Will You Please Fuck Off?—the movie

The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.—Salvador Dalí 

Toby travels with a woman who pays. He's got it made, except that her nine-year-old daughter is smarter than he is.  Based on the novella:
Lazy, good-for-nothing, pleasure-loving Toby, in flight from his creditors in America, has tried it as an English-teacher in Paris ("know-your-words sort of thing") and as a tour guide in Italy and Greece ("I've always regarded Europe as more or less of a restaurant.")

Proposed cast: Stelio Savante (Toby)
and has now relaxed into the good life, traveling with rich bubblehead Marcie,
to Bali, Hydra, Puerto Vallerta, wherever he can avoid cold weather and alarm clocks.  Marcie is the widow of a scientific genius, now dead in some wacko experiment, and her nine-year-old daughter by him, Andrea, thinks in megabytes.
And there's the rub: "Marcie is no smarter than anybody else; the child is smarter than anybody else"including Toby, who she treats as her yo-yo.  She'd have got rid of him long ago but her mommy loves him, so she keeps him around to, what, play with. 

Proposed cast: Ben Shockley (Haze)
Marcie’s father-in-law, billionaire Hazelton Turnbull “Hard Turd” Harding IV, loathes Toby, and loathes giving Marcie her allowance to feed him.  But he loves his little granddaughter, and there lies the control.
Now Haze has summoned Marcie and Andrea to London, so they can pose as a family while he pretends to buy and old house, but in fact wants to marry Marcie to Lord Michael, and pass the title on to Andrea.

Proposed cast: Scott Hinds (Lord Michael)

They distract Toby with Dr Lu, a hooker posing as a psychiatrist,
who lures him into compromising situations; one of which involves dropping his dry goods in front of the Queen.  

Proposed cast: Mary Reynolds (HRH) 
And as if he didn't have enough trouble, the house is haunted by a gay ghost who's in love with Toby.  

Proposed cast: Mat Baynton (Oliphant)

  Will You Please Fuck Off? is part of the Toby series:

 Pretentious Pictures presents a London comedy. 

OUT OF INDIA, An Action Adventure

Reg’d © Library of Congress
A jail bird, an Indian holy man and a woman from the WHO team up to spirit a herbal cure for hemorrhoids out of India.  Think of:

Proposed cast: Harrison Ford (Mitch)
MITCH, an American in India, is doing time in a Calcutta prison for smuggling (let’s not ask what), when a Bagwan, also in for smuggling, is thrown into the crowded cell with him.

The Bagwan's villagers have shown him a herbal cure for hemorrhoids—works instantly!— handed down secretly for millennia; not even the local Muslims know.  And he can spring Mitch if Mitch can get it out of the country. 

Proposed cast: Sir Ben Kingsley (the Bagwan)
Despite lucrative foreign contracts with pharmaceutical companies in Ohio, the BAGWAN can't get it out past the red tape.  It makes up as a suspicious-looking white powder and he can’t afford to baksheesh all those officials. 

The two go into business. Mitch takes a steel suitcase of the stuff out of the southern hills to Bombay, where an associate, a fisherman, will sail it past the customs cruisers to a waiting freighter.

But here's another steel suitcase being tied to the roof of a bus by an Afghan horseman.  

So heavy is it (so stuffed with opium) and so cumbersome that he puts a curse on it, and we follow that suitcase south into India on buses and trains, from runner to runner, watching the curse work its evil on each of them until, on the train into Bombay, it gets mixed up with Mitch’s. 

Proposed cast: Rebecca Hall (Jill)
As this is happening he meets Americans JILL and Harold from the World Health Organization, doing a report on Indian women. A starving kid grabs her traveler's checks, Mitch reluctantly intercepts them and lets the kid go, and their prickly relationship begins.

Proposed cast: Catherine Tate (Franny)

Also on the train is lascivious FRANNY, a small-time smuggler (it's a widely-practiced trade there), who guesses that Mitch too is a runner, and flirts with him shamelessly—

Proposed cast: Dev Patel (Shubash)

—although she has something going with shy and proper SHUBASH, an untouchable ("We'll see about that") she has brought into the first-class carriage over the objections of the conductors, and seduced.

