The Shorter the Skirt, the Higher the Kick

Guttural writing and interactive mind games from 'the sweetest girl on the Internet'. No minors or morally outraged, please! ;-)

Topic: A Mere Machine


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Now I have read the movie script I am considered for a pilot role in. Of course it could all be a scam; a scheme to meet women (let's all say O-V-E-R-K-I-L-L). It could also be a business strategy - tricking actresses into working for minimum wages doing risqué or kinky scenes in what they think are pilots (short proof-of-concept scenes for financers from a planned longer film), but really are secretly sold as erotic short stories in Malaysia. However, I don't think so. I gather that the producer is fairly known and well established. Also, I doubt that the secret short story market in Malaysia is big enough to support even half of the people involved in my screen test the other day. So I will savior this as the rare moment it seems to be; even though the script wasn't in any way written with me in mind, everyone seemed to think that I would be perfect as the movie heroine, so for once I can see in text and drawn scene sketches exactly what kind of actions and situations a certain group of people associate me with, and would like to see me in.


So is the script any good? Will the movie be a critic or a box office hit? Given the right talent involved (to which I don't count myself) and the right money (some of it looks expensive), I would say that it can be both. That is, assuming it gets past censorship with a workable rating; it is written (and drawn in the script's scene sketches) in the same style as the 'comics for grownups' which have been popular for, I don't know, at least ten years. But I am sure that the people behind this film know what they are doing, and can create the right colorful Manga atmosphere for critics to rave about its postmodern irony, and for hip audiences to flock to it.



The script aims for smarts, suspense, and sexiness. In it, there are scenes which probably will draw huge laughs. And in it, the character I should be playing is tied down and undressed several times, raped or molested on five different occasions, and gagged throughout the finale. In addition, a handful of men are shot dead, and a whole Swiss girl school class drowns. Having fun yet?




My character works for the US government in some kind of military hit squad, together with Johnny Blazes (huge chin and narrow eyes in the script sketches) and Daniel Deracha (curly-haired and a little shorter). Johnny and Daniel have the first scenes without my character, establishing the plot. (Hunting down a South American cartel smuggling some kind of 'party drug', which apparently makes people start to dance uncontrollably, while the theme music from the movie plays in the background.) I am introduced through a string of stale old jokes. First, I am driving in my sports car on my way to the mission briefing, when I stop by a beach, where three 'country bumpkins' are sitting on a bench. I walk by them, and change into my bikini in front of them. When I have my bikini on, I 'jog towards the water', but suddenly one of the bumpkins from before appear in front of me, and I assume 'first defensive Tae Kwon-Do position' (whatever that is). Country bumpkin drawls 'Swimming is prohibited here', I ('shocked', according to the script) ask 'Why didn't you tell me before I undressed?', and bumpkin naturally replies 'Undressing ain't prohibited here.'


Then my character arrives to the briefing, now in uniform. (I recognize the pleated skirt from my screen test.) The Colonel (no name in the script) enters, and Mr. Blazes, Mr. Derecha and I stand to attention. Colonel to Johnny Blazes: 'Stomach in and chest out, soldier!' Colonel to Daniel Deracha: 'Stomach in and chest out, soldier!' Colonel to me: 'Stomach in and chest out, soldier! More! More! MORE!'



We are informed by the Colonel that the cartel has been tracked down to a specific South American city. Before we leave, we are instructed to report to the Medical Officer. A long shot from the waiting room shows the doctor, looking strict and holding a filled syringe, open a door to the left, let Johnny Blazes in, and close the door. Then the doctor opens a door to the right, still looking strict but now holding an empty syringe. Johnny comes out through the right door, grimacing a little with pain and rubbing his finger. Next, the doctor opens the door to the left again, looking equally strict and again holding a filled syringe, letting Daniel Deracha in. After a moment we see the doctor open the right door, still with a grim expression and again with an empty syringe, letting Daniel out. Daniel grimaces a little more than Johnny, and rubs his finger. Finally, the doctor opens the door to the left once again with his grave expression and his filled syringe, to let my character in. But when the doctor opens the door to the right this time, he is grinning happily, and instead of rubbing my finger while I come out grimacing like the others, I am rubbing my behind. Har-de-har.



