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93. 50 Impressions V.3 95. America to Me

November 3rd, 2020

Once Upon a Time In 2: New York City

We open with a shot of a burning building, garden scorched, windows blown out, the white picket fence all but consumed, only the husk of the house’s skeleton remains. A long shot takes us from the opposite curb-side across the street towards the house, panning as we go to take in a sloping hill of similar houses, all quite upmarket for the 70s. Panning back to the house we find the silhouette of a weeping man clinging to the mailbox like it’s his lover trying to escape him. We hear the distant screams of someone inside the house, presumably in some substantial pain, the sound intermingling with the moans of the blonde-haired man who staggers upright, takes a few unsteady steps towards the front door, reaches into his leather bomber jacket for his key and reaches out to open — Quentin Tarantino Cut! Immediately a disguised crew jump out from various positions hidden around the burning wreckage and begin dousing the set with fire extinguishers. From out of the house come a few extras, chatting happily and wafting away the smoke that curls around their military grade gas masks. The costume and scenic departments scurry about like flamboyant cockroaches, picking at this and that, nattering and shouting through the darkness. A backup generator whirs into life and floodlights blare on, an artificial sun to work by. From a lone wooden stool in the middle of the street strides the largest man in the world, floppy hair and classic shirt opened halfway down his chest, flared jeans and bare feet. Quentin Tarantino Fantastic! Incredible! Never in all my forty-six years have I seen such nuanced acting or special effects. The crew bow their heads in deference to their lord and master as he passes, chewing on an unhealthy snack he just whipped out from nowhere. The actor by the mailbox is still on the ground, his head bent over, quiet sobbing coming from the depressed mound. Quentin Stupendous! Miraculous! The man is inconsolable. Several crew rush over to him with silver platters bearing fruits and mixed nuts, hair oil, a slab of 98% dark chocolate and tomorrow’s issue of the New York Times. Dolly Here’s your take-snacks and evening reading, sir. The man slowly gets to his feet, still a silhouette against the glowing building and the light from the floods. Dolly Sir? We pan round and the face of the hero is revealed, in all its chiseled yet boyish glory. Without a word he holds up his hand to reveal a thin trickle of blood running down his wrist where a medium sized splinter has punctured his palm. Dolly Dear God. The personal assistants to Mr Di Caprio drop their platters in shock, gaining the attention of the entire crew who all turn, stunned. The camera swings around the scene, taking in the marvelled expressions, some are in tears, some nodding with pride, others simply overwhelmed by joy. A hushed silence spreads around the crew as the director makes his way over to the wounded man. He stands before the actor, tears beginning to form in his enormous brown eyes. QT I salute you, Sir. And he does, and, a la end scene of LOTR, the crew follow suit, all putting a hand to their brows in deference, before applause from the back trickles through and they all burst into a wild, whooping chorus. Two big lads get underneath Leo and hoist him onto their shoulders, and he is paraded up and down the road, the camera panning round to the faces of those watching, the tears, the smiles, the pure wonder, before pulling back and giving us a drone shot of the whole scene, a bright patch in the night, a single dot of light in the evil black of Hollywood. Titles roll: Once Upon a Time in 2: New York City Cut to a shoebox apartment in New York City where a man in a dirty off-white vest is woken up by the train that passes presumably directly under his bedroom, shaking the walls and furniture causing the contents and paraphernalia around to rattle, with a few things falling over. It smells really awful in there. The alarm clock, with a broken glass front, teeters on the edge of the table, then topples with a smash. Jack Dangit! 
Jack, our HERO, rubs his eyes with one hand, and scratches his chest with the other. He starts patting his head and rubbing his belly but gets them mixed up. Jack God Dangit! He fumbles for the alarm clock and picks it up, glass dropping, crunching to the floor. Jack Mother—God—Dangit! Chucking the broken clock to the floor he gets to hits feet, just as another train passes below, shaking the room and the man standing in it. He steadies himself as it passes, then goes to the basin in the corner and examines himself in the cracked mirror. He is unshaven, but young looking for his age, with a mop of blonde hair hanging over his eyes. He pulls down his cheeks to look into his eyes which are red, presumably from lack of sleep. Jack You look like hell, boy. He shakes his head and then jumps as a loud knocking startles him, he moves backwards and involuntarily steps in the broken glass from the clock, cutting his foot, which is bare. Jack Aaarrrgghhh! The knocking continues, insistent. Jack What the hell? Treading lightly on his injured foot he limps to the door. Jack Who goes? From the hall a voice, female, and kinda weird looking. Margot Is that Jack? Open up, boy! Jack Margot? Is that you? Margot Yeah, Jack, come on. Open up this here door here. Jack fumbles at the chain, his foot clearly giving him grief. Jack Margot, what the — But even as the door is opening a dagger flies through the air from down the hall, grazing the woman’s cheek and slamming into the door. Margot yelps and clutches her face. A few flecks of blood fly into Jack’s eyes and he yelps, clutching his face. To be continued…

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