He has sold his patrimonial acre and is on his way to Bombay (they say Bombay there, not "Mumbai") to make his fortune, though he knows he'll have to sleep on the sidewalk. 

When they get to Bombay and Mitch realizes the switch, and the opium is stolen, and the drug lord won’t believe him, and his fisherman contact is murdered, and a corpse is planted in his room, he goes to Jill for help.

She thinks he’s smuggling something bad but they’re already on a non-stop-bus-car-train-boat chase that gives her a closer look at the country, fast as it goes by, than she’d bargained for— 

Proposed cast: Satish Shah (Under-Assistant Sub-Inspector Pramod Gupta)

—until Mitch is arrested by Under-Assistant Sub-Inspector GUPTA, a likable fool despised by his superiors for being honest.  
Mitch persuades Gupta to have the ships in Madras port searched, and when nothing is found gives him the slip.  But Gupta stays on their trail.

Based on the novel.  Here's the first scene:


A BAGWAN (holy man), sixty, dignified, long white hair and beard, saffron robe, WALKS TOWARD US TAPPING his folded black umbrella like a cane, escorted by TWO GUARDS with heavy bamboo cudgels. 

They pause before an iron door, a guard UNLOCKS THE DOOR AND IT CREAKS as he opens it.  The Bagwan looks at the guards.  

They look at him.  He steps inside, still facing them and they SLAM IT on him, LOCK IT and WALK AWAY.


The BAGWAN turns to peer into the darkness. 

As his eyes grow used to it we see A HUNDRED MEN huddled on the floor with no room to move.

He steps among them firmly but awkwardly.

(indignant shout)
I am a Bagwan!

ONE MAN kneels up and touches the Bagwan’s shins with both hands, then his own heart; the Bagwan’s feet, his own heart.

OTHERS - sleepy, surly - ignore him.  As he steps through with more confidence, SOME make obeisance, OTHERS don’t. 

Sitting against the wall tightly squeezed among other PRISONERS, MITCH, a middle-aged Westerner, looks up, bearded, heavy-eyed, in rags: he’s been here for a while.  The Bagwan stands facing him.

BAGWAN (cont’d)
I am a Bagwan!


(manages to step forward importantly)
A Bagwan.

Good.  I’ve got a few questions.

I wish to be seated!

Why don’t you levitate?

The Bagwan would like a place against the wall!

Takes time to get to the wall.

The Bagwan BARKS ANGRILY IN HINDI at the man beside Mitch, who MOVES AWAY.  The Bagwan sits, and surveys his new estate.

You have questions?

How did I get here?

You are paying for the sins of a past life.

How did you get here?

Injustice!  For smuggling something perfectly legal!

A RAT SQUEALS.  Mitch quickly WHACKS it and lifts the dead RAT by the tail, its neck broken.

Meat for supper!  Got a match?

I do not eat flesh.

Deeper darkness.  A small fire of straw on the floor.  Mitch and THREE MEN pick at the bones of the roasted rat.

(to the Bagwan)
Got any floss?
(licks his fingers)
What were you smuggling?

Hemorrhoid medicine.
(to Mitch’s double-take)
An ancient remedy handed down in my village since before the Buddha.  Not even the local Muslims know.  Works instantly!  When I’d lived among them for a while they offered their secret up to God.

If I sit here much longer I’ll need some.

Secretaries, truck-drivers, beggars on curbs, pregnant women, homosexuals, holy men who sit for years meditating - I was a sufferer myself!  Now at last there is Bagwan Bubu’s All-Herbal Cure for Hemorrhoids!  On every corner will be my picture holding it up!  I’ll have an ashram with swimming pools and three hundred and sixty-six Rolls Royces - one for leap year!  How better to show contempt for such things? (FLINCHES at a COCKROACH crawling on him)

(plucks it off and eats it)
Not much protein in the diet. 
(back to the subject)
Why smuggle it?

I have no licence to export!  When I failed to fill the bowls of all the many officials I landed here!  It makes up as a white powder - very suspicious.  If the tests work I get two point five million dollars and thirty per cent of sales!  I have only to get it to Ohio!

