Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke
(Eurail coach car. Man and woman argue in German. Woman slaps man, grabs newspaper)
(Céline looks up from book, disturbed. Moves to another seat, across from Jesse. They glance over at each other)
(German woman leaves car)
(Jesse and Céline look at each other, smile. Céline looks away)
Jesse: Do you have any idea what they were arguing about?
(Céline glances up at him, looks over)
Jesse: Do you - Do you speak English?
Céline: Yeah. No, I'm sorry, my German is not very good.
(Céline smiles, small laugh, turns away)
Jesse: What are you reading? (she shows him) Oh, yeah.
Céline: How about you?
Jesse: Umm. (Looks down, then laughs as he shows her. She smiles)
(The couple returns to car, still arguing, although a lot calmer)
Jesse: Look, I was thinking about going to the lounge car sometime soon. Would you like to come with me?
(They go to lounge car)
(Upon entering the lounge car)
Jesse: So how do you speak such good English?
Céline: I went to school for a summer in Los Angeles. (points to table) This fine here?
Jesse: Yeah, this is good. (They sit)
Céline: Then I spent some time in London. How do you speak such good English?
Jesse: Me? I'm American.
Céline: You're American?
Céline: Are you sure?
Céline: (laughing) No, I'm joking. I knew you were American. And of course, you don't speak any other language, right?
Jesse: Yeah, yeah, I get it. So I'm the crude, dumb, vulgar American who has no culture, right? But, I tried. I took french for four years in high school. When I first got to Paris, I stood in line at the Métro station. I was practicing. 'Un billet, s'il vous plaît. Un billet s'il vous plaît' you know --
Céline: (interrupts him, corrects his pronunciation) un billet.
Jesse: 'Un' (corrected). Whatever. 'Un, Un.' (laughs) 'Un billet s'il vous plaît, un billet s'il vous plaît,' y'know, and I get up there, and, uh, I look at this woman, and my mind goes completely blank. And I start saying, 'uh, listen, uh, I need a ticket to get to... you know so anyway. So, where are you headed?
Céline: Well, back to Paris. My classes start next week.
Jesse: Oh, you're still in school? Where do you go?
Jesse: Well, sure. Hey, you coming from Budapest?
Céline: Yeah, I was visiting my grandmother.
Jesse: Oh. How's she?
Céline: (laughing) She's okay.
Jesse: She's alright?
Céline: She's fine, yeah. How bout you? Where are you going?
Jesse: Uh, I'm going to Vienna.
Céline: Vienna? What's there?
Jesse: Uh, I have no idea. I'm flying out of there tomorrow.
Céline: Ah ha. you on holiday?
Jesse: Uh, ye- (indecisive). Uh, I don't really know what I'm on.
Jesse: I've just been. I'm just traveling around, I've been riding the trains the past two, three weeks.
Céline: You were visiting friends, or just on your own?
Jesse: Uh, yeah. You know I had a friend in Madrid, but, umm...
Céline: Madrid? That's nice.
Jesse: Yeah, I got one of those Eurail passes, is what I did.
Céline: That's great. So, has this trip, around Europe, been good for you?
Jesse: Yeah, sure, yeah, it's been, umm... it sucked. You know...
Jesse: No, uh, it's had its, umm. Well, I'll tell ya, you know, sitting, you know, for weeks on end, looking out the window has actually been kind of great.
Céline: What do you mean?
Jesse: Well, you know, for instance, you have ideas that you ordinarily wouldn't have.
Céline: What kind of ideas?
Jesse: You want to hear one?
Céline: Yeah, tell me.
Jesse: Alright, uh, I had this idea, okay?
Jesse: For a television show. Some friends of mine are these cable access producers, do you know what that is, cable access? (Céline shakes her head) Umm, I dunno... Anybody can produce a show real cheap, and they have to put it on. Right? And I have this idea for this show that would last 24 hours a day for a year straight, right? What you do, is you get 365 people from cities all over the world, to do these 24-hour documents of real time, right, capturing life as its lived. Um, you know, it would start with uh, a guy waking up in the morning, and, uh, you know, taking the long shower, eating a little breakfast, making a little coffee, you know, and, uh, reading the paper.
Céline: Wait, wait. All those mundane, boring things everybody has to do everyday of their life?
Jesse: I was going to say the poetry of day to day life, but, (Céline starts laughing) you know, you say the way you say it, I'll say it the way I say it...
Céline: (laughs) I like that.
Jesse: No listen, think about it like this...
Céline: Who's gonna want to watch this?
Jesse: Well, alright, think about it like this. Why is it, that a dog, you know, sleeping in the sun, is so beautiful, you know, it is, it's beautiful, you know, but a guy, standing at a bank machine, trying to take some money out, looks like a complete moron?
Céline: So, it's like a National Geographic program, but on people?
Jesse: What do you think?
Céline: Yeah, I can (laughs) I can (laughs) I can see it. Like twenty four boring hours, sorry, and like a three-minute sex scene, where he falls asleep right after, no?
Jesse: Yeah, you know I mean, and... I mean, that would be a great episode.
Jesse: People would talk about that episode. I mean, you and your friends could do one in Paris, if you wanted to, I mean.
Céline: Oh, sure.
Jesse: I dunno, the key, the key... the thing that kind of haunts me is the distribution, you know. I mean, getting these tapes from town to town, city to city, so that the play is continuous, cause it would have to play all the time, or else it just wouldn't work.
(Waiter approaches the table, hands them menus)
Céline: Thank you.
Jesse: Thanks (pause, while waiter walks away). You know what? Not service oriented. It's just, I don't know, an observation about Europe.
(Scene fades out)
Scene fades back in)
Céline: You know my parents have never really spoken of the possibility of my falling in love, or getting married, or having children. Even as a little girl, they wanted me to think of a future career, as a, you know, as a interior designer, or a lawyer, or something like that. I'd say to my dad, 'I want to be a writer.' and he'd say journalist. I'd say I wanted to have a refuge for stray cats, and he'd say veterinarian. I'd say I wanted to be an actress, and he'd say TV newscaster. It was this constant conversion of my fanciful ambition into these practical, money-making ventures.
