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Herein lies in written form Harlan Ellison’s Movie, the full-length feature film Ellison created when a producer at 20th Century-Fox said, “If we gave you the money, and no interference, what sort of movie would you write?” Well, that producer is no longer at the studio; he left the entire venue of moviemaking after Harlan Ellison’s Movie was seen by the Suits. There is no use even trying to describe what the film is about, except to confirm the long-standing rumor that it contains a scene in which a 70-foot-tall...
Herein lies in written form Harlan Ellison’s Movie, the full-length feature film Ellison created when a producer at 20th Century-Fox said, “If we gave you the money, and no interference, what sort of movie would you write?” Well, that producer is no longer at the studio; he left the entire venue of moviemaking after Harlan Ellison’s Movie was seen by the Suits. There is no use even trying to describe what the film is about, except to confirm the long-standing rumor that it contains a scene in which a 70-foot-tall boll weevil chews and swallows an entire farmhouse and silo on-camera. (It is Scene 33C.)
1 LIMBO SHOT--DIMINISHING PERSPECTIVE
Darkness all the way to infinity, save that the floor of limbo is a carpet in the design of the American flag. It is made of grass. It stretches, starred and striped, to the farthest point we can see. CAMERA HIGH on the grass carpet, but as it begins to DESCEND we begin to HEAR the SOUND of very upbeat mojo ROCK MUSIC in the b.g., at first FAINTLY, but as CAMERA COMES DOWN TO FLOOR LEVEL we realize something is running toward us on the dichondra-height grass flag, and as CAMERA LEVELS OFF a few inches above the floor and HOLDS, the rock music builds and builds and builds as whatever-it-is running toward us becomes larger and larger and larger.
CAMERA HOLDS as the thing running toward us becomes a MOUSE, plunging hell-for-leather TOWARD CAMERA. HOLD the mouse as he rushes into the CAMERA and BLACK TO
2 REVERSE ANGLE--FOLLOWING MOUSE
as we see him heading toward an enormous COMPUTER that stretches from one side of the frame to the other in diminishing perspective, from one end of infinity to the other.
CAMERA hangs in there, ZOOMING IN with the mouse as he scampers across the flag carpet, right up to the big brain, and vanishes into a conduit aperture. ZOOMING IN CLOSE on hole--
We HEAR the ghastly sound of machinery chewing on itself. Fingernails down blackboards. Hacking coughs in lanai apartments. Animals being slaughtered. Cars piling up on freeways. Bells ringing. Horns. The variegated sounds of bedlam. CAMERA ZOOMS OUT to FULL SHOT of computer.
3 NEON SCREEN ON COMPUTER
One of those blinking-bulb jobbies like the one on Times Square that advertises (yecchhh!)Life magazine. And we start to see coocoo things appearing there. A black-power fist, a DAR symbol, a hammer-&-sickle, a nude girl, Che Guevara, a flower, two fingers in peace, the zigzag man from the pot posters, a peace symbol, a skull and crossbones, Mickey Mouse. Then the NOISE of the COMPUTER going bananas rises sharply and we do:
4 40 FRAMES A SECOND--THE COMPUTER
as it destroys itself. Cogs, wheels, tubes, plastic cases, Memorex tape, rivets, conduits, printed circuits, shards of glass and plastic and metal go cascading up and out in a wild shower as the ROCK MUSIC SWELLS OVER.
5 CLOSE ON COMPUTER
as the mouse emerges from a rubber nipple opening, with a satisfying pop! CAMERA ZOOMS OUT as mouse runs away from computer, toward CAMERA. Computer in b.g. now a flaming ruin, with the neon screen alternating between obscene remarks and right-wing jingoism.
6 REVERSE ANGLE--PERSPECTIVE
as mouse rushes back the way he came. CAMERA FOLLOWS the mouse till he vanishes into the darkness and we
HOLD BLACK FRAME FOR:
7 BLACK FRAME
Through blackness we see some square white objects ranked at the top and the bottom of the frame. As CAMERA MOVES IN SMOOTHLY on these white squares (they look like Chiclets placed side by side) we begin to HEAR the SOUNDS of a BANK O.S.
SOUNDS of adding machine, teller counting out cash in a monotone, people walking across tiled floors--that very special sound you get only in a bank or library.
CAMERA KEEPS MOVING till we realize we are INSIDE A MOUTH and those white squares are TEETH. And the white squares part and we see out through the mouth to a fat little female DEPOSITOR in an antimacassar hat and bifocals and ruffled dress, making her deposit in pennies. Counting them out one after another, slowly and methodically, as CAMERA COMES OUT OF MOUTH.