Asia Argento: Original Script

by Emma Forrest .

INT.BEDROOM, NIGHTTIME

A young woman is tucked into a messy double bed with deep red sheets and too many pillows, the street lamp outside her window her night light in the dark. The phone is by her ear as a deep male voice lulls her into sleep:

MAN V.O

Goodnight moon. Goodnight old lady, whispering "hush".

The colours and the voice indicate threat but she seems oblivious. As she drifts off there is music playing softly, almost subliminally, from the apartment upstairs.

INT.AIRPORT TERMINAL, AFTERNOON

Non-specific paradise skies viewed beyond parking lot. All is too bright, as threatening as the dark of her room.

An older man, the young woman and a three year old girl walk through the terminal. It's not clear who goes where. He is barefoot and shirtless in shorts. The little girl, Elise, is barefoot in a sundress, carrying 'Goodnight Moon'. The young woman, Bianca, is tan, wearing cut off jeans, an ipod attached to the pocket, the headphones hanging around her neck as if in readiness should she suddenly require music. She is carrying a heavy winter coat over her bag of wheely luggage. They stop at a duty free toy store. The little girl picks up a teddy holding a heart. The man holds onto the back of Elise's dress with one hand and inserts his other down the back of the Bianca's jeans. The little girl turns to him holding the teddy and he whips his hand out before she can catch him. She is distracted anyway:

ELISE

I want it. I should get what I want. If you love me enough I should be allowed to have what I want.

The older girl stares at the younger, impressed.

MAN


I left my wallet in the car. Can you...

BIANCA

I've got it.

She pays for it. 

BIANCA

Got to get rid of this money anyway.

The little girl snatches the teddy from her hands.

CUT TO:

INT.CHECK IN

Bianca takes her ticket to the bench where father and daughter wait. Ensconced in dream world with his daughter, he stands when Bianca intrudes on it. She leans forward to kiss the man. He pulls away.

MAN

She'll tell her mother.

Bianca bites her lip (not to kiss him or not to cry?) 

MAN 

You want a bottle of water for the flight?

BIANCA

Okay.

He goes to the vending machine. She is left momentarily with his daughter. They regard each other.

PASSERBY

What an adorable little girl you have.

BIANCA

Thankyou.

Elise glares at Bianca.

CUT TO:

A sign reads:

Passengers only beyond this point. 

MAN


Thankyou for flying all this way. You've taught me so much about love...

BIANCA

Don't.

He looks at his feet. She looks at the girl, flopped on the floor playing happily with what she paid for. Bianca and the man look at each other.

BIANCA

Bye.

MAN

Bye.

She puts the headphones in place, hits play on her ipod and walks through to the other side, trying to hold it together. 

INT.PLANE

She sits in economy, getting up during the flight to check on the progress of her increasingly tear swollen eyes in the cruelly lit lavatory. 

BIANCA


Stop it!

She presses play again. She dances on the closed toilet seat to her ipod, her ankles in the mirror. Having pulled herself together, she looks at the sleeping people around her, the sleeping man next to her. He has on headphones plugged into the arm of his seat, snoring through the tinny music piping into his ears. 

EXT.NYC

Taxi lets her out very late at night at her apartment building in NYC. It is freezing and she has her down coat on with jeans. She opens the box to get her mail which is over-flowing. NY has rendered her pale. A beautiful young man, younger looking than her, exceptionally young looking in fact, walks into the building as she is wrestling with getting her bag up the stairs. 

BOY


Can I get that for you?

She unhooks her headphones from her ears. He takes the bag  without asking, walks ahead of her to her door and drops it outside her apartment. She doesn't question that he knows which door is hers.

BIANCA


You live here?

BOY

Above you.

BIANCA

5G or 5H?

BOY

H

She stares at him, trying to place his face.

BIANCA

I'm sorry, I'm so tired. Thanks.

BOY

I'll see you tomorrow.

BIANCA


You will? Okay.

 She goes into her apartment and shakes her head. Weirdo. 

 Her phone is ringing. The ansaphone picks up, her voice on it cheery.

MAN V.O


It's me again. Just checking you got home safe.

There are four other messages flashing. She erases them all. 

CUT TO:

INT.BATHROOM

She submerges herself in a bath to wash away tears. A cat pushes at the bathroom door, walks in and the door ajar reveals there is a huge fireplace in her bedroom. Above the mantelpiece are framed pictures of: Beatrice Dalle as Betty Blue, Simone Simon in 'Cat People', Marilyn Monroe in 'Don't Bother to Knock', and Gene Tierney as 'Laura'. A wall of female madness.

The cat sleeps on her stomach that night. The sheets are shades of red and pink. 

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM

She wakes the next day and throws up. 

INT.DELI

She goes to the corner to get ginger ale. She feels her breasts as she pays. The deli guy looks at her oddly.

INT.BATHROOM

Laying in her bath she watches a pregnancy test beside her on the tub as two lines appear. As the second line materialises she sinks under the water. She stays under there a full minute. Music pulls her back up. She resurfaces to 'Leif Erikson' emanating from upstairs. She wraps herself in a towel, pads through to the other room and lays on the bed.