Jesse: Hmm. I always had a pretty good bullshit detector when I was a kid, you know. I always knew when they were lying to me, you know. By the time I was in high school, I was dead set on listening to what everybody thought I should be doing with my life, and just kind of doing just the opposite.
Céline: Mm, hmm.
Jesse: No one was ever mean about it. It's just, I could never get very excited about other people's ambitions for my life.
Céline: But you know what, if your parents never really fully contradict you about anything, and like are basically nice, and supportive...
Céline: It makes it even harder to officially complain. You know, even when they're wrong, it's this, it's this passive-aggressive shit, you know what I mean, it's... I hate it, I really hate it.
Jesse: Well, you know, despite all that kind of bullshit that comes along with it, I remember childhood as this, you know, this magical time. I do. I remember when, uh, my mother first told me about death. My great-grandmother had just died, and my whole family had just visited them in Florida. I was about 3, 3 and a half years old. Anyway, I was in the backyard, playing, and my sister had just taught me how to take the garden hose, and do it in such a way that, uh, you could spray it into the sun, and you could make a rainbow. And so I was doing that, and through the mist I could see my grandmother. And she was just standing there, smiling at me. And uh, then I held it there, for a long time, and I looked at her. And then finally, I let go of the nozzle, you know, and then I dropped the hose, and she disappeared. And so I went back inside, and I tell my parents, you know. And they, uh, sit me down give me big rap on how when people die you never see them again, and how I'd imagined it. But, I knew what I'd seen. And I was just glad that I saw that. I mean, I've never seen anything like that since. But, I don't know. It just kind of let me know how ambiguous everything was, you know, even death.
Céline: You're really lucky you can have this attitude towards death. I think I'm afraid of death 24 hours a day. I swear. I mean, that's why I'm in a train right now. I could have flown to Paris, but I'm too scared.
Céline: I can't help it. I can't help it. I know the statistics say na-na-na, its safer, whatever (Jesse laughs). When I'm in a plane, I can see it. I can see the explosion, (Jesse gives explosion sound effect). I can see me falling through the clouds, and I'm so scared of those few seconds of consciousness before you're gonna die, you know, when you know for sure you're gonna die. I can't stop thinking that way. Its exhausting.
Jesse: Yeah, I bet.
Céline: Really exhausting. (she looks out window, points, as train slows down) I think this is Vienna.
Céline: You get off here, no?
Jesse: Yeah, what a drag. I wish I had met you earlier, you know, I really like talking to you.
Céline: Yeah, me too. It was really nice to meet you.
Jesse: Umm, I don't know. All I know is I have to catch an Austrian Airlines flight tomorrow morning at 9:30, and I don't really have enough money for a hotel, so I was just going to walk around, and it would be a lot more fun if you came with me. And if I turn out to be some kind of psycho, you know, you just get on the next train.
Jesse: Alright, alright. Think of it like this. Um, uh, jump ahead, ten, twenty years, okay, and you're married. Only your marriage doesn't have that same energy that it used to have, you know. You start to blame your husband. You start to think about all those guys you've met in your life, and what might have happened if you'd picked up with one of them, right? (Céline starts laughing a bit) Well, I'm one of those guys. That's me, you know. So think of this as time travel, from then, to now, uh, to find out what you're missing out on. See, what this really could be is a gigantic favor to both you and your future husband, to find out that you're not missing out on anything. I'm just as big a loser as he is, totally unmotivated, totally boring, and, uh, you made the right choice, and you're really happy (motions to towards the door).
Céline: Oh, no. He was like this gorgeous dolphin. And my friend Emma had a big, big crush on him. So one day I was cutting, you know across field, back to my room, and he came walking up beside me. You know, and I told him, you know, you should date Emma, she has a big crush on you. And he turned to me and said (making her voice a bit lower) Well, that's too bad, 'cause I have a big crush on you. (Jesse lets his jaw drop) Yeah, it really scared the hell out of me, because I thought he was so fine. And then he officially asked me out on a date, and you know I pretended I didn't like him. You know I was, I was so afraid of what I might do, you know. Uh, well. So, you know, I went to see him swim a few times, at the swim competition. And he was so sexy, really, I mean, really sexy. You know we kind of wrote these little declarations of love to each other at the end of the summer, and you know, promised we would keep writing forever, and I, you know, meet again very soon, and...
Jesse: Yeah, I, I know, but, sexual feel... Those are two very different questions. I mean, I could've answered the sexual feelings thing, no problem, but you know, love. Well, what if I asked you about love?
Jesse: Yeah, well, you would have lied. Great. I mean, love is a complex issue. You know, I mean, it's like, uh. I mean, yes, I had told somebody that I love them before, and I had meant it. Was it totally a totally unselfish, giving love? Was it a beautiful thing? Not really, you know. It's like love, I mean, uh, I don't know. You know?
Céline: Uh, okay. I hate being told by a strange man, a strange man in the street, you know, like, to smile, like, to make them feel better about their boring life, um, what else? I hate, I hate that 300 kms from here there's a war going on, you know, people are dying, and nobody knows what to do about it, or they don't give a shit, I don't know. I hate that the media, you know, they are trying to control our minds.
Céline: Yeah, the media. You know it's very subtle, but you know, its a new form of fascism. (Jesse takes that in). Um, I hate, I hate when I am in foreign countries, especially in America, they are the worst. Each time I wear black, or like, lose my temper, or say anything about anything, they always go 'oh, it's so french, it's so cute.' (she mimics a puke) I hate that I can't stand that, really.
Jesse: Most people, you know, a lot of people talk about the past lives, and things like that, you know, and even if they don't believe in it in some specific way, you know, people have some kind of notion of an eternal soul, right.
