And, to add to that, here’s a plot document I’ve sent around too. Still very much in the early stages!
(Please review attached diagram first)
Echo (19) – Near mute townsgirl, abandoned in the town by her English parents when she was very young. While not hated, she is mostly treated with apathy by the townsfolk. She gets by with some pigeon Italian, and repeats phrases she hears in an attempt to understand them, but isn’t actually that good with languages.
Narciso (22) – Ambitious, somewhat arrogant young Italian man, but with much secret despair for the life he used to lead.
The town is bustling. Preparations are being made. Curtains thrown open, shops laid out, a constant pattering of feet. Narciso, the favourite son who left four years ago to find his fame, is returning to the town.
Among those desperate to meet him are two politicians, both seeking his endorsement for the upcoming town elections, a salesman who wishes to use his face on branding for his products. From a distance, the hubbub is observed by Echo. Mostly ignored by the townfolk, she hardly ever speaks but is always watching.
With great fanfare, Narciso, ostentatiously dressed and flanked by his agent, arrives. He is immediately mobbed by the crowd in the town square. A storm of camera flashes. Echo, belatedly, joins in. There is one, swift, moment of recognition between her and Narciso, but she is unable to make her way through and is brushed aside by the masses of people. The pendant around her neck, her only reminder of her parents, gets caught, snaps and scatters on the floor. Panicked, she retreats to gather it up, and withdraws.
After much handshaking, Narciso throws his arm up, to ask for silence from the crowd. They part from him, standing to the sides as he stands alone in the middle of the square. The agent hands him a piece of paper, and Narciso delivers a barnstorming, nationalistic speech. While this is happening, his agent is meeting with various people who we see slip him money. He nods regally at each one, before sending them on their way.
The speech over, the townfolk are dispersed. The politicians urge the leaving people to vote in the elections. Narciso is left alone now. He moves between the stalls, remembering them. Turning, he stares at his face on a massive poster. Here alone, he looks small, vulnerable and glum. He finds a small mirror, part of an old projector, and starts pulling silly faces into it. He laughs childishly to himself. At that moment, his agent returns, scolds him lightly for not keeping to his image before flattering his looks and achievements. Narciso allows himself to be dragged away.
This is where we could use the project to show the 60s style documentary of Narciso…as it plays, we see Echo walking around below it, collecting different art supplies from stalls, occasionally looking up at it….as it finishes, she sits down to work.
Echo decides that the best way to charm Narciso is to make him a painting, one that shows him how she remembers him four years ago. She spends hours and hours on it, before presenting it to him. When he sees it, he laughs, for it is truly an awful painting (I like the idea that Echo is terrible at all other modes of expression), and leaves. Echo is distraught. The scene has been observed by the salesman, who tells Echo that he can fix her expressive dysfunction with patented technique (or potion). In return, Echo must give him the necklace left from her parents. The only happy memory of her old life. She hesitates but, in desperation, eventually agrees.
Echo uses the salesman’s solution and is pleasantly surprised that it works! Bit by bit, we see her move from near silence, to a beautiful eloquence. She darts through town, happy to see people, but inappropriately revealing darker parts of their lives she has previously observed but never said anything about.
Arriving at Narciso’s house, she calls him out and charms him with a song/poem/beautiful, affection filled monologue about how she has always loved him and longed for his return. The agent, sitting inside the house, listens carefully. Narciso is moved by her honest revelation, and takes Echo into his arms. Here, there could be a vignette of actions, similar to our first meeting where we explored expressing affection physically.
Narciso and Echo dance through town, the people see them and are shocked. They love Narciso, but fear Echo & her revelations. This time, however, as she spins past, Echo tells various townsfolk solutions to problems she has seen; a fix for a hidden sadness for one, a suggestion to boost sales for another, even a new recipe for jam. The couple disappear off. The people are joyful, if slightly bewildered.
Times passes…the couple grow closer…the elections loom…
A hill on the edge of town. The moon rises grandly in the distance. The couple hold hands, and talk idly. Their conversation is peppered with comic mistranslation and miscommunication. She asks him to come to hers and stay the night…he is hesitant to declare his love as readily as she does, but gives her part of his elaborate costume, a scarf. They howl playfully at the moon.
In town, the politicians, salesman and the agent all gather for a clandestine meeting. The salesman, who is dragged in by the politicians apologises, saying he didn’t believe his solution would actually work. The agent states that he fears the town’s beloved Narciso is being consumed by this Echo woman and he will never be able to continue being a great ‘artist’ and town icon, (but, really, he fears he is being replaced in Narciso’s attentions by Echo) and the politicians worry that her revelations will destroy their campaigns. Together, they agree that she must be silenced for the good of the town and that the salesman will be the one to do it. The politicians hand him some ominous looking tools and send him off into the night…(alternatively, he could approach her with another solution/potion, but it is actually a poison/robs her of her voice)
The next day, the agent and Narciso are sharing lunch. Everything they eat is from a jar/container emblazoned with Narciso’s face. The agent talks about the upcoming schedule and sponsorship deals but Narciso is in a lover’s daze and distracted. He does not want to leave town. The agent tries to assert himself. Narciso suggests that, if they absolutely had to leave, then Echo has a beautiful singing voice and could join them on tour. When Narciso continues to ignore him, the agent casually drops in that Echo had an ‘accident’ last night and implies culpability. Alarmed at this news, Narciso runs to see Echo, only to find she is now a zombie-like husk of a person, wearing the scarf up around her mouth like a gag, completely unresponsive to the physical affection of earlier. Distraught, he loudly forsakes the politicians, his agent, everyone, and begins violently smashing jars bearing his image and tearing down the biggest poster of himself, before running off. The townsfolk, angered to hear what they have done, drive the politicians, salesman and agent out of town.
Later that night, as Narciso sits alone on the hill, he catches a hint of a whisper on the wind. As he listens closer, he realizes this is Echo’s voice, asking him to follow her. He tears through woods & meadows, trying to catch this ephemeral voice, and comes to rest by a lake just outside the entrance to a ravine. ‘Echo’ says she can only now exist in this ravine, although she will soon fade from here as well. He asks forgiveness for his absence, and declares his love fully for her, saying he will not move from this spot til she has gone.
In response, she tenderly deconstructs his personality, some harsh truths but intercut with absolute affection. In doing so, he slowly takes off every bit of his constructed gear, and Echo tells him to look into the pool. The image he sees is uncannily similar to Echo’s painting. Overwhelmed, he reaches into the pool, while Echo, her voice dreamily drifting off, starts to softly sing ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’. He stops to listen for a moment, thanking her, before continuing in. Narciso sighs contentedly, Echo, in her final breathe, mimics the sigh, and a smiling Narciso immerses himself completely.
That’s all for now…got a couple of other posts that are ‘published’ but privately…will be making those public in a bit, but they’ll be backdated, so before sure to check back for those.