INT.TAXI

She goes to the doctor, listening to her iPod. She looks at herself, so pale, in a compact mirror. She puts on red lipstick, shakily. It makes her look more frail.

INT.DOCTOR'S OFFICE

Bianca lays in the stirrup chair. The Doctor is a hot 50-something redhead in a pencil skirt and vertiginously high heels.

BIANCA


I'm pregnant. I know that I'm pregnant. I just know.

The doctor examines a piece of litmus paper which she has dipped in her own test.

DOCTOR

You're pregnant. Very faintly.

Bianca sits up.

BIANCA

I'm not. I can't be. 

DOCTOR

Very faintly.

BIANCA

How can I be faintly pregnant? Isn't that like being sort of a Nazi?

The doctor ignores her.

DOCTOR


Do you wish to continue with the pregnancy?

BIANCA

No. I do not wish to continue. 

DOCTOR

Your options are...

BIANCA


Let's do it now.

DOCTOR


We can't do it now. I'm afraid you've caught it so early, we're going to have to wait  a week. 

INT.BEDROOM, NIGHT TIME

Bianca is in bed. 'Leif Erikson' plays above her. She conducts it with her pink striped pregnancy test. The phone rings. She hears the man's voice and answers it this time.

BIANCA


Hello?

MAN

You're there. I was worried about you. How are you?

BIANCA


I...am...pregnant.

MAN


Oh my God. Oh Bianca. Are you sure?

BIANCA


The procedure is January 9th.

MAN


Fuck. I can't be there. I have Elise that week. Who will be with you for the operation?

BIANCA


It's not an operation, it's a procedure. 

MAN


Bianca...

BIANCA


It's showing already.

He sighs.

MAN


It's your body type. You must look so beautiful.

BIANCA


I can't talk to you anymore.

She hangs up. She runs her hands over her ever so slightly swollen tummy. She does look beautiful, the mirror opposite her bed reflects the fact. She falls asleep. She is alarmed to wake in the night to see, reflected in the mirror, her hands on her stomach.

INT.BATHROOM, MORNING

She brushes her teeth, her ipod on. She hears the music. It's her music in her ears but coming from the apartment upstairs again: 'Good Woman' by Cat Power. He's only a beat or two behind her. Trying to trace the source she leans in to the fireplace and realises the sound is coming down the chimney. She follows the noise up the stairs as it gets louder, toothbrush still in hand, headphones round neck. She leans against the wall outside his door and keeps brushing.

Suddenly it stops.

The boy, stepping out the door bundled up for the weather, catches her leaning against the wall. She doesn't apologize.

BIANCA


Why didn't I realise you lived here?

BOY


I don't know. I knew you were here.

BIANCA


Why didn't I hear your music before?

BOY


Maybe you weren't listening.

She nods. Goes back down the stairs, walks to her sink and spits.

INT.BEDROOM

She lays on her bed watching TV and drinking ginger ale. He is playing one of her records, 'Beast of Burden' by Rolling Stones. She goes to her CD collection, finds it and puts it on.

BIANCA


Good idea.

She turns off the TV, turns up the volume, lays back on the bed. They listen to it "together".

BIANCA


"Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty girl..."

INT.LIVING ROOM

She sits at her jumbled mess of an office desk, eating M and M's and attempting to sort through letters. All her bills are final notices. Overwhelmed, she puts them aside, goes to the bathroom, opens the cabinet and un-caps a bottle of valium. She empties the pills into her hand. The music starts. 

"Am I hard enough, am I rough enough..."

The music gets louder.

Something clicks in her and instead of swallowing them, she arranges the valium around the toilet seat. Adds M and M's to the pattern. She takes one of each, one valium, one M and M, puts them in her mouth, sweeps the rest into the toilet, flushes and goes upstairs and knocks.

He answers, sleepy, shirtless.

BIANCA


You can sleep through that noise?

BOY

I guess so. Was it bothering you?

She shakes her head. He turns it off anyway. She tries not to stare at his body.

BIANCA

Do you want to go out tomorrow night? Out of the building? If you're free?

BOY

Okay.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM

She goes to bed, smiling, staring at her fireplace. The music has started again.

INT.BAR

They are the palest people in the bar. They are still as all the other patrons seem to be in motion.

BIANCA


I don't feel like drinking.

BOY


I don't want to drink either.

She pushes her drink back to the bar-tender and puts down money. He replaces it with his own.

BOY


I never let a woman pay.

BIANCA


But you're younger than me.

BOY


So?

CUT TO:

EXT. BAR 

They venture out into the snow.

BOY


I'll walk you to your door.

INT.HALLWAY

They are outside her door. He kisses her cheek. She pulls him back to her by his sweater and kisses him on the mouth. He kisses her back. Then walks back upstairs...

 INT.BEDROOM

She wakes up smiling. The red sheets are a softer pink than in the first scene.

