The Elephant Frowned

 

The Elephant Frowned

A journalist interviews a film director and breaks through the idealised version to uncover the truth, lies and manipulation. But what is reality and what is fiction when everyone has an agenda?

 

“Because a person’s word is not enough anymore. If there’s nothing there, something has to be invented.”

 

*Contains strong language throughout.

Journalist

“Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, I really appreciate it and I’m sorry this bar is a bit out of your way. I know you’re busy promoting the new film.”

Director

“Don’t worry about it, I was visiting friends near here anyway and really, just now, I’m not all that busy. Anyway I Googled you. I like your writing. You seem to really do your research and you don’t pander to the interviewee, which is why I agreed, I’m hoping this will be interesting.”

Journalist

“Well I’ve heard post interviews that some people I’ve interviewed have complained I’m too confrontational though…. you don’t mind if I begin recording do you? Good.  Actually, to be honest, I really don’t give a shit if I do come off as confrontational. I’ve had more than a few arguments with so called celebs and the piece will still get printed. Actually it’s easier to sell if there is a bit of bitching.”

Director

“Well thank Christ I’m not a celeb then although we can make up an argument if it’ll make you happier.”

Journalist

“Well you are in that celeb realm, almost, otherwise I wouldn’t be interviewing you. People are interested in your work, in your films, in your private life.”

Director

“Yeah but you’re not going to see me in the celeb pages. My budget for each film is miniscule; I’m low rent, so to speak. Some people care, most don’t give a shit. It’s not like you’ve been sent to do this by some big newspaper. You’re freelance right?”

Journalist

“But I will be trying to sell this to one of the nationals, weekend supplements, definitely good for your profile.”

Director

“Well whatever. I just mean I’m not high profile. I make small films that some people want to see but I’ve also been slated a lot of the time for them.”

Journalist

“And yet others say you’re one to watch out for. Up and coming is the term I keep hearing.”

Director

“Yeah I’ve done six films and I’m still up and coming at the age of 35. I doubt any other directors are shitting themselves that I’m going to steal their box office whenever I bring out a new film.”

Journalist

“You know, we’ve met before although I doubt you’d remember it. Oh great, wine, I could do with a large glass.”

Director

       “Really? When was this?”

Journalist

“Clapham Common, last year. They were showing an open air screening of, I’ve forgotten the name of the film actually, anyway I noticed you sitting alone. I came over and asked for a hit of the joint you were smoking.”

Director

“And?”

Journalist

“Yeah you give me a hit but you didn’t say a word. Didn’t even look up, just held the joint out to me.”

Director

“Sounds like me, I was pretty drunk that night as well. Can’t even remember the film either.”

Journalist

“I thought you were quite standoffish at the time but now you say you were drunk as well as stoned I understand.”

Director

“If I was being standoffish I wouldn’t have given you the joint.”

Journalist

“But you do have a reputation of being, how can I put this, aloof, arrogant, rude even.”

Director

“Really? I don’t know why. I’ll speak to anyone. Where did you hear that?”

Journalist

“I’m just fishing actually. I was on IMDB and read some comments from a few people who claimed to have met you and said you had acted like an asshole.”

Director

“A reliable source then.”

Journalist

“No, like I said just fishing. Sorry, I just wanted to get a reaction. I don’t use IMDB comments, don’t worry.”

Director

“I’m not worried for me. I’d be more worried for your career if you did use those sorts of sources in your articles.”

Journalist

“You’re not worried about the public’s perception of you?”

Director

“Fuck no. You mean perception after reading a comment online or a newspaper article about me? If you’re putting yourself in the public eye you have two choices, to read all this stuff and deal with it or simply never read it. I don’t want to spend a huge amount of time trying to defend and justify myself. Life’s too short. People are going to believe what they want to believe and they’ll make up the rest anyway, there’s nothing you can really do about that.”

Journalist

“And you never read your reviews or read interviews that you’ve done. I find that hard to believe.”

