Storytelling (2001) - full transcript

Storytelling is comprised of two separate stories set against the sadly comical terrain of college and high school, past and present. Following the paths of its young hopeful/ troubled characters, it explores issues of sex, race, celebrity and exploitation

Hey, you want to hear
my short story now?

Huh?

I could
read it to you.

You mean, again?

I changed the ending
a little.

Oh.
What happens now?

Well, actually,
it's the same

but longer.

I think it's better.
More... raw.

Then maybe you should
just read the ending.

But it won't make sense



if you hear it
out of context.

I think you should leave it
the way it was.

It was good.

o you don't want
to hear my new ending?

You'll read it
in class tomorrow.

Surprise me.

Anyway,
I have to go.

I promised Melinda
I'd help her with her oral.

You're tired of me,
I can tell.

Marcus, I'm tired,
that's all.

You've lost interest.

You hardly even sweat anymore
when we have sex.

I was never much
of a sweater, you know that.

Look, Vi,



I don't blame you.
You feel pity now.

Pleasure isn't
there anymore.

The kinkiness is gone.

You've become kind.

"When he saw her,

it was as if he could
walk like a normal person.

His legs didn't swing,

his arms
didn't spaz away.

He wasn't
a freak anymore,

for she made him forget
his affliction.

No more
cerebral palsy.

From now on,
CP stood for...

'Cerebral Person. '

He was
a cerebral person. "

I thought that was
really good, Marcus.

Really...

moving
and emotional.

I thought it was
really emotional, too.

Student #1:
And, I mean,

really good
word choices.

It kind of reminded me
a little of Faulkner,

but East Coast
and disabled.

Or Flannery O'Connor.
She had multiple sclerosis.

And Borges-
he was blind.

Updike has psoriasis.

Maybe I'm wrong,

but...

I'm afraid I found
the whole thing

to be a little trite.

Its earnestness is...

well... it's a little
embarrassing.

Those adjectives
are flatfooted and redundant.

I'm sorry,
I mean...

anyway, don't-
what do I know?

Don't even listen
to what I say.

I mean...

Anyone else?

Catherine is right.

Your story
is a piece of shit.

You express nothing
but banalities,

and, formally speaking,
are unable to construct

a single
compelling sentence.

You ride on a wave
of clich?s so worn, in fact,

it actually approaches
a level of grotesquerie.

And your subtitle-
"The Rawness ofTruth"-

is that supposed to be
a joke of some sort?

Or are you just
being pretentious?

Okay.

Who's next?

Vi:
Marcus, wait up!

What do you want?

Don't be so upset,
it's okay.

What the fuck are you talking
about?! What's okay?

- He hated my story also.
- You story was terrible.

Marcus, you'll write
something better next time.

Patronizing fuck! If you had been
honest with me in the first place,

I wouldn't have read it.
I knew it was shit,

but like an idiot,
I believed you.

That's not fair,
I was honest.

Just because I wasn't sucking up
like that bitch, Catherine-

I sure didn't hear you voice
your opinion when it mattered.

I admit it, I was scared.

I was shocked, in fact,
by what he said.

And he's so convincing.

I'm sorry if I let you down,
but really...

I still say he's
just one opinion.

I don't even like his books that much.
They're all so...

aggressively confrontational.

I don't care if he's
won the Pulitzer Prize.

You just want to fuck him,
like Catherine

and every other
white cunt on campus.

Marcus, you can'tjust
unilaterally decide to end things.

This is a relationship
we're talking about, a friendship.

You don'tjust-

Fuck you!

Fuck him! Fuck him!
Fuck him!

Vi, are you okay?

Yes, I'm okay.
I'm totally okay.

You did the right thing.

I know that.

Fucking cripple.

Why do I waste my time
with undergrads?

They're all so...

juvenile!

I just thought
Marcus would be different.

I mean, he's got CP.

What are you going
to do now?

I don't know.
Go to a bar,

get laid, whatever.

Don't worry about me,
I'll be just fine.

Bartender:
What can I get you?

I'll just have a beer.

Here you go.

Hi.

Hello, Vi.

What are you doing here?

What are you doing here?

I'm sorry,
I didn't mean...

I just didn't expect to run
into you here, that's all.

Well...

now you have.

Yeah.

Then, are you alone?

Um-hmm.

Can I join you?

Thanks.

Well...

I just wanted to say that
I'm really happy with the class.

I know you must
hear this all the time,

but I'm also a great
admirer of your work.

