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Message for Richard Kelly [The Sucking – script notes]

January 24, 2013


FAO: Richard Kelly
Subject: Notes on ‘The Sucking’/scene ideas

Hey man, as requested, here are some notes I’ve made on ‘ The Sucking’. I know it’s taken a while, but you said you’d be busy on that Box sequel for a few months, so I thought it’d be better if I stretched out and took my time. The script is only 20 pages old so far, but will defo be done by the end of the month. I think it’s looking pretty good…could even be your golden ticket back inside the factory, if JabbaWonka’s in a forgiving mood…
Btw, these are just notes I’m making as I write. Let me know what you think/what you hate etc.

Film title: The Sucking [TBC]
Setting: Hong Kong [Kowloon side, away from the bankers/spoilt rich kids]
Budget: Whatever you can scam out of leftover D.D. fans…
Genre: Bizarro

Plot: Not sure if you remember all the details, but here’s a recap anyhow. A guy discovers that in order to gain access to unknown knowledge of the Universe and how it works, he has to suck the talent out of local artists. But there’s a catch. The artists must have genuine talent, or he will feel sick and possibly even die. Like Russian Roulette, only with quantifiable talent instead of bullets. So, the bulk of the film consists of him going around different art galleries and communes of Hong Kong [Fo Tan, Kwun Tong, Cattle Depot etc], trying to understand what is and what isn’t good art. And if he finds some good stuff, he starts killing and sucking. Also, his sidekick is an 18 year old girl he met on the internet, who worships every move he makes but understands little about art. Obviously, he dominates her, but to make him a little more sympathetic, he is aware he is dominating her and tries to guide her into standing up for herself more. Of course, when she does, he knocks her back down. He’s a complicated dude, and a real human being. Or human being witch. The emotions are the same anyway. It’ll work.

Scene ideas [various, no real order or design behind them yet…]

1] The main guy has sex with the 18 year old in dominant positions. He’s always in control. Intercut this with scenes of him trying to tell her to disagree with him or stand up for herself.
[The 18 year old could become a 14 year old to give us more edge/sleaze]

2] In Kubrick Cafe he meets a woman the same age as him and they look at the film posters on the wall and say what they know about each one. He likes the woman a lot but she has a boyfriend, so she leaves [kissing her suddenly walking into the cafe boyfriend] and he has to go back to his apartment and the 14 year old bimbo. He asks her if she knows any of the films he was talking about with the other woman in the cafe, but she’s too young. All she knows is ‘lang mo’ and Iron Man.

3] The opening scene is him alone at night, looking at graffiti on a subway wall, confused. He looks at the tag and then goes home and googles the name of the artist. Then he goes into his room, which has some weird cult-ish shit on the wall. He closes his eyes for a moment and then writes something on the wall. But it’s shit and he knows it. He shakes his head and rubs it off. Or maybe earlier, he talks to the graffiti artist while he’s at the subway wall, and thinks about sucking his talent, but doesn’t? Would that work better?

4] He goes to the library and loans a book about the Universe and weird theories. He takes it to Phonograph [bar in Kowloon, I took you there once] and sits alone then when he goes to the toilet someone tells him that the only way to understand the Universe is to kill for it.

5] Or maybe he should be some kind of witch already and he knows what he has to do…the voice in the alley tells him that looking at art is not enough, he needs to feed off the source. The voice can be subtitled as it’s some kind of supernatural entity. The audience shouldn’t be able to understand it, that’s how far above us it is.

[But this brings a problem…if regular humans like you and me write about a supernatural entity that is way above us in the evolutionary ladder then…how can we make that being sound un-human? We are human and can only think so far, and anything we do come up with is still human-based, whereas a God or supernatural four dimensional thing would be completely different to any ontology we can dress it up in. Do you understand what I’m getting at? Not sure how to get past this, ideas welcome…]

6] The witch goes to Fo Tan Art Estate and meets a local artist. There’s no one else in the gallery and they talk for a while, getting along quite well. He doesn’t leave, they talk more and then he tries to touch her. They either fuck or they don’t, and then he sucks out her talent. This scene should run for 20 minutes to build up tension. The actual sucking part of it should be filmed as both a rape and a murder. Maybe bring a smoke machine, make it look more sinister/supernatural?

7] He writes some funny/good shit about the Universe after he sucks the talent out of each artist. E.g. ‘There’s an average of 17,225 potential dictators born each minute in every solar system’ or ‘Hydrogen is the root element of everything, including itself. It just pretends that it’s not.’ [Note: We could get Miranda July to write these. But not anything else, okay?]

8] He tries to get the opinions of the 14 year old on different art. E.g. he holds up pictures by Klee or Ramirez or someone funky, and asks her what it means. She gives the wrong answer, whatever that might be. He ends up arguing against everything she says and dominating her again. This could be slotted in with the sex scenes to emphasize how dominant he really is with her. What do you think? Too obvious?

9] Should there be a second main character…a hero artist? Or the 14 year old girl could be the hero? Or…maybe I should be the hero, the guy doing the shitty zines that no one reads…make it more like Ljubljana Witch? And the 14 year old girl can be my fuck…and the witch can

10] Somewhere in the middle, there can be a montage of all the killings. Too typical? How about we turn it on its head? The witch kills the local artists, but the scenes in the montage flow awkwardly, and then out of order, until finally one of the artists he just killed is alive again and making him a cup of tea. This might be a new cinematic device…the anti-montage? It might mean something too, more than we know…they say things are invented by chance, not design…is that true? I don’t know…I think I picked up that last line from Star Trek…

11] Near the end, there’s a drawn out scene between the witch and the 14 year old girl. It has everything: Arguments, small talk, kissing, fucking, sucking. All the while, we don’t know if he’s had enough of her or not…will he kill her or won’t he? Then, like Before Sunset, we end it on an elliptical note…he stands by the door, locks it then looks back at her, deliberating…

12] The witch MUST NOT and CANNOT die. But then…how do we end it? Maybe have him standing in a gallery, looking at some shit modern art, with no more talent left in the city for him to suck…then he walks outside and looks at the night sky, confused…you see? He’ll never know the truth of the Universe, not while there’s shit art all around him.

13] I’m looking two years into the future and I know it’s going to work. Can you see it too, man?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Camilla Belle permalink
    January 25, 2013 10:44 am

    I think we should watch “warm bodies” together and get some fresh human brains to sip on.

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