Jesse: Okay. Well, this is my thought. 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 years ago, there's like 2,000,000 people on the planet. Now, there's between 5 and 6 billion people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual, unique soul, right, where do they all come from? Are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? Because if they are, that represents a 5,000-to-1 split of each soul in just the last 50,000 years, which is like a blip in the earth's time. You know, so, at best, we're like these tiny fractions of people, you know, walking... I mean, is that why we're all so scattered? You know, Is that why we're all so specialized?
Céline: Yeah, there's even a listening booth over there. (finds an album, and shows it to Jesse) Have you ever heard of this singer? (He shakes his head). I think she's American. A friend of mine told me about her.
There's a wind that blows in from the north,
And it says that loving takes it's course.
Come here. Come here.
No I'm not impossible to touch,
I have never wanted you so much.
Come here. Come here.
Have I never lay down by your side?
Baby, let's forget about this pride.
Come here. Come here.
Well, I'm in no hurry.
You don't have to run away this time.
I know that you're jimmied,
But it's gonna be all right this time.
Céline: He's so cute. (sees a cemetery)I visited this as a young teenager. I think it left a bigger impression on me at that time than any of the museums we went to. (they go into the cemetery, and walk through).
Céline: I think some were from accidents, on boats and things like that, but most of them were suicides that jumped in the river. I always liked the idea of all those unknown people lost in the world. When I was a little girl, I thought that if none of your family or friends knew you were dead, then it's like not really being dead. People can invent the best and the worst for you. (She sees a gravestone, and indicates it). Ah, here she is, I think. Yeah, this is, this is the one I remember the most. (Name on gravestone is Elizabeth). She was only 13 when she died. That meant something to me, you know, I was around that age when I first saw this. Hmm. Now, I'm 10 years older, and she's still, 13, I guess. That's funny.
(Still in amusement park, walking around, after dark. They get to a Strong-Man machine. Jesse puts in a coin, and a song starts. They dance a bit, until Jesse suddenly stops and elbows the machine hard. His ranking is 70, and is told to him in German. They continue walking...)
Céline: I don't think it really matters what generation you are born into. Look at my parents. They were these angry, young, May '68 people, revolting against everything. You know, the government, their conservative catholic backgrounds, I mean. I was born not long after, and then my father went on to become this successful architect, and they began to travel all around the world, where he built bridges, and towers, and stuff. I mean, I really can't complain about anything. You know, they love me more than anything in the world, and I have been raised with all the freedom they had fought for. And yet for me now, it's another type of fight. We still have to deal with the same old shit, but we can't really know who, or you know, what the enemy is.
Jesse: I don't really know if there is an enemy. You know, I mean, everybody's parents fuck them up. You know, rich kids' parents gave them too much, poor kids' not enough. Too much attention, not enough attention. They either left them, or you know, they stuck around and taught them the wrong things. You know. I mean, my parents are just these two people who didn't like each other very much, who, uh, decided to get married and have a kid, and they try their best to be nice to me.
Jesse: Yeah. Finally. They should have done it a lot sooner, but they stuck together for a while for the well-being of my sister and I, thank you very much. I remember my mother once. She told me, right in front of my father, they were having this big fight, that he didn't really want to have me, you know, that he was really pissed off when he found out that she was pregnant with me, you know, that I was this big mistake. And I think that really shaped the way I think. I always saw the world as this place where I really wasn't meant to be.
Céline: Hm. Yeah. People can lead their life as I lie. My grandmother, she was married to this man, and I always thought she had a very simple, uncomplicated love life. But she just confessed to me that she spent her whole life dreaming about another man she was always in love with. She just accepted her fate. It's so sad. And in the same time, I love the idea that she had all those emotions and feelings I never thought she would have had.
Jesse: Hey... check these guys out. 'Hey Hans, I have a confession to make. I'm not wearing any underwear underneath this thing.' 'Oh really?' 'Does that frighten you?' (Pause, then Jesse and Céline turn to face one another) Can I tell you a secret?
Gypsy: Oh, so, you have been on a journey, and you are stranger to this place. You, an adventure, you seek. An adventure in your mind. You are interested in the power of the woman, in a woman's deep strength, and creativity? You are becoming this woman. You need to resign yourself to the awkwardness of life. Only if you find peace within yourself, will you find true connection with others. (indicates, with her head, Jesse) That is a stranger to you?
Jesse: (looks away with cynical expression) I mean, that's very nice and all, I mean, that, you know, we're all stardust, and you're becoming this great woman, I mean, but I hope you don't take that any more seriously than some horoscope in a daily syndicated newspaper.
Jesse: Aw c'mon. But what was that 'I am learning' bullshit? I mean, that's way condescending. You know. I mean, she wasn't even doing me. I mean, if opportunists like that, ever had to tell the real truth, it would put their asses out of business. You know. I mean, just once, I'd love to see, some little old lady, save up all her money, you know, to go to the fortune teller, and she'd get there, all excited about hearing her future, and the woman would say (taking Céline's hand, mimicking a fortune teller, including the voice) UmHmm. Tomorrow, and all your remaining days will be exactly like today--A tedious collection of hours. And you will have no new passions, and no new thoughts, and no new travels, and when you die, you'll be completely forgotten. 50 shillings, please. You know, that, I'd like to see.
Jesse: Yeah, of course you do, you know. You pay your money, you get to hear something that makes you feel good about yourself. If you want, maybe there's a seedy section of Vienna, we can go buy a hit of crack, you know. Would you like that? Yeah?
Céline: (indicates art shown in poster. Poster is of exhibition of art work by Seurat) I actually saw this one a few years ago in a museum. I stared, and stared at it. Must have been 45 minutes. I love it. La voie ferée. Ah. (points to another work on poster) I love the way the people seem to be dissolving into the background. (Indicates another) Look at this one. It's like the environments, you know, are stronger than the people. His human figures are always so transitory. Its funny. Transitory?