"A Sunday Lynching"
especially...

really...

spoke to me.

God, I hope I'm not
embarrassing you.

You're not.

Good.

Because...

I really agreed with everything
you had to say last week

about how bad
my story was.

That's good.

I also agreed
with what you said today

about Marcus' story.

It is a piece of shit.

You have beautiful skin.

Thank you.

Catherine seems like she might
become a really good writer.

Maybe.

She's okay.

Aren't you going out
with Catherine?

I'm sorry, it's none
of my business.

I didn't mean...

I'm not going out
with Catherine.

Oh.

Do you think I have
potential as a writer?

No.

Thank you
for being honest.

I have so much respect
for you.

Can I just freshen up
for a second?

It's over there.

Thanks.

Don't be a racist.

Don't be a racist.
Don't be a racist...

Freak.

Can I come in?

You're all...

sweaty.

Vi: "So John
flipped her around,

and slammed her
against the wall.

Jane braced herself.

She thought
about her mother.

She thought
about Peter.

She thought
about God...

and rape.

Say, 'Fuck me,
Nigger,

fuck me hard. '

John's flesh
abraded her soft skin.

There would be marks.

She acquiesced

and said what
he asked her to say,

and did what he
asked her to do.

She had entered college
with hope,

with dignity,

but she would
graduate as a whore. "

Why do people
have to be so ugly,

write about such ugly characters?
It's perverted.

I know you all think
I'm being prissy,

but I don't care.
I was brought up in a certain way,

and this is...

mean-spirited.

Yeah. Well...

it did seem a little...

affected.

Like by using taboo language,
you were trying

to shock us about the hollowness
of your characters.

I think it was
a little bit racist.

It was completely racist.

Beyond that, I felt
deeply offended as a woman.

As if women could
only operate

from experiences
of objectification.

- Totally phallocentric.
- So weirdly misogynistic.

Why does Jane
go through with this?

Is she stupid?

Hey, but wasn't
this a rape?

Or did I miss something?

I'm confused,
because if this was a rape,

then why would she
be a whore?

It was confessional,
yet dishonest.

Jane pretends to be
horrified by the sexuality

that she in fact
fetishizes.

She subsumes herself
to the myth

of black male
sexual potency,

but then doesn't
follow through.

She thinks she respects
Afro-Americans,

and thinks they're
cool and exotic-

what a notch
he'd make in her belt-

But of course, it all comes down
to a Mandingo clich?,

and he calls her on it.

In classic racist tradition,

she demonizes,
then runs for cover.

But then, how could
she behave otherwise?

She's just a spoiled
suburban white girl

with a Benetton
rainbow complex.

It's just my opinion,
and what do I know,

but I think it's
a callow piece of writing.

Callow... and coy.

Jane wants more, but isn't
honest enough to admit it.

In the end she returns
to the safety of her crippled-

translation,
sexually impotent- boyfriend.

This is bullshit!
Her story was the truth!

- Right.
- It's unbelievable!

- It's clich?d!
- It's disgusting!

But it happened!

I don't know
about what happened, Vi,

because once
you start writing,

it all becomes fiction.

Still...

it certainly is an improvement
over your last story.

There is now at least

a beginning, a middle,

and an end.

Woman:
"Toby,

I just know you're
going to become a movie star.

Please don't forget me
when you make it to the top.

I will always love you.
Pam. "

- Woman: Hello?
- Hello.

Is this Pam?

- Who is this?
- Toby Oxman.

Toby? Oh, hi.
How are you?

I'm fine, how are you?

- Great.
- Great!

- So what's going on?
- I was going to ask you that.

But you called.

Oh, yeah.

Well...

I was just calling

because, well...

I was wondering
if you still remembered me,

which I guess you do.

Yeah.

So, look at where we are.
The year 2000!

Can you believe it?

Did you ever think
we would actually make it?

Well, yeah.

So, are you still acting?

No. Not anymore.

No,

I kind of came
to terms with myself.

I realized I had done
what I had to do,

and it was time to move on.

What did you do after
you gave up on acting?

I went to law school,
if you can believe that.

- I believe it.
- Well, it was really...

all kind of a joke and a rip-off,
the whole thing,

- so I dropped out.
- That's too bad.

Well, but then
it got me writing,

so that was a good thing.

Anything I might know about?

Well...

I kind of let things go
on this novel I'd been really into.

The whole publishing industry
is totally corrupt.

Really, it's finished.

That's too bad.

