Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The 12 signs of the Zodiac

Teal screen with sea foam swirls

The Title appears in white letters-

‘The 12 signs of the Zodiac’

MUSIC. Edith Piaf’s “Milord”

Before Edith begins to belt out her song the CREDITS ROLL over images of the bucolic surroundings of Romania, the concrete grey of its block apartments, and competing grandmothers selling fruit and cheese on each side of a road that scribbles off into the distance. Next we see a young couple cramped in the back of an old 1970’s DACIA, the tight turns and maniacal maneuvers of who ever is driving can be seen in the rear window behind the two, though their faces remain sanguine and lost in thought. The screen cuts to the two standing in the parking lot of a large boxy supermarket arguing with the driver over how much is owed for the ride. One of the two pulls out what looks to be a credit card and mimes the process of taking money out of an ATM, the driver nods, and the two enter the supermarket and exit out the other side. Edith begins her second chorus as the two are seen looking a bit more disheveled as they both take turns holding a sign with their next destination written in bubble letters – Sylvan - on a white crumpled paper. Shots of cars no bigger than a Geo Metro with 5 to 6 people inside, each person with a miserable pained expression across their face, slowly drift on by. As credits continue we see our two now in the middle of a van, one on the lap of the other, both flanked by large flabby arms that swell both sides of the screen. Both faces are exhausted and one flares his nostrils from some fresh odor released. It is now dusk and the two are seen squeezing out of the van as if it were giving birth. They are in Sylvan, a small pack of dogs limp on by and the two gradually make their way along the towns’ only road toward a concrete apartment.



A wide angled shot of the inside of a school gymnasium filled with students on one side and parents and teachers on the other. A large assembly is ready to launch with all the towns students, their parents and of course teachers weighting for the assembly to officially begin. The screen cuts to a group of teachers standing uncomfortably amongst parents and screeching babies. They are looking across the basketball court at their new supply of unruly kids with looks of pale resignation, except for one who seems to be in another place entirely as he smiles from ear to ear. His name is Zodiac Bankelsanger, a new teacher among the group, and has just been introduced to his future colleagues. From behind the shoulders of Zodiac and another teacher the sounds of incomprehensible babblings and nefarious laughter seem to only get louder as images of kids playfully kicking and chasing each other can be seen. No order.
Camera stays behind the two as they look onward at the chaos. Only the backs of their heads can be seen as well as the kids playing in front of them

Wow, these kids sure seem really excited for
school to begin

Yas, thay want for these announcements to start
and finish

Me too… Hey shouldn’t someone tell that strange looking boy over there to quit kicking people?

That just so happens to be my daughter


Oh, I am so embarrassed; I don’t have my glasses with me. I didn’t know you were her father

I’m her mother!!

The half bearded teacher shoots Zodiac with a death look as he silently moves eyes forward and swallows hard. The camera pans right to reveal the principle waltzing up to the stage and grabbing the mic.

Buana Dimineata!!

The principle begins to rattle off non-sequiturs in a rough accent that is eventually squelched by the voice of the narrator, a deep sympathetic voice--James Earl Johnes, perhaps;

Some say that success in life, in anything, depends upon the number of persons that one can make himself agreeable to.

Camera slowly zooming toward Zodiac still smiling absentmindedly in between two teachers dressed in their Sundays best, Zodiacs usual sports jacket and collard shirt appears shocking and flamboyant in comparison.

Others say that circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.

All the teachers and parents are now standing in a line as a white bearded priest slowly mutters some Latin under his breath and dashes holly water on each person who gladly receives the blessing. We see Zodiac waiting in line and as the priest approaches, flinging holly water in all directions, he gets some in his eye and sneezes loudly

This is a story of revelation

We see everyone around Zodiac throwing look daggers in his general direction, especially the bearded woman to his left. Zodiac seems unaware of his latest faux pas and excuses himself in broken Romanian to a hushed crowed.

It also happens to be the story of Zodiac