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Paper boats

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Paper boats

  1. 1. PAPER BOATS Written by Anna Kriegel Based on Woodkid's song "Brooklyn" annakriegel@msn.com 917-716-3913
  2. 2. BLACK SCREEN JAYDEN (V.O.) Shh. Nothing. JAYDEN (V.O.) Listen. (A beat.) The silence. EXT. GARDEN - DAY A small hand holds a bunch of flowers. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY A cat stretches on the floor. EXT. BEACH - DAY A wave rolls on the sand. INT. ROOM - DAY A woman in a large dress turns round and round. EXT. RIVER - DAY Several paper boats float on the water. EXT. GARDEN - DAY A cloud flies in the sky. JAYDEN (12), a white kid, looks at the sky. He turns towards the camera and smiles. INT. BEDROOM - DAY Jayden holds a wooden panel that reads “ONCE UPON A”. He carves in “TIME”. INT. KITCHEN - DAY It’s a small and cute kitchen - colored, clean.
  3. 3. Jayden sits on the tiny kitchen table. Facing him, on a chair, is AMAZIAH (70), a black old man. He looks down, as Jayden runs his fingers on Amaziah’s head, checking for possible injuries. AMAZIAH You gotta admit, a horse that eats a clown fish, that’d distract anyone. Jayden shakes his head. He sits back and crosses his arms. JAYDEN Next time you endanger yourself, we will have to find a punishment for you. Amaziah doesn’t answer. Jayden cocks his head to one side and frowns. JAYDEN (CONT’D) Do you understand? AMAZIAH The clown fish jumped out of the horse’s mouth once. But it couldn’t escape fast enough. Amaziah’s eyes narrow. He moves his chair back. Jayden extends his hands towards Amaziah but they’re too far from each other. Amaziah doesn’t reach out. JAYDEN (louder) Do you understand? Jayden hears MURMURS and shivers. The kitchen seems normal, until shadows appear on the wall - human silhouettes. Jayden shakes his head quickly and runs away. As soon as he disappears, the shadows and the murmurs fade away. Amaziah looks up. AMAZIAH Jayden? INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY Jayden is on his knees. 2.
  4. 4. He takes a picture of the wall. AMAZIAH (O.S.) Walls can’t breathe. Jayden turns around. Amaziah stands at the threshold. JAYDEN And yet, they are not immortal. Amaziah shrugs his shoulders. JAYDEN (CONT’D) Tsunami, fire, earthquake. Amaziah nods. Point taken. Jayden nods. He knows he’s right. Jayden points towards Amaziah. JAYDEN (CONT’D) You. He takes a picture of Amaziah. JAYDEN (CONT’D) (counting on his fingers) Sickness, accident- (a beat; then, angry:) Like falling on the street because of a stupid clown fish. Amaziah sighs. JAYDEN (CONT’D) -heart attack, murder... AMAZIAH Got it. Jayden gets closer to Amaziah and he aims the camera at his face. In the end, though, he moves the camera and takes instead a picture of the wrinkles on Amaziah’s neck. Jayden walks out. EXT. AVENUE - DAY Amaziah strides towards an open air market. He holds a basket. Jayden follows him. He’s a few steps behind. 3.
  5. 5. JAYDEN So, basically, what you’re saying is that there’s no way out of it? AMAZIAH Yup. JAYDEN We’re all cursed. Damned. Jayden spots, on the sidewalk, a YOUNG WOMAN helping her GRANDMOTHER to walk. He turns back towards Amaziah. JAYDEN (CONT’D) Jesus did it. AMAZIAH What? JAYDEN He came back. AMAZIAH He got a special pass from his daddy. (snorts) Spoiled kid. JAYDEN A Jewish man was buried alive five days ago. Ran out of oxygen. Amaziah doesn’t answer. Jayden kicks a rock. JAYDEN (CONT’D) What if we become astronauts and live on Mars? Or in a spaceship? What if we put our bodies in massive freezers? AMAZIAH Wouldn’t change nothing. There’d still be a time. Jayden stops. He watches Amaziah getting further and further away. JAYDEN Will it look like this? EXT. STREET - DAY Jayden wears pants, a dark jacket and a backpack. 4.
  6. 6. He holds a paper board glued to a wooden stick, face down. He walks on the street. It looks like he’s running away. But instead he sits down in the middle of the street. He puts the board on the floor, still face down. A car approaches. Will it hit him? No, the driver hits the brakes and the car stops brutally. Jayden hears the driver SHOUTING angrily at him. Jayden lifts the board up. He’s just a boy sitting on a road with a school backpack and a board that reads: “IF YOU DON’T STOP, YOU’LL GO TO JAIL THAT’S WHAT A POLICEMAN TOLD ME AND POLICEMEN NEVER LIE” EXT. AMAZIAH’S HOUSE - DAY A 30 year-old man knocks on Amaziah’s front door. Amaziah opens. AMAZIAH Yes? EXT. ROAD - DAY Amaziah stares at Jayden. AMAZIAH What are you doin’? JAYDEN I’m on strike. AMAZIAH Against what? JAYDEN Time. Amaziah looks around him. A DRIVER tilts his head up. The sun is low in the sky. 5.