I worked over at a homeless shelter
for a while,

drove a cab to pay the rent,

but that was...

I mean, I have some dignity.

That's good.
So then what do you do now?

I'm a documentary filmmaker.

Oh? Anything
I might have seen?

Not yet.
I'm hoping to get a grant

for this one project
on teenagers.

Remember when
we were teenagers?

Yeah, you didn't want
to take me to the prom.

I- I don't
remember that.

I do.

Well- but
It was so long ago.

We were so different
back then.

Well, anyway...

I'm looking for subjects
for this documentary

on teenage life
in suburbia.

It's kind of an exploration
of the psyche,

of its mythology.

I wrote to Derrida to see
if he'd like to do the narration,

but everything's still kind of
in development at this point.

Huh.

I work in a shoe store
right now.

But it's cool,
I'm not ashamed.

I have a much stronger
sense of self now.

And anyway, it's really
very temporary.

- That's good.
- Yeah.

So anyway, tell me,
what about you?

I'd heard through the grapevine
that you were producing movies.

Yeah, but not anymore.

Oh. Tired of life
in the fast lane?

Yeah.

So, you're...

married?

- Yeah.
- Huh.

- Kids?
- Yeah.

- How many?
- Three.

Great.

How old are they?

Eight, six, and four.

Wow, that really is great.

In a few years, maybe they'll want
to be in my documentary.

Listen, Toby,
I can't really talk right now.

Do you mind
if I call you back?

- Yeah, sure.
- Okay. Bye.

Okay, bye.

Maybe she has
caller ID.

Man:
Do you have any hobbies?

No, not really.

Any books you like
to read for fun?

No.

How 'bout those
underground comics?

I hate reading.

All right, Scooby,
let's not beat around the bush.

With your attitude,
you won't get in anywhere.

Okay.

"Okay. "

So you just don't care?

Let me ask you something,
not as your guidance counselor,

but as a friend.

What do you want
to do with your life?

What kind
of long-term goals

can you possibly have?

I don't know.

Come on,
you can talk to me.

T ell me what
you're thinking.

I mean,

I want to be on TV.

Maybe have a talk show
or something,

like Conan
or early Letterman.

Uh-huh. How is it you hope
to achieve this goal?

I don't know.
See if I have any connections?

? Island girl...?

? What you wanting
with the white man's world??

Did you knock on his door?

Yes, but he just
shouted at me

and used the "F" word.

Scooby, dinner!

Would anyone be interested
in being hypnotized after dinner?

All: No.

Let's just start.

I don't know what's wrong
with that kid.

- Maybe he's gay.
- Don't ever say that.

- What if he is?
- He isn't.

Marty, ignore him.

He's vegetarian,
doesn't do sports-

Brady!

And even if he is...

Gay people are people too,
you know.

You're just being prejudiced.

I don't care if he's gay.

I'm cool. It's not like
I have to share his room.

I just want to know
what he does in his room

that's so interesting
he doesn't come down for dinner.

Maybe he's building a bomb,
just like-

Don't even joke about that.

I'm serious. What happens
if he blows up the school?

That's it, I'm going in there.

Scooby: Fuck!
Was anyone in my room today?

Is everything okay?

My CD case
like totally collapsed.

I have to recatalog all weekend.

Hey, can you pass
the salad over?

Steak's really good tonight.

Good.

- You have a lot of homework?
- I don't know.

What do you mean?
You either got a lot or you don't.

- What's not to know?
- Marty.

You started filling out
your college applications yet?

I'm not going to college.

What are you going to do?

I don't know.

What do you know?

Dad,

I'm trying to figure things out
right now, okay?

It's like, really hard...

and I'm just listening
to some old Elton John-

- Gay.
- Out.

Leave the table.

- What?
- You heard me. Leave the table!

Man, I'm out of here.
This family is so fucked!

Mom, it's not fair

if Brady can say
the "F" word and I can't.

Mikey, listen up,
'cause here's a lesson.

Life's not fair.

? Gonna have fun, fun, fun?

? In the sun, sun, sun?

? 'Cause you're
the one, one, one?

? We're going to have fun...?

- I'll talk to you later.
- I'll see you later.

- Later.
- Thanks, Esposito.

Consuelo?

Consuelo?

Yes, Mikey?

Do you have any
brothers or sisters?

- Yes.
- Really?

How many?

Four brothers...

and five sisters.

Wow.

Why did your parents
have so many children?

I mean,
if they were poor,

wouldn't it be better
to just have one or two?