Director

“Then don’t believe it and you’ve just proved my point.”

Journalist

“But you Googled my previous articles before agreeing to this interview. You must have wanted to see what sort of writer I was. If you care about how I portray you in interviews then it follows you care about how you are seen by the public.”

Director

“And from your writing I felt that you seemed pretty honest. If I’m an asshole then I’ll come across as an asshole, if I’m not, judging by your previous interviews, you won’t turn me into one just to sell more copy. Anyway, whether I am an asshole or not doesn’t have anything to do with my work.”

Journalist

“You write and direct your own work. Your films are social commentary, so going by that, you put your own views into your films. I would say that at least all of your films have what I would call vitriolic characters, many are outright assholes, people you really wouldn’t want to spend any amount of time with. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But isn’t your work heavily influenced by your own outlook on life?”

Director

“As in, do I see all other people as vitriolic assholes? No of course not.  Not all of them anyway.”

Journalist

“You’ve been accused by some of being misanthropic.”

Director

“Really? I find that funny actually.”

Journalist

“Well how about misogynistic.”

Director

“That’s also funny. There are just as many male characters who are assholes in my films as females. I don’t differentiate. The characters, when I’m writing the script, could be played by either a male or a female.”

Journalist

“You don’t differentiate between the sexes when writing? You don’t think men and women view sex, love, emotions, differently?”

Director

“But I’m not interested in that. I’ve mostly concentrated on the games people play with each other during relationships, manipulation to be precise. There are people who play games and people who don’t. That’s mostly what I’ve been interested in. The ones who do play these games mostly want to dominate the other, they want to win to obtain their goal, whatever their goal is at whatever cost, even if it costs the relationship. These games can be played by men or women, there’s no difference.”

Journalist

“How do you view these games, manipulation, in relationships?”

Director

                                                                                         “They’re an act of war usually.”

Journalist

“An act of war?”

Director

“The sweetness and light part of the relationship is over once the manipulation has begun. Once you have entered into that territory there’s no going back, it’s a choice. One person has decided they are going to use manipulation to get what they want and it’s an act of war between two people.

Journalist

“Which is precisely how I view your films. They focus on the war of the sexes, people ripping each other to pieces by the end of the film.”

Director

“Yeah, they’re not Disney films I guess.”

Journalist

“I felt physically and mentally drained at the end of your last film. I didn’t want to have to see or think about those characters ever again.”

Director

“Good.”

Journalist

“That was your intention?”

Director

“Well at least you felt something right? I wanted to fuck the minds of the audience up a bit, true, but it depends on the audience. Not everyone is going to feel drained by it. Some will be bored, some will be disgusted and some will simply be entertained.”

Journalist

“And many will never want to see another one of your films again. Do you think about that?”

Director

“Not really. In the same way that I don’t care about bad reviews, I do not care if some people would rather go see a nice romantic comedy instead of my films. Each to their own. Fuck it if they can’t take reality.”

Journalist

“Entertaining is definitely not a word I would use for your films. Sitting being emotionally pummelled for two hours. And it’s not a reality I relate to actually.”

Director

“But it is a part of reality, maybe not yours……but…..wait ..you’re telling me you’ve never used manipulation with people to get what you want?”

Journalist

“I probably have once or twice but it’s not a way I would want to live my life, too tiring, and I really don’t think I do it now, not that I’m aware of.”

Director

“Not that you’re aware of. Some people aren’t aware they are using manipulation to get what they want. For some people it’s almost instinctual. They’ve played these games since they were young, they’ve seen their parents use manipulation on each other and they’ve learnt from it. They’ve probably used this type of manipulation with their parents when they were younger as well and it worked, it has become second nature and they’ve kept at it their entire lives because no one has stopped them.”

Journalist

“I’m aware of that. I’m just saying that it’s not part of my reality. I’m not that sort of person.”

Director

“Well then you’re a one off aren’t you?”

