Story of My Death (2013) - full transcript

Famous lover Casanova now long past his prime, meets Count Dracula during a journey to Transylvania.

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Mike, why don't you explain
to us how you write?

How I write?

What I do is think.

Observe things.

And I write.

It has been two years now...

...since I began to write.

And I have completed
just a single ode.

From all my efforts...

...I haven't...

...it is the only one
I have finished.



I see...

...the stairs of poetry
are very steep.

And I will never rise
beyond this first step...

...where I am now.

STORY OF MY DEATH

Your master seemed...

...quite dishevelled,
was he not?

I noticed you yourself...

...insinuated so to me.

It must be rather awkward
to live with a man...

...like that.

With me you will learn...

...and I shall pay you in full.

And this man
no longer sees people...



because he has taken to
writing obsessively?

Is that so? This man writes,
does he not?

I saw he wished to write...

...but those that say
they wish to write, seldom do.

- He doesn't write, does he?
- No.

You can tell by the way
he is withdrawn.

If one does not move
one cannot write.

Writing is ahead of you,
never within you.

"The Edifying Lives
of Seven Young Girls".

But it is written by an abbot.

You might as well
throw it on the fire.

Well... you can make
something of it, if you wish.

It mentions ladies' names,
but it's all so...

Is it no good?

"Humanity suffers"...

..."the Gospel condemns"...

..."sorrows"...

..."sufferings"...

..."virgins", "mortifications"...

..."enemies of good health"...

We'll throw it away then.

What is more,
they are all Christians.

"Beauties of religion".

But this man writes very well,
magnificent.

It doesn’t really matter
if they speak about...

...Christianity.

They touch on...

...good ideas
when they know how to.

and this man knows
a great deal about etymology.

I couldn't care less...

for any of that.

Etymology?

I care for title deeds...

which I believe
we shall find...

...and that shall
bring me money.

"About"...

..."the snake's venom".

"Terror, tombs".

These Christians...

...are no fun.

So you don't care much
for any of that?

They're frightening...

...and cause much pain.

We must ventilate here
in haste...

...open the windows,
these books will do no good...

to the girls who
come here to study.

Hey, hold on!

This runs through my veins.

Voltaire!

We were once friends
but ended up on very bad terms.

"Strange Peculiarities
of Life and Death".

"Life" is already here.

But this must be by someone else
already writing about Voltaire?

He's certainly become famous
this man, so quickly?

Look.

It must be written
by another priest.

From Rome!

It's published in Paris,
but it comes from Rome.

This Voltaire...

he's made a great deal of money.

Did you fight with him?

Badly.

- Did you quarrel?
- Badly.

Now, during your stay here...

I'll make sure someone
keeps an eye on you.

See?

I'll see that someone
keeps an eye on you.

Who?
One of the girls?

I cannot tell you who.

I'll find...

...I'll find one that...

...follows you.

Be careful, don't lose
your page.

Here,take the edge.
Hold it here.

I won't have enough of these.

I shall bring you a few more.

Cities welcome you, openly.

There are always...

...fair ladies...

...around the ambassadors.

The rulers, as in France...

...listen to...

people who, like me...

...open.

They know the revolution
is coming.

And the ladies?

Do you always
have to be with them?

How do you manage it?

I pay.

I never buy.

I do not seek.

I am attentive...

and when they so desire it...

I serve them.

The way the Spanish have...

...of approaching women...

...violently...

...is not good for pleasure...

and they do not
enjoy it at all.

Some perhaps...

Violence can be no more...

than a final gesture.

A blow against hesitation.

Necessary.

We are so terrified...

They are not sweet enough, eh?

Each seed...

...leads me to an idea.

Now that I have grown old...

I shall write my memoirs.

Really?

Each seed...

...will be a chapter.

My memoirs shall not be gossip.

Nothing sentimental.

It shall tell of the cities of Europe...

the falling of empires...

the new science.

A little astronomy,
a great deal of reality...

...and facts.

Facts.

So you...

...you absorbed many things?

