Tuesday, January 25, 2011

mutant space vipers

Watch the "Cassandra Directive" scene.

Here is another clip from last week's Dramatists Guild reading. The "Cassandra Directive" scene in JULIA & BUDDY isn't in the play only for comic relief - the themes of not needing sex - at least androids as opposed to humans - and also precognition - or the lack thereof - come up later in the play. But there is something about the way Claire Warden does the Cassandra voice (she's technically not supposed to be seen, only heard) that cracks me up every time. You can hear me chortling and snorting (how attractive) while recording.

In the image above, her hand is blurry because she was enacting cutting off the cowboy's hand with a light saber - although she accidentally says "I will sever your hand from my arm" - which I guess could work, but in the script she says she'll sever his hand from his own arm.

But she's so good as the android I might have to rewrite the scene to have her actually play the ladybot.

The original inspiration for this scene is a parody I wrote of a local independent filmmaker's space western, which can be read here.

One of the reasons the filmmaker's films are so lacking in humor - which at least one reviewer complained about - is because almost every one of his characters is surly. The hero. The retarded space marshall. All the other space marshalls. The ladybot. The monk guy or whatever he was. And surly ALL THE TIME. I guess the filmmaker figures it makes his movies seem all tough and bad-ass and shit to have every character in a perpetual bad mood.

And that's why his films - the bits I've seen - are so unintentionally funny. People walking around in quasi-space gear snarling constantly at each other will make you giggle after awhile

But back to my play. After watching the clip, I do think I need to trim the scene. Also the cowboy says "we's gonna have sex" twice and it's a bit much. I need to come up with something similar to "I'm gonna take you for a test drive." Another favorite bit: "operational ladyparts."

I was disappointed that I didn't get a reaction from the audience when Julia calls the movie clip she just saw "indescribable." I actually stole that line from "I, Claudius" where crazy, sporadically homocidal emperor Caligula, having just performed a goofy song and dance routine in drag, asks Claudius what he thought of the show. That scene can be viewed here - unfortunately the scene cuts off right before Caligula asks how Claudius liked it - but watch it anyway for John Hurt's amazing performance.

The only line that does get a laugh in this clip is when Buddy asks if Julia wants to play cowboy and Indian girl with him and she says "and then what, you give me smallpox and steal my land?" But I wasn't surprised. That gets a laugh every time.

Claire is an impressive actor, but so is Daniel and I was extreeemly impressed to see his performance in this bit from Sesame Street. That is the coolest thing ever, to me, to be on Sesame Street.

Daniel is the dancer wearing the business suit and shades. He slides into the camera at 1:12.

DAMN - I just realized that Alton Brown is in this clip too!