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Posts Tagged ‘Cold Fact’

A GOOD THING GONE BAD

Inspired by true events

Written and Directed by RTS

Final Draft, Apr 2010.

INT – SUBURBAN HOUSE – MORNING

 

Rodriguez still hasn’t left from last week’s barbeque and can be faintly heard singing from another room

Woke up this morning with an ache in my head
I splashed on my clothes as I spilled out of bed

It is almost as if he is providing a perfectly timed soundtrack for RTS, who we see, rather ineloquently, spilling to the floor from her bed

She stumbles into the kitchen grumbling about all the housework that needs doing

 

THE YANG

(earnestly, like ‘good dang darn’ kind of earnest)

I know dear, why don’t I do all the housework while you take our darling little tiddy toddler tots out for a coffee?

 

RTS

Coffee? At his age?!

 

THE YANG

(mutters to self, no longer so earnest)

Why not, the little fucker rounds rings around us anyway.

(then louder)

Of course dear. Its all the rage in the inner city, take him over there and have a lovely time

 

RTS perks up considerably believing, once again, that THE YANG is a total sucker. She bundles THE BOY into the car, leaving THE YANG to a house deliciously empty of human beings, where he pumps up his ‘early rare disco’ and gets into the housework with great gusto.

 

EXT – DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY – MORNING

 

Cars are whizzing by in both directions, the sun is glimmering off the harbour waters, on the sidewalks people are walking their dogs, RTS is behind the wheel with the window down, the wind in her hair and the sun on her face and the stereo pumping, THE BOY sits up back, blinking.

Rodriguez, who is a hard man to shake, can this time be heard singing through the car speakers

Asked about her bag,
suburbia’s such a drag
Won’t go back

 

RTS

(to the stereo, and strangely, for her, optimisticly)

Rodriguez, dude, its not all bad, the burbs are ordinary, sure, but I’m coming to like that

Isn’t that right darling?

 

THE BOY

Diddy Diddy

 

RTS

Diddy’s at home darling, you going out with Mumma. Mum-ma. For a coffee. Cof-fee, cof-fee….

 

THE BOY

Gor gor gor gor

 

RTS

Gor gor’s not here sugar pee, she’s gone home. Where are we going now?

 

THE BOY

Ca ca ca

 

RTS

Mmm, car, yes, lots of cars

 

THE BOY

weeh weeh weeh

 

RTS

yes, with wheels

 

THE BOY

Did Did

 

RTS

Did Did at home darling

 

Despite this banal exchange that goes nowhere, RTS remains unperturbed, apart from a flicking moment of doubt that THE BOY is really not progressing fast enough and really should be able to hold a proper fucking conversation by now, she remains gleefully happy

Unawares to her she crosses an invisible line from suburbia to the inner city

The outside scenes that flicker by gradually start to change. Instead of dogs on leads, she sees young children being walked in harnesses, houses start getting closer and closer together, and instead of shimmering sun on water, tall buildings starts to cast growing shadows, and parks have shrunk to the size of driveways

RTS notices nothing, insisting on bouncing and bopping along in her freedom from housework

Even though Rodriguez’s soundtrack has started to take a slightly darker turn with ‘Inner City Blues’, fittingly, starting up…

Going down a dirty inner city side road
I plotted
Madness passed me by, she smiled hi
I nodded
Looked up as the sky began to cry
She shot it

 

EXT – INNER CITY STREET – MORNING

 

RTS swings into a parking spot on a groovy café lined street humming with a weekend market crowd and eyes a hip ‘hole in the wall’ type coffee shop, her view is still tinted by rose coloured glasses and instead of cynically cursing this ridiculously undersized shop that is more of a cupboard than a café, she pops THE BOY into the stroller and heads right over, passing some hipsters on her way and overhearing the following exchange

 

HIPSTER 1

Like, where did you get that jumpsuit?

(Hipster 2 is wearing a large balloon like one-piece jumpsuit, drawn in at the waist with a thick 80s belt, but billowing out both above and below the belt area. The suit is covered in black and white polka dots)

Was it Balmain, I bet it was from Hipdagwank in Balmain

 

HIPSTER 2

(haughtily) Ugh, I don’t think so, this is like, my friend’s design. It’s a one off.

 

HIPSTER 1

Oh yeah, totally, I thought so. But I have one in denim.

 

HIPSTER 2

(looking away) Hmmmm

 

RTS looks down and considers her own outfit, a polyester dress with lemons on it and pair of ‘Birkies’ worn down to the point of having large holes in the sole. She shrinks into her shoulders and picks up her pace. Casting a look over her shoulder she can be heard muttering in the direction of the girls

 

RTS

(neurotically, paranoid and utterly defensively)

I’ve had these shoes for five years, FIVE years. They are very durable, and VERY sensible. And I like lemons. They are a VERY useful fruit. Ok?

