Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Submission of Synopsis Bigot

This doesn't get at EVERYTHING that I want to do with the script, but it's a good start. This may be what I turn into the Sundance Institute.

"The Submission of Stanley Bigot" is the story of the summer when, in the basement of his grocery store, Stanley Bigot opens a small sex club. This strange decision, and all the havoc it eventually wreaks on the town and its inhabitants, can be traced to Stanley's wife Peggy, and Peggy's young lover Yoshihiro McMurtry, a local writer. Though Yoshi is one half of an extramarital affair, he is the key to the Bigot family's fragile happiness. He supplies Peggy with the only emotionally beneficial relationship in her life, and gives 7 year old Hal Bigot a surrogate father figure for Stanley's absent, apathetic parenthood. When Yoshi leaves town to pursue a publishing career, it leaves the Bigots in a halt.

Peggy, looking for an emotional outlet, starts sleeping with truckers and other passers-through in what used to be her hideaway with Yoshi: the basement of the now failing family business. Hal lashes out at his father, threatening to change his last name to McMurtry and never marry. Stanley has long since been obsessed with passing on his family name, and does not take kindly to this. Both parents start frequenting the bar and drinking themselves into depression ... and this is where Stanley first runs into a trucker looking for the woman named Peggy, the woman who brings men to her basement. Stanley, curious, leads the man to his own store basement, only to find other truckers and other locals fooling around downstairs. Stanley is stunned. The trucker pays Stanley for his services. And so begins the sexual economy of Jefferson, Missippi.

Surprisingly, Stanley's relationship with Hal gets markedly better when the sex club gets going. Hal has taken to reading numerous books, and discovers Shakespeare's Richard II. Hal becomes enamored at Richard's appearance, and decides this is what he would like to be for Halloween. Stanley loves this. The grocery store, once on its last legs, is now thriving on this business. More truckers are coming through, which means more tourism funds for the town. Peggy and Stanley still barely talk to one another, let alone discuss the town's growing secret, but Stanley is more supportive of Hal than ever. He encourages him to dress up, express himself, and they both look forward to Halloween. Peggy still frequents the basement, and Stanley uses the club as an opportunity to sleep with every woman in town. In fact, something in Stanley snaps: if things are going so well with his son, and sex is so accessible now, why not try for more sons? Stanley thus begins systematically impregnating every wife in town.

Halloween arrives, and Stanley flaunts his child, done up practically in drag, around town. At each and every house, Stanley happily greets the husbands of the wives he has slept with. The secret becomes more awkward, more powerful. Late that night, Stanley and Peggy finally meet at the club. They make love for the first time in years, and Peggy realizes just how unhappy she has been. She resolves to leave Stanley.

Peggy takes the children and moves them to her parents' house at the edge of town. Stanley begins to lose it. He shuts down the club, which then knocks the town’s economic dominos over. The store goes out of business, as do so many other shops supported by this new tourism. This does not stifle the sexual promiscuity in town, though -- it just forces it into the homes the inhabitants. Increasingly brazen sex acts are rapant. Angry husbands descend on Stanley’s home and drive Stanley out of town. Pregnant women all over town exit their homes to watch the spectacle. Yoshi returns and reconnects with Peggy and Hal. He installs himself as a kind of replacement for Stanley. Stanley flees, leaving behind his family and his legacy.


Shawn said...

She wears only panties, right, because underwear can be a collection of undergarments and this lady's tits are exposed. Vague.

I'm still not really big on your racial humor. I don't want to be called WHITE MAN and I doubt someone wants to be called MEXICAN MAN.

Do you perhaps mean vivaciousness when you say veracity?

"He looks [at] Stanley expectantly."

Tentative as a parenthetical describes Yoshi. You can place it earlier as the adjective tentative or the adverb tentatively (are you describing Yoshi or Hal?)

BTW I object to the contemporary overuse of the name Hal. As in, the use of the name Hal post-2001-post-Infinite Jest.

"Peggy is already serving the kids food, and the
large man is sitting there stoically." Probably 'Peggy serves the kids food. The large man, stoic, is seated."

I try never to use "look" or "looks" as a verb in a script because it's emotionally vague.

You should probably start with the cicada locust penetrating the soil. It's a perfectly fine Blue Velvet steal that comes off insincere at that later point.

And you spell Mississippi right in the script and wrong in the synopsis.

Those are my you're-sending-this-out-for-reals critiques. I think it's a brilliant idea and your execution near brilliant. I wish you'd had more time to iron it out.

Honestly I'd make the first five pages in the sex club. You're selling the script, after all. The sex club, not the familial dysfunction, is the brilliance. The dysfunctional family film is like our period's film noir/western/crime film, as in most people use it too strictly as a template. Fuck your bizarre uncle, basically, and fuck real life, is my opinion. At least the dinner moments of real life.

Your idea is golden and if you believed in it as much as you should I think it'd be jaw-dropping good.

That's my opinion at least.

joe said...

There's going to be a sub-plot with migrant workers and a taco shack, so mexican man has a point to it.

And I'm using Hal as in Henry, son of the king, Henry V, which comes in with the Richard II stuff.

Thanks thanks, Shawny