You need an exporter.

(looks at him narrowly)
Not one who gets caught.

It happens.

What were you smuggling?

Mitch just winks at him.

BAGWAN (cont’d)
Where is the toilet?

They step among sleeping MEN toward two barrels.

BAGWAN (cont’d)
(sniffs each barrel, wrinkles his nose)
Which one is for drinking?

(sniffs each barrel)
I’m not sure.
(picks the most offensive and PEES in it)

(PEES in it too)
How were you caught?

They had a mind-reader at customs.  She saw my thoughts.

They FINISH, and drink with their hands from the other water.

(recoils in disgust)
We have pee-peeed in the wrong barrel!

(can only agree)
It happens.

They sit against the wall.

(whispers intimately)
Could you get a case of white powder out of India?

I’d have to get out of here first.

(smiles - that’s easy)
My villagers will raise enough to baksheesh these people.  If I arrange for your release you will be in my employ.

(shakes his head)

Not possible. You will have ten per cent.

Half.  Last price.

Twenty per cent. Last price.  Best price.

Half.  Best price.  Only price.

The Bagwan scowls.
 Reg’d © Library of Congress

Anger, Your

(A chapter in You Have Upset the Balance of the Universe by Being Born, by Dr. Robert MacLean, PhD: http://robertmaclean.blogspot.com/p/you-have-upset-balance-of-universe-by.html)

Anger simply cannot be made to disappear. Not by you.
It isn't like sex. Sex can sometimes be commanded away, at least for the moment (see SEX). It doesn't have to deform the judgment.
Anger does. It can be appeased by the object of your anger. He/she/they can acknowledge your value, recognize your pain, reward your effort and dissolve your anger from without. It's like reading a book that has an effect on you, seeing an exceptional film, falling in love with a painting--it can change your rate of metabolism for hours, days; alas seldom forever. This can be done to your anger but, I repeat, only from without.
In the absence of the world's solicitude your anger lies there wedged, a boulder in a gorge, blocking you. You have to go around. You have to climb. You have to leave behind much--sometimes everything--that you were. Your comfort, your dignity, your sense of being able to control what happens to you. You will resume these in another life, the life that awaits you on the far side of the boulder.
This, by the way, is why so much of the world believes in reincarnation (see SELF-IMAGE, YOUR). You are never sure whether reincarnation is to be looked upon as a reward or a punishment. As much as you revel in your own existence you find the idea of having to do it over and over again, odds are in relatively wretched circumstances, dreary beyond relief. Be assured. The fact that half the world believes in reincarnation is no more reason even to glance in that direction than the entire world's believing the earth is flat. Theories of the hereafter are invariably pictures of the now. Panic looks in the mirror. When it realizes it's looking in the mirror it disappears.
You reincarnate several times a day, and never more so than when you are angry.
There is something essentially unfair about anger. With every other emotion--love, sex, hunger, ambition, even fear (see FEAR)--you go forward to engage with the world in a way on which you can reasonably expect to follow through. Follow through on anger and you can wind up on Death Row.
(Freud ascribed guilt feelings to sexual desire. This may have been the case for the Victorian culture he rose to diagnose--see FREUD--but not for you. What makes you feel guilty is anger.)
It is seldom, to the point of negligibility, that your anger can be harnessed to some project that will benefit you. You want to destroy. You want to annihilate. It is irresistible, exponentially self-generating and inevitable. Anger, that is--and as bulky as these observations are they can crowd onto the pin prick of a murderous wrath--makes you angry.

CHOCOLATE AND CHAMPAGNE, a comedy in the spirit of Lubitsch

Reg’d © Library of Congress
A Beverly Hills woman wakes up "older" and finds her life with a younger man undignified.
The stage version was performed in New York at the Creative Place Theatre.  Think of:
Diana, a woman of a certain age, deals with a birthday by throwing out her younger live-in Jim.