 

She doesn’t wait for them to answer. She does however begin to notice a change in the atmosphere. She shivers, even though the sun falls in full glare on her side of the footpath. The roar of traffic increases, horns blare, people have scrawls on their faces, and shadows bend in the shape of frowns

Rodriguez’s soothing voice has given way to his steadily rising drum beats and introspective guitar picking

I wonder how many times you’ve been had
And I wonder how many plans have gone bad
…
I wonder I wonder wonder I do

 

EXT – COFFEE SHOP COUNTER – MORNING

 

Behind the counter a handsome barista mans the coffee machine, while his young assistant smiles serenely, notepad at the ready. The young assistant is directly facing RTS, the only customer, and even though she appears to be employed in the role of taking orders, it is the barista that leans over assertively and serves RTS

 

BARISTA

What would you like?

 

RTS

A latte and a one of those baby coffee things

(RTS knows there is a name for this, but cant being herself to say it)

 

BARISTA

How do you like your coffee?

 

RTS

(a bit baffled)

Um, how do you mean?

 

BARISTA

Well, how do you like your coffee?

 

RTS

(stumbling)

I, I, don’t know…

 

(Barista grimaces, looks down. RTS smiles hopefully)

There is a screech and a sudden stop in the soundtrack, as if the needle has been yanked off the record. Silence.

The Barista looks on with disdain but is still waiting expectantly, eyebrows rasied, but not saying a word

 

RTS

Um, well, how am I supposed to answer?

 

BARISTA

Its fine. You did answer. You don’t know. You don’t how you like your coffee. Its cool.

(he shrugs as if to say its cool, but clearly, its not cool)

 

RTS

(sensing that he perceives her inability to answer as some kind of failure on her part, tires to rally)

Oh. Um. So what are the choices apart from a regular latte? What do people answer when you ask that?

 

BARISTA

(Nonchalantly)

Creamy. Strong. Not strong. People like their coffee different ways, you know, they are individuals.

 

RTS

Oh

 

RTS collects her change and takes a seat outside, or rather perches on the edge of the single stool available to sit on, and parks the pram next to her.

BARISTA brings out her coffee and humungous Baby Chino in a take away cup with a straw. RTS, already rattled, starts to panic –  THE BOY cannot use a straw, and once again she is forced to consider his slow progression, before quickly fumbling to take the lid off and the straw out and shove it in his hands.

The Rodriguez soundtrack returns, fast paced and frantic…

Gun sales are soaring,
housewives find life boring
Divorce the only answer
smoking causes cancer
This system’s gonna fall soon,
to an angry young tune
And that’s a concrete cold fact

RTS realises her mistake at handing a hot cup of milk to her toddler and quickly snatches it back. THE BOY starts howling and thrashing in his pram. Panicking further she unbuckles him, and he immediately bolts down the street. BARISTA comes back out amid this chaos

 

BARISTA

(attempting to sound both authoritative and cool)

Um, this is a doorway to, like apartments. Something like 50, 100, 150 people live in here and use this doorway. They like, come in and out all the time. And um, we cant have prams in the doorway, because people live here. And they come in and out all the time. So yeah, its like, not cool to leave it there.

 

RTS turns back to move the pram, momentarily forgetting about THE BOY, then doubles back so fast that she is a blur on the screen, scoops the boy up and returns to the stool where she spills her coffee. THE BOY squirming wildly in her arms is moaning loudly while pointing at his Baby Chino, passersby’s cast side ways looks at her. She skulls what is left of her coffee and then the pram rolls off down the street and THE BOY’S moans turn to screams. RTS runs after the pram, THE BOY tucked under her arm like a log.

She reaches the pram, and stops. It dawns on her that things are horribly amiss, she starts to sense THE YANG smiling down at her from his dizzy disco heights

 

CUT TO – INT – THE YANG DANCING WILDLY TO DISCO, FEATHER DUSTER IN HAND AND FRILLY APRON AROUND WAIST

 

CUT BACK – EXT – STREET SCENE WITH RTS

 

RTS is rooted in place with a faraway look in her eye. She is beginning to sense she may not have drawn the long straw after all….

 

EXT – CLOSE UP SHOT OF RTS’ CRUSHED AND DOOMED FACE

 

Sound of THE BOY still squealing and screaming in the background

 

Ends.