It was God's will.

But do you really
believe in God?

Heaven, hell,

and angels and all
that kind of stuff?

No.

So...

how was school today?

- The same.
- The same.

The same as what?

Just the same.

We're studying the Holocaust
in Social Studies.

Oh, yeah?

We did the same thing
last year also.

How is the class?

I'm supposed to watch
"Schindler's List" for homework.

The movie's, like,
almost four hours.

Then I'm supposed to write
a report on survivors.

You know
any survivors, Dad?

Hmm.

Do I know any?
Personally?

T echnically,
your Zeda is a survivor.

He was
in a concentration camp?

No, but he had
to escape the Nazis.

But I thought he came over
to America before the war.

He did, with his family.
But his cousins,

they had to stay
and they were all killed.

If he'd stayed,
he would've been killed.

So in my book,
he's a survivor.

Even though it was only
his cousins that were killed?

That could've happened
to him, or to me,

if I'd been alive.
Or you.

Or me?

You mean,
then we're all survivors?

Well, yes.

If it hadn't been
for Hitler,

he wouldn't have had
to leave Europe.

We would've been European.

But then, in a sense,

since you would've
never met Dad

if your family
had stayed in Europe,

if it weren't for Hitler
none of us would've been born.

Get the hell out of here.

Man-!

It's just, like,
conversation.

T ell me...

you make a living at this?

Well, sir,

I'm actually not doing this
for the money.

When you make a documentary,

you do it for many reasons.

But money is certainly
not one of them.

I don't get it.

Well, sir...

a lot has happened
to the landscape

of the suburban high school
since I was a student.

I feel it would
be a valuable,

perhaps even
enlightening endeavor,

to chronicle the changes.

To get intimate
with the realities

kids and parents face
in American schools today.

Yeah, well, whatever.

I'll let you know
if there's interest.

Excuse me,
where's the bathroom?

You a pervert?

Toby: No.

Actually,
I'm a documentary filmmaker.

Oh.

You mean like
"Blair Witch Project"?

Well, no. Um...

I'm doing one
on high school students, in fact.

What for?

Well, it's kind of...

it's kind of
a sociological study

on the aftermath
of Columbine.

Is this, like,
to get into Sundance?

Yeah, it's possible
they would be interested in it.

Doubt it.

Actually, there is some interest
from the Sundance Channel.

Whoopee.

HBO and MTV have also
shown some interest.

So you have connections?

Toby:
We're trying to do a film

on suburban lifestyles.

Kind of an "American Family"
for the new millennium.

I thought this was about
kids getting into college.

- Oh, it is.
- Marty: Which is it?

You got to keep your focus straight.

Yeah,
you're absolutely right.

The focus is on the college
admissions process today.

And you want Scooby
to be the focus of all this?

Scooby and
a few other students

of different
socioeconomic backgrounds.

You didn't mention
any other students before.

I don't have any yet, but-

Either Scooby is the focus
or forget it.

Yeah,
I thought I was the focus.

I want to be the focus.

- Ah-!
- Toby,

we need this to be
a positive experience.

I suppose
I could reconceive.

Reconceive.

Scooby does have
a quality...

that I've been
looking for.

A quality that is emblematic
of America today.

It's part disillusionment,
part hope.

Twinkies!

Fern:
Boys, take napkins.

Napkins.

Not to be crass,

but what do we get
out of this?

Don't worry,
he doesn't mean money.

I know.

I know that.

Well...

sharing your story,

your ups and downs
and so forth,

can, I hope,
be an illuminating experience.

Yeah.

How do we know
we won't be exploited?

No, it's true.

Mr. Livingston,
I fully understand

and I share your concerns.

You feel vulnerable.

I know this is
a very difficult question

but what it
comes down to is...

can you make
the leap offaith in me,

the same way that I have to make
the leap offaith in you?

This is a great school,

I don't care
what anybody says.

It's not perfect,

but the people
are really cool-

like the teachers
and kids-

they really care
and all.

I know they make fun
of New Jersey all the time,

but I don't care,
'cause they're just snobs.

'Cause Jersey is
where America's at!

Toby:
Walking down these hallways-

hallways just like
the ones

I once walked down
as a teenager,

I couldn't help
thinking back to a time

when every day
I woke up depressed,

suicidal,

consumed by despair.

Had things changed?

Was the competition

to get into the most
prestigious schools

still a requisite
rite of passage?

Beneath these masks
of courtesy and friendliness,

I knew that there were
darker forces at work.