Céline: (almost whispering) I was in an old church like this with my grandmother a few days ago in Budapest. Even though I reject most of the religious things, I can't help but feeling for all those people that come here lost or in pain, guilt, looking for some kind of answers. It fascinates me how a single place can join so much pain and happiness for so many generations.
Jesse: That's so wild. I mean, I always think that I'm still this 13 year old boy, you know who just doesn't really know how to be an adult, pretending to live my life, taking notes for when I'll really have to do it. Kind of like I'm in a dress rehearsal for a Junior High play.
Jesse: Well, I went to this Quaker wedding once, and it was fantastic. What they do is the couple comes in and they kneel down in front of the whole congregation, and they just stare at each other, and nobody says a word unless they feel that God moves them to speak, or say something. And then after an hour or so, of just, uh, staring at each other, they're married.
Jesse: Well, I was driving around with this buddy of mine, he was a big atheist, and we came to a stop, next to this homeless guy. And my buddy takes out a 100-dollar bill, and leans out the window, and he says, 'do you believe in God?' And the guy looks at, uh, he looks at my friend, and he looks at the money, he says, uh, 'Yes, I do.' My friend says, 'Wrong answer.' (motions as if putting money back in pocket), and we drove away.
Céline: You know, you hear so much shit about people. I always feel like the general of an army when I start dating a guy, you know, plotting my strategy and maneuverings, knowing his weak points, what would hurt him, seduce him. It's horrible. (they walk a bit) If we were around each other all the time, what do you think would be the first thing about me that would drive you mad?
Jesse: I just, I dated this girl once who, who used to always ask me that question, 'What about me bugs you?' you know. And so finally I said, well, you know, I, uh, just don't think you handle criticism too well. She flew into a rage, and broke up with me, alright. That's a true story. All she ever really wanted to do was to have an excuse to tell me what she thought was wrong with me, you know. Is that what you want?
Poet: So, I would like to make a deal with you. I mean, instead of just asking you for money, I will ask you for a word. Yeah, You give me a word, I take the word, and then, and then I will write a poem, with the word inside. And if you like it, I mean, if you like my poem, and you feel it adds something to your life in any way, then you can pay me whatever you feel like. I will write in English, of course.
Jesse: Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. I don't know, you know, I always think that if I could just accept the fact that my life was supposed to be difficult, you know that's what's to be expected, then, I might not get so pissed off about it, and I'd just be glad when something nice happens.
Oh, baby with your pretty face
Drop a tear in my wineglass
Look at those big eyes
See what you mean to me
Sweet cakes and MILKSHAKES (laughs)
I am a delusion angel
I am a fantasy parade
I want you to know what I think
Don't want you to guess anymore
You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we're going
Launched in life
Like branches in the river
Caught in the current
I'll carry you. You'll carry me
That's how it could be
Don't you know me (poet hands poem back)
Don't you know me by now
Jesse: Right, I mean, you never hear somebody say, "Well, you know, with, uh, the time I've saved by using my word processor, I'm gonna go to a Zen monastery and hang out." I mean, you never hear that.
still in club. Playing pinball. Céline is playing, and she loses her ball. Both are drinking beer)
Céline: (hitting the machine) Merde!
Jesse: (taking over, and starting playing) Well, um, we haven't talked about this yet, but, are you dating anyone? You got a boyfriend waiting on you back in Paris, or anything like that?
Céline: No, not right now.
Jesse: not right -- but you did! (he loses ball, she takes over)
Céline: We broke up about six months ago.
Jesse: Six months ago.
Jesse: I'm sorry. I mean, I'm not that sorry. But, uh, tell me about it.
Céline: Ah, no. No, no way, I can't. Its really, really boring.
Jesse: C'mon, tell me about it.
Céline: Okay. I was really disappointed. I thought this one would last for a while. I mean he was very stupid, ugly, bad in bed, alcoholic, you know.
Jesse: Real prize-winner.
Céline: Yeah. (laughs) I was kind of giving him a favor, but he left me, saying I loved him too much, and, you know, I was blocking his artistic expression, or some shit like that, you know. But anyway, I was traumatized, and became (she loses ball. She shrugs, they switch) and became totally obsessed with him. And so I went to see this shrink, you know, and it came out that I had written this little stupid story about this woman, trying to kill her boyfriend, and how she was gonna do it, you know, with all the intricate details, of, you know, how to do it, and not get caught, and...
Jesse: She was gonna kill her boyfriend? (loses ball. Switch)
Céline: Yeah. Yeah, she was. I mean, it's nothing I would do, but it was just some writing, you know.
Jesse: Alright, no, no, I understand.
Céline: But anyway, this stupid shrink believed everything I was telling her, and it was my first time seeing her. She said she had to call the police.
Jesse: She had to call the police?
Céline: (loses ball. Switch) Yeah. She was, merde! she was totally convinced I was really gonna do it. you know, even though I'd explained to her it was just some writing, you know. She said, looking deep into my eyes, "The way you said it, I know you are going to do it, the way you said it." She was totally out of her mind. It was my first and last session.
Jesse: Yeah, so what happened then?
Céline: I totally got over him, you know. But now I'm obsessed that he's gonna die from an accident, or, you know, 1000 kms away, I'm gonna be the one accused. Why do you become obsessed with people you don't really like that much, you know, I mean.
Jesse: I don't know.
Céline: So, how about you?
Céline: Are you with anyone?
Jesse: Umm, it's funny how we managed to avoid this subject for so long, isn't it?
Céline: Yeah, but now you have to tell me.
Jesse: Well, I kind of see this all as this, uh, escape for two people who don't know how to be alone, you know, or, uh. I mean, you know it's funny. People always talk about how love is this totally unselfish, giving thing, but if you think about it, you know, there's nothing more selfish.
Céline: Yeah, I know. So, she just broke up with you?