Journalist

“You don’t believe me?”

Director

“It doesn’t really matter whether I believe you does it? You’re not trying to win my favour here, you’re just writing a newspaper article.”

Journalist

“Right. Do you ever use real life situations in your films? Situations that you yourself have experienced?”

Director

“They’re mostly fiction, they’re not real. There is also nothing original, these stories have been told a million times, it’s just modifications.”

Journalist

“So nothing from your own life whatsoever?”

Director

“I’ve probably taken a few lines of dialogue from real life, expanded on it. Maybe a situation I’ve lived through and build upon it.”

Journalist

“I said before the characters seem completely unlikeable. I certainly wouldn’t want to see myself portrayed on the screen in such a way.”

Director

“Well none of us are the idealised versions of ourselves that we have in our own heads.”

Journalist

“You portray life and people with all their warts and nastiness.”

Director

“I don’t try and sugar coat it, I try and keep it honest, in reality. Not every story out there has a happy ending and that’s true for a lot of people. I’m not interested in writing about a guy chasing a girl in slow motion through an airport to try and win her back while a Coldplay song plays in the background.”

Journalist

“So no romance in your world then?”

Director

“Maybe the next film but I doubt it.”

Journalist

“What about your personal life? Any romance there?”

Director

“There is someone yes.”

Journalist

“Long-term?”

Director

“Almost two years.”

Journalist

“And how do they feel about your work.”

Director

“I don’t think they’re her favourite type of films but she likes them.”

Journalist

“Does she ever worry that she’ll end up as a character in one of your films?”

Director

“I’ve never asked. I doubt it, maybe I’ll ask her later.”

Journalist

“If I were in a relationship with you, and having seen your films, I would be worried I’d end up as part of your work.”

Director

“One of the problems of writing your own scripts is that people you know well often look to see if they can recognise themselves. I’ll repeat again so you they can hear me at the back, it’s fiction. Really, this interview is going to be repetitious if you don’t take my word for it.”

Journalist

“Maybe it’s just that your films seem so realistic. Or at least other reviewers have said so.”

Director

“And some have said that they were a steaming puddle of pretentious putrid piss that they would never want to step foot in intentionally again. It’s all just opinion.”

Journalist

“Some have also complained about the use of bad language in your films.”

Director

“People use bad language.”

Journalist

“Do you? In life I mean.”

Director

“Not frequently but when the need arises yes.”

Journalist

“The word cunt is used a lot from male to female characters in your films.”

Director

“And the word prick is used a lot from female to male characters, your point being?”

Journalist

“It’s quite an offensive word. Probably the most offensive word used against a woman and usually used sparingly in films. Yet you used it in The Elephant Frowned a total of 32 times.”

Director

“You certainly do your research. Did you count them?”

Journalist

“It’s on the internet.”

Director

“There are a lot of cunts on the internet. Look, I’m not offended by bad language, a great many people are not offended by bad language. In the context of the film it was, to my mind, realistic. It was to show anger from one character to another, and at times hatred.”

Journalist

“The word cunt was used to convey hatred?”

Director

“Yes.”

Journalist

“Do you use that word in your own life?”

Director

“No I don’t, not in that context anyway.”

Journalist

“To convey hatred?”

Director

“Yes. I wouldn’t use that word against someone to convey hatred. I don’t think bad language is shocking. I’m not sure what you are getting at?”

Journalist

“I’m trying to get to the realism of your films, to the heart of them. You write them, yet you claim never to use that word in that context in real life. But you say your films are honest and realistic.”

Director

“Yes certain people do use that word, it doesn’t mean I do. Directors who make films about bank robberies don’t go out and rob fucking banks.  It’s fiction but I know people who swear, who use the word cunt towards others in a derogatory way and in other contexts. It’s not exactly a hidden club. They maybe don’t use it in your world but I also know people who can use the word fuck as a noun, adjective and verb all in the same sentence.”