And I knew that Scooby

was the key
to revealing the truth.

Scooby, Scooby, Scooby.

What are you thinking?

College, SAT s,

your parents,
your brothers,

your friends...

How is it you deal
with all this stress?

The pressure to get into
the college of your choice

is incredible.

They did a study recently

of the youth in Bosnia
during the bombing.

They found
that the stress

the young people
experience there

was less than what American
high school students go through

when applying to college.

Toby:
Is that right?

- Yeah.
- My God.

So what do you think?

Well...

I'm not really sure
what you're trying to say.

It's funny, I suppose.

But it seems glib
and facile to make fun

of how idiotic
these people are.

I'm not making fun.

I'm showing it
as it really is.

You're showing how superior
you are to your subject.

But I like my subject.
I like these people.

- No, you don't.
- Yes, I do!

I love them.

- The camerawork's nice.
- Thanks.

I'll tell Mike.

Well...

it's still
just the beginning.

I know I can...

dig deeper.

Fern:
But, Marj-

May I call you Marj?

What it really
boils down to is,

what does it mean to be a Jew?
Exactly. Tzedakah- charity.

And the new wing
at Beth Israel is-

Actually, last year
you gave $500.

But this year, $1,000 would
not only be a mitzvah,

it would bring you
to a new level-

Yes, of course.
Your gift would also

give you a Chagall menorah

and two tickets
to the dinner dance this spring.

Because it's true.
Israel needs us now.

Fern: If not now, when?

That's wonderful.
I'll speak to you next week.

You too. Take care.

Hi, Scooby.

Scooby... Scooby?

How was school today?

Fine.

Ready for tomorrow?

- What's tomorrow?
- The SAT s, knucklehead.

I'm not taking them.

Just- back-

- Mikey: Mom?
- Yes, Mikey?

I was looking through
one of Scooby's SAT practice books

and I took one
of the practice tests.

Guess what score I got?

What?

550 verbal, 520 math,

and I'm only
in fifth grade.

Marty: Scooby?

Yeah?

We have to talk.

What do you want
to talk about?

Don't screw around with me.
You know what I'm talking about.

You're taking those SAT s.

You're taking those SAT s
or your CD collection's history.

You're taking those SAT s
and you're going to college.

You're taking those SATs if I have
to strap your ass to a chair,

but, buddy,
you're taking them!

Okay.

I'm tired of this shit.

Toby: Were you surprised
that Scooby took the SATs after all?

Brady: Not really.
He's kind of a wuss.

Okay.
How about you, Cheryl?

Were you surprised?

I don't know.
Whatever.

Brady: How come you drive
such a shitty car?

Cheryl: Yeah.

I don't know.

That's interesting.
A cool car.

Is that something that's
real important to you...

- Brady? A cool car?
- Yeah. Duh.

Scooby:
That's pretty cool, Stanley.

Thanks.

How did you get it?

It's my dad's.

He hides it under some
old TV Guides in his closet.

Gee.
Your dad's smart.

I know.

Is it loaded?

No... I don't think so.

Scooby, don't!
Be careful.

I'm not an idiot, man.
I watch TV.

I know. I'm sorry.
I'm just-

a little nervous.
I don't know why.

You should be.

Here.
You can keep it.

Scooby?

Yeah?

You know...

- I like you.
- Yeah.

- I know.
- I mean...

I know.

Everyone knows.

Oh.

Um...

Do you think...

Do you think that...
you'd let me...

Okay.

If you feel like it.

Just give me a second.

- You want some?
- No, thanks.

Recording plays:
? I was surprised?

? I was happy for a day?

? In 1975?

? I was puzzled by a dream?

? It stayed with me all day...?

? In 1995?

? My brother had confessed?

? He was gay,
it took the heat off me for a while?

? He stood up
with a sailor friend?

? Made it known
upon my sister's?

? Wedding day.?

I'm sorry! I should have never
made you take the SAT s.

Oh God!
I'm burning to death!

- I'll never do it again!
- Conan: Hey, Scooby.

How's it going?

Conan O'Brien?

Whoa.
What are you doing here?

I'm looking for
a last-minute guest for my show.

Any suggestions?

- I'll be your guest.
- Really?

Well, all right.
Let's take a look at the television,

and see how we look.

Cool.

Welcome to the show, Scooby.
Nice to have you here.

- Great to be here.
- Thank you for dressing up for us.

This is very classy.