In the cartel's South American home town, we discover some 'party drug' users dancing frantically in a bar (hearing the movie theme probably made us go in there). We try to question the people in the bar, and get into a fight. My big moment in the fight (aiming for the 'really quite Feminist' critics' award, no doubt) seems to be when I am pushed halfway over a balcony, which makes me grab two golden cherubs on the outside of the balustrade I am lying across, giving me leverage to send a flying double kick against the aggressor behind me with my feet. (If they don't have stunt people or CGI for that, I would need all my dance training.) We find out the address of the cartel's headquarters (at Don Picaro's house, no less), and go there in the evening.



While Johnny Blazes fraternizes Don Picaro's staff outside the house (and learns that a certain Swiss banker is involved in the cartel), I position myself on a terrace above the house (strangely, according to the sketches I am standing underneath the only light around), snapping pictures of them with an infrared camera. Then someone reaches out from the darkness behind me, snatches away the camera, and pushes me halfway over the terrace railing. Lying over the thin railing I grab two of the railing bars to deliver my trademark kick again. But this time, ropes are tightened around the wrists of my arms and legs before I can do it, and I get tied down over the railing with arms and legs wide apart, left hand on the outside of the railing tied to my left foot on the inside, and right hand tied to right foot in the same way. Next, the script calls for a shot from the street level below the terrace of me hanging with half my body outside the railing, with my assailant approaching from behind me, but still obscured by darkness. After that comes a shot from the terrace floor, showing my face upside down outside the railing bars, visible between my spread legs on the inside. My capturer comes into the light around me, but you (and I) can only see his feet, and wow, here's the thing – he has silver boots, with black stars on them. He comes up to me and spreads his legs a little too to keep my face in the shot, and then the script just calls for a long shot of my face 'moaning and groaning'.



Next shot of the terrace is in morning light, with me still hanging tied over the railing (shot at reasonably tasteful angles, according to the sketches), but now the terrace is swarming with South American detectives with magnifying glasses and newspapermen with cameras, carefully observing and documenting every detail of the crime scene. A police officer stands beside me on the terrace, and I tell him to untie me. His line (after the stage direction 'Looks at the sky for a long time while chewing a toothpick') is 'No can do yet. When I told el jefe about this case, him demand to come investigate it personally. We cannot touch anything until he come first. Really really sorry we cannot touch anything.' (His next stage direction is to study me from behind, and sigh.)



Don Picaro's house has been deserted during the night, but Johnny Blazes, Daniel Deracha and my character follow the banker lead to Switzerland. The banker is nowhere to be found though, and the Swiss authorities feel that we are trying to breach their banking secrecy, and order us to leave the country. We decide to stick around, but acknowledge that if the Swiss authorities catch anyone of us again, we will fail the mission. In disguise, Daniel visits the Swiss Central Banking Archives to track the banker down (and meets a Japanese muse who control all monetary transactions in the world), while I bring Johnny to get some civilian clothes for us too. While my character is in the dressing room changing, Mr. Blazes spots the banker we are looking for in the street outside, so when I come back out in the store wearing a short and low-cut Dirndl dress (which looks really cute in the sketches, I'll admit), knitted thigh-high stockings, high-heel boots and an Alpine hat with a feather, Johnny is gone.



Johnny Blazes follows the banker to a countryside villa among the snowy Alps by a frozen lake. There, he hides in a nearby park, and contacts Daniel at the Banking Archives and me in town over the radio, and tell us to meet him by a low hut outside the villa later in the evening. All of a sudden, Johnny's radio is struck out of his hand, and he finds himself surrounded by Swiss teenage girls in red and white school uniforms, armed with lacrosse sticks. The girls inform Johnny that he is trespassing on school property, and must stay where he is while one of them goes back to the school and calls the police. Since another contact with the Swiss police would ruin our mission, Johnny persuades the girls to let him come with them to their boarding school, to explain himself to the headmistress without police involvement. The girls agree, but when they have returned to the school building, the girls take him to their own dormitory instead of to the teacher's lounge. They explain that as long as Johnny is a good errand boy to them, they won't call the police. They also explain that the only road away from the school goes around the lake, and if he tries to escape by it, they can always intercept him by skating across the lake, and hold him down until the police get there.