One has to experiment.

There are thinking machines...

that come from Germany...

...writing machines,the French,
very good, very good.

Excellent comedies.

Better than in England.

And then there are
fornication contraptions...

...that come from Rome.

Fornication contraptions?

That is...

Devices for women?

Groups of two...

...four, six, seven...

We have been testing
a new one now...

...with Pompeu.

But he is a very amorous man.

He falls in love easily and...

You must always hold
the desire to marry...

...but you must always
have a way out...

...or several.

If you surrender,
you are a man...

...or woman...

...lost to religion.

Love is contrary to the
tyranny of domesticity.

One must travel a great deal.

Are you fond of men?

In what manner?

No?

I like women.

To watch them and wonder...

Wonder what?

What they're like...

- You...
- I do not have your experience.

I do not have experience...

it is they who have
the experience.

I do not think about them.

They think through me.

Is that so?

I suppose you write verses
that speak of love.

You don't write verses
against religion, do you?

No.

And philosophical prose?

More romantic.

Verses hidden within prose?

Yes.

Better to conserve
your silence.

All women are the same.

Yes.

They don't think, "they are",
"they want to be".

These women will cause a rage
in times to come.

What will come?

The revolution.

Heads will roll.

France is about to fall.

The King... take the great monarch!

There!

- Le r-oie!
- r-oie!

Good liver.

Pompeu, what is this letter
doing here?

They brought it
for you yesterday.

I told you I did not wish
to see another letter.

Whatever it may concern.

I shall bring you
no more, then.

It's finished.

What is more,
they distract me.

I must invest all my time...

...in writing.

Sir, you must
grant me a loan...

as the cards
have ruined me completely.

I know how to play,
but I have no luck.

I am always dealt
a poor hand.

You should play with marked
cards or not play at all.

That is how...

...we managed to stroll
through the courts...

...winning and losing...

...but we always won
something or other.

The world is full of fools.

I made a great sum of money
by setting up...

...the lottery.

But they wouldn't let me...

...repeat the enterprise elsewhere.

I gained a lot.

Everything!

I am obsessed...

...with the idea of writing...

...a dictionary of cheeses.

Are there many kinds?

I care not for the quantity,
nor the order...

...nor the origin...

just the words.

To be able to express things
through words...

...and the names of cheeses.

There are many, aren't there?

A multitude.

This dictionary...

...will be very important.

But I think I will write...

the memoirs first,
I'm preparing them now.

How smothered you are...

...with chocolate.

Push!

A rosary...

of bonbons!

Magnificent!

Push!

Push, push!

I'm intoxicated!

That's a hefty present.

Pompeu!

Look how splendid,
Montaigne says:

"Rome would be prettier if it
didn't have so many churches".

Really?

But Rome without churches...?

You've won again.

I beg your pardon?

You've won again.

Nothing left?

I am completely ruined.

Have you no reserves?

Many people are ruined now.

No doubt.

You will be in good company.

It's not my turn, is it?

Nor mine.

You've hidden your cards again.

- Is this yours?
- No.

I can't even win a round.

Can you hold your cards
where we can see them, please?

Calm down.

What are you trying to do,
cheat?

That doesn't count, holding
your cards under the table.

Compose yourself.

Don't get upset.

You'll have to lend me
more money.

It's a while yet
before night falls.

These trees are full of...

...jam.

Shall I help you sit up?
You'll feel better.

- I'm fine.
- Let me help you.

The wrist!

- More. Sit straight.
- No, it's fine.

- Like so?
- Yes, yes.

Lean back, because...

- Yes, lean... I'll help you.
- Don't worry, now it's fine.

- Like so?
- Yes.

- Are you alright?
- I am now.

What were you saying
about the trees?

They're full of jam?

Yes.

I don't see them pissing,
these horses.

Now I can see how the cart
may have tilted.

I was afraid
I might lose you.

If I lost you
I'd have nothing left.

And I can already see
myself here...

old... alone...

...dying...

Are you afraid of death?