 

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Before I explain how the cool cat with a caramel coated voice ends up in one of our backyards, first some backstory:

For the uninitiated, it was way back in 1970 that Rodriguez first stepped out in style, dropping Cold Fact, one of the most timeless, well rounded blend of Rock, Folk, Jazz, Soul, Blues albums ever made.

But despite its awesome music and beauty – it has poetically crafted socially conscious lyrics that can cut to the core, the album sank without a trace, much like the man himself.

For 30 years Rodriguez was an enigma – not even the label knew where to find him -. Barring a couple of sold out Australian tours in 1979 and 1981 (he never even became popular enough to do this in his home country) nothing had been heard of Rodriguez for almost 30 years when a journalist found him working as a labourer in Detroit in 1996.

He had no idea of his fame.

He has since toured to sell out crowds in South Africa, and this year he returned to Australia, who welcomed him with open arms and rave reviews.

And then invited him round for a Barbie.

Here is what some of the guests had to say about what they loved:

Johnno: The man’s a worker. He never let all that fame go to his head, even though that’s cuz he didn’t even know about it, still, he got on with things, you know? Hard working like. You could sit around, talk about how you did all your own paving around the pool, and he knew what you were on about, even chips in with a bit of brickie talk. That’s not bad for a darkie

Robbo: He likes a drink. Even though he’s a bit of a skirt, drinkin red wine instead of a good old-fashioned beer, you can’t knock him cuz he sure knows how to put it away. See him skull all those glasses? Some young bloke walked up mid set and shouted him another round, sorta like a dare even, but he downed that too. Bloody brilliant.

(note: some English folk were there too, like)

Mick: He likes the Oils. I heard he supported them back in tha 80s. Means he’s pretty much one of us. And you just kinda knew, that after the sun set and your all sittin around the fire, that if you asked him to do an Oils number, he’d know all the words, but probably not even think about their meaning, and that’s authentic like. Nah really, he’s good for a sing a long, you know? I reckon he’s even the type that’d let ya have a bash of his guitar once his done

Matty: He knows about Mary Jane. And he’s got that cool song that goes ‘sugar man’, but its not really about sugar, wink wink, nudge nudge. Cheeky buggar. The boys all love that one, always gets a good jeer, some sly grins and some high fives, goes right over the missus’ head but, she’s got no idea, probably thinks it’s a love song!

Here is what some of the guests didn’t like so much:

Dave: His dress sense. He didn’t turn up in no thongs. Came along decked out in all that black gear, wearin that wonky hat, and a bloody woman’s scarf! And his suspenders were broke, only one bloody clip holdin up one side of his pants over his old paunch, I mean, I know he’s done it rough all those years, but that’s no reason not to look respectable. Any one think he been shopping at some charity stop

Liz: His accent. Makes it bloody hard to talk to the bloke, no one really knew what he was on about, it was all ‘yeah mate, yeah, that’s right’ and just nodding along while you didn’t have a bloody clue in hell

Mel: The seating arrangements. That was real confusin’, cuz everyone wanted to come right, but how would we all fit? I mean, you couldn’t have everyone lumped into together, like, that’d be a bit fair, you had to think about sections, havin all oldies up front with their steaks and chips, and lettin the rest of the mob fight it out up back, bit of headache, had to even have Robbo do a bit of a stint on security, keeping the majority of people outta the way cuz you cant have people just mixin together willy nilly

Timmy: Knowin’ how to respond. You’d get ‘im doin’ a bit of a sing a long, takin some requests, singin that song about sugar that’s not about sugar, but how’d you respond like? That’s what got me. The old ducks were clapping and boppin and singin along, but that looked bloody naff, so I just thought you’re better off just standin’ there, or sittin still kinda like you’re watchin the TV, few times I gave the boys some high fives and stuff, you know, for those songs about havin sex n’ that, but that about does it. I know Ricky, he just brought along his camera, sat there firing off a few shots on his new digital SLR, that’d be a good way to do it I reckon

Sharon: His message. I dunno what he’s on about, like when he said, “free love, its expensive”, what the hells that suppose to mean? And then it got real crowded cuz obviously all the neighbours and the relos wanted ta come, made it a bit squishy up back, I even had one sheila stepping on my toe and getting in me road while I was tryin have a bit of a twirl around, and that just pissed me right off. Those things he says about measuring love and the state of the world, he can shove that, I jus wanted ta  job that bitch

Aaron: His encore. Honestly mate, I swear, he got up to leave, got all the way to the gate, them he comes back, and get this, starts singin this song, “I’m going to live, until I die”. I mean, c’mon, that’s a bit bloody fucking obvious in’it. Reckon that’s supposed to be some kinda joke or something? Shit, wouldn’t want him telling too many of those…

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