SCREENPLAY: The Road Twice Paved

THE
ROAD
TWICE
PAVED
A SHORT BY
AL
STANKARD

FADE IN FROM DEEP SLUMBER.

EXT. NEW JERSEY STATE PENITENTIARY – DAY

MC steps out of the prison and turns the corner, suitcase in hand.

TRACKING SHOT: MC walking along the glistening razor wire fence.

He digs his phone out of his pocket.

CLOSE ON PHONE.

He enters “[MC] release jail” into a search engine, scrolls through numerous beta-tier and gamma-tier news outlets’ stories about his release from jail. “MC’s Release has Emboldened Dissidents, Stokes Fears of Insurgency”.

Starts dialing a phone number.

MC
Hey, where are you?
(a beat)
Okay, I’m right outside.
(another beat)
Yeah, that’s smart, at least un-
til we’re sure of our footing.

EXT. PALISADES CLIFF – DAY

Whole scene POV of OBSERVER (OB).

MC unloads bike from trunk of car, places it upside-down in the grass.

MC
Do you got a tire pump some-
where in here?

OB (O.S.)
It should be in the back.

MC rummages around, grabs it, tosses it in the grass next to the bike.

OB (O.S.)
Why did you want me to bring
the bike? We’re only waiting
here until the others come..

MC
(trying to get chain on gear)
Because the symbolism wouldn’t
leave me alone while I was
locked up. And I’ve forgotten
what it’s like to ride a
bike.

MC tosses a coil of rope to OB.

OB gazes down. It is tied in an impossible knot; he tugs at its loose end.

MC takes off the back tire and rolls it in the grass.

BLACK.

MC (O.S.)
We’ve seen this Rubicon before.

FADE IN:

EXT. WIDDENDREAM ON A SCOTTISH BLUFF – CLOUDY DAY

WIDE SHOT: CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS and JULIAN HUXLEY variously speaking to one another or else pacing around absorbed in thought.

MEDIUM SHOT: Claude and Julian sitting in the mud, eyes glazed, pupils blown.

CLAUDE
Through the course of the past
war, I saw what Boas saw. The
glass is half full. For the love
of God, for all God’s love, we
must abolish the divisions of
human experience and err on side
unity and peace.

JULIAN
But what if we’re wrong?

A beat.

CLAUDE
If there is collateral damage,
then so be it.

JULIAN
But what might that collateral
damage be?

CLAUDE
I forget.

CLAUDE gets distracted by something on the ground.

CLAUDE (CONT’D)
Is that a pearl, or a grain of
sand?

He digs at the ground with a stick.

CLAUDE (CONT’D)
You’re in love with me, aren’t
you?

JULIAN stares back, blasé.

BLACK.

FLASH CUT: Propagandistic portrait of Adolf Hitler.

INT. BEER HALL IN BASEL – NIGHT

LOTHROP STODDARD and ALFRED ROSENBERG face one another at bar stools.

LOTHROP
Basically, there are insup-
erable differences between the
populations of the Earth, their
talents and proclivities. In the
war, I saw this. The emiserated
among them are fated to march
from this mortal coil to the
next.

ALFRED
So it is our moral obligation
to expedite the process?

Lothrop is reticent.

ALFRED (CONT’D)
Facilitate their extermination?

Lothrop hesitates, fiddles with tincture on the counter.

LOTHROP
The glass is half empty. Make
it a gentle extermination.

Alfred stares.

LOTHROP (CONT’D)
It’s pure. Do you want some
more?

CLOSE UP: Dropper with a bead of LSD forming.

FLASH MONTAGE: Rapid stream of UNESCO visuals, MLK’s ‘mountaintop’ speech, Bokassa’s coronation, Nazi lebensborn program, Holocaust. All is set to this music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fvTxv46ano

CUT TO:

EXT. PALISADES CLIFF – DAY

CLOSE ON: OB’s hands trying to untie the noose, spinning bicycle tire in the background. RACK FOCUS on bicycle wheel spinning slowly.

OB (O.S.)
Should I call and say you’ll
be speaking at the rally?

OB looks up at MC.

MC
What do you think?

OB
You’ll do what you do regard-
less of what I think.

MC
You’re in love with me, aren’t
you?

OB
You’ll never understand, but
that’s not where my devotion
to you comes from.

OB thumbs at the loose ends of the rope.

OB (CONT’D)
What were you saying about
the bicycle metaphor? Something
about the nature of revolution.

MC
(distracted)
Fuck it, let’s take the whole
world with us.

OB
Why?

MC
I forget.

CUT.

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