Journalist

“So although you work is fiction you do use people and situations and dialogue from your own life when writing your script?”

Director

“If I hear a line of dialogue or can remember some situation that I can use that will enhance or add to or work well in the film then yes I will use it.”

Journalist

“With no regard or thought to the people who said it in the first place? Do you think everyone is fair game to be placed in a script or story? Everything out there is up for grabs?”

Director

“In all honesty, even though the majority of my work is fiction, yes. What do you think blogging is about, or what you do is about? There’s no privacy anymore. People sit and eavesdrop on other people’s conversations and the next day it’s on the internet for other people to read, and for what? More pageviews. So you can sell some more of your bullshit interviews to bullshit newspapers. We’re all just feeding off each other and don’t tell me you don’t know this, you’re not that naïve. ”

Journalist

“But you agreed for me to interview you. The people you place in your films, the characters based on so and so, have not agreed, unless you asked them first to use that line of dialogue or situation that occurred previously.”

Director

“I’d call it creative licence. I don’t feel as if I need anyone’s permission to use a sentence or a conversation, people don’t copyright conversations.”

Journalist

“What about creative responsibility?”

Director

“What about it?”

Journalist

“Being creatively responsible, knowing that what you put out there can have an influence or an effect on others. The way they think, the way they feel.”

Director

“Well that’s the point of creating something to make people think and feel, to give another point of view to a story. As the writer and director I ultimately have responsibility and accountability for my own work but after each film is finished and out there it’s really out of my hands as to how people react to it.”

Journalist

“And you have had your fair share of negative press, plenty of backlash, which can also be good to bring in an audience.”

Director

“Like I said, I don’t read reviews.”

Journalist

“Do you ever think that maybe sometimes some of your audience are coming for the wrong reasons? They’re not coming to your films to witness a searing in-depth analysis on relationships but they are simply coming to witness human behaviour at its worst. Your films are a release. After a hard week of dealing with assholes at work or at home, your films give them characters to which they can direct all of that hate and anger towards?”

Director

“Well that release is not a bad thing. I guess it’s better to do that than to go out, get drunk and beat the shit out of someone. Of course there is also the view that certain members of the audience can relate to the characters.”

Journalist

“And?”

Director

“Well they may see these harmful relationships on the screen, recognise it and decide to make a change. Or they may recognise a character’s behaviour up on the screen, relate to it, and again, decide to make a change before it’s too late.”

Journalist

“Kind of like a low cost relationship guidance session?”

Director

“If you like, although it’s not my intention when writing the script. I’m not interested in the aftermath of the film, only the actions the characters are taking in relation to one another.”

Journalist

“People lying to each other is a big part in your films, it’s almost overly moralistic sometimes how much you use this theme.”

Director

“Yeah that is a theme I’m interested in I suppose in terms of the way people interact with each other. Lying, to me, is very interesting, it’s a big part of life, especially with couples, and especially with certain couples who appear outwardly, and to each other, to have these perfect, honest relationships. But I don’t think I’m overly moralistic, people lie every day and it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.”

Journalist

“Such as sparing someone’s feelings instead of telling a truth you know may hurt them?”

Director

“Of course. The thing about lying is it’s like creating your own world, controlling your own little world. A tiny innocent, or as some people call them white lie, can lead eventually to the break up of a relationship. If the other person in the relationship knows the person has lied, no matter if it was with good intentions, then it’s the beginning of the breakdown of trust. A profile or a picture is being continually formed of the two people in a relationship, and the lies, big and small, add to that profile.”

Journalist

“Then you’re saying we are all judging each other continually.”

Director

“Well the other thing about lying is that the liar is banking on two things when telling the lie. They are hoping that the person being lied to is gullible enough to believe, and it’s also not even that they think they are gullible, it’s that they know the person they are lying to well enough that they know the person won’t push it any further because they know the person they are lying to wants to believe the lie.”