INT.APARTMENT

She hears the music start- 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over' by Jeff Buckley- and bounds up the stairs. She knocks and he opens.

She walks into his apartment. It's like walking into another world. Beautiful compared to hers, full of light and detail, she walks around it, the bathroom immaculate. She fiddles with the light, which grows and fades with the dimmer switch rather than switching off and on. There's a fancy wrought iron staircase spiralling up from the living room to the bedroom. It's the same space as hers but he's made it grown-up instead of student-y. 

BIANCA


I can't believe this place has anything to do with my wreck.

BOY


Actually, this is a different building from yours.

He shows her the line on the wall where they join. 

BOY


See?

 INT.BEDROOM

She listens for his music. It starts and she sprints up the stairs. She knocks. He doesn't answer, the music is too loud. She leans against his door. Bangs.

BOY


I'm sorry I didn't hear you. 

He sits at his desk where his computer is open. She sinks to her knees in front of him, tilts her head up. Nothing. She kisses him. He tries to get away. She kisses him again, more forcefully. He responds, kissing her back, pulling her close by the back of her head.

BOY


I'm going to dinner. Where were you an hour ago? 

GIRL

Do you have to go?

BOY


I'll be back.

GIRL


When?

BOY


Soon. 

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM

She strings fairy lights around the mantel piece and lights candles. Puts on 'Good Woman' by Cat Power. She lays in her bed, looks at the fireplace. She takes a valium. Dozes off hands crossed over stomach as the CD ends. 

The music starts, the same song she was listening to, Cat Power, and she makes it up the stairs in a semi-trance. She knocks on the door. He opens it and she walks in. 

CUT TO:

INT.HIS BEDROOM

 They're in his bed, above the living room. She is wearing black underwear. The skylight above his bed shows the snow falling "on" them as 'Good Woman' plays.

INT.DOCTOR'S OFFICE

Bianca is in jeans, t-shirt and converse.

DOCTOR


You look very young today.

BIANCA


I did wonder what you wear to your first abortion.

DOCTOR


I think you picked well.

She takes her clothes off in the changing room, putting on the pink operating room smock. Looks at herself in the mirror. Starts to cry. 

BIANCA


You're not here. You're not here.

It's not entirely clear whether she means the father of the child or herself. She opens the door, lays down in the stirrups and starts crying again.

DOCTOR


You're going to be okay. You'll have a shot and then you'll drift away to an island.

They administer. She doesn't drift away. The generic paradise outside the airport window appears in her vision, brighter as she falls into the valium haze injection. Suddenly she starts spewing, like a corpse come alive:

BIANCA

Cocksucker. Cocksucker. Motherfucker. Asshole. Asshole. Asshole.

INT.TAXI

She leans against the window, listening to her ipod nodding in and out of sleep. 'I Wanna Be Adored' by The Stone Roses.

INT.BEDROOM

She gets home and falls right into bed. When she wakes up, music is playing. But it is in her head. When she walks, wobbly, to the fireplace, it has stopped. The phone rings.

MAN V.O


Are you okay?

BIANCA


I'm fine.

MAN


Really?

BIANCA


It was nothing. I'm fine.

MAN


I'm glad. I've been listening to the mix tapes you made me. It's like longing shot into my veins. Bianca, I'm still in love with you.

She says nothing.

MAN

 
Did you hear me? I'm still in love with you.

Beat.

BIANCA


I had it removed.

She hangs up. She lays in bed, waiting for the music. It isn't there. She goes up, leans on the door. Breathes it a while - the door, the landing. Straining her ears. Nothing there. She knocks. Someone else opens across the hall, an old woman. Her TV crackles from her living room.

BIANCA


No, not you.

OLD WOMAN


There's no-one there. 

BIANCA


There is. There's a guy who lives up here. The one who plays loud music.

OLD WOMAN


He's gone. He moved out this morning.

The woman closes her door. Bianca goes back down stairs shaking. She sits upright on her bed and stares into space. Suddenly she goes back upstairs, takes a breath and turns the door knob. It's a mess. Unlived, unloved, empty.

She goes back downstairs, strips to her underwear, takes a few valium, knocks herself out.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM

She wakes up, instinctively straining for the music. None. She leans her ear against the fireplace.

BIANCA


Please come back. Please please come back.

She presses herself against the mantelpiece. Then she peers her face right into the fireplace, up against the dust. She puts her ipod on, the music she wants to hear, 'Good Woman' by Cat Power, hooks the ipod to the band of her underwear, same underwear she had on when she and the boy made love. She leans against the fireplace. Then she turns up the music and climbs inside.

She places her sooty hands against her now flat stomach. The black handprint is imprinted on the white flesh, the fairy lights flashing, the framed Betty, Marilyn, Simone approving her descent, her cat circling her feet, the tinny music emanating from the ear pieces.

 'Good Woman' keeps playing from her headphones, rising to real volume, then louder and louder, now unbearable...then STOPS.

She's in the bath tub washing off the soot when there is a knock on the door.

She holds her breath...and goes to answer it.

 The End