Oh, were have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
Bob Dylan - Hard Rain
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK. SUNRISE. PRESENT.
HE IS DOING IT FOR HER, HIS LOVE.
Light has begun to envelop the flat picturesque landscape with light and warmth. It is orange and red and green. Mountains lie in the distance.
A single, black-tar, two-lane road stretches into a vanishing point on the horizon. A car - 1996 Holden Commodore - crashes into the frame - it has a loud, angry engine. The noise is shocking but dissipates as the car drives towards the vanishing point. We watch the car drive for a while. Suddenly, it veers right and somersaults into the farmland.
EXT. BLACK SCREEN.
Title: Dig Brother (Bottom left of screen) - flashes.
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK. SUNSET. 1990.
Night is beginning to descend on the rural plains. A young boy walks through lone patches of trees in farmland. The tree branches bend and overlap in a black, interconnected pattern against the clear, dark blue sky. The sky above the horizon is orange and the boy’s body creates a silhouette against it. Music builds from loud to small, violins in crescendo.
The boy is searching for something but he can’t find it.
EXT. CAR. N.S.W. HIGHWAY SOUTH WEST. SUNSET. PRESENT.
We follow the rear of a green Holden Commodore as it travels west on a highway. It has seen better days.
RYAN IS 33 AND HANDSOME. HE HAS BROWN
HAIR DRAWN BACK AND. HE IS MUSCULAR AND AVERAGE IN HEIGHT. HE WORKS AS A BUILDER BUT HAS BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR SOME
TIME. HE GAMBLES TO MUCH BUT LOVES HIS WIFE, BEC, TREMENDOUSLY. THEY MET WHEN THEY WERE 21 AND THAT WAS IT. HE LOVES BLUES MUSIC, BILLIE HOLIDAY, THE BLACK KEYS AND
WESTERNS. HIS CHILDHOOD WAS HARD. HE HOPES TO ONE DAY BE WEALTHY SO HE CAN PROVIDE FOR HIS FAMILY.
Ryan is driving the car and is drifting in out of reality into memories. He has been travelling for some time now, since it happened. An old navy sports bag from high school sits in the passenger sit. It is filled with something.
I Don’t Know by the Rolling Stones is playing on the radio.
He is wearing a plain, grey t-shirt and dark blue jeans. He strikes a match and lights a cigarette. He lets the match burn until it reaches his fingertips. He strikes another
match, lets it burn through to keep time in check, it reaches his fingertips - burn. Then strikes another.
The sound of the match being lit is loud. The creation of fire and heat envelops the screen in slow motion and the sounds are violent as the flame is created and seeks oxygen.
Then a sudden silence.
EXT. BEDROOM. MID-MORNING. SUMMERTIME. PAST.
Ryan and Bec are in their early twenties and lay in bed.
BEC IS UNUSUALLY BEATUIFUL AND HAS
DUSTY-BROWN, SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIR.
It’s a Saturday morning on a summers day. They are naked under white sheets and flower printed doona. The light is soft and warm. Their hair dangles and is messy. We see their faces individually smile and laugh and talk in personal jokes. We hear nothing. She squishes his face with her hands, then he does the same to hers. The laugh and look in
each others eyes and are in love.
EXT. CAR. N.S.W. HIGHWAY SOUTH WEST. SUNSET. PRESENT.
The flame of the match in Ryan’s fingers is large and bright against the dark interior of the car until it their is no more wood to burn, only Ryan’s thumb on finger. It dissipates creating a laminar flow of grey smoke. It burns him and he is brought back from reality.
We see the road as Ryan does, it is dark and few cars pass by.
Ryan continues to smoke.
He strikes another match, lets it burn out, then strikes
EXT. BUSY PUB. HOURS EARLIER.
We watch the long bar with beers on tap and spirits on the back wall. Young people walk past with drinks and bar tenders serve customers - it is a standard Friday night. We hear people talking loudly and distant music. On the right hand side of the bar a man walks and sits down on a stool - he wears a black leather jacket. We continue to watch the commonplace scene. He signals a bar tender who pours a schooner of NEW. He pays. Random people continue to walk past and congregate and enjoy their time.