So at night, when my character arrives to our meeting point outside the log cabin (which, judging from the sketches, is about 5ft. high), Johnny isn't there. Neither is Daniel. I hide behind the small building, sticking my head up over it to watch the banker's villa through giant binoculars. The camera cuts to inside the hut, where an old man is kneeling by a crucifix, comically praying for something. Suddenly he stops, beaming; his prayers seem to have been answered. There is a small open window in the wall above the crucifix, and when I press up against the wall outside the old man's shelter to hide, my breasts in the low-cut Dirndl dress are being pushed through the window opening. The old man reaches up to grab them, but when I change position outside they disappear from his window. Disconcerted, the old man starts praying again. Outside, I hear a noise from the villa and move closer to the hut again. My breasts reappear through the window, and the old man lunges forward, but when I see people coming out from the villa I squat down, so the old man inside misses again. I crawl around the cabin to the front and hide in the darkness on my hands and knees by the cabin's front door, but the banker and another crook start to walk down towards me from the villa - their cars are parked right by the cabin. I crawl backwards towards the old man's hut until I accidentally open his front door with my feet. The men stop near me, talking by their cars about going to a ceremony at 'the palace' in London. I quickly write down what they say, and then, in order to hide, I continue to crawl backwards halfway in through the tiny front door, and remain there listening. Inside, the old man turns and gazes at the appearance by his door. Then he kisses his crucifix in gratitude, crawls over on his knees to me while dropping his lederhosen, gets my Dirndl dress skirt up around my waist and reveals that I apparently got a pair of giant, old-fashioned bloomers with the rest of my Swiss disguise. In the script sketch from inside the hut, the old man's following actions are obscured by his back and his long, hanging, white shirt, but outside, the bad guys finally leave and I, still swaybacked on my hands and knees halfway through the front door opening, makes radio contact with Daniel and deliver the message 'They SAY that they will GOOO TO-OH Lond-O-on. We should folloOOH them there. I thi-EEEH-nk I can leave from here innNNN ab-OW-t ten mi-eeeh-nutes.'



Cut back to the boarding school dormitory, where Johnny Blazes smilingly is shining a giant pile of walking shoes, supervised by a girl named Hildegard with a long wooden pointer. While he does this, he chats with the girl about boarding school life, and she tells him (in a 'thick German accent' according to the script) about strict teachers, sports, and how the girls sometimes make a hole in the ice of the lake, which apparently isn't very thick, to 'svim in after the sauna'. Hildegard also tells Johnny that boarding school life is lonely, and that all the girls miss their families 'orr some ozer company'. Johnny convinces her that she should write a letter to her parents.



My character reunites with Daniel Deracha, and when we realize that Johnny Blazes has disappeared, we decide to continue to London without him. The scene of our traveling to London (me back in my uniform with the pleated skirt) is broken up by a shot of Johnny at the boarding school with his shirt off, fanning all the girls with a giant feather fan, while Hildegard tells the others that she has received a reply from her mother 'viz a prezent' - a huge box of candy, which all the beautiful, slender girls vow not to touch. In London, Daniel and I track down two of the bad guys and get into a firefight with them. They flee in opposite directions, and the camera first follows Daniel, as he runs after one of them through the London streets. Daniel almost catches the baddie, but just rips a bit off his sweater. Suddenly, his pursuit is stopped when he is cut off by a kind of parade; it is a group of very dirty sewer workers, celebrating the birthday of one of them by leading him blindfolded to a surprise down in the sewers. Daniel turns to follow me after the other baddie, and as he runs back we follow the celebration down into the pitch black sewers, where the workers continue along one of the sidewalks surrounding streaming water in the middle, bringing a single (but obviously very strong) lamp to guide them. Now we see me running down another street, catching up with my crook, while the parade below stops. The birthday boy's blindfold is removed and he is given the lamp, and when he turns the next corner he sees a birthday cake on a table in the middle of the sewer stream, visible in the light from an open manhole above it. As he approaches it, we cut back to me on street level, almost about to catch my bad guy - when I fall into the open manhole, and halfway down through it, leaving me hanging with my skirt neatly spread out around me over the hole, following the laws of movie physics. (So that's why it's pleated!) When the lower half of my body crashes down and starts swinging above the birthday cake below with struggling legs, the celebrating sewer worker climbs up on the table by the birthday cake, and with his head next to my crotch (which now seems to be covered by a thong rather than the bloomers) he wets his lips, turns to his mates, and lovingly calls out 'You guys really know how to throw a party!' Then he turns off the lamp, leaving the sewers in complete darkness. In the street, Daniel Deracha comes running and sees me sticking out of the hole, with my villain gone. He stops and asks 'Are you coming?' Staring in front of me, I reply 'No…not quite yet'.