Journalist

“Because the person being lied doesn’t want to rock the boat?”

Director

“Exactly. They would rather live with the lie, believe it, ignore it than push for the truth and begin what could lead to the destruction of that particular relationship. Again, it’s an act of war and it’s up to the other person to decide whether or not it’s worth retaliating after weighing up the consequences in regards to what they have to gain against what they have to lose.”

Journalist

“And people believe what they want to believe.”

Director

“When it comes to lies some people are like that, they will believe them if it makes life easier for them. Usually lying makes life easier for the liar, and at the moment the lie is being told, it makes life easier for the person being lied to. The seasoned liar will know all this and will tell the person being lied to exactly what they want to hear.”

Journalist

“Lying is a win win situation for all involved.”

Director

“Only if you are comfortable taking the easy route through life I guess. If you keep giving the appearance of believing lies then I guess you are allowing the person who is lying to you to build up one of your personal profile traits as that of gullibility.”

Journalist

“And of course believing all these lies actually means, to some extent, you are living in a fictional world, a world built on lies.”

Director

“Many people do it.”

Journalist

“You must have some background to draw on for all this, some experience. Either lying or being lied to?”

Director

“No one goes through life without doing either at some point or other, well I don’t believe so anyway.”

Journalist

“So in the past have you pushed for the truth? If you were being lied to?”

Director

“I would hope so. I also don’t think I tend to lie much, I don’t see the point in it. To me, you are basically making life harder. I remember seeing an interview with an actress, I think it was Debra Winger, where she told the interviewer that she had told her children, if you don’t lie you have less to remember.”

Journalist

“So you are saying don’t lie because it’s wrong, but don’t lie because it makes life easier?”

Director

“Well it’s not my job to say what’s wrong or right. If I did that I would setting myself up as extremely judgemental. People do all sorts of thing for different reasons.”

Journalist

“But as the creator of these fictional films you are being, in some way, judgemental.”

Director

“Well that’s your opinion, it’s not mine. I’m just presenting a story and the audience can decide. You seem to have decided that I’m being judgemental on the people in the film.”

Journalist

“But of course you’re being judgemental. You’re standing up on a hill saying look at this, look at the way these people behave, isn’t it atrocious? Then once you’ve released the film you step back, you don’t read your reviews, you don’t feel the need to justify or defend your actions.”

Director

“Again, that’s your opinion not mine.”

Journalist

“People say that when they don’t want to continue with a discussion, there’s no retaliation just, well that’s your opinion.”

Director

“Well what would you like me to say? It’s your opinion.”

Journalist

“I think you are judging me right now. I think you have built up a profile of me based on my questions.”

Director

“Then it’s a good job you are not the one being interviewed isn’t it? Although most interviews I read today seem to say more about the interviewer than the interviewee.”

Journalist

“Well what judgement have you come up with on me?”

Director

“I would say impression not judgement.”

Journalist

“And?”

Director

“Well from the discussion today I would say you don’t like my films, you think they are judgemental and the characters and plotlines disgust you. I think that if you have such an intense dislike of them then you must be able to relate to them in some way but that you are just not admitting it to yourself. Somewhere, inside, they strike a nerve and you would rather they didn’t.”

Journalist

“So you think I am lying to myself?”

Director

“Not really lying, blanking out. Ignoring what you don’t like.”

Journalist

“So if people do not like your films then they are simply ignoring the fact that they can actually relate to them, deep down. You have managed, through your work to reach everyone on some level. People are simply lying if they don’t like your films? That’s incredibly egotistical.”

Director

“No I said you, going by the discussion we have had today. But now you’re looking for a headline that will draw in readers. That’s shoddy journalism, you’re trying to put words into my mouth.”

Journalist

“I’m a shoddy journalist as well as lying to myself because I didn’t like your film? It doesn’t come much more judgemental than that.”

Director

“I didn’t say you were a shoddy journalist. You asked me what judgement I had made of you from the short time we have spent together and then you didn’t like my conclusion.”