It's a little frightening.

What's the matter?
Cover your eyes.

Don't look.

Don't look...

What gives you
greater peace of mind:

the Church, the Palace...

the Forest?

I see you are at ease
in the forest...

but today you seem
frightened.

I trust you more here...

We're "holding
the reins firmly"...

All women are the same.

Look...

...what a beautiful image.

What a smell of damp...

It is a way of entering
the loving machine, that.

The road is getting troublesome.

Now we might well
be overturned!

The whole thing creaks.

Hold on tight.

Here, History shall not be broken
once more?

My word...

Don't you like this half-light?

Not much...

But it's nice.

It reminds me of undergarments.

Doesn't it make
you think...

...of tulles and sheers...

They're a soft pair of...

...knickers, these are.

These horse keepers
always cheat us!

You look like you work more
than just the land.

Is there any authentic research
in these fields?

Do you practice alchemy?

You don't fool me...

I see through you.
I know your kind.

I've been behind all this...

...for many years.

Are you stirring shit as well?

I'll keep my eye on you.

Have you ever been
to the Wolfenbüttel Library?

It's a famous library where
I had the pleasure of reading...

...the classics: Horace, Ovid...

...and I devoted myself
to translation.

It all began...

...when I was in the city...

bored, with nothing left...

...and I still wanted
to keep touring...

...the world.

But I didn't have a penny,
and I was obliged to request...

a loan...

and a Jew...

endowed me the money...

...in exchange for a guarantee.

I know that usury
makes the world go round...

and I don't mind paying.

But worse than that...

...this fellow did not trust...

...the certificates
I had given him.

What certificates
did you have to give him?

Papers, documents...

...jewels... nothing special.

In the end...

the King of Prussia,
my good friend...

...showed his friendship...

...and stuck his neck out
for me once more.

But as the Jew...

was still apprehensive...

...that was when
I went to the library...

and as I said,
to continue working...

...on translations
and extraordinary readings.

The sovereigns...

...steal the peoples' money.

And Jews?

Jews are merely traffickers.

Theirs is a noble cause.

Where were you?

Your mother doesn't know,
does she?

What will you tell her?

Nothing.

You two are always
chattering with her.

Yes.

But she won't believe us
anymore.

She always believes Clara.

Not me.

Not at all.

Because I don't trick her.

Are you going to bed?

Yes, right away.
But it's too bright...

And it bothers you?

Of course, she was
the same age as you.

Who?

The girl...

...with the long hair.

Black hair...

...wasn't it?

I don't know who you
are talking about.

The girl that went missing.

The one who went away.

I was just thinking about it.

Where did you get
this armour from?

It's very poor metal.

Even if you were
to melt it down...

you wouldn't get
anything out of it.

It is full of dried blood.

Whoever was alive in here...

can tell us nothing...

of passing away.

Nobody knows anything.

They've made it all up.

Did you have a
near-death experience...

...when they opened your chest?

Do you believe in the after life?

You are a wise man,
surely you are not...

...one of those that believe...

...in the plague of Christianity.

I've cut myself.

Irons!

We should make a deal,
you and I.

The first one to die...

should come back
to tell the other...

...what he has seen
in the afterlife.

There is no moral experience...

or knowledge.

Nothing is carried over...

or transferred
into the beyond.

It's just...

atoms.

You know this
all too well.

you have learned so
in here...

...through chemistry.

My friend got married...

...as planned.

I had to pay half...

...to someone of great beauty
and education...

...so he could marry
the youngest girl.

I paid exactly...

...two hundred Roman Ducats.

It was a business arranged...

...between the Cardinal...

...the nun...

A system they lived by
in Rome at the time.

The Cardinal...

was the only one
who had any power...

...and the man had to ask
his permission...

to marry the girl.

You would have lived
in total darkness there.

I accompanied my friend...

...and was taken a back
by the way they lived...

...because my friend,
who was in love...

he couldn't see the girl.

I had to draw up a document...

...which all the girls who were
shut away in there signed...

