THE POWER OF CINEMA

by Caden Speight

Short Film
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Synopsis: This film comically highlights and severely twists one of the more bizarre and overlooked facts of the JFK assassination.


“The Power of Cinema”
(dark comedy)
A short film.


Written by: Caden Speight


Synopsis: This film comically highlights and severely twists one of the more bizarre and overlooked facts of the JFK assassination.

 

FADE IN:

1. INT-BOOK DEPOSITORY SIXTH FLOOR STORE ROOM

CAPTION-6th Floor Book Depository
LEE enters frame and walks up to a stack of boxes next to the window and places his suitcase on top of them. He then looks out the window earnestly.
2. INT-BOOK DEPOSITORY MONTAGE

A 1-2 minute montage is shown in which we chronologically depict LEE preparing himself mentally and physically for the assassination.

We see various shots of him assembling his rifle, eating a sandwich, seated nervously, taking long deep breaths and pretending to fire the gun. (much room for impro)
FADE OUT:

3. INT-BOOK DEPOSITORY SIXTH FLOOR STORE ROOM.
DISSOLVE TO:

We now hear noise and commotion coming from below. This signifies that the parade is nearing LEE’s line of vision. LEE is unmoved and deeply focused.
He is staring through the lens of the gun, which is pointed out the window at a downward angle.
FADE OUT:
4. BLACK SCREEN
We hear one very loud gunshot, followed by silence.

5. NEWS FOOTAGE
Actual news clip detailing the assassination.

 


6. INT- POLICE STATION
We now see a small and dishevelled office. Detective HANK JACOBS is on the telephone, presumably talking to the media. He is an untidy, weary and portly looking man in his late 40’s. He is seated on his desk taking occasional drags of his cigarette.
HANK
 Right.
Pause.
HANK
(CONT’D)
Look we don’t have any comments at the moment ok? We’re all doing our best to find this bastard.
Pause. HANK is visibly becoming more frustrated.
DETECTIVE GEORGE GRIFFITHS enters the room carrying a manila folder. GEORGE has shaggy unkempt hair and looks a little older than his 35 years.
HANK acknowledges GEORGE non-verbally, while GEORGE waits patiently until the end of the telephone conversation.
HANK
(CONT’D)
 Hang on, what channel did you say you were from again?
Pause.
HANK
(CONT’D)
 Oh okay, well, actually, yeah I do have a comment…
HANK
(CONT’D)
Get rid of that fucking newsreader.
HANK then forcefully hangs up the phone. GEORGE looks startled.
HANK
 What have you got there?

GEORGE
Just some information on our assassin.
HANK
 Oh yeah?
GEORGE
A young man by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, 25 year old former marine who defected to the Soviet Union. Caucasian, 5”9, approximately 160 pounds.
GEORGE hands HANK the folder. HANK peruses.
HANK
 Any sightings?
GEORGE
Well, nothing’s confirmed, but we had a couple of people say they saw a suspicious looking man matching his description hurriedly walking out of the book depository building on Elm street shortly after the shooting. We’ve sent a couple of uniforms down there but nothing yet.
HANK
Yeah, well he can’t run forever.

7. EXT- A BUSY CITY STREET- DAY
LEE is hurriedly walking down the street looking paranoid and flustered amongst a crowd of people.
He then hastily turns into a more deserted street in order to escape the crowd and his paranoia.

8. EXT-A QUIETER STREET- DAY
We follow LEE for a while as he continues to walk briskly away from the commotion and noise. He then he slows down when a movie poster plastered on a wall catches his attention. It is for “Big Momma’s House”.
He stops and stares at the poster with a hint of pleasure which we have yet to see him express. He looks around, and then enters inside through the glass double doors.
9. INT-CINEMA FOYER
The foyer is small and well furnished with a vintage feel. The place is empty bar a couple of people. LEE gingerly walks up to the ticket counter/snack bar.
LEE
 One for Big Momma’s House thanks.
ATTENDENT then prints off ticket and the two make the exchange.
ATTENDENT
Anything else?
LEE
 Yeah can I have a large popcorn?
ATTENDENT goes over to popcorn oven and starts to scoop it out.
ATTENDENT
 Buttered and salted?
LEE
 Yeah why not? You only live once.
ATTENDENT nods cordially and continues to scoop the popcorn out.
LEE
(CONT’D)
 Could I just get a choc top as well?

10. INT-THEATRE ENTRANCE-DAY
We see a young male teenager standing at the entrance of the theatres, presumably the ticketing attendant. LEE enters the frame carrying his popcorn and ice cream. He then awkwardly scrambles for his ticket in his pocket and hands it to the attendant. The TICKET ATTENDENT tears it and hands it back.
TICKET ATTENDENT
 Cinema two, enjoy the film.
LEE nods and smiles at Attendant.