Journalist

“Because I don’t agree with your conclusion. I think you are way off base. I don’t like your films because I cannot relate to them in any way, it’s as simple as that, not because deep down they strike a nerve somewhere. I know some people are like that but it’s not part of my world. You have simply created my character as you would for the characters in your films, and this is why, as I said before, I wouldn’t like to end up as a character in one of your films because they are basically an extension of your personality and how you view and judge the world.”

                                                                                                              Director

“If you don’t want to end up as a character in one of my films then be nicer.”

Journalist

“As you are?”

Director

“Am I being an asshole to you here?”

Journalist

“You’re trying not to be because you are portraying an image to the public.”

Director

“As opposed to?”

Journalist

“As opposed to reality – not the idealised versions of ourselves that we all carry in our heads.”

Director

“And the reality is?”

                                                                                                              Journalist

“You called me a cunt once, actually not just once but many times.”

Director

“I’ve never even met you…”

Journalist

“The night we met at the open air cinema you were extremely drunk and stoned. When I asked for a hit of your joint you asked me to sit down beside you and we shared more than a few joints and finished a bottle of vodka you had. We then went back to my place for more drinks. Do you remember any of that?”

Director

“Why didn’t you say this when we met today?”

Journalist

“When we got back to my place you persistently tried to fuck me and when I refused you called me a cocktease, a mutherfucker and a cunt. I’m not sure if you called me a cunt 32 times but your abuse lasted for what seemed at least as long as one of your tedious films before one of my neighbours helped me to throw you out of my house.”

Director

“I’m not the first person to be drunk and make an asshole out of themselves and not remembering isn’t lying.”

Journalist

“Aren’t you ashamed of being that drunk, being so out of control?”

Director

“Here’s a deal, you forget about it this time and I’ll be ashamed next time.”

Journalist

“You said you never used the word cunt to convey hatred, and yet you were using it pretty freely that night and unless I’m mistaken you weren’t using it as a term of endearment.”

Director

“I told you I don’t use the word in everyday life, I cannot even remember that night but I’m now beginning to see why you were so persistent in setting up this interview.”

Journalist

“Because I thought this backstory would probably make for a good interview.”

Director

“A good fucking interview? You waited a year after we had first met to get in contact to interview me knowing what had happened that night. You made absolutely no mention of us meeting or what had happened during your email and phone call to me and then you spring this on me now during an interview. You who claim you’re never manipulative.”

Journalist

“Well if you can’t appreciate it then no one can.”

Journalist

“What I appreciate is that we have two different takes on that night. You said that you were smoking and drinking, so how do I know that your perception of what happened is the truth?”

Journalist

“Well actually I could have said anything I wanted, I could have made it out to be a lot worse than it actually was because you can’t remember that night. But I also have my neighbour to back me up.”

Director

“You cannot honestly be considering printing this?”

Journalist

“Of course, why not? It’s not like you’re going to sue me.”

Director

“If I was really bothered I probably could.”

Journalist

“But why? You don’t care about public perception. You let people believe what they want to believe.”

Director

“You wanted to interview me to do this hatchet job not because you hate my films but because I got drunk and called you a cunt a few times. That’s the reality here. I didn’t prepare for a journalist with an ulterior motive to her story. My being drunk that night has nothing to do with my work. Be a fucking professional.”

Journalist

“And there are no ulterior motives behind your films? Not the slightest little bit of you taking revenge on some of the relationships you have been in? Making people see your side of the story and only your side? You’re saying that what I’m telling you might not be true because it’s my perception, in that case your version tops all, all of the time.”

Director

“You want to tell your own version, make your own fucking film.”

Journalist

“You know how I recognised you that night?”

Director

“What?”

Journalist

“At the open air cinema. Do you know how I recognised you?”

Director

“How would I know, I didn’t think we’d even met before.”

