A pickpocket falls in love with a pianist who leads her on a chase through the city, with the police right behind them.
Sexy puckish pickpocket Becky, a Bugs Bunny of a girl (Fiona Georgiadi, reel), is teasing a wallet out of a purse on a crowded Athens metro when she notices Miranda, a sensitive beauty out of "The Princess and the Pea" (Skyrah Palli, reel), and falls in love. Miranda escapes her, Becky escapes the purse-owner, and the chase is on—past the MuchaTrella Jazz Band playing our theme song Sweet Sue.
Miranda’s mother, Laura Mamakos, doesn’t know what Miranda is up to, and is shocked when she finds out her daughter is having a lesbian affair.
So is Miranda’s music professor Ian Robertson, reel, who wants to marry her,
A dream for the psychiatrist: Miranda sits high up at the crest of the otherwise empty Panathinaiko Stadium. In the distance Becky enters from the street and comes to the near end of the field. “I love you!” she calls. Miranda is impassive. The cops rush in toward them and Becky has to scramble up through the seats and disappear into the trees.
In an open-air cinema Becky tries to hold Miranda's hand. She jerks it away. Becky puts her arm around her and she gets up and changes seats. Becky follows, and from up high we watch as Miranda changes seats, Becky follows, Miranda changes seats, Becky follows.
Becky arranges a dinner for four to introduce Katerina to Mihail. Katerina likes him. Triumph for Becky. She looks across the table at Miranda, but Miranda is gone. Becky chases her out into the night.
You may find it hard to believe, but yes, we can make this film with €25,000.
Our cinematographer, Dimitris Koukas, shoots commercials, works for a sports network, and is the director of photography on Bunny Poo Salad.
We’ll use a Canon 5D and shoot at fifty frames per second to avoid flicker when we pan. (Our outdoor scenes are action and panning.) We'll have no other crew on the exteriors, and no sound. We’ll dub it in post. For the interiors, camera crew, lights, sound man, boom mic. On the archaeological sites we'll use the tiny GoPro Hero 4 Session for anonymity, a camera as small as the light on a miner’s helmet; and a drone. Dimi uses more expensive ones to cover football (i.e. soccer) games, and they give wonderful production values.
Jacques Rivette’s short film Paris s'en va gives an idea of what I’m after, with the help of Athens, though Pas de deux has a plot. I’m not claiming to be Rivette, but we can do something fun and saleable—sort of a low-budget Grande Belleza.
When shooting in Athens, or writing scripts about Athens, I have been careful not to emphasize the locale, so as to avoid a clichéd treatment. Here, though, Athens is a character, a labyrinth, because this is a chase movie—not a wild broad chase like Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le métro, but one that gets us around the city, and through some of its most beautiful areas. (If you’ve forgotten what Zazie looks like there are a few minutes of it here.)
The movie will be fun to see, and fun to make, especially for the producers. Summer in Greece is itself a luxury.
“A man is a poet,” said Paul Valéry, “if difficulties inherent in his art provide him with ideas; he is not a poet if they deprive him of ideas.” We're going to do a lot with a little.
Our first scene is based on the opening of the masterful Samuel Fuller’s Pickup On South Street (I’m not Fuller either), specifically the hand in the purse. You might like this whole movie—every shot is a poem.