To a Skull

[Short Screenplay]

Ext. Ally Pavement Day – Day

A gray screen. We hear cat screams. The screen fades to the pavement of an ally. Pan to two cats mating. Then the lustful moans of a woman replace the cats’ screams.

 

Int. Bedroom – Day

Cut to the face of a woman who is moaning and biting her lips. Then an intercut of the face of the female cat, then the spot where the bodies of the two cats touch, then an extreme close-up of the lips and the mouth of the woman.

 

Int. Bedroom – Day

There is a baby naked on a bed while its mother (the woman from the previous scene) wraps a towel around him.

 

Ext. Street – Day

A feeble shabby old man wraps a blanket around himself and warms himself near a fire. He is wearing an old hat with a tassel. A close-up of his hat.

 

Int. Bedroom – Day

There is a hat, similar to the one that the old man was wearing, in the mother’s hands. She is finishing sewing a tassel on it. She puts the hat on the baby’s head.

 

Int. Bedroom – Later

Fade to the woman’s face while she is having a doggy style. We hear flopping sounds and moaning. A close-up of the man’s lower body while he is pumping. A quick intercut of the male cat’s pumping. Then an intercut of a cradle swinging. Then the screen splits in two: on the left, we have the man’s lower body while pumping; and on the right, we have the cradle swinging _as if the man’s pumping makes the cradle swing.

 

Ext. A Graveyard – Day

First a black screen and silence.

Fades to the view of a graveyard. We hear the sound of the wind. We dolly through the graves. We hear the sound of sucking and slurping.

Cut to a view of the trees on the graveyard. A close-up of one of the trees’ trunk. We move up on the trunk until we reach the branches and leaves. Then we hear the amplified sound of worms and insects chewing and squirming.

Cut to the fresh and wet soil. Then we see the worms and insects on the soil while they are eating something (maybe a dead bird) and squirm around it.

Cut to a gravestone from above. We dolly forward. As we come closer to the gravestone, it fades to a complete human skeleton inside the grave. We move closer to the skeleton’s skull. The skull fades to a man’s head smiling. The head fades and the skull reappears.

 

Int. & Ext. Different Shots – Day & Night

We see a quick selection of all the calamities of life in the Islamic Republic, with a background music of the horn and the drums: the tortures and the executions, the compulsory dress code, the violence and the beatings, the war, the famine, the poverty, the prostitution, the working homeless children, the high prices, the crowds and chaos, the pollution, the great mullah, the chanting folks, etc.

Cut to black and silence. We hear the horrendous sound of the horn 3 or 4 times. Then, some shots of dry deserts and wastelands; then some shots from ordinary people in their ordinary routine; some shots from old Iranian movies from a few decades ago, especially those scene of hooligans and their stupid ways of gallantry; then we see some shot of the silly actions of the contemporary people, such as their pulling faces in front of the reporter’s camera, silly dancing in public on Sizdahbedar, and acting foolish while being drunk. We stop on a madman horse laughing. Then a shot of Ahmadinejad laughing, and his stupid ugly face. The sound of horse laugh continues until the screen fades to black. Then silence.

 

Int. A Cotton-Beating Workshop – Day

A close up of a cotton-beating tool while an old man’s hands move its wires. We hear the passive mellow sound of the contrabass and the horn. A medium shot of the old man.

Cut to the flakes of cotton that fall to the ground. The contrabass stops and now we only hear the horrendous sound of the horn as it is being played less and less frequent. The screen slowly fades to black. Then we hear one last horn sound, and then nothing!

 

The End!


This screenplay is based on a poem by Ahmad Shamlou with the same title.

 

Leave a Reply