T ell us, what kind of
professional plans do you have?

What's in your future?

Well...

I was thinking

I might work for you.

T ell me, what do you
want to do for me?

- What's your idea?
- Be your sidekick.

And maybe, eventually,

become a TV talk show host.

TV talk show host?
Okay.

You were at sidekick
eight seconds ago,

then TV talk show host.

You'll be a Latin dictator
in about a minute.

Let's see what they think
of the first idea.

I'm curious what
the audience thinks.

What do you think,
should Scooby be my new sidekick?

Wow.

Scooby, new sidekick,
everybody.

Oh, man.

Yeah?

- Hey.
- Hey.

What's up?

There's something
I need to talk about with you.

What?

There's some rumors...

Like what?

You know...

Stanley.

What?

Like, don't take this
the wrong way.

I mean, I'm cool.

But...
you know...

I've got a good reputation
at school.

Well...

I really
don't want it ruined.

No problem.

I'm cool.

Thanks, Scoob.

Esposito, what the fuck
do you think you're doing?

You're tackling like a bitch
on my football team, son.

You better bend your ass over
and hit somebody, understand me?

- Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
- Understand me?

Then do it!
Livingston!

That's the way
to hit that hole, son.

We're going to become
a football team today.

Let's move the ball!
Move, move, move!

- Break!
- I want to see you hit those holes.

Defense, fill
those goddamn gaps!

Let's go, guys.
Let's do it.

Set left, set left.

Red, 17...

Red, 17...

Hut-!
Hut! Hut!

Mikey:
When I'm in high school,

I'm not going to play
any football.

I'm just going to concentrate
on class rank.

What did you do
in high school?

I did not go
to high school.

Weren't there high schools
in El Salvador?

We had to work.

My family was poor.

It must have been
hard being poor.

I am still poor.

Hmmm.

But, Consuelo,

even though you're poor,
don't you have

any hobbies or interests
or anything?

No, Mikey.

But, like...

what do you like to do
when you're not working?

I am always working.

But when you're not,
like now,

what do you like to do?

This is work.

But it's not like...
real work.

This is just babysitting.

You know, your job's
really not so bad,

if you think about it.

You should smile more.

Toby: When the sky is clear
and the sun is warm,

you're reminded of how
beautiful things can be.

A lamppost...

a sign...

a straw wrapper,
blowing in the wind.

But when
that dark cloud appears,

you realize how fragile

the balance of life is.

When Brady first
arrived to the hospital,

He was unresponsive
to verbal stimuli.

We performed a CT scan
which demonstrated a large

subdural hematoma
with mass effect.

Since the removal
of the subdural,

he's been in a coma.

When I first met the Livingstons
it was in the first 24 hours

of Brady coming in after
his tragic football accident,

and they were acting
in a fairly typical way.

We're not the ones that need help.
My son needs help.

My son's in there.
He can't even feed himself.

I don't even know
if he's going to be

a vegetable or not,
for Christ's sake!

Toby:
But what about Scooby?

How would this
affect him?

What meaning
is to be found in this?

This is definitely better.

You think so?
You don't think

that this might not
be a little dry?

This is not an entertainment
you're making.

This story about
a kid in the suburbs,

and the state of
the college admission process,

has, with this Brady crisis,

evolved into something
much richer and more provocative.

Yes, I know. Still, it should be
somewhat entertaining.

Without this footage, without
this rigorous documentation,

it would feel
like exploitation.

No, no, no.
No exploitation, this is serious.

But don't you find it
a little funny, too,

at the same time?

You've got a family tragedy
on your hands.

Will you tell me what's funny
about that? About a kid in a coma?

- Nothing, I guess.
- Why are you making this

if you can't treat your subject
with appropriate gravity?

Okay, you're right.
You're right.

We need to screen
what we've got.

Invite some
regular people,

just some random
off-the-street types,

and see what real people
think of this.

I don't know, Toby.
We really have a long way to go.

You still need to get
a lot more footage.

It's probably
a little premature-

Then we can invite
serious intellectual types.

- We're not ready.
- Hip alternative types...

- who understand the process.
- Toby, we're not ready!

I need to see this
with an audience.

What's an audience
gonna tell you?

I don't know.
Maybe they'll like it.

Consuelo!

I spilled some grape juice
on the floor.

Consuelo?

Consuelo?

Consuelo...

are you crying?

No.

Yes, you are.
I can tell.

What's the matter?

Mi Jesus.

Speak English.

?Mi Jesus est? muerto!

