Strangulation Blues (1980) - full transcript

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Exterior - Night.
Paul. 1 AM.

A very Parisian night.
Not an American "day-for-night".

You'll see.

Rolling...

What you'll see.

- We got 'em!
- It's alright.

- We got 'em...
- Yeah, it worked.

Paul?

Paul...?

Who is it?

- Paul, I hate you.
- Colette, I love you as you are.



Colette is pouting.

You're so good at pouting.

You stink. You disappear
for a month, no sign of life...

You think it's fair?
Makes me want to puke.

Again this damn habit
of playing with fire.

I met a sex-symbol at the café.
We left together for Honolulu.

One morning, she says: "I'll go buy
the film listings." She never returned.

- So I came back. Colette...
- Honolulu my ass.

No, Colette, sorry.
I had to be on my own.

I lived at the hotel
and I wrote a screenplay. Terrific...

Colette nodded, still sceptical.

- So, it's the story of...
- I don't care.

- Tomorrow, I'll take it to the National
Center for Cinema. - Tomorrow is Sunday.

- It's the story of...
- I don't care.



- of a guy...
- Of course it is.

He's totally depressed...

When you don't like life,
you go to the movies.

He disconnected the phone at his place,
he painted the windows black.

One day, at the employment agency,

a childhood friend in
the movie business tells him:

"You twerp... Broken eggs
make the best omelets."

"Why don't you use this real-life
despair to write a screenplay?"

So there it is.

Then, my hero works day and night,
and starts enjoying life again.

After five months he takes
his script to the Center,

and since they won't
produce him, he...

He shoots himself.

But the shot was loud enough
to wake the dead.

...starting at 7 AM, as usual,
at the same frequency.

You're listening to France Musique,
Radio France. Goodbye for today.

Colette and Paul studied together
at the Lycée Mann.

Three years in the same class,
until the baccalauréat.

They weren't friends, and neither one
was interested in the other.

They mutually ignored each other.

Then, on school picture day,
in the last year,

the photographer placed them
side-by-side, because of their height.

In the picture, they made
the prettiest couple on Earth.

There was no doubt.
They were made for each other.

Colette and Paul...

All the others students agreed.

So they fell deeply in love.

Colette, don't type so loudly,
I love you...

Paul... Paul?

I never found it normal.
Sleeping together. Two in the same bed.

I mean, the other wakes up,
watches you, and sees what you never could.

It's made for humiliation, créploc.

I don't know about you, Colette.

You're moving that way, like you're dead.
I'm not a poet but I'm moved.

It reminds me of... Charles' letter.
He writes.

He has this job where he washes
the dead. Yes, corpses.

At the Geneva morgue. Sometimes
he sees really pretty women.

One day, he catches a colleague,
banging one of these women.

Beautiful. Forty years old...

So Charles yells.
"What the hell? Aren't you ashamed?"

The other guy stops, very calm, and says:

"Charlie, it's not the first time, it's alright.
Trust me, try her out and you'll see."

Charles would have liked it, I think.
But he couldn't.

He writes that he once showered
a really attractive one and fingered her.

But he never went further.

No, sis'. I'm not off-topic, créploc.
Even if I wanted to, I couldn't.

Let me start again. I'm next to you,
but can't see you enough.

And like Jean said to Colette
who had a new boyfriend,

"When you watch a girl's face
you see her soul."

I'm watching you, and it's like
listening to the jazz radio on my own.

I'm the last of the survivors.

And no, I'm not extravagating,
I'm not extravagating at all.

Tonight, I'm sure to be in your dreams.
Of course, it the least I could do.

A penny for your thoughts, darling.

Fifty francs for your thoughts.
Right now, at this moment, immediately. No?

One hundred francs?
Five hundred. No, a thousand! Too late.

Anyway I don't have them.
Too bad. We would have made a profit.

If you thought I was confused, Colette,
others think that...

At the end of the day,
you act like a pretty girl, it's true.

Before I left, you told me
you loved me more and more.

You love me, and you
like doing your translations.

Lord, Colette. You're great, outstanding.

No really, my ambition, it's terrible.
Are you listening, you little fool?

Am-bi-tion.

When you think that at my age, Radiguet
had been dead seven years.

I was born to achieve a great ambition,
not a great love. And in reality...

There is no great love, only proofs
of love, and some pitiful shared joys.

Love is old, and lovers are tired.

When you think about it,
the life of an artist...

And our evenings without movies, my
success not coming, our uncertain pittance.

There!

I would have loved
to be a extraordinary guy.

To be Mr. Dante,
and you, Colette, my Beatrice.

But you inspire nothing in me, merely
a verse, not a single damn movie shot.

Thank God you have your hips.
On that front, you have no competition.

I just want us to waste our life together.
No, I don't want to...

I left for thirty days, I took a room,
I bought paper and a pen.

In a month, I made up a hundred movie
titles. I didn't write a single line.

To come back, and to kiss your mouth,

like Dirty kissed the guy
under the stars in Le Bleu du ciel.

I've passed the time
thinking about this, about you.

They say "pass the time"
like they say "pass the life".

"Passing the sponge"
is like making love, they say.

Like they say "washing the dishes"
or "taking out the trash".

My brother says "You only live once",
my mother says "Eat while it's hot".

You, Colette, you say: "The important is
we love each other. We're happy together".

The things you hear, really...
If I was in my grave I'd be rolling over.

Me, personally, simple happiness
makes me un-ha-ppy.

But how early must I wake up
to make you understand that, créploc?

I swear...
You're a funny girl, really.

Notice that what
I'm holding against you...

is not that you believe in love,
but you believe in theories about love.

Colette, I know your body by heart.
You bet, I learnt it by heart...

But soon, my imagination
was terribly struck

as I thought about the
great author I had to shoot.

I tried in vain
to chase away those thoughts

and keep my mind on
the solid wall in front of me.

The more I struggled not to think,
the more my thoughts

became animated,
intense, atrociously distinct.

My ears were buzzing
and I thought: "It's my death knell!"

I was taken by an irrepressible need
to look below myself.

I wouldn't, I couldn't condemn
my eyes to see only the wall.

And with a strange, indefinite emotion,
half-horrified, half-relieved oppression...

I plunged my look into the abyss.

My whole soul was filled
with an intense desire to fall,

a desire, a tenderness for the abyss,
a passion impossible to master.

Co-Colette?
It's Pau-Pau-Paul...

Whew, it's beating.
It's beating for me of course.

If you really loved me, Colette,
you wouldn't scare me like that, I swear.

Tomorrow, I'll ask the hairdresser
to cut that hand.

And it all started with a picture...

The night is so sad,
melancholy takes over everything,

and my crotch,
and my eyes that are watering...

Yeah, I think I cried,
if you want to know.

And now, to sleep...

Sleep, wake up tired,
and then sleep again...

"The girls,
they never sleep / In the same manner

It depends on the youngster

We all have a manner /
To get ice cubes warmer

For my part

I'm the hustler of the bolster

Martine sleeps amongst her hair

And whenever I care

I tie a little knot right there

Christine sleeps in a pyjama

And never let's me-a

Show off my cinema"

Colette...

Créploc, I killed her!

Shit. I killed her and went back to sleep.
I strangled her.

Or was it a dream?

No, it wasn't a dream.
I did with this hand, it hurts.

Créploc.

It needed courage to be done.

Paul?

Paul...

Paul?

Early birds catch the worm.

Was it already too late?

It's too early to tell.

It needed courage to be done...

Cut.

And, with his old flair for drama,
Paul shut his eyes.

End of everything.