Jesse: What? (loses ball, switch)
Céline: You sound like you've just been hurt, or something.
Jesse: No.... do I?
Jesse: Alright. Um, Big confession, you know. I should have told you the earlier, or something, but, you know... I didn't just come to Europe just to hang out, and read Hemingway in Paris, and shit like that, you know. I saved up my money all spring to, uh, fly to Madrid, and spend the summer with my girlfriend, who has been on this --
Céline: Your girlfriend? (she loses ball. They switch)
Jesse: My EX-girlfriend, who has been on this asinine art history program for the last year. Anyway, I got here, right, and now we're re-united, at long last, and we went out to dinner, our first night, ah, with six of her friends. Pedro, Antonio, Gonzalo, Maria, Suzie, from home, you know. She pretty much managed to avoid being alone with me for the first couple of days we were there, and I stuck around for a while, just to kind of let it really sink in that she wished I hadn't come. So I bought the cheapest flight out of Europe, this one leaving out of Vienna tomorrow, but it didn't leave for a couple of weeks. So, I bought this Eurail pass, you know. You know -- you know what's the worst thing about somebody breaking up with you? It's when you remember how little you thought about the people you broke up with, and you realize that that is how little they're thinking about you, you know. (loses ball) You know, you'd like to think that you're both in all this pain, but really, they're just, Hey, I'm glad you're gone. (They switch)
Céline: I know. You should look at bright colors.
Céline: That's what the shrink told me, you know. I was paying her 900 francs an hour, to hear that I was a homicidal maniac, and that I could eliminate my obsession if I would concentrate on bright colors.
Jesse: Yeah, well did it work?
Céline: Well, (loses ball, switch)
Jesse: Didn't help your pinball, did it?
Céline: No. Yeah, well, you know. I haven't... I haven't killed anyone lately.
Jesse: Not lately? Well, that's good, you're cured, then.
(walking outside in Vienna)
Jesse: I mean, there's these breeds of monkeys, right, and all they do is have sex, like, all the time, you know. And, uh, they turn out to be, like, the least violent, the most peaceful, the most happy, you know, so I mean, maybe fooling around is not so bad.
Céline: Are you talking about monkeys?
Jesse: Yes. I'm talking about monkeys.
Céline: Ah, I thought so, yeah.
Céline: You know, I never heard this one, but it reminds me of, like, this perfect, you know, male argument to justify them fooling around.
Jesse: No, no, no. Woman monkeys are fooling around, too. Everybody's fooling around.
Céline: Yeah, that's cute. (they laugh) You know, I have this awful paranoid thought, that feminism was mostly invented by men, so they could, like, fool around a little more. You know, women, free your minds, free your bodies, sleep with me. We're all happy and free as long as I can fuck as much as I want.
Jesse: Alright, alright, alright. But maybe, maybe there's some biological things at work here. I mean, if you had an island, right, and there were 99 women on the island, and only one man, in a year, you'd have the possibility of 99 babies. But if you have an island with 99 men, and only one woman, in a year, you'd have the possibility of only one baby. So...
Céline: So. You know what?
Céline: On this island, you know, I think that there will only be, like, maybe 43 men left. Because they would kill each other, trying to fuck this poor woman, you know what I mean? And on the other island, there would be 99 women, 99 babies, and no more man, because they would have all gotten together, and eaten him alive.
Jesse: Oh yeah?
Jesse: Yeah? Yeah? See... see, I think there's something to that. I think on some level, women don't mind the idea of destroying a man, you know. Like, I was once walking down the street with my ex-girlfriend, you know, right, and we just walked by these, like, real four, kind of thuggy looking guys, next to a Camaro, you know, and one of them, sure enough, says, 'Hey baby, nice ass.' You know, I mean. So, I'm like, alright, Hey, no big deal, I'm not gonna get uptight about this, right?
Céline: Yeah, plus, there were four of them, right?
Jesse: Yeah, exactly, there's four of them, right, but she turns around and she says (Jesse turns back, and flips the bird to the air behind him) Fuck you, dickheads, and I'm like, Okay, wait a minute, here, right. They're not gonna come over here and kick her ass, you know what I mean. So who just got pushed to the front line on that one? You see what I'm saying? I mean, women say they hate it if your all territorial and protective, but if it suits them, then they'll tell you you're being all unmanly, or wimpy, or, uh.
Céline: You know what? I don't think women really want to destroy men, and if, even if they want to, they don't.. they don't succeed. You know what I mean? I'm sure even, you know, men are destroying women, or are able... capable of destroying women, much more than women... Well, anyway, it's depressing, I mean you know what?
Jesse: What? You want to stop talking about this?
Céline: Yeah. I really hate it. You know Men-Women you know, it's, it's... there's no end to this, like, you know...
Jesse: It's like a skipping record, you know.
Jesse: Every couple's been having this conversation forever.
Céline: Any nobody's come up with anything.
Still on streets of Vienna. Belly dancer is dancing to drum beat, on the side of the street)
(Jesse and Céline approach, then Céline pulls Jesse closer to watch)
Céline: I saw a documentary on that. It's a birth dance.
Jesse: A birth dance?
(they stop and watch for a little while, until its over. They clap)
Jesse: Should I give her some money?
Jesse: Everything that's interesting costs a little bit of money. I'm telling you.
(He puts some coinage in the pot, and they begin to walk away)
Jesse: So, birth dance, huh? Looked a little bit like a mating dance to me.
Céline: No, but really. Women used this when giving birth. In some parts of the world, they still do it.
Céline: Yeah. The woman in labor enters a tent, and the women of her tribe surround her, and dance, and they encourage the birthing woman to dance with them as... so as to make the birth less painful.
Céline: When the baby is born, they all dance in celebration.
Jesse: Wow. I don't think my mom would have gone for that.
Céline: I like the idea of dancing as a common function in life, something everybody participates in.
