Calico Skies

Synopsis: Self condemned to the immense and boundless prison of the Mojave desert, Phoenix leads a life of forced isolation, living by himself in a house as far away as possible from the rest of the world. Phoenix does one thing and one thing only: he digs holes. Every month he digs a hole in the middle of nowhere and buries something. The last stronghold of society stands with the man that frequently delivers his mail. When one day the delivery doesn't happen by the hand of his trustworthy mailman, but by that of the beautiful and quizzical Ariel, Phoenix's life derails in an escalation that leads him to dangerous consequences which will be impossible to escape.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Valerio Esposito
Production: Hot Tub Films
  1 win & 1 nomination.
78 min

(skateboard scraping)

(heavy breathing)

(keys jingling)

(engine revving)

[Phoenix Narrating] Simplicity

is when you fix complexity.

Simplicity is not

something you start with,

it is the goal, the finish line.

I've been spending all my

life looking for simplicity.

Little by little I backed

away from the fuss,

the fury,

the sweating and I traded it all

for a simple sharp scheme.

Do you remember pick up

sticks when we were kids?

I'm the one on the side.

The one you catch right away,

the one you don't need

to sweat for,

the one you easily

take out of the game.

I might claim antiseptic,



It's gonna burn

like the devil

It's gonna sting real good

You won't be able

to wash it off

It's like a bad tattoo

I guess

I should've warned you

Before I let you jump in

But we're already peaking

And it's all down hill

from here

I'm gonna break your heart

It's gonna happen

like it or not

When you least expect it

Don't know when,

don't know how

I'm gonna break your heart

Destiny's spoken,

I know it's not right

Don't try to fight,

it's going down down down

Could be I'll find another

Wouldn't that just be ripe

Or you'll run out of money

And I'll run for my life

Or the dull conversation

will simply bore me to tears

Though I haven't cried

History hasn't lied

for a billion years

I'm gonna break your heart

It's gonna happen,

like it or not

When you least expect it

Don't know when,

don't know how

I'm gonna break your heart

Destiny's spoken,

I know it's not right

Don't try to fight


I wake up.

I take a hundred milligrams

of Zoloft,

sertraline, on an empty stomach.

The pill insights an artificial

nauseous feeling in me.

I toast some bread, I

take two Alka-Seltzers.

I blend half a carrot,

a beet, a celery stick

and some protein powder

so I don't have to bother

eating anything.

(blender whirring)

2,750 feet away from my

house there's a coffee shop.

I don't know if that's

the actual distance,

Google Map says so.

I walk and have

my first espresso there.

And so that I can mingle

with people.

I pretend to lift some weights.

I buy some weed.

I only buy cookies and gummy

bears and space cupcakes.

I don't smoke, smoke smells.

Smoke is for

construction workers.

By the time I'm back home,

I am completely stoned.

I play three chords

on the guitar.

I sleep until I wake up.

No alarms, I hate alarms.

We would only really need alarms

if we wouldn't

wake up otherwise,

but we always

wake up eventually.


(moaning on computer)

Then I go grab my second

espresso of the day

at the coffee shop, and so

I can mingle with people.

When I go back home I

visit my brothers grave.

Except graves are useless.

I don't go to cemeteries.

Then I have some Xanax, not

a lot, half a milligram,

just to avoid the melancholy

stabbing me in the face

too hard.

I watch a movie.

When the movie finishes

I take Diazepam,

what all you losers call Valium.

Then I wake up in the morning.

I mean, at least this is

what I've done so far.

Why don't I just kill myself

and make it that easy?

Like hell.

(piano music)

I really like this town.

It's so nice, isn't it?

It's okay, whatever.

I love it.

It's quiet, peaceful,

very respectful,

away from the chaos of the city.

I see you here pretty often.

- You live nearby?

- Mm-hm.

Very nice community.

Don't you think so?

If the environment is clean,

the faster the conscience

gets dirty, my friend.

- Pardon me?

- Forget it.

I'm John.


I gotta go to the

store, get some hangers,

for my wife.

Can you believe that?


Hangers, what a great

plan for a Friday night.

- You married?

- Nope.

But you wear a ring.

Oh, ah aesthetics.

You wear sneakers, doesn't

mean you're an athlete.

That's bad man, you're gonna

put that right in the coffee?


What's it for?

Alka-Seltzer, I mean

it's for, because I'm sad.

I use Alka-Seltzer

for a lot of maladies.

What's a big boy like you

so sad about?

You know, I'm sorry John,

I'm truly,

banality makes me sad

I guess the most.

Look I'm sorry John,

I'm sorry, I gotta go,

I just met you,

I'm sorry, sorry, bye.

(piano music)


Good morning, sir.

I'm the new mail person.

I didn't get a chance

to meet you yet.



Mark was always on time.

Buy a watch.

I'm Ariel, by the way.

(rock music)

[GPS Voice] In 600 feet

turn right onto Dell Avenue.

Turn right.

(rock music)

Head north on Wednesday

Avenue towards Padre Terrace.

(rock music)

Turn right

on (indistinct) street,

then you will arrive

at your destination.

(rock music)

You have arrived.

Sweet beat and you

Move my body right

Take me away,

I don't want to stay

Take me away,

I don't want to stay

Take me away,

I don't want to stay

(mechanical buzzing)


[Phoenix] Ow.


- You know what man?

- Huh?

I'm getting so used to this

I'm thinking this looks

good on you. (laughing)

Are you done?

You know what, it doesn't

matter what kind of job you do

as long as you're good at it.

Yeah you're gonna recover

pretty good.

You know the process by heart.

It's none of my business but,

you need to get out once

in a while my friend.

All that mold you have

under the rug,

is going to infect your lungs.

(suspenseful music)

Once a week, but only

once a week I do drugs.

I start with Xanax which I mix

with half a glass

of pure malt whiskey,

and I chase the whole

thing with two Vicodin.

Don't get me wrong, it's

all absolutely legal,

you only need 20 bucks

and a doctor prescription.

But the wise blend of

these three guys here

have such a mystical effect,

compared to this a shot of

cocaine is a little peck.

In this state I can spend hours

reading nutrition facts

on food boxes.

They can tell you

your whole family

has been exterminated by a

group of Islamic fundamentalists

and react to the news

with a cheerful shrug.

Saturday is

for grocery shopping.

(electronic music)

(ball bouncing)

What the hell's going on

around here?

Hey, hey go out there.

Here you go, hey hey.

Catch, good catch,

what's your name?

What's your name?

- Geronimo.

- Like the Indian?

- Hi.

- Hey.

- I'm sorry for that.

- That's okay.

My son Danny gets a

little wilder out here.

Danny, I thought his name

was Geronimo?

[Luigi] I'm Luigi.

- Luigi?

- Yeah.

Wow, Phoenix.


- Thanks for the ball.

- Sure, sure, sure.

My wife Charlotte is making

home made to eat tonight.

Why don't you join us

for dinner?


[Phoenix] No, I mean, I can't.

- Ah come on, it will be fun.

- No it won't be.

You can bring your, do you

live with someone else here?

No I'm alone, I'm alone.

[Luigi] Alone, come

on guy, it'll be nice.

No, no. (stammering)

That's our house, yellow

house, see you at eight okay?

- No I wish I...

- See you tonight.

- No no, what's your name?

- See you tonight, okay.

- I wish I could but I can't...

- Okay okay.

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Valerio Esposito

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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