Consuelo,

I'm sorry, but you know
if you don't speak English

I can't understand you.

My Jesus.

Who is Jesus?

My baby.

You have a baby?

My grandchild baby.

Gee.

I didn't even know
you had any children.

But why are you
so upset about Jesus?

He is dead.

Oh.

How did that happen?

He was executed.

He was on death row...

and then he was executed.

How did they execute him?

Poison gas.

Maybe it's for the best.

I mean, if he was guilty
of doing something wrong.

People who are bad
should be killed.

Don't you think so?

Jesus was not bad.

Maybe he was and you
just didn't know it.

He wasn't.

But still,
you can't be sure.

I am sure.

But really,
you never know.

I know!

Why was he
on death row?

For rape and murder.

Consuelo,
what is rape, exactly?

It is when you...
love someone...

and they don't
love you,

and you do something
about it.

Sometimes I feel like
my parents don't love me.

Well, then,
when you get older,

you can do
something about it.

Consuelo?

I spilled some
grape juice upstairs.

Do you think you could
clean up the floor now?

? We're gonna have fun?

? We are gonna have
fun, fun, fun?

? In the sun,
sun, sun...?

Dad?

Do you think that Brady
will ever get better?

One in a million
recover.

Maybe he's that one
in a million.

Mikey, there's optimism,

and then there's stupidity.

It's a very fine line.

I don't think
there's any hope either.

I was just trying
to make you feel better.

- Thanks.
- You're welcome.

Dad?

Would you let me try
hypnotizing you now?

Yeah, sure.
Go ahead.

Hypnotize me.

Okay. Stay there.
I'll be right back.

Mikey:
Just a sec!

Be right there.

Could you
turn around to me?

Just turn.
Thanks.

All right.

You must look
at this shiny object...

and concentrate.

Relax your legs.

Relax your arms.

Relax your shoulders.

Now keep your eyes
on the shiny object.

Your eyelids
are getting heavy.

Heavier.

You're getting sleepy.

Sleepier.

Now let your eyes
close shut...

and you are
sound asleep.

Now...

you are completely
under my power.

I am the only voice
you can hear,

the only voice
you will listen to.

Now...

when you wake up,

you will be
in a good mood.

You won't worry
so much about Brady.

And I will be your favorite
from now on.

If Brady dies,

you can be sad
for a little bit,

but I will still be

the most important
person in your life.

You will never
be mean to me,

and always give me
whatever I want.

Also, you should
fire Consuelo.

She's lazy.

Now, when I snap
my fingers,

you will remember nothing,

but you will do
everything I have asked.

One...

two...

three.

Hey, Mikey,

want to get
some ice cream?

Okay!

It's like, yeah...

I caved in.

I mean, I had to.

My parents,
they're like...

still really depressed
about Brady.

So I wrote
the bullshit essay,

filled out the applications,
did the interviews...

I figure
I can always drop out.

Toby:
Where did you get in?

Princeton.

What did you get
on your SATs?

200 verbal,
710 math.

Kinda weird, I know,

but I think they thought
it was, like...

good weird.

We used pull.

You have to.
Sometimes you just have to, Toby.

Toby: What kind of pull
did you have?

I have a cousin.
Very big giver to the alumni fund.

It's all about
who you know.

Look, we're not suckers.

Everyone else is out there
doing the same thing.

He's right.

- Damn, Toby.
- It's too hard.

- This thing won't open again.
- Don't. Let me try it.

It's- yes,
the button is just stuck.

- Hey, Toby?
- Hey, man.

I was wondering...

is the documentary
almost finished?

Yeah, we're
getting there.

Can I see what
you have so far?

Sure...

yeah, as soon
as I have

a screening,
I'll let you know.

- Thanks, man.
- Okay, man.

Okay.

Gin, I win.

Let's play again.

- Marty: Hey, Mikey!
- Hey, Dad.

Come here
and give me a hug.

- Gee, you're home early.
- Yeah.

Listen, why don't
you go upstairs

and keep your mom and Brady
company for a bit?

I need to speak alone
with Consuelo for a moment.

- Sure, Dad.
- Take off.

Ahem-
Consuelo...

Mrs. Livingston and I
have discussed this,

and we've come
to the conclusion

that we are not very happy
with your work lately.

So we're going
to let you go.

I don't understand.

We've been happy
with you in the past,

but now we think,
maybe it's time for a change.

I know you've had
trouble at home.

Maybe some of that
is reflecting on your work.