Jesse: Yeah, I know. I heard about this old guy, who was watching some young people dance. And he said, how beautiful. They're trying to shake off their genitals, and become angels.
Céline: I like that. (smiles)
Jesse: Alright. One question, though, back there. When the women are dancing, and being all spiritual, and stuff, right? Where are the men? Are we out food-gathering? Are we not invited? You all don't need us? What?
Céline: Men are lucky we don't bite off their head after mating. Certain insects do that, you know, like spiders, and stuff.
Céline: We, at least, let you live. What are you complaining about?
Jesse: Yes. See, you're officially kidding, but there's something to that, you know. You keep bringing stuff like that up.
Céline: No, no, no, wait a minute. Talking seriously here. I mean, .. I, I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood, and without making... making it look my... my whole life is revolving around some guy. But Loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it and stuff. But isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?
Jesse: Hmmm. Yeah, I don't know (they sit on a pile of skids in an alley they are walking through). Sometimes I dream about being a good father and a good husband, and sometimes that feels really close.
Jesse: But then, other times, it seems silly. Like, it would, uh, ruin my whole life. And it's not just a, uh, a fear of commitment, or that I'm incapable of caring, or loving, because I can. It's just that if I'm totally honest with myself, I think I'd rather die knowing that I was really good at something, that I had excelled in some way, you know, then that I had just been in a nice, caring relationship.
Céline: Yeah, but I had worked for this older man, and once he told me that he had spent all of his life thinking about his career and his work, and... he was 52 and it suddenly struck him that he had never really given anything of himself. His life was for no one, and nothing. He was almost crying saying that. You know, I believe if there's any kind of God, it wouldn't be in any of us. Not you, or me... but just this little space in between. If there's any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something (sigh). I know, it's almost impossible to succeed, but... who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.
(They both stare for a while, and then half-sigh, half-laugh)
(in a cafe. Fairly busy, many people)
(Group of three men and three women, having a discussion in German)
(Two men, playing cards, talking about work, or friends -- common, heartfelt discussion)
(Two older men, both with beards. One is speaking very slowly, deliberately, in German. The other is simply listening)
(Woman sitting alone, reading a book, a finished coffee by her side)
(A man and woman, obviously having been together for a long time. He is fidgety, she is playing with her pie with a fork, bored)
Man: I really think this is a civilization in decline. Look at the service. I mean, where is the waitress? In New York, this person would be out of a job. (looks around for the waitress)
(Two men and a woman, all roughly middle-aged, talking, joking, in reasonably good spirits)
(Céline and Jesse sitting at a table, with platters from coffee on the table in front of them, finished)
Céline: Okay, now I'm going to call my best friend in Paris, who I'm supposed to have lunch with in 8 hours. Okay?
Jesse: (Nods) okay.
Céline: (with her hands mimicking a telephone, lifting it off the base, and putting it to her ear) Dring-Dring. Dring-Dring. Dring-Dring. Pick up!
Céline: Pick up the phone.
Jesse: (also mimics a phone with his hand, puts it up to his ear) Oh, hello?
Céline: Vanie? Ici Lina.
Céline: Comment ça va?
Jesse: (wide open eyes, then recognition) Ah, bien, et toi?
Céline: Vanie, ma vacation est incroyable!
Jesse: Ahhh... you - a- I- you know, I've been working on my English, recently, would you want to talk in English?
Céline: Yeah, okay, that's a good idea. Ummm... I don't think I'm gonna be able to make it for lunch today, I'm sorry. I... I met a guy on the train, and I got off with him in Vienna. We're still there.
Jesse: We.. wa.. he's Austrian, he's from there?
Céline: N-n-n-n-no. He's passing through here too. He's American. He's going back home tomorrow morning.
Jesse: (mocking a shocked expression) Why'd you get off the train with him?
Céline: Well... he convinced me. Well, actually I was (smiles) I was ready to get off the train with him after talking to him a short while. He was so sweet, I couldn't help it. (softly) We were in the lounge car, and he began to talk about him, as a little boy, seeing his great-grandmother's ghost. I think that's when I fell for him. Just the idea of this little boy with all those beautiful dreams. (emphatically) He trapped me.
Céline: And he's so cute! He has beautiful blue eyes, (he closes his eyes) nice big lips, (back-pouts his mouth), greasy hair, (she laughs) I love it. He's kind of tall, and a little clumsy. (softly) I like to feel his eyes on me when I look away. (smiling) He kind of kisses like an adolescent, its so cute.
Céline: Yeah, we kissed. It was so adorable. As the night went on, I began to like him more and more. But I'm afraid he's scared of me. You know, I told him the story about the woman that kills her ex-boyfriend, and stuff. He must be scared to death. (Jesse begins to shake his head, slowly) He must be thinking I'm this manipulative, mean woman. I just hope he doesn't feel that way about me, because you know me, I'm the most harmless person. The only person I could really hurt is myself.
Jesse: I don't think he's scared of you. I think he's crazy about you.
Jesse: I mean, I've known you a long time, and I got a good feeling. You gonna see him again?
Céline: We haven't talked about that yet. (pause -- hangs up 'phone') Okay its your turn. You call your friend.
Jesse: (Hangs up phone, too) Alright, alright. Umm... (thinks) Uh, (picks up 'phone', puts to ear) Bring-Bring-Bring. Uh, I usually get this guys answering machine. Brawwwwwwng.
Céline: (picks up 'phone', mimics American accent) HI DUDE! WHAT'S UP?
Jesse: Uhhhh... Hey Frank, how you been? Glad you're home.
Céline: Cool. Yeah. So, how was Madrid?
Jesse: Uh, Madrid... sucked! You know, Lisa and I had our long-overdue meltdown.
Céline: Oh. Too bad. I told you, no?
Jesse: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The long-distance thing just never works. I was only in Madrid for a couple of days. I got a cheaper flight, out of Vienna... but, uh, you know, it really wasn't that much cheaper. I just, uh... I couldn't go home right away. I didn't want to see anybody I knew, I just wanted to be a ghost. Completely anonymous.
