BU Film School

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

FT 540 Reading: Accident

Screenplay info
Written by: Harold Pinter (based on the novel by Nicholas Mosley)
Film info: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0061328

Synopsis
Sound of car crash. Stephen discovers car. Finds William, Anna. He gets Anna out (first line: stop, you're stepping on his face). He gets Anna out. She gets handbag, doesn't talk (in shock?). She walks up to house. He calls police. He talks to her, give tea, she's unresponsive. Cops ask questions. William, pupil, was going to party, then coming to see Stephen.

Stephen, William talk about Anna (also a pupil of Stephen's). Stephen says he'll introduce, but William will go it alone.

Philosophy process of enquiry only. "It does not attempt to find specific answers to specific questions."

Stephen and Rosalind (his wife), Clarissa and Ted (kids). Stephen says he has new pupil -- Austrian princess.

Charley reads newspaper articles on sexual intercourse among students.

Stephen walks along river. William and Anna in punt, invite him along. Shots of Stephen's head, her hip, etc.

Stephen (wet from falling in), William. Aristocrats made to be slaughtered. Stephen -- bring her to lunch Sunday. Stephen asks her (kind of odd), suggests William could bring her. Talks about Charley -- versatile writer.

Stephen, Rosalind -- asked some people over on Sunday. He asks for permission, says could put them off, she says she's fine.

Stephen, Ted. William's car there. See Charley and Anna talking. Stephen blinks in the sun. Charley just passing by, stays for lunch. Stephen says has meeting with Charley's producer. Talk on lawn -- starting point for a story. William suggest some obvious things (Stephen in garden, etc.) but Charley says more -- Rosalind pregnant, Stephen having affair with girl at Oxford.

Tennis game. Charley serves, hits Anna. Charley and Anna against Stephen and William. Stephen asks them to supper. Rosalind irked. William to Anna -- go for walk? She demurs, he slams ball against house and goes. Stpehen goes for walk, Anna joins him. Some tension -- hands close but not touching. Rosalind asks Charley about Laura (wife), ahsn't really seen her. William wants to drive back, but they end up staying. William not happy. Stephen in room, sees figure on bed, mouths Anna's name, but it's Rosalind.

Stephen goes to see producer about conservation piece, but is sent to Mr. Bell, assistant, instead. Bill Smith (producer) in hospital. Bell mentions Francesca, provost's daughter. Stephen calls Francesca. Silent sequence with fragments of dialogue. They have dinner, go to her flat, have sex.

Stephen goes home, makes omelette. Charley and Anna there. Tension. Laura had written letter to Stephen -- how he should talk to Charley about affair. Charley had written letter, but Stephen not there to get it. Stephen looks in spare bedroom, sees Charley and Anna's things. Stephen -- will be at William's, so bring Anna here for the weekend.

Stephen sees Laura -- got letter. Starts and stops in conversation. Intercut with Stephen confirming Charley/Anna affair to Rosalind.

At William's house. Playing rugby-like game. William sends Stephen to play goal. Scrum -- vicious. Stephen, William grapple.

Cricket game, which William plays brilliantly. Anna tells Stephen she's marrying William, wants him to tell Charley. William -- have word after party? Anna not coming. William -- No, I don't want her. Wants man-to-man talk. But Stephen says can talk while Anna in spare bedroom.

Back in present. Anna still silent, unresponsive. Stephen pulls her away from window. Kiss. They stand by the bed. Phone rings, Stephen doesn't answer.

Morning after. Call -- Rosalind gave birth. Stephen drops Anna off at school. She sneaks in.

Stephen at school, sees Charley. Anna is packing. Charley doesn't understand why she's going.

Clarissa, Ted run. Clarissa falls and cries. Stephen carries her into house. Car crash.

My notes
-- a lot left unsaid
-- mostly flashback, framed by accident and immediate aftermath
-- no clear resolution, tangled relationships
-- spare camera directions ("William's face. Blood and glass.")

FT 540 notes (from 06/10/03)
-- "don't, step on head!"
-- young man, wife killed by thoughtless young woman.
-- Charley on TV, Stephen would love Charley's job

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