...so they could at least
open the windows.

That is how I fell in love...

with the sister's friend.

Have you ever been locked away?

It's very harsh.

In a convent?

In fact, they wouldn't
even be able...

...to shut you away
in a place like that.

Had you been born in Rome...

in some place
of good fortune...

...there would surely
have been someone...

...who would have
placed a fine wager...

...so that when you
reached eighteen...

...you would be freed...

...completely clean...

...and pretty as you are.

I told my friend...

I was a married man
not because I was...

...but so as not to feel
more involved than I should.

I explained this to the Countess...

...and she saw to it...

...that these girls,
before entering into marriage...

...could acquire knowledge...

beyond what is taught
in the convent:

reading...

...practicing music...

...and to top it all off, opera.

We went to a concert and...

...as is the custom in Rome...

...we ordered oysters.

It cost me a fortune, eh you?

Too much.

Have you ever tried oysters?

They haven't either.

Splendid moments in life.

Pour them some wine.

Good man you've got
some nice fillies there eh...

Give them some grapes.

Delfina! Clara!

It's all inscribed here.

Wait, wait.

Carmen!

Carmen!

Carmen!

Here you are!
What are you doing?

I'm tired of you pleasing
yourself all day long.

Move it, go inside the house.

Sitting here all day!

Are you coming or not?

We've got work to do,
come with me.

Come on Carmen!

I worked alone all day
and I'm tired.

You don't put your hands
to work at all!

No.

Move, move!

Go into the house and
make yourself useful.

There's so much work to do
and you are lazy.

Carmen!

Here, Clara.

Why don't you help me?

I do help you.

You only help Delfina.

I help you both.

I'm always on my own.

What are you laughing at?

Oh, nothing...

You're laughing because it's true.

You look mean
when you laugh like that.

Don't you like me?

Does your wrist hurt?

When are you two leaving?

Do they like it?

A lot.

Are you upset?

You seem annoyed, eh?

Leave the servant girl alone.

I think you're getting
worked up over nothing.

It's excessive, what you do.

Wouldn't you take advantage
if you could?

Before, you understood
women much more.

They are the wicked ones.

Between the servant girls...

...this time you have limited
yourself too strictly...

...to the brunette.

Don't frighten it!

Clara!

What is that?

What is it?

Blood.

Is that blood?

Sap.

Sap?

A heart... or a mushroom?

Blood from the tree?

This tree, Sir, is magical.

Is it red...

...blood from the trees?

I don't know.

- And yours?
- Yes.

Are you no longer in the
company of your father?

What do you mean?

I have seen you
doing odd jobs...

No, I don't work for him
anymore.

So why don't you follow me
up to the castle?

I'm quite alright
with my father.

You could help me greatly.

I've never been
to the other side.

It wouldn't be hard for you
to cross the river...

...on a boat!

But do you live alone?

Not exactly.

I would be generous
to your family, as well.

I don't think my father
will allow me.

But once he sees
the advantages...

...he will let you cross.

And if needs be...

...I'll send someone
to bring you over.

My father is very religious.

In my castle...

Christianity
has no place.

And what goes on there?

We go way beyond.

What should I do?

You would enter...

another world.

Yes, but what should I do?

You could become a damsel.

You could...

...learn to read...

...to paint...

maybe you could
even bring your maids.

The three of us
can come together?

It would be
an honour for me.

They are very tender.

See how it's become?

You said it was magic.

Look.
- Not near me...

When men lose
their authority...

...as happened in the
Old Testament...

...a stick turns
into a snake.

"Thou shalt crawl upon thy belly
all the days of thy life".

He says to the woman.

He shows you his tongue.

That's the way it goes...

The snake has touched this,
lets put it to one side...

Clara...

What?

She has very fair skin,
this girl.

Yes.

Shall we put this here?

She is not fond
of tomfoolery.

What is this horn from?
A cow?

A bull?

A sheep?

They kill oxen here.

It's an ox.

It's a sacred ritual...

...they must carry out close by.