Journalist

“Because I was friends with Margit, remember her, you dated for six months. A girl who ended up as a character in one of your fictional films. The film hadn’t been released when we met in the park that night. But when it was released she did recognise herself and was fucking horrified over how you portrayed her, although, according to Margit you’re portrayal of her stands up to your testament that your characters are a complete work of fiction.”

Director

“Jesus Christ it is fiction. If it was such an inaccurate portrayal of her, a work of fiction, then why was she horrified? How did she know it was supposed to be her? This makes no sense.”

Journalist

“There were clues throughout the film. Certain habits she had, mannerisms, lines of dialogue, she said it was definitely meant to be her.”

Director

“So Margit, from Switzerland, who I split up with and who now works as waitress went to see my film and saw, up on the screen, the South American language teacher who at one point kills her boyfriend’s dog and then attempts suicide by driving her car into a river when drunk, none of which Margit did, Margit saw this and thought, wow that’s me up there on the screen, how could this bastard do this to me?”

Journalist

“I believe her. I know her well enough and I recognised her as well in the film. I think you actually think that by changing large parts of the character you can disguise who they actually are. That by doing that it becomes fiction.”

Director

“I fucking give up. Are you sure you are the same journalist who wrote those previous interviews? Believe me, you will never sell this interview anywhere if you intend to use this completely surreal story within a story.”

Journalist

“Which will attest to my shoddy journalism.”

Director

“If Margit saw herself within the film then I’m sorry, I don’t know what to tell you, it wasn’t intentional.”

Journalist

“No? And yet you were nowhere to be seen in the film.”

Director

“Maybe I was in the film. Are you sure I wasn’t the one legged belly dancer in the nighclub scene? I probably missed that one but your powers of perception are so acute that I bow to your judgement.”

Journalist

“Sorry, could I have some background info before finishing. You’ve been seeing your girlfriend for what, two years now, yet we met at the open air showing about a year ago was it? I just want to link this in with your theory on lying.”

Director

“This interview is over.”

Journalist

“Okay thanks. I just need a headline. How about, the first time we met, he called me a cunt. At least it will back up your claims of realism.”

Director

“I’m past caring. I’ll be surprised if that thing sees the light of day. And another thing, you know what, you are a cunt. And I’m not saying that to convey anger or hatred, it’s simply a fact, it seems I was able to tell that the first night we met. This entire thing is gossip, fiction. Why interview me? You could have made the entire thing up yourself…well I hope someone buys it because……wait, hold on a minute, hold on a minute.”

Journalist

“Yes, obviously I’ve completely misunderstood you. That must happen a lot. What are you writing?”

Director

“I’ve got a great idea for a script.”

Film Director (walking into the set)

“Cut. Okay guys that was great.”

Male Actor

“Are you going to use that one. I cannot keep doing these long fucking takes, they are killing me.”

Film Director

“We need a rewrite on some of those lines.”

Female Actor

“How many more times before you’re happy? This is the sixth version we’ve done.”

Film Director

“We’re aiming for realism, whatever it takes. It’s got to be believable.”

Female Actor

“It needs something. More swearing perhaps – I’m being sarcastic in case you can’t tell. And are you going to change the title? The Elephant Frowned, what does that even mean?”

Film Director

“No idea. According to the writer that’s the beauty of it. The audience can read whatever they want into it.”

 

 

 *The Elephant Frowned is part of a set of six plays called And When the Arguing’s Over available on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Elephant Frowned, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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About the Author:

Garry Crystal is a freelance writer living in the UK. His short stories and articles have appeared in print and online including Expats Post, The Andirondack Review, Turnrow Journal, Roadside Fiction and Orato. His first book Leaving London is available on Amazon and other retailers now. View My Profile

  • http://castlehearttimes.blogspot.com Dani Heart

    I don’t know why but I thought the interviewer was a man until it mentioned that it was a she. lol I knew there was a smack down coming though and you didn’t disappoint. :)

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  • http://www.garrycrystal.blogspot.com/ Garry Crystal

    Thanks Dani, been working on this and other mini plays over the last couple of weeks and it’s kind of experimental so feedback is appreciated re the male/female issue, still trying to get the knots worked out. Thanks for reading.