Consuelo: But, Mr. Livingston-

I work very hard for you...
and your family.

Marty:
I understand.

I'm sorry it had
to end this way.

Florsheim,
can I help you?

Hi, I'm trying
to reach Toby Oxman.

Sorry,
he's off today.

Okay.

Um... thanks.

? I'm coming over
in the wrong direction?

? I only want to be
the center of your attention?

? For long enough to show you
I'm worth the trouble?

? That you take?

? I want to see the way
that you portray?

? A boy who's gonna try
to change his life today...?

Hey, Mike.

Is Toby here?

No, he's not.

Oh.

Do you have any idea
where he might be?

I think he's at
a test screening.

? I want to see the way
that you portray?

? A boy who maybe
doesn't have too much to say?

? And you can draw
your own conclusions?

? But you'll find
I'm not a fake?

? You can turn away
from me?

? But there's nothing that'll
keep me here, you know?

? And you'll never be
the city guy?

? Any more than I'll be hosting
The Scooby Show.?

Marty: I think Scooby's
like a lot of kids.

He just hit a speedbump.

Now he's going to find his way,
his path's going to be clear,

and I think he's going to continue
his education at a good college.

And everybody else
is going to be happy.

Toby:
Mr. Livingston,

aren't you a bit fearful that Scooby
will be confronted with

hollow values
and systemic conformism?

I don't know why this is
so hard for you to comprehend.

I had a terrific time
in college.

I've got a terrific job,
a comfortable salary,

terrific wife,
three terrific kids,

and every year I give
to the alumni fund.

Now, why are you trying to make
college out to be a bad thing?

A negative experience?

You had a bad time?
Well, too bad!

Get over it!
Stop trying to impose

your misery on others
by going around saying,

"Life is bad.
Life is horrible. "

Life is tough on you?
Well, boo-hoo!

Scooby:
Well, yeah.

My dad is kind
of a goofball.

You just have to...

pretend to go along
with his ideas,

'cause he really
doesn't get it.

Like, I could be
the next Oprah...

for all he knows,

but he's never even
seen the show.

Toby:
What is most important to you?

I don't know.

I'd like to be good
at something.

It doesn't have to be TV.
I mean...

it could be movies...

anything.

I'd be willing to direct.

I'd like to be...

you know...

famous.

Not necessarily a superstar.

Just famous.

Be recognized.

Get fan mail-

things.

Toby: Scooby, now I understand
how you want

to be like a TV
talk show host and all,

like Conan O'Brien,

but did you know that
even he went to college?

- He did?
- Yeah.

He went to Harvard.

Oh.

Newscaster:... one police officer,
eight others were wounded...

Mom? Dad?

Can I sleep with you?

- I'm scared.
- Sure, buddy.

- Come on.
- Come in bed with us.

Come on.

Snug as a bug
in a rug,

Yeah,
there you go, pally.

Marty:
You're monster-proofed.

Scooby...

Oh my God,
Scooby.

I'm so sorry.

I'm so, so sorry.

Don't be.

The movie's a hit.

? Picture a scene in your mind?

? Look at all the people
and take note?

? Of the setting behind?

? Listen, watch and wait?

? A plot begins
to take shape?

? There's a story,
and then?

? Characters
will come to you?

? Relating events
as they choose to?

? But all their words
and actions?

? Come entirely from you?

? If you're a storyteller,
you might think?

? You're without-?

? Responsibility, and you
can lead your characters?

? Anywhere you want?

? You have immunity?

? Have you considered
the way?

? People might react
to all the things?

? That your characters say??

? And are their actions
hand in hand?

? With what you wanted
to portray??

? Are you sick?
Are you crippled, insane??

? Expressing the desires
that daren't speak their name?

? Are you the one
to be blamed??

? Now you're a storyteller,
you might think?

? You're without-?

? Responsibility, but in directions,
actions and words?

? Cause and effect?

? You need consistency?

? How can you finish the tale??

? Lives which have played a part?

? Are summarized
from the very start?

? And episodes left out?

? To make it all
go your way?

? It's a mighty big world?

? Some of it I've seen?

? But mostly I've only heard?

? And stories are all fiction
from their moment of birth?

? You're just a storyteller,
you're not trying to escape?

? Responsibility, if we believe
you then you're successful?

? But you don't make
claims of verity?

? You're just a storyteller,
you're not trying to escape?

? Responsibility, if we believe
you then you're successful?

? But you don't make
claims of verity.?

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