They're right for each other, and she regrets it immediately, but she can't take him back: her daughter Jackie, who idolizes and competes with her, tells her Jim has seduced her, and Diana believes it.
So she makes do with the respectable but empty new life she'd thought she needed—with her lawyer Griff.
Jim gives a driving lesson to frantic neurotic Betsy, who almost shoots them off a cliff.  He calms her down and she takes him home. But he can't forget Diana.
DIANA, the Hamlet at the heart of this comedy, is a clothes designer with a boutique on Rodeo Drive, a house in Beverly Hills, and a younger lover, Jim, her kept man for two years now. There’s nothing she can’t handle—except getting older.

Proposed cast: Gael García Bernal (Jim)
JIM is happy with a champagne-and-sports-car life, but he’s also a talented script-writer who’s postponing seriousness into a future that never comes.  Together they’re fast company.  They must have been brilliant at her birthday party last night.

This morning, though, even while he’s making love to her, she’s spooked.  She tells him he has to go.  She wants something more presentable, more—respectable—before it’s too late.

Which shocks him.  He takes life as it comes, but this is a bit violent.

Proposed cast: Kathy Bates (Betsy) 
BETSY, the suicidal widow of a husband she drove to suicide, is too scattered to pass a driving test, takes a lesson with Jim, spins the    car onto a Mulholland Drive cliff and is ready to gun it and take him with her.

Proposed cast: James Woods (Griff) 
Diana's lawyer GRIFF, more her age and on her success level, has been in love with her for years.  Now’s his chance.  When Jackie tells Diana the lie that Jim has seduced her Diana gives up on Jim and tries to make a go of it with Griff.

Proposed cast: Adelaide Clemens (Jackie) 
JACKIE, Diana’s daughter, idolizes her and so misses no chance to pick at and defy her.  Inwardly shaky, she is outwardly impish and sexy.  She thinks she’s in love with Jim; in fact what she needs is a father.

Proposed cast: Jack Roth (Dylan) 
Betsy's son DYLAN—eccentric hair, psychotic eyes, twitches constantly and rhythmically as if keeping time to music he doesn’t much enjoy—is in the same class at UCLA with Jackie, over whom he moans uncontrollably.  He disgusts her.

Proposed cast: Rosie Perez (Maria) 
MARIA, Diana's housekeeper, is the deadpan foil to Diana's Hamlet, secret ally to Jim, and the one person Diana doesn't dare defy.

Proposed cast: Stockard Channing (Gwen)
GWEN is Diana's mischievous best friend and alter-ego.  She'll take Jim if Diana doesn't want him!  Just kidding.  In an attempt to bring them back together she throws a party and invites both of them, but it turns into a confrontation....

And the final character is Beverly Hills— 
—the tone, the climate, the village size and ambiance that make it inevitable for these people to collide.
The stage version of  Chocolate and Champagne was produced by Love Creek  at the Creative Place Theatre in New York.
Pretentious Pictures presents a comedy with a dark center.
Reg’d © Library of Congress

Ezra Pound:

"The art of letters will come to an end before A.D. 2000."


(A chapter in You Have Upset the Balance of the Universe by Being Born, by Dr. Robert MacLean, PhD: http://robertmaclean.blogspot.com/p/you-have-upset-balance-of-universe-by.html)