The man on the left wears a Harley Davidson tee, has been seated since the beginning, slides a small piece of paper.
We see a number plate written on the paper.
45R QNF - THERE IS SILENCE.
(It is Ryan’s number plate)
The noise returns and the man subteley acknowledges the paper and takes it and places it in his right pocket. He walks away, leaving the beer. We continue to watch the commonplace scene.
EXT. CAR. N.S.W. HIGHWAY SOUTH WEST. NIGHT. FANTASY.
Ryan is still driving west. We see his eyes open. They are blue.
Beleriand by The Middle East
THE SKY IS CLEAR AND BLACK, COVERED WITH STARS, SOME
FLICKER. RYAN AND BEC’S BODIES DANCE TOGETHER GRACEFULLY
OVER THE NIGHT SKY BUT THE AIR IS FULL OF TENSION. THEY WEAR
FORMAL CLOTHES. THEY HOLD EACH OTHER.
EXT. KITCHEN INTERIOR. PRESENT.
Bec is in the kitchen in their flat waiting for Ryan to come home. She thinks he will arrive in moments. She puts the jug on and waits for it to boil. She makes herself a cup of tea.
AERIAL VIEW OF THE CUP - BEC POURS MILK INTO THE BLACK TEA. SLOW MOTION AND SLOW ZOOM - THE MILK DESCENDS DEEP INTO THE
TEA AND FLUCTUATES AND SWIRLS UNTIL IT BECOMES A HOMOGENOUS
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK. MIDDAY. 1990.
The young boy walks through a shallow stream in a narrow valley.
A lets out a sharp whistle.
EXT. CAR. N.S.W. HIGHWAY SOUTH WEST. NIGHT. PRESENT.
Ryan still driving through the night sees a young boy, around 17, under a streetlamp, trying to hitch a ride. Ryan slows down and rolls down the window.
GOIN THROUGH DUBBO?
Ryan once ran away from home and feels the boy’s desperation.
Ryan signals with his head to get in and moves the bag on
the seat to the back. It is heavy. They drive silently for a time.
I KNOW YOU.. YEAH… YOU’RE MY BROTHER.
Ryan turns his head and faces the young man who looks back intrigued by the moment.
The back of Bec’s head on a pillow from the PoV of Ryan
lying bedide her in bed. She turns her head and smiles.
(except for her)
YOU KNOW.. I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.
It is lighter now, dawn approaches Ryan, his car, his curse. The young man is no longer with him. Ryan continues to drive as the landscape wakes up.
EXT. INTERIOR OF FLAT. LATE AFTERNOON. PAST.
There is a hard knocking at the door. Ryan and Bec sit at the dinner table silently where bills and payment notices lay unorganised. They don’t acknowledge each other.
MONTAGE: PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE COUPLE SMILING TOGETHER, WITH
FRIENDS AND FAMILY, TOGETHER ON HOLIDAYS, WEDDINGS, THE
We continue to hear knocking and vague yelling from outside the door. Bec puts her hands over her face and begins to sob. They are in a desparate place that has distanced them from each other. Ryan feels inadequate, unable to provide financially for his love, he feels like a burden, a curse. Bec has fallen pregnant but Ryan does not know yet.
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK. MIDDAY. 1990.
We follow a young boy through a maze of thick small trees that arch and connect over forming a series of tunnels. Cows walk through them during the day to seek shelther from the sun and heat.
SUN FLICKERS THROUGH GAPS IN THE BRANCHES AND LEAVES, THE
SKY IS BLUE AND CLOUDLESS.
He walks through the maze, unsure of the way through, whistling and calling a name. He finds an opening and climbs up over hay and rocks to a paddock with a view of other
farms on hills.
HIS FACE IS HOPEFUL BUT DISTRAUGHT.
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK. PRESENT. SUNRISE.
Foreground - Grizzly Bear.
Ryan is driving into the distance. Light flashes and descends upon his window.
Ryan sits on the ground against his parked car on the edge of farmland - a metal wire fence separates the two.
He dials Becs mobile number on his phone and runs his hand through his hair.