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  • http://www.tiredofpreviews.com Katy Kern

    I enjoyed the dialogue between the female journalist and male filmmaker. You had me liking and not liking or rooting and then not rooting for each character. That made it more authentic for me. I prefer characters that make you think and don’t automatically like or not like. Well done!

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  • http://www.garrycrystal.blogspot.com/ Garry Crystal

    Thanks Katy. I’m hoping this will be a full stop to the theme of fiction vs non fiction that’s been floating round my head for weeks now. Re the liking and not liking characters, you should check out Todd Solondz’s film Storytelling, I watched last week, great film that deals with the fiction v non fiction theme, he’s a great writer and film maker.

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  • http://juliangallo66.blogspot.com/ Julian Gallo

    Garry, this is G R E A T!! First, I love the idea of how you played with the assumption of the reader -- and you got me too because I initially thought the interviewer was a man. Then you throw another curve there at the end, which came as a surprise to me as well. Absolutely loved this. The realism of the interaction between the interviewer and the director was incredible -- which is why that final twist threw me for a loop. Excellent job, Garry and cannot WAIT to read the others you have. Loved it! :-)

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    • http://www.garrycrystal.blogspot.com/ Garry Crystal

      Glad you liked it. Know it’s incredibly long to be putting on here but has been good to get some feedback on it as wasn’t too sure about this one at all re if the themes worked out. it’s fun to do this with just dialogue, makes a good change although it’s hard knowing when to stop with it. I wanted to keep going back and adding more but it kind of ruins the flow if you keep inserting. Thanks for the feedback.

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  • http://tjlubrano.blogspot.com/ TJ Lubrano

    Ah! Awesome piece Garry. I love reading pieces like this. I’ve nothing new to add to what’s already said though. There was a nice flow to it! Also, I was waiting for the strong language and then I had to laugh when I read ass…I kinda thought to be reading arse hehe. Great writing!

    You know, in regards what you said in your reply to Julian…whenever I work on a large painting or a story piece, I know it’s time to stop when I start wondering if I should draw/write more. It’s either done or I just need to put it aside before I do some real damage. I think that this is the perfectionism that kicks in huh?

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    • http://www.garrycrystal.blogspot.com/ Garry Crystal

      TJ you are such an arse :-) The next time I will write arse instead of ass especially for you, it’s not my favourite swear word though.

      You are right, you can over indulge in a piece and it may take away from it. There was a lot more I could have put into this but it wasn’t originally even supposed to be this long so I had to say enough!! Plus i’d run out of swear words.

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      • http://tjlubrano.blogspot.com/ TJ Lubrano

        Hahaha! That would be very kind of you :) I am curious about your fave curse word now though…

        Run out of swear words? Knowing you, you would simply invent your own haha. Even though the words takes over once you start writing, you can take control back by saying to them “Little words! It is enough for now! You’ll be captured on paper/screen another time again!” then march away or something.

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  • http://www.garrycrystal.blogspot.com/ Garry Crystal

    TJ I know you speak to your illustrations, but you’ve had too much pizza flour when they speak back to you.

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    • http://tjlubrano.blogspot.com/ TJ Lubrano

      *sits in a cloud of flour* No way!!

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  • Anya Pham

    Ha ha ha, that’s a classic Garry Crystal ending. :) I’ll give you more detailed comment in email tomorrow, but I liked this one. I saw a lot of things in it. :)

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  • http://www.garrycrystal.blogspot.com/ Garry Crystal

    Thanks Ann, i’m taking it you mean the ‘great idea for a script’ line. Was considering calling this Feeding Time at the Zoo, you know my mind too well.

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