In Switzerland night has fallen. The girls have gone to bed, and through the slightly open door of a giant linen cupboard by the wall, we see Johnny Blazes lying inside, resting comfortably. Then one of the girls, wearing a red and white school chemise, quietly sneaks up. Johnny opens the cupboard door invitingly, but she just hesitates a bit before she passes by the cupboard, to fetch something off camera. After a moment, she returns to bed. Soon, a second girl slips out of her bed, whispers 'Not tonight!' to Johnny in the cupboard, and fetches something in the same place. A third and a fourth girl follows before we see where they all are heading; Hildegard's candy box sits on a table, and every girl takes a little piece.



Back in London, the only clue we have is a label in the piece of fabric Daniel Deracha ripped from the baddy's sweater, according to which the sweater was hand knitted at the Knavechester Cotton Farm in the English countryside. Rather than making the obvious assumption that the villain has bought the sweater in some shop, Daniel and I decide to pay the cotton farm a visit. Once again I assume a disguise; now I am a barefooted Peasant Girl in a striped dress with large patches sewn on (and a grass straw behind my ear, judging from the sketches). The cotton farmer remembers the sweater owner from Daniel's description, and tells us that he is a valued customer, who apparently belongs to some kind of club which meets regularly at the Marhead Palace in London. While Daniel and I try to wrap up the conversation with the farmer, we see the Swiss banker pass by in a car outside the window. Daniel continues to help serving tea, but I slink out, and see that the Swiss banker has stopped his car by the neighbor farm's stables. While I quietly approach, the banker goes into the stables, and comes out again, now carrying a briefcase. He gets into his car and leaves, and I steal into the stables to investigate. All stalls are filled by cows except for one, where a lot of hay is scattered around. I take out my radio and put it beside me, and begin combing through the hay in the stall, going down on my hands and knees - and having come this far in the movie, we all know that when my character is in the middle of accomplishing something and is on all fours, only one thing can happen.



The camera shot sketch is from the front, showing my face, my arms and hands, a fair bit of cleavage, and the feet in star-sprinkled silver boots of the person standing by me. I get a gun to my head and a calf tether fixed by a very short chain to the stable wall locked around my neck. Then my striped dress is lift from behind and folded around my head and shoulders, again preventing me (and the audience) from seeing my silver-booted opponent. This is followed by another 'moaning and groaning' close-up of my face and of my hands, clawing in the hay.



From this pastoral scene we cut to Switzerland, where Johnny Blazes makes his move. Alone in the dormitory he escapes through a window and comfortably climbs down to the grass. He begins to jog leisurely along the road around the frozen lake, but then he stops and looks back. Next scene sketch in the script shows all the girls from the dormitory as slender and beautiful as on all the other sketches of them but with vicious gleams in their eyes, coming towards him over the lake wearing white skates, white fur hats, white fur hand muffs (good luck trying to skate in that), and very short red coats lined with white fur over their very short school uniforms. However, on the following sketches they all start to wobble near the middle of the lake, falling over each other with open mouths, falling backwards and forwards, falling any which way that exposes their underwear as much as possible. On the final scene sketches, the ice cracks and they all sink, one head with an open mouth sticking up in one place, one arm in another place, and an impossibly long leg with a skate in yet another. Then nothing. (Besides typical cartoon bubbles coming out of the water.) Johnny calmly says: 'I knew they couldn't resist the sweets. Each girl had put on an extra ounce of weight, and it could only end like this.' Then he continues up to the old man's hut, where he finds the note about London I scribbled while I spied on the banker, providing suspense with my front and entertainment with my back.