  7. 7. A WOMAN closes her shop. Amaziah sits down a few steps away from Jayden. AMAZIAH Me too. EXT. ROAD - NIGHT The crowd has left. They’re alone. Amaziah stares towards the end of the road. Jayden sleeps in a foetal position. EXT. ROAD - EARLY MORNING Jayden slowly sits up. AMAZIAH It’s time. Jayden turns his back on Amaziah. He puts his knees against his chest. He presses his fingers against his temples. JAYDEN The world’s a merry-go-round. His hands, his temples, his eyes. INT. SWIMMING POOL - DAY A 20 year-old young woman sobs. JAYDEN (V.O.) Can’t you hear them drowning in the foam of sorrow? EXT. STREET - NIGHT A 30 year-old man at a crossroads. He reads the signs, looks right, looks left. Where’s the good path? JAYDEN (V.O.) They built mazes in the shape of their loss- 6.
  8. 8. INT. ELEVATOR - DAY A 40 year-old man screams, shouts, hits the walls with his fists. JAYDEN (V.O.) - and cubicles to imprison madness. EXT. CAFE - DAY A man and a woman - 50 years old. They sit at different tables. The man stares hopelessly at the woman. She doesn’t look at him. JAYDEN (V.O.) They long for ideals that laugh at their faces. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY The images of the TV fill the screen. They are extracts from tv shows about gags, about people falling and others mocking them, etc. JAYDEN (V.O.) The laughter. The extracts are shorter and shorter. JAYDEN (V.O.) The cruelty. BLACK SCREEN JAYDEN (V.O.) (murmur) And what about death? EXT. CEMENTERY - DAY A woman kneels down on a tomb and prays. INT. BEDROOM - DAY A man closes the eyes of his wife. JAYDEN (V.O.) NO! 7.
  9. 9. EXT. ROAD - NIGHT Jayden is still shouting. Then, he becomes silent. Neither him nor Amaziah move. Two silhouettes on a road in the early morning. Jayden stares at the ground. Amaziah stares at Jayden. Amaziah steps forward and sits down behind Jayden. He puts his hands on Jayden’s hands. AMAZIAH I wish you could see what I see. INT. ROOM - DAY Close-up on computer. The screen fills the frame. Extracts of Youtube videos of gay weddings. AMAZIAH The freedom. EXT. BEACH - DAY Jayden eats an ice cream. AMAZIAH The sweetness. The ice cream falls and Jayden laughs out loud. It’s the first time we see him as a joyful kid, without preoccupations, without questions. AMAZIAH (CONT’D) The innocence. FADE TO WHITE. The cries of a newborn. AMAZIAH (CONT’D) The beginnings. EXT. CAFE - DAY The 50 year-old man and woman sit at the same table. They just look into each other’s eyes. 8.
  10. 10. INT. PSYCHATRIST’S CABINET - DAY The 40 year-old man that was screaming in the elevator sits on a sofa, facing the psychiatrist. He sighs and runs his hands through his hair. AMAZIAH (V.O.) The second chances. EXT. BEACH - DAY The ocean. Infinite. Lit by the sun. AMAZIAH The beauty of it all. EXT. ROAD - DAY Amaziah takes his hands off Jayden’s. Jayden smiles and frowns at the same time, processing. He feels better. Amaziah wraps his arms around Jayden and puts his head on his shoulder. Two faces next to each other: an old black man and a young white kid. They both look at the end of the road - and everything that’s in between. And they both smile. INT. ROOM - DAY A wall. Jayden and Amaziah sit next to each other on the floor, back against the wall. In the middle of the wall, there’s a vertical line with a list. It reads: GIVE SMELL SEE HEAR TOUCH TASTE 9.
  11. 11. TRY DISCOVER EXPLORE TRAVEL LOVE RECEIVE OFFER EAT DRINK SWIM WALK RUN FLY SHARE CREATE Around the list, they drew a bird, a starfish, a family. They glued leaves of trees. And they taped large, bright photographs. Of a rainbow. Of a Saint-Valentine’s box of chocolate. Of a white wall. Of the road in the early morning. Of Amaziah’s wrinkles. In an aquarium, next to them, there’s a paper boat. Jayden and Amaziah just sit there. In spite of everything scary and harmful, they choose life. They choose to enjoy the present. Together. 10.

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