It's magic.

It's magic.

From...

the grounds...

...of a rhinoceros horn...

How can they do that?

Which material
does it grow from, this horn?

The grounds of
the rhinoceros horn...

taken as a drink...

...give you sexual fortitude.

The juice of oysters as well.

Sometimes I learn more
from you than from books.

Don't you think that sometimes
they put lies in books?

There is always
one or another.

Those on theology
have fallen.

Not a single one sustains...

The French philosophers...

...have dismantled
all their theories.

They always slip one in.

And before...

music was performed
in the Church.

Now all the chaplains
are leaving it aside.

There won't be any left.

It's their loss.

- "Their"? ...What?

They had...

They will cease to be
passionate men.

That priest who is
so successful...

Who is he?

Vivaldi?

I don't know any priests.

He is fond of little boys.

And he has more freedom...

...within the Church
than we do outside.

And what does he say?
Mass?

Or nothing much?

They know he touches
little boys and girls.

We don't.

They are huge, these trees.

Thousands of years old,
or millions of years.

Are they going
to slice it open?

Have you seen the expression,
on its face?

From a certain point onwards
they start to repaint it.

It looks like a Minotaur...

Look how his leg
twitches, see?

We are done with allegories.

This is Reality, eh?

The smell of blood.

It has a remarkable presence.

Did he hurt himself?

Where is your master?

The master has gone
for a wander.

Alone?

Very much alone.

But he'll be back.

And how do you know
he is not with Delfina?

Here, eh?

Right here.

Do you not feel different?

Everything has opened out
within you...

and from now on...

...you can spawn children.

I don't want children.

Carmen!

Carmen!

Carmen!

Carmen!

Carmen!

Clara!

Before, leeches were used
as a cure for suffering girls.

They sucked their blood.

Only girls?

Girls with rotten blood.

They were cured.

Now we have Medicine.

Were you ever taken ill?

No.

Are you still afraid?

Yes.

Of what?

Of bears...

...and of men.

Which men?

Casanova...

and Pompeu.

You should be more wicked.

You are too innocent.

No.

You don't fool me...

I don't know
how to deal with them.

Go and see what it is.

I can't see anything.

There is nobody here.

They are at the graveyard.

Christians!

Don't worry.

There is nothing
to be afraid of.

Did you think you might
find Delfina here?

Should she be coming?

No.

You're lucky she's not here.

She's wicked.

I don't find her wicked.

She's capable of throwing
you over the edge.

What would she gain from
throwing me over the edge?

I don't know.

You know she goes out
at night?

No.

Well now you know.

What is she doing
during the night?

One night we should go
and spy on her.

Do you find her pretty?

Yes, a lot.

And me?

I like you both the same.

If you knew what
she got up to...

...you wouldn't be
so fond of her.

What do you mean?

You can't do
good things at night...

...when you leave
your house.

That father...

Your father...

We'll shame him...

We must make the most
of the night.

Don't you think?

We have to...

We have to...

We have to punish him.

I told you so.

We'll leave him...

...to bleed...

...like a pig.

Like a calf.

He won't escape.

You live misguided.

That's worth something!

"To turn shit into gold"!

You'll get pregnant.

He has shed it all.

Did you like that, father?
Was it enough?

He had it coming...

He couldn't even read.

He wore a wig...

...all unruly...

...he could barely
even speak.

He spoke French...

and to this day,
I still don't know why.

Me, I never understood
what he was saying.

I stayed for years.

And he never left the castle.

He was very boring.

The second one is
completely different.

He is always travelling.

To Rome, Italy...

Russia...

He knows how to read
very well indeed.

And he's written
several books.

Now I am content.

I'm very happy.

And when he sees maidens...

...he is happier still.

From time to time
he sits and cries...

...all alone.

Because he is a bit sad.

But he is always
in high spirits.

On the other hand, the first one
was always depressed.

He wasn't worth the while.

On the other hand,
the second...

works wonderfully.

"To feel..."

"To believe..."

"To possess..."