In the stables, Mr. Silver Boots has restored my clothing and left me tethered in the stall. Suddenly my radio cracks to life from Daniel trying to contact me. I try to reach out from my four-limbed position to press the radio's send button and reply, but it is too far away. Daniel assumes that I have left the radio and is recording the traffic from it, so he leaves a message that he is going to the club in the Marhead Palace, and that he hopes that I am in good hands. Daniel finishes his message, and I hear from a distance how a car is starting, and leaving. When this has happened, we follow Johnny Blazes arriving at the hotel where Daniel and I stayed in London.



Back in the stables, the fat peasant ('Nathaniel') owning the milk farm enters. He comes over to the stall where I am chained, and listens for a while as I start explaining that despite my peasant outfit, I am an agent chasing an international drug cartel, and that he must release me immediately so I can contact my colleagues. Then he puts a kind of dog muzzle over my mouth to shut me up and locks that too, saying that he 'ain't used to so much talking'. The peasant starts eyeing me over, when his wife ('Emma'), equally fat and wearing very thick glasses, comes into the stables. Emma asks what he is doing, and Nathaniel explains that he is just milking the cows, and that she should go back to the house. Instead, she comes over to him, and remarks that I look like a very small cow, and that she hopes he hasn't paid too much for me. Again, the peasant tries to make his spouse leave, but she insists on seeing how much milk this new cow gives, so the peasant discretely unbuttons the front of my striped dress and starts 'milking' my breasts. Displeased with the result, Emma tells Nathaniel to stop mucking about with hand-milking, and use the milking machine instead. Nathaniel obeys, and connects three hoses from the milking machine to my breasts and up under my skirt, which results in another (more muffled) 'moan and groan' sequence from me as he starts the machine. Emma is still far from pleased with the result and tells her husband 'Get rid of that silly cow…Now she kicked me too!', but Nathaniel informs his wife that he intends to keep me in the stables for a couple of weeks, and then expects to get a 'really, really good price' for me from one of the other farms. Before he leaves, Nathaniel shovels up some fodder concentrate in front of me. ('Full of dietary fiber', he mutters.)



When the peasant couple has left, the stable doors open again. It's the Swiss banker, the two guys Daniel and I chased in London, and another stooge. With drawn guns, they approach me as I desperately try to reach my radio. But then - tada! - another door opens, and Johnny Blazes comes in. He ducks in the stall where I am tethered, rips my chain from the wall, and hands me a gun. BIG shootout follows, with the fat peasant reappearing in the stables in the middle of it, and getting shot simultaneously by both sides. To cut a long scene (including an exploding silo) short, we win, and since I still have the muzzle locked on (Johnny mumbles 'Why ruin a perfect arrangement?'), we play back Daniel's message from my radio, and then hurry to Johnny's car together to get to the Marhead Palace in London.



In London, we hide around the corner from the palace entrance, and watch the door. Soon, a man comes out - and he's wearing silver boots! I try to explain who he is to Johnny, but being muzzled, I can only use sign language, which he distractedly waves back at. So instead I draw my gun to shoot the crook, but Johnny grabs my arm at the last moment, making me shoot in the air. The crook immediately surrenders, and we storm into the club with drawn weapons, interrupting some strange ceremony where Don Picaro (the drug cartel kingpin, remember?) is standing by a giant jar filled with the 'party drug', handing out rewards to his lieutenants - and as we line people up against the wall after another short gunfight, we see that everyone is wearing silver boots. I am taken aback for a moment, but then I realize that only one of them has black stars on his boots, like my arch enemy. I turn this person around to face me - and of course, it's Daniel Deracha. I knock him out cold.