You turn thirty when you turn twenty-nine. You turn forty when you turn thirty-eight. You turn fifty when you turn forty-seven. The Doctor expects to be sixty by the time he's fifty-six.
Of course it goes by fast.
You are already changing shape. Your neck is shortening. Your shoulders are narrowing. Your flesh is slipping down your chest. The skin on your throat needs ironing. You are not yet gaga, but how will you know?
The whole experiment is failing.
You do everything very slowly now. You concentrate.
Things continue to happen, that's what's really insulting. The young reach new conclusions about beauty. The movie stars in People are caressed by life while you pass your pebbles from pocket to pocket like one of Beckett's wretches.
The Doctor would tell you you're going to get through this but you don't want to get through it! This has gone far enough! Soon, the drawer.
But we cannot altogether hide ourselves in thoughts of our passing. What the soldier fears is not death so much as mutilation. Before what infirmities will you grovel, how grotesque will you have to become before you are granted the mercy of oblivion? (See DEATH.)
Can the God who made the middle finger the longest, who made shit and urine water-soluble but not blood, have permitted this? (See GOD.) This is what you get for relaxing with the given.
You sit there hunched, palsied, impotent, trying to spend all your thoughts, get it over, but the stream is endless. Are you talking to yourself?
The whole thing is inconvenient.
At least you have learned not to appropriate the future to yourself. You have that poise.
Builds character.
Go out and be soothed by a movie or something. Stop bothering everybody.
Age is a club. Find somebody with more or less the same mileage and compare symptoms. Don't just witness magic! Be it! Age is passion (see PASSION), otherwise it's entirely pointless.
You have always been half one thing, half another--half earth, half sky--it's just that now the ratio is more like one to two. The soul is sticking up out of you like a hardon. Life is a delightful surprise!
Housewives, you can buck the old fart up by encouraging him to think of his leathery carcass as been-through-it-all glamorous. Jaded-but-hanging-in. You never know your luck till the ball stops rolling. It all depends on how you sell it, tell him. You may even get some action(see SEXUAL TECHNIQUES).
Guys, the women in our lives have not stopped wanting it. They're still not sure what it is, many of them, but they do know they want it. The marital regime is once a day (see LOVE, INTERIM), even if it's only telling them. Any old state of grace, what the hell.
The Doctor isn't going to complicate your ignorance with some kind of theory but he would like to point out that your experience here, in the sense of, you know, life, is open-ended (see SELF-IMAGE, YOUR). To try to reduce it to a hieroglyph may not give you the kind of looseness you need to negotiate the turns.
It doesn't matter if it's taken you your whole life to find out how to do things. It's always present time, which is what keeps your chances fresh. And it's not over yet.

Casanova, Come Back!

Reg’d © Library of Congress

The modern Casanova longs to settle down with one woman, but she resists him.

He’s coming to Oxbridge to give a poetry reading and speak to a few classes…

…and the girls are sort of interested!

The great lover's great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson—
(You didn’t know he was secretly married?  It happened in England—a nun who had already taken her vows, the Mother Superior outraged, powerful people to please…)
—has the same name, the same weakness for women (and they for him, or at least for his reputation), sports the same drag and is a so-so poet on the campus circuit.
How can he get steady work as a teacher when trouble dogs him everywhere!  No one takes him seriously except as a—Except as a—
So when he arrives in Oxbridge he announces that he’s impotent.
Ah, but he’s played here before, and now his past rises up to confront him.

Proposed cast: we don't have our Casanova yet.
GIACOMO CASANOVA (“Just make it Jack”) takes advantage of his ancestor’s reputation to spice up his act as a performing poet with eighteenth-century costume, and it works on the ladies.  But what he needs is a steady job, and a life.

Proposed cast: Anna Friel (Henrietta)
He doesn’t remember her but some years earlier he had played Oxbridge and it had worked on HENRIETTA PASTORLY, now a lecturer here with a young son who speaks a private language—one that only Casanova can speak with him. Could it be…

Proposed cast: Donald Sutherland (the ghost)
The GHOST of the original Casanova haunts his great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson, criticizes his choices and kibitzes the action. No one else can see him and sometimes Casanova almost thinks he’s real.

Proposed cast: Emma Thompson (Deborah)
Chairwoman DEBORAH BLAKE, the no-nonsense head of the Oxbridge English Department, can’t help but be intrigued by Casanova’s reputation.  Or is it excited?  Or is it, as her husband suspects, in love?

Proposed cast: Dianna Rigg (Cissy)
LADY CISSY SNABE, a benefactress of the University, falls from a dangerous height into Casanova’s gallant arms, much to everyone’s relief. She’s beyond suspicion in such matters, but who is that mysterious visitor at her bedroom window?

Proposed cast: Tom Wilkinson (Rafe)
DEAN RAFE HARWICK’s wife and underage daughter are both in erotic trances over the arrival on campus of Casanova–and so, it turns out, is the Dean!

And the seventh character is Oxford.  Or rather Cambridge.  Let’s call it Oxbridge, as so many do.  Hell for some; heaven for others—like Jack, who could live happily ever after here as a simple lecturer.

Pretentious Pictures presents an elegant comedy.
Reg’d © Library of Congress