We HEAR "Waltzing Matilde," by Tom Waits.
INT. MUSEUM OF MODERN ART – DAY (DREAM SEQUENCE IN GRAINY BLACK
Fade out music.
A well-dressed black BOY and his MOTHER walk through several
They stand before Picasso's "Guernica," holding hands.
The mother is disturbed. Crying.
The boy looks up, confused and frightened, concerned to see his
mother crying in public. She looks at him tenderly.
Her brow furrows. She stops crying. She stares just above his
Something's happening: she looks with wonder at the top of his
head... his eyes roll upward, trying to see – it's a crown!
He raises his hands. He touches it.
A beam of light illuminates the crown, casting its glow on his
The beam gets whiter, the rest of the screen gets black.
INT. CARDBOARD BOX
Silence. In darkness, we hear a VOICE – imbued with a sense of its
Everybody wants to get on the Van Gogh
boat. There's no trip so horrible that
someone won't take it. The idea of the
unrecognized genius slaving away in a
garret is a deliciously foolish one. We
must credit the life of Vincent Van Gogh
for really sending this myth into orbit.
How many pictures did he sell? One? He
couldn't give them away. We are so ashamed
of his life that the rest of art history
will be retribution for Van Gogh's
neglect. No one wants to be part of a
generation that ignores another Van Gogh.
The beam of light shines through a small hole. It falls upon a
sleeping, dreaming, delighted face. It belongs to JEAN MICHEL
OUTDOOR, DAYTIME SOUNDS filter in.
Hearing the voice, Jean frowns at being woken up.
EXT. TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK – DAY
A long, rectangular cardboard box.
"NEW YORK CITY"
RENE RICARD (early 30's), seated at a park bench, hunched over a
notebook. He's a raggedy dandy: A poet in a hooded sweatshirt and
As he writes, he reads aloud, as if addressing Posterity.
In this town one is at the mercy of the
recognition factor. One's public
appearance is absolute.
Beyond him, a HAND gropes its way out of the box. It tosses a can
of YOOHOO chocolate drink.
I consider myself a metaphor of the
public. I am a public eye. I am a witness.
A HEAD appears from the box. It's Jean's.
Jean sees the start of a crisp, colorful autumn day. The urban
park around him is alive with a typically full range of the good
and bad in life. He eases himself out of the oversize box in which
he has spent the night. There's something about the way that he
stands while waking up that suggests he's almost surprised at his
own body, the adultness of his limbs – just a subtle hint of him
coming out of a dream.
He squints in the sunlight. He has a soft, gentle, Haitian face.
His hair is pulled tight to his head. He wears two pairs of blue
jeans (one cut like chaps over the other) a paint-covered Wesleyan
University T-shirt, and the inside lining of an overcoat. His
appearance is unruly, but it's deliberate. He's stylish.
He shakes himself off and collects his stuff, which includes: a
small book of Pontormo drawings, a can of black spray paint. and a
cigar box made into a loudspeaker with pencil holes and masking
Jean walks out of the park and looks up past the buildings at the
SUPERIMPOSED IN THE SKY – STOCK FOOTAGE OF A HAWAIIAN SURFER
Jean sees the surfer, 'riding the nose' in glistening, shimmering