BEC… I’VE DONE SOMETHING, TAKEN
SOMETHING, AND I NEED YOU TO PICK IT UP.
Ryan writing on a postcard an address and other details. places it in a postbox.
SWEETIE, SWEETIE, JUST LET ME FINISH, I
LOVE YOU. ALWAYS.
Ryan underneath a tiny bridge that a road runs over and a creek running under it. the name of the creek is ‘Aruluen creek’. He places the bag from his car undersome rocks.
PLEASE DON’T TELL HIM ABOUT ME.
Ryan hangs up the phone.
He sobs - wretched.
Sunrise. HE FEELS THE MOMENT IS NEAR.
EXT. NEW CAR INTERIOR. PRESENT. NIGHT.
A man puts black leather gloves on. Only his hands are seen.
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK. PRESENT. SUNRISE. BLACK SCREEN - TITLE:
Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from all the days of your life.
Genesis 3: 17
SLOW FADE TO:
Ryan walks toward a gate on a farm off the road he has been travelling on. An old dilapidated house stands small in the distance. He walks through the gate and up a familiar track.
Voiceover (soft but clear and direct):
I ONCE MET A WISE MAN ON THE ROAD WHO
TOLD ME OF THE CURSE I AM UNDER.
Dark blue night sky, trees create a black pattern against it.
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK ROAD. SUNRISE. PRESENT.
We follow the rear of Ryan’s car as he drives into the morning light. We watch for some time - it is a serene and sorrowful mood.
We see the road running square across the frame in the far distance. The man wearing gloves lays down with a rifle and aims it at the road.
Ryan’s car speeds along the road from left to right. The man fires two shots causing the car to veer right suddenly and somersault violently onto neighboring farmland.
EXTREME CLOSE UP: RYAN’S LEFT EYE AND PART OF FACE. FAINT BREATHES CAN BE HEARD.
SLOW FADE TO:
EXT. N.S.W. OUTBACK. AFTERNOON - 1990.
Devils and Dust - Bruce Springsteen.
The young boy (Ryan) is jogging through farmland. He is whistling and calling for his dog. He finds her after some time under a tree old and close to death - a border collie.
He walks slowly, close to her and picks her up. She is nearly half is size but he is determined to get her home. He walks her all the way home.
The right half of the frame is taken up by a figure. ryan,
carrying the dog, walks from a distance into the frame.
NNIE HALL written by Woody Allen Marshall Brickman (Sound and Woody Allen monologue begin) FADE IN: White credits dissolve in and out on black screen. No sound. FADE OUT: credits FADE IN: Abrupt medium close-up of Alvy Singer doing a comedy monologue. He wearing a crumbled sports jacket and tieless shirt; the background is stark. ALVY There's an old joke. Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know, and such ... small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly. The-the other important joke for me is one that's, uh, usually attributed to Groucho Marx, but I think it appears originally in Freud's wit and its relation to the unconscious. And it goes like this-I'm paraphrasing: Uh ... "I would never wanna belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." That's the key joke of my adult life in terms of my relationships with women. Tsch, you know, lately the strangest things have been going through my mind, 'cause I turned forty, tsch, and I guess I'm going through a life crisis or something, I don't know. I, uh ... and I'm not worried about aging. I'm not one o' those characters, you know. Although I'm balding slightly on top, that's about the worst you can say about me. I, uh, I think I'm gonna get better as I get older, you know? I think I'm gonna be the- the balding virile type, you know, as opposed to say the, uh, distinguished gray, for instance, you know? 'Less I'm neither o' those two. Unless I'm one o' those guys with saliva dribbling out of his mouth who wanders into a cafeteria with a shopping bag screaming about socialism. (Sighing) Annie and I broke up and I-I still can't get my mind around that. You know, I-I keep sifting the pieces of the relationship through my mind and-and examining my life and tryin' to figure out where did the screw-up come, you know, and a year ago we were... tsch, in love. You know, and-and-and ... And it's funny, I'm not-I'm not a morose type. I'm not a depressive character. I-I-I, uh, (Laughing) you know, I was a reasonably happy kid, I guess. I was brought up in Brooklyn during World War II.