11. INT-THEATRE-DAY
We see, from a high vantage point, a dimly lit and completely vacant cinema. LEE then enters frame and seems impressed that nobody is around. We see him walk to the middle row and sit down on the chair, being careful not to spill his popcorn as he’s sitting.
12. INT-POLICE STATION-DAY
HANK is seen perusing LEE’s profile (or similar) when GEORGE enters the room and excitedly rushes up to him.
GEORGE
Hank, we got him. I just got a call from ace cinemas down the road. He’s watching a movie right now as we speak. He’s an absolute sitting duck.
HANK
He’s actually watching a movie?
GEORGE
Yeah Yeah I just spoke to a guy who sold him the ticket and he said he was in cinema 2 watching a Big Momma’s House or something.
HANK
Well that’s gunna strengthen the insanity plea I guess. Is he on his own?
GEORGE
 Just him and his popcorn.
HANK
 Alright let’s do it.
 
HANK and GEORGE grab their coats and exit.
 
13. INT- CINEMA FOYER-DAY
GEORGE and HANK are seen entering the double doors and walking with purpose toward the theatre entrance.

 

14. INT-THEATRE ENTRANCE-DAY
HANK and GEORGE appear at the entrance and are greeted by the young ticket attendant.
TICKET ATTENDENT
 Can I see your tickets please guys?
HANK then nonchalantly flashes his badge
HANK
 Where’s cinema 2?
TICKET ATTENDENT
 Oh, Uhhh...back and to the left.
The ticket attendant motions the direction with his head. HANK and GEORGE pause slightly and then walk quickly in that direction.
15. INT-THEATRE WAITING AREA
We see the backs of GEORGE and HANK as they stride towards the door of cinema 2. They are both clutching pistols and about to go through the doors to apprehend their man.
GEORGE
(suddenly stopping)
 Hang on, wait a sec.
HANK
 What?
GEORGE
 We can’t just burst in there like this can we?
HANK
 Why not?
GEORGE
Well, its gunna be pitch black in there, we won’t be able to see what he looks like.
HANK
 You’re right we don’t want innocent people getting hurt.
GEORGE
Yeah I think they’re probably suffering enough in there.
HANK
 So what do you suggest we do then junior?
GEORGE
Well, there’s no harm in just waiting here I guess. Once the movie finishes, the lights’ll come on and we can just grab him.
HANK
 Alright then. Sounds good.

Both men then sit on the couch situated outside Cinema 2. They begin to relax and put their guns away.  HANK then lights up a cigarette. This is followed by awkward silence.

GEORGE
It’s funny to think his last 2 hours of freedom’s gunna be spent watching Martin Lawrence in a fat suit. Fuck that’s worth 15-20 years on its own hey?

GEORGE laughs, HANK barely reacts. More awkward silence follows.
GEORGE
 You seen that?
GEORGE points to a Die Hard 4.0 poster.
HANK
 Nah I haven’t. Is it any good?
GEORGE
 I dunno, I haven’t seen it myself yet.
A wry smile comes over George’s face.
GEORGE
(CONT’D)
 You know it starts in 3 minutes.
HANK looks at GEORGE incredulously.

HANK
 You’re not serious are you?
GEORGE
Yeah, why not?
HANK
Oh come one George. Can you even imagine what the president would think if he knew that we were watching a movie instead of hunting his killer?
GEORGE
What do you mean what the president would think?…He’s not thinking anything; he doesn’t even have a head anymore.
HANK looks slightly offended by GEORGE’S comment.
GEORGE
(CONT’D)
Come on we might as well. We got plenty of time.
HANK
Look, stop being ridiculous ok? Were police officers, we’ve got probably the most important job on the planet right now. So let’s just do it.
GEORGE
 Alright.
A long beat. More awkward silence. HANK looks at the floor.
GEORGE
We could see The Departed?

HANK lifts his head slightly.

JUMP CUT TO:
16. INT- THEATRE SIX
GEORGE and HANK seated in the cinema. GEORGE is sipping on a massive Coke whilst HANK is eating his large pretzel. We stay on them as they are keenly watching the screen.
17. INT-THEATRE TWO
We see LEE watching the screen.
FADE OUT:
18. BLACK SCREEN-CAPTION
Lee Harvey Oswald walked out of Big Momma’s house 1 hour before the scheduled end, thus escaping capture. However, his distaste for broad comedies landed him a job hosting “The Movie Show” on the ABC with Margaret Pomeranz.
Detectives George Griffiths and Hank Jacobs were released from the police force following their incompetence. They now have to resort to seeing movies on Tuesdays.

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