Céline: So are you okay, now?
Jesse: Yeah. Yeah, no, no, yeah, I'm great, I'm great! That's the thing, I'm... I'm rapturous. And I'll tell you why. I met somebody. On my last night in Europe, can you believe that?
Céline: Ah, That's incredible.
Jesse: I know, I know. And you know how they say we're all each others' demons and angels? Well, she was literally a Botticelli angel. Just telling me that everything was gonna be okay.
Céline: How did you meet?
Jesse: On the train. Yeah, she was sitting next to this very weird couple who started fighting so she had to move. She sat right across the aisle from me. So, we started to talk, and, uh, she didn't like me much at first. She's super smart, very passionate, um... and beautiful. And I was so unsure of myself. I thought everything I said sounded so stupid.
Céline: Oh, man, I wouldn't worry about that.
Céline: No, I'm sure she was not judging you. No... And by the way, she sat next to you, no? I'm sure she did it on purpose.
Jesse: Oh, Yeah?
Céline: Yeah. Us men are so stupid. We don't understand anything about women.
Céline: They act kind of strange. The little I know of them. Don't they?
(on a balcony, overlooking a lower part of the city. Jesse is sitting on the stone rail, Céline is leaning against it)
Jesse: I feel like this is, uh, some dream world we're in, you know.
Céline: Yeah, it's so weird. It's like our time together is just ours. Its our own creation. It must be like I'm in your dream, and you in mine, or something.
Jesse: And what's so cool is that this whole evening, all our time together, shouldn't officially be happening.
Céline: Yeah, I know. Maybe that's why this feels so otherworldly. But then the morning comes, and we turn into pumpkins, right?
Céline: Yeah, I know. (pause) But at this time, I think you're supposed to produce the glass slipper, and see if it fits.
Jesse: It'll fit.
(He leans over. They kiss, then stare out at the city)
(On an anchored ship-turned-restaurant, sitting at an elegant table, with a floating candle)
Jesse: This friend of mine had a kid, and it was a home birth, so he was there helping out and everything. And he said at that profound moment of birth, uh, he was watching this child, experiencing life for the first time, I mean, trying to take it's first breath... all he could think about was that he was looking at something that was gonna die someday. He just couldn't get it out of his head. And I think that's so true, I mean, all-- everything is so finite. I mean, but, but don't you think that that's what, um, makes our time, at specific moments, so important?
Céline: Yeah, I know. It's the same for us, tonight, though. After tomorrow morning, we're probably never going to see each other again, right?
Jesse: You don't think we'll ever see each other again?
Céline: What do you think?
Jesse: Well, um, gosh, I don't know. uh, I mean, I hadn't planned another trip to...
Céline: Oh, Me too, you know. I live in Paris, you live in the US. I totally understand that...
Jesse: I mean, I'd hate to make you fly. You know, you hate to fly, right?
Céline: I'm not so scared of flying. I mean I could...
Jesse: I mean, if you were gonna come to the US, or if, you know, I mean, if I, or you know, I mean, I could come back here, I mean... What?
Céline: Now let's just be rational adults about this. We, maybe we should try something different. I mean, it's not so bad if tonight is our only night, right? People always exchange phone numbers, addresses, they end up writing once, calling each other once or twice...
Jesse: Right. Fizzles out. Yeah, I mean, I don't want that. I hate that.
Céline: I hate that too, you know.
Jesse: Why do you think everybody thinks relationships are supposed to last forever?
Céline: Yeah, why. It's stupid.
Jesse: So, you think tonight's it, huh? I mean, that, tonight's our only night.
Céline: It's the only way, no?
Jesse: Well, alright. Let's do it. No delusions, no projections. We'll just make tonight great.
Céline: Okay, let's do that.
(He points to a pair of musicians, playing on the boat, then looks back at her)
Jesse: We should do some kind of handshake, you know. Give me your hand. (they clasp each other's hands, so that all four are clasped together) Alright. To our one and only night together, and the hours that remain. (He kisses her hand, and she looks sad) What?
Céline: It's just... it's depressing, no? That the... the only thing we're gonna think of is when we're gonna have to say goodbye tomorrow.
Jesse: Well, we could say goodbye now. Then we wouldn't have to worry about it in the morning.
Jesse: Yeah. Say goodbye.
Céline: (softly) you have a... (with more emphasis) Au revoir.
Céline: Later, yeah.
(they stop and stare at each other for a while)
(walking down some stairs into a bar)
Jesse: Alright, so here's the plan, right. You're gonna grab the glasses, and I'm gonna get the wine.
Céline: Red wine.
Jesse: Red wine. right.
Céline: You think you can do that?
Jesse: No problem.
(they get into the bar, Céline goes over to a table, and Jesse goes up to the bar)
Jesse: (whispers) wish me luck.
Céline: (whispers) okay good luck.
Jesse: (to bartender) Hello.
Jesse: (as Céline goes over to a table and opens her purse) Uh... Do you speak English?
Bartender: Uh, a bit.
Jesse: Yeah, a bit? Well, alright. I'm having kind of an odd situation here, which is that... Uh, this is... you see that girl over there? (Indicates Céline as she is putting glasses in purse, she stops, and smiles)
Jesse: Yeah, well, this is our only night together. Um, And she, ahh, Alright. Here's the problem. The problem is that she wants a bottle of red wine, and I don't have any money (Jesse and the bartender start laughing). I was thinking that you might want to, um, give me the address of this bar (bartender backs away) No, I know... and I would promise to send you the money, and you would make our night complete.
Bartender: You would send me the money?
