A short screenplay by Lance M. Brown
ext. Cliffside - Night
PAUL MOTZA sits in the GIANT WOODEN CUP, staring ahead,
MARIANNE stands outside the cup looking in.
No! Did you hear me?! I said NO!
She SLAPS Paul hard, but it seems to have no effect at all.
She looks straight at his face, recognizing something in his eyes. Her gaze
then travels down his arm to his hand, clenched tightly on a thick ROPE which
hangs over the edge.
Marianne backs away from the cup, resigned. She bows her head just as Paul pulls the rope and
the latch CLICKS, the giant spring GROANS, and Paul is launched by LARGE WOODEN CATAPULT to a spectacular death.
NEWSPAPER STAND - DAY
Marianne grabs a small stack of papers and scans the story as
she reaches for cash in her pocket. The NEWSPAPER MAN notices her interest.
Damnedest thing, ain't it? I remember seeing that guy at Barnum n' Bailey's when I was a kid. The, uh, flying, what were they, the flying, um-
The Flying Motza Brothers.
Yeah, that's right--that's what it was! The Flying Motza
Brothers. Man, they did some amazing stuff!
I guess maybe it got to him, huh? Doing all that wild stuff? Ya think?
Marianne's face tightens.
I guess maybe so.
She turns abruptly and rushes off, flustered.
Hey, you forgot your change!
That's fine, you keep it. Thank you.
She quickly merges with the sidewalk crowd.
Neighborhood streets - Day
Marianne walks morosely home, deep in thought. She scans the
faces of people she passes by.
RESIDENCE - DAY
Marianne is approaching her house (a compact brick house in a
row of compact brick houses) when she winces and stops, her free hand clutching
first her stomach, then her chest.
She begins to breath heavily as she veers toward the BUS STOP
BENCH and sits down quickly. She drops the newspapers to the side and leans
forward, head in hands.
Marianne begins to quake, and then
WAILS like a hundred car alarms going off at once. Then she
wails like there's no tomorrow. She looks up, red-faced, bleary-eyed, make-up
smeared. Sees no one. Wails a bit more.
Marianne, what are you doing out here?
MAURICE MOTZA comes down the front walk to arrive at
Oh my God, look at you! You're a wreck. Come on inside. Here, put your arm around my shoulder. I've got you.
He pulls her arm around his shoulder and lifts her up.
Don't forget the papers.
He picks up the papers, and the two begin to walk to the house from the bus stop, Maurice helping Marianne.
Marianne chuckles briefly, distractedly.
Did you just laugh?
(pulling away somewhat)
I think the sun just got to me or something.
Hey, it's OK to be sad, sweetie. You've just got to be careful. Someone could have mugged you easy, the state you were in.
I'd like to see them try.
She pulls ahead and enters the house.
There's my girl.
Residence - Day
At the roadside near the bus stop, several police officers
are rolling the giant catapult down off of a vehicle trailer. An officer with a
clipboard and a pen approaches the house.
Residence - Later
Vigil and memorial paraphernalia lie scattered at the foot of the catapult. Prominent among them is an old circus poster advertising The Flying Motza Brothers. Pictured on the poster are much-younger versions of (according to the poster): "Brothers Paul and Maurice Motza (and featuring Paul's lovely wife, Marianne!)"
Several PEOPLE are gathered there--some sitting, some gazing
the catapult wistfully, some chatting quietly.
KIDS are bounding around on the grass, attempting cartwheels,
flips, handstands, and the like.
Residence - Continuous
Marianne gazes out the front window at her husband's fans,
Her gaze settles on the playing children, where it stays for
some time. Eventually, her eyes show resolve, then calculation, and finally, a
steely satisfaction. She begins to smile.
Catapult's cup - Night
Maurice, tied up and blindfolded, lays on his side in the
GIANT WOODEN CUP, unconscious.
Help! Where am I? Help!
CATAPULT'S CUP - CONTINUOUS
Marianne is dressed in a circus acrobat's outfit, blue and
sparkling, though clearly from another time. A small camping lantern lights the
area as she fidgets with and
checks on lighting equipment, a video camera on a tripod, and the catapult.
No one's going to hear you, Maurice. Trust me.
Marianne? What's going on? Who's got us?
I'VE got YOU, Maurice. It's time for our big number.
As she says this, Marianne picks up a stick and runs it
across the coils of the catapult's giant spring. It makes a haunting
Oh my God, I'm in the catapult! What are you doing, Marianne? What the hell is going on?!
Marianne walks over and turns on the large performance light, then checks the view from the camera.
I told you, Maurice-- our big number.
Marianne stands poised in front of the catapult's cup, facing
(quietly, to Maurice)
I know perfectly well what I'm doing.
(to video camera)
Somebody help me! She's gone nuts! Helllp!
Maurice's SCREAMING continues as Marianne proceeds. Her voice
booms with decisive clarity.
Tonight we will do a memorial performance in honor of the great Paul Motza, who as you may know recently left this world.
I am joined tonight by his brother Maurice Motza, who is a son of a bitch, pardon my language.
Get me out of here!
It is with Maurice's 'World-Famous Catapultic Contraption'
that he and
I will do our greatest stunt ever!
Now, Maurice is blindfolded, and can't see where the Contraption is pointed, but you and I can, and as you can tell, you're in for a truly spectacular show!
Maurice SCREECHES unintelligibly.
Marianne reaches up behind her head, grasping the edge of the
cup with both hands. She bends her knees, then leaps up, hands still holding,
feet swinging forward, then up and around, as she swings up into the cup
in one smooth, sparkling move.
Marianne lands in the cup facing the huddled Maurice, one
foot on either side of him.
She swings her arm forward and slaps Maurice in the face,
hard. She leans in close and covers his mouth with her hand. Maurice goes silent.
Marianne yanks off Maurice's blindfold and draws close to his
I did a lot of thinking about it, Maurice, and it's simple. Now, you tell me--you were his brother. Tell me that you didn't know he would kill himself if he ever found out about us. Tell me that.
Maurice is weeping. Marianne pulls her hand away from his
mouth. He says
I thought so. (beat) This is the right thing to do, Maurice. This is what we have to do.
She reaches down and grabs the trigger rope (the same one Paul held
earlier on). She stands straight up, facing the video camera.
(to video camera)
Ladies and gentlemen, children and seniors, sons, daughters, parents and grandparents! On behalf of The Flying Motza Brothers, I bid you fond farewell!
Marianne crouches down into the cup, one hand raised above
the edge, holding the rope. She yanks the rope,
the latch CLICKS, the giant spring GROANS, and Marianne and Maurice are launched by giant catapult to the most spectacular acrobatic death imaginable.