whole life paralyzed,
worrying about what people think,
- 1387. and you, you're just oblivious.
I'm not oblivious.
- 1388. No, you don't understand.
I mean that as a compliment.
- 1389. There was this time in high school.
- 1390. I was watching you out
the library window,
- 1391. you were talking to Sarah Marsh.
Oh, God, I was so in love with her.
- 1392. I know. And you were flirting with her,
and she was being really sweet to you.
- 1393. I remember that.
And then, when you walked away,
- 1394. she started making fun of you
with Kim Canetti.
- 1395. And it was like
they were laughing at me.
- 1396. You didn't know at all?
- 1397. You seemed so happy.
I knew. I heard them.
- 1398. Well, how come
you were so happy?
- 1399. I loved Sarah, Charles.
- 1400. It was mine, that love.
- 1401. I owned it.
- 1402. Even Sarah didn't have
the right to take it away.
- 1403. I can love whoever I want.
- 1404. But she thought you were pathetic.
- 1405. That was her business,
- 1406. You are what you love,
not what loves you.
- 1407. That's what I decided
a long time ago.
- 1408. U?“
- 1409. What's up?
- 1410. Thank you.
- 1411. For what?
- 1412. No, shh, shh, shh!
- 1413. Listen. I hear them.
- 1414. I hear them. I hear them breathing.
- 1415. Charlie?
- 1416. Charlie?
- 1417. Guys?
- 1418. Charlie!
- 1419. Where's the van?
- 1420. Are they gone?
I don't know. Maybe.
- 1421. John? John!
- 1422. Shit!
- 1423. I can't believe I got shot.
Isn't that fucked up? Heh, heh.
- 1424. Shut up. Stop laughing.
- 1425. Donald? You're gonna be okay.
It's gonna be okay, Donald.
- 1426. Just don't go to sleep. Just don't
go to sleep, Donald. Look at me.
- 1427. Look at me, Donald.
Keep looking at me.
- 1428. Open your eyes.
Donald, please open your eyes.
- 1429. Donald. Donald, please
open your eyes, Donald.
- 1430. Donald! Donald, open your eyes!
- 1431. Look at me.
- 1432. U?“
- 1433. Help!
- 1434. John!
- 1435. U?“
- 1436. Halt!
- 1437. I'm sorry.
- 1438. Now I have to do this too.
- 1439. I'm not a killer.
- 1440. You put yourself in—
- 1441. Johnny!
- 1442. Susan!
- 1443. Help!
- 1444. Johnny! Johnny! John!
- 1445. Oh, no, no, no.
- 1446. Oh, God.
Oh, you fat piece of shit!
- 1447. He's dead, you loser!
- 1448. You ruined my life, you fat fuck!
Shut up! Shut up!
- 1449. Fuck you, lady! You're just a lonely,
old, desperate, pathetic drug addict!
- 1450. U?“
- 1451. Oh, my God.
- 1452. It's over. Everything's over.
- 1453. I did everything wrong.
- 1454. I want my life back.
- 1455. I want it back
before it all got fucked up.
- 1456. I want to be a baby again.
I want to be new.
- 1457. I want to be new.
- 1458. U?“
- 1459. WOMAN".
- 1460. Hello?
- 1461. Charles? Charles, is that you?
- 1462. U?“
- 1463. Charles, what's the matter?
- 1464. U?“
- 1465. Donald says,
"That was her business, not mine.
- 1466. You are what you love,
not what loves you.
- 1467. I decided that a long time ago."
- 1468. Kaufman starts to cry.
- 1469. He tries to thank his brother,
but he can't put it into words.
- 1470. So how you getting on?
- 1471. I'm okay.
- 1472. I miss him, you know?
- 1473. How's the script coming?
It's good. I'm almost finished.
- 1474. I'll be really glad to move on
to something else.
- 1475. I'll bet.
- 1476. Things okay with you?
- 1477. And then in January, David and I went
to Prague. That was a high point.
- 1478. That sounds great.
There's amazing puppet theater.
- 1479. Yeah, I've heard.
I've gotta see that.
- 1480. And there's this church decorated
with, like, human skulls and bones.
- 1481. Forty thousand
skulls and bones.
- 1482. I thought about you
when I went there.
- 1483. U?“
- 1484. Charlie, I'm with someone.
Why are you doing this now?
- 1485. I love you.
- 1486. I should go. I have to...
- 1487. Stuff I have to do. I'm
going away this weekend...
- 1488. Million things, okay?
- 1489. I love you too, you know.
- 1490. KAUFMAN". I have to go right home. I
know how to finish the script now.
- 1491. It ends with Kaufman driving home
after his lunch with Amelia,
- 1492. thinking he knows
how to finish the script.
- 1493. Shit, that's voice-over.
McKee would not approve.
- 1494. How else can I show
his thoughts? I don't know.
- 1495. Well, who cares what McKee says?
It feels right.
- 1496. Conclusive.
- 1497. I wonder who's gonna play me.
Someone not too fat.
- 1498. I like that Gerard Depardieu,
but can he not do the accent?
- 1499. Anyway, it's done.
And that's something.
- 1500. So: "Kaufman drives off from
his encounter with Amelia
- 1501. filled for the first time with hope."
- 1502. I like this.
- 1503. This is good.
- 1504. U?“