Bartender: (looks over at Céline, then back at Jesse. Offers hand) Your hand? (They shake) Okay. (leaves)
(Céline steals 2nd glass, Jesse gives her an OK gesture)
Bartender: (returns with bottle, looks at it, and gives it to Jesse) For the greatest night in your life. (laugh)
Jesse: Thank you very much. (walks away)
(in park, lying down, in the dark, drinking wine)
Céline: So often in my life I've been with people, and shared beautiful moments like traveling, or staying up all night and watching the sunrise, and I knew those were special moments. But something was always wrong. I wished I'd been with someone else. (They both laugh) I knew that what I was feeling, exactly what was so important to me, they didn't understand. But I'm happy to be with you. You couldn't possibly know why a night like this is so important to my life right now, but it is. This is a great morning.
Jesse: It is a great morning. Do you think we'd have others like this. (Céline smiles) What?
Céline: What about our rational, adult decision?
Jesse: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean about wishing somebody wasn't there, though. It's just usually it's myself that I wish I could get away from. Seriously, think about this. I have never been anywhere that I haven't been. I've never had a kiss when I wasn't one of the kissers. You know, I've never, um, gone to the movies, when I wasn't there in the audience. I've never been out bowling, if I wasn't there, you know making some stupid joke. I think that's why so many people hate themselves. Seriously, it's just they are sick to death of being around themselves. Let's say that you and I were together all the time, then you'd start to hate a lot of my mannerisms. The way, uh, the way every time we would have people over, uh, I'd be insecure, and I'd get a little too drunk. Or, uh, the way I'd tell the same stupid pseudo-intellectual story again, and again. You see, I've heard all those stories. So of course I'm sick of myself. But being with you, uh, it had made me feel like I'm somebody else. You know the only other way to lose yourself like that is, um, you know, dancing, or alcohol, or drugs, and stuff like that.
Jesse: Fuh... Fucking? Yeah, that's one way, yeah. (swallows breath, turns away)
Céline: (Turning towards Jesse) Do you know what I want?
Céline: To be kissed.
Jesse: Well, I can do that. (they kiss, he starts to go down her neck)
Céline: Wait! (she stops him, and sits up) I have to say something stupid.
Céline: It's very stupid.
Céline: I don't think we should sleep together. I mean, I want to, but since we're never gonna see each other again... it'll make me feel bad. I won't know who else you're with. I'll miss you. (she lies down beside him) I know. It's not very adult. Maybe it's a female thing, I can't help it.
Jesse: Let's see each other again.
Céline: No, I don't want you to break our vow, just so you can get laid. (they laugh)
Jesse: I don't want to just get laid. I want to um, I mean, I mean, I think we should. I mean, we'll be done in the morning, right? I think we should.
Céline: No, then it's like some male fantasy. Meet a french girl on a train, fuck her, and never see her again. That would be this great story to tell, I don't want to be a great story. I don't want this great evening to just have been for that.
Jesse: Alright. Alright, alright, alright. Okay.
Jesse: Okay. We don't have to have sex. It's not a big deal.
Céline: Okay. (long pause) You don't want to see me again?
Jesse: (laughs) No, of course I do. Listen, if somebody gave me the choice right now, of to never see you again or to marry you, alright, I would marry you, alright. And maybe that's a lot of romantic bullshit, but people have gotten married for a lot less.
Céline: Actually, I think I had decided I wanted to sleep with you when we got off the train. But now that we've talked so much, I don't know anymore.
(Jesse sighs of frustration. Céline laughs, then leans over to kiss him)
Céline: Why do I make everything so complicated?
Jesse: I don't know.
(They kiss again)
n park... sun is up, birds are chirping)
(Scene cuts to city, where Jesse and Céline are walking along a street. Harpsichord music plays in the background)
Jesse: What do you think's the first thing you're gonna do when you get back to Paris?
Céline: Call my parents.
Céline: What about you?
Jesse: I don't know... I'll probably go pick up my dog. He's staying with a friend of mine.
Céline: You have a dog?
Céline: I love dogs.
Jesse: You do?
Jesse: Oh shit.
Jesse: Oh, I don't know. We're back in real time.
Céline: I know. I hate that.
Jesse: What is that? (notices sound, and walks towards it)
Céline: Sounds like a harpsichord.
Jesse: Check that out (looks into basement window, where there is a man playing a harpsichord) (whispers) Cool.
(Jesse pulls Céline to the side of the window)
Jesse: We'll dance to the harpsichord.
Céline: Of course. (they dance a bit)
Jesse: (looking at her. He stops her dancing) Oh, wow.
Jesse: Uh.... I'm gonna take your picture. (puts her at arms length, and stares) So I never forget you or, uh, or all this.
Céline: Okay. Me too.
(She stops and stares at him too. He leans over and they kiss. Eventually, they stop, and walk away holding hands)
(Camera shows various views of the landmarks of Vienna, stopping at a statue in a square, upon which Jesse sits while Céline lies with her head on his lap)
Jesse: And the years shall run like rabbits.
Céline: (opens her eyes and looks up at him) What?
Jesse: (shakes his head) Nothing. Nothing. I have this, uh, recording of Dylan Thomas, reading a W.H. Auden poem. He's got a great voice. You just... It's like, uh...
Céline: What, what?
All the clocks in the city
Began to whir, and chime.
Oh, let not time deceive you,
You can not conquer time.
In headaches and in worry,
Vaguely life leaks away.
And time will have its fancy,
Tomorrow, or today.
Hm. Something like that.
Céline: It's good. (pause) When you talked earlier about after a few years, how a couple begin to hate each other, by anticipating their reactions, or getting tired of their mannerisms. I think it would be the opposite for me. I think I could really fall in love when I know everything about someone. The way he's gonna part his hair. Which shirt he's gonna wear that day. Knowing the exact story he'd tell in a given situation. I'm sure that's when I'd know I'm really in love. (they stop and stare for a while)
Jesse: Hey guess what?
Jesse: We didn't go to those guys' play.
Céline: The cow?
Céline: (laughs) Yeah, we didn't. Oh no, we missed it. (sigh)