by Sam Rossi-Harries


There’s the one where I get to be the hero. The camera pans over the surface of a twenty one kiloton meteorite, a mile wide, hurtling towards Earth. There is a lone figure, muscles stretched, limbs, a capital X, hovering in front of the molten ball. He is gripping the great rock between nearly shattered shoulder blades and…


There’s the one where every line drips with reluctant venom, probably given a treatment by Billy Wilder, and in the DVD extras we see him crackling furiously away at a typewriter, a sad, resigned smirk wrapped around his cigar. The protagonist yanks it away, relights it in a black and white bar. He gives the dame sitting next to him a Jimmy Stewart, look here, y’see and finishes with a big fat Fuck You.


In this next one, you open your mouth to defend yourself, and the camera follows as I, hahk toohk, gob a CGI spit bubble right between your lips, like some zen Missy Elliot, paid the big bucks to breathe life into her career, sailing straight back into cultural relevance in a T2 time-bubble, capturing hearts in all four quadrants and breaking box office records by karate kicking your mouth closed again.


Cut back to the impending celestial impact event. The camera is now focussed on a woman, stuck on Earth with a mobile phone. Alone. She is rapidly dialling the hero’s number, hoping to use her last words to apologise for… but he can’t pick up, what with using his super powers to save the planet from a fucking meteorite and everything, and so she is screaming: Sorry! I’m Sorry! And, so yeah, there is that one.


There’s the one where you show me yours and I show you mine. One last time. I am dressed as a policeman, you, a hooker. I offer myself between the bars and… No. Gross. I show you the lump in my throat, the that really fucking hurt, that did, the I feel stupid and the I'm scared, and in return you show me - this is a distinct possibility – nothing; you hold your cards to your chest or rip them into confetti and dash it at the camera, which is somewhere around here, if I can just...


There is the one where I rummage through a bowl of antique keys and buy one. There’s the one where a morose, boring painter, with a morose, boring gift sees your reflection and begins sketching. In a montage, we see a dab of grey appear under your eyes, shrewd charcoal around your lips. He buys a cigarette, finally allowing himself to sit still. He looks at the key again: a pretty one, a prize, a pill.


There is the art film - I am, of course, only saying this because there are too many mirrors and the dialogue is shit - but there is one scene that is pretty cool and affecting: the protagonist, looks into one of the overabundant mirrors, and, for the first time, we see a look of forgiveness on his face - a dawning realisation that he too played the game and played it well. Then the camera tilts, and we see her reflection in its place. But we can’t tell whether it’s a hallucination or if she’s actually there, standing behind him, and, in true film school fashion, it’s left annoyingly ambiguous, and my popcorn isn’t finished, and I leave the cinema scatter gunning opinions I made up during the thirty seconds of credits we managed to sit through together.


There’s the one where you say you’re sorry and you mean it, and there’s the one where that means nothing. There’s the offbeat comedy; it’s not funny, but it’s kinda funny, y’know? There’s the one with all the clips caught between takes, crying on escalators and sitting by lakes. There’s the one where my fat fist hovers over the big red button or just use my psychic powers to make your head explode, and the camera lingers while bits of skull and brain and skin splatter all over your stupid friends’ laps, and it is Glorious. And, finally, there’s the one where my arms are so long, they find their way around your whole body. Twice. I brush my lips against your cheek while elastic fingertips meet just between your shoulder blades, press, gently, the skin there... then... harder... then digging and... pulling and...




Tonight I am writing screenplays, because I can’t just sit and wait; I’d rather fill myself with false hate. Tonight I am putting words in two mouths that will never meet again, because a man’s got to make a living, and because the alternative is silence, and in that silence is only hope, and hope, well hope just hurts.