The final scene of the movie is back at the regiment, where the Colonel is handing out medals to a group of soldiers. I am first in line (in my uniform and out of the muzzle), followed by Johnny Blazes, whose chest already is covered with medals. We are standing by the sealed jar full of 'party drug' we captured. The Colonel is handed the first medal, and carefully pins it to my uniform blouse. Then he is handed the next medal and starts to move on, but thinks better of it, and returns to pin that medal to my chest too, after having decided its placement even more carefully this time. He pins the third medal to my blouse as well, then the fourth and so on, until all the medals are hanging from me. When the Colonel is out of medals, he makes an apologizing gesture to Johnny Blazes and the other soldiers. In response, Johnny Blazes salutes the Colonel, and steps forward. 'Sir! May I?' he asks, and the Colonel nods. So Johnny Blazes takes a medal from his own jacket, and pins it to the only free place on the front of my blouse. This makes the whole blouse front rip off and fall to the floor, with medals and all. I shriek and step back, trying to cover my lacy bra with my arms, and knock over the drug jar. The jar falls over and shatters, and the 'party drug' evaporates in the air. Everyone in the room starts to dance like crazy, while the theme music plays and the end credits roll.




That's the script - so will I act in the movie? Not in a million years. It is prejudiced, derogatory, and painfully stupid. Just summing up the script for you, dear readers, made me want to wash my hands afterwards. So why did I go through the trouble? For the same reason, I suppose, that you went through the trouble of reading it (assuming you didn't just skip to the end) - because here and there, it is also kind of funny, and I wanted to share the fun with you, my friends.


So how can I find something that stupid funny? It's all by the books. In Laughter, Henri Bergson writes 'The attitudes, gestures and movements of the human body are laughable in exact proportion as that body reminds us of a mere machine'. And the way René Descartes saw it, (non-human) animals are just organic machines, so a person being reduced to an animal, like a tethered cow supposed to produce milk, is funny by the same token. The drug making everyone become 'dancing machines' is also funny. And the funniest and most machine-like in my female movie character is of course the numerous times she is 'cut in half', and just becomes the machine part below the waist (or in the stables, below the neck), with machine responses to what people do to her.



Why does that make us laugh? According to The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris, humans only use a small number of basic signals to one another. Smiling is certainly one, used for bonding, but Morris feels that smiling has nothing to do with laughter. Instead, laughter is a mixture of two basic signals: Showing your teeth in fear or anger and making the sound of a safe, content infant. The showing your teeth part says 'There seems to be danger', and the infant sound says 'But there isn't, really'. So laughter is a tension/release response when something seemed threatening but turned out not to be; it's a sign of relief. (You can test this yourselves by telling a group of people a joke; if your joke is long enough and hard enough to follow, most people who felt that they had to really listen to you will laugh at the ending no matter how dull it is, just out of relief that the tension is over.) And of course, other people are complex, and demanding, and threatening, even on a stage or a movie screen. So when they turn into simple machines for a while (can't be too long, though), we all feel relieved, and laugh.



People often become pretty relieved by being turned into machines themselves, too. It may be different for the Other Sex, but if they knew how many times girls agree to kiss, to make out, or to go to bed (and maybe to marry and have five kids too) just to not have to talk anymore, they would probably spend less time polishing their pickup conversation.



So thank you again, Mr. Producer, for this rare opportunity to find out how another person most of all would like to see me. Sometimes, that is how I most of all would like to see myself too. But I won't do it for you.





Read on:


2 bounce-backs:

Anonymous Theodore says...,

Great piece! But that paper you signed when you got the script...it wasn't an NDA form was it? If it was, talking about the script on the Internet can get you in deep, deep trouble.

 
Blogger Trixie says...,

Shhh...Don't tell anyone! ;-) With all the secrets I shared here, which would destroy me if any one of them came out, I am pretty much at the mercy of you readers anyway.

 

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