j.lutzo, 2008




segments i-iv:

i the new york times

ii the quaran

iii hawthorne (hathorne)

iv blue spirit blues




black screen to title.


(SCENE 1:)




interior of a furniture store showroom in brooklyn, ny.

close-up pan moving upwards from feet to head:

a young woman is laying on the edge of a bed with both

feet on the ground. She is talking in an overly accentuated

thick southern drawl on the phone to a friend.


Woman 1:    Did you see the story in this Sunday's Times?


Woman 2:    (What story?)


Woman 1:    Francine's become obsessed with it.

She's been drawing these bunnies all day...


Woman 2:    (What are you talking about?)


close-up: the camera follows the phone pressed to

woman 1's ear as she sits up to face herself in a mirror.


Woman 1:    This women, the one in Maine making these crazy experiments.


cut to medium shot of mirror's reflection: she is

enclosed by matching drawer sets with mirrors,

nightstands, and other furniture.


Woman 2:    (What experiments?)


Woman 1:    She was, like the head of some big medical thing at Vassar before.

          Modification, or stem cells, genetic stuff, DNA; all that.

Woman flipped though, started splicing up bunnies with carrots!

Big fucking mess.


Woman 2:    (What? You talkin' for real serious?)


Woman 1 stands up and begins to pace and gesture

with one hand while talking. her movements are

confined by the artificial space of the bedroom and

the length of the phone's cord.


Woman 1:    Yeah, for real.

Her neighbor found this weird little bunny out in her garden.

She tried to feed it a carrot that was growing right there and the thing nearly bit her hand off! Uhmhmm.

She said its back end was growing out of the ground!


Woman 2:    (And you told Miss Francy Pants about this?)


cut to medium shot:

woman 1 sits down on the bed, looking out the store window.


Woman 1:    Nah. Girl is near 8 years old, she reads what she wants.

          I think she got it while I was making breakfast anyway.


cut to close-up:

she gets up again and looks at herself more closely

in the mirror. 


But anyhow, this neighbor, she didn't call the police first, she told her husband, who called the other neighbor, who called someone further down the street, and so on. So it ends up, ten of 'em went there with shotguns and handguns and pitchforks, whatever, to destroy the whole patch.


Woman 2:    (You are not serious!)


zoom out to medium shot:

she turns and rests her backside on drawer top's edge.

for the first time the view of the bustling street outside

is fully visable.


Woman 1:    As a doornail! And it is weirder still! This Vassar woman, she must have been watchin' or listen' or paying attention awful hard to what was happening on that little cul-de-sac...


cut to exterior medium traveling shot:

(p.o.v. woman 1) a man enters a store across the street.


Woman 2:    (Suspicious tender, damn straight!)


cut to close-up:

woman 1's eyes move slowly from right to left.


Woman 1:    Cause she was waiting in front of that strange patch of bunny carrot mutant things, with, get this... two hand grenades!


cut to close-up:

woman 1's is twisting the phone cord around her right

index finger.


Woman 2:    (Pull my leg clear off!)


woman 1 roughly pulls the twisted phone cord outwards

 from where it is attached to the headset.


Woman 1:    Pulled one off in her patch and threw the others at her neighbors.


cut to black screen with the sudden sound of a very loud street.

cut to a quick flicker of 1940's war film footage of a bomb exploding.

cut to back black screen, the sound dies out to silence.

black screen 4 seconds.


cut to still image on a computer screen; 1st image of burak

(muhammad riding a burak to heaven in flames).


Child 1: (quiet, almost whispering)   

I'm looking at the miniature

Persia. one. six. c. period.

Gold flames around the ascending beast.


cut to black screen to title.


(SCENE 2:)




cut to a black and white image on a webpage with

just the beginning of a text visible beneath it:

2nd image of burak (muhammad riding a burak with

the heads of angels cutting through the sky around him).


Man 1:    This is it...


If you could see how angels receive the disbelief,

smiting faces and backs and saying:

Taste the punishment of burning; our sorrow.


cut to interior of a brooklyn deli, medium shot:

a young man stands behind a counter made of bulletproof

glass. He is hedged-in by an overwhelming number of

small products that are partioned in variously sized

compartments (above his head, covering below his mid-

section, and on both sides). he sells a pack of cigarettes

to a customer while speaking the following lines.



Man 2:    He promises the hypocrites, men and women,

the disbelievers

fire exchanged for hell in their abode.

It will suffice.

He cursed them,

and the torment is lasting. (9:68)


cut back to the webpage on a computer screen.

the camera pans down the last half of the 2nd image

of the burak, and the following text becomes visible

as it is being read. there is a disjunction between

the v.o. and the words on the screen.


Man 1:    We have appointed a dungeon for the disbelievers.

          It has four sides but is invisible. 

Low the highest law guides one to which is straightest,

it gives to the believers who do good works great rewards.

And for those who believe not in the Here,

We have prepared for them a painful doom of the now. (17:8-10)


cut to closer medium shot:

the man behind the counter is selling bottled water

to a different customer.


Man 2:    We have prepared for disbelievers Fire.

Its tent encloses them.

If they ask for relief,

they will be showered with molten lead

their faces burn

We drink calamity and rest ill in place! (18:29)


cut to black screen to title.


(SCENE 3:)





interior, medium shot of an ornate wooden bar:

the bartender, a young man, is standing behind the

counter facing the camera. he pours a drink for a man

who smokes obscured in the lower right corner of

the shot. he delivers the following monologue with a

familar, relaxed tone.


Bartender: I have sometimes suspected that Master Chiron was not really

very different from other people,

but perhaps that, being a sort of easy-going and playful man,

he was in the habit of making believe that he was a horse,

scrambling about the schoolroom on all fours,

and letting the little boys ride on his back.

And maybe later, when his scholars had grown up, and grown old,

and were trotting their own grandchildren on their knees,

they told them about the sports of their school days;

and so these young children took the idea that their grandfathers

had been taught their letters by a Centaur,

a half man and half horse.

Little children, not quite understanding what is said to them,

often get such absurd notions into their heads, you know.


cut to black screen to title.


(SCENE 4:)




camera pans details of early 20th century photographs

of bannerman's department store, now the site of

woodhull hospital, in brooklyn, new york.



Woman 3:  REWRITE.

The 1870 and 1880 censuses report three older half-siblings;

the 1900 census reports data that is also at odds with the

recollections of family and contemporaries.


The youngest was traveling in an automobile down U.S. Route 61

from Memphis. There's a historic marker there now,

because something bad happened.

She was taken to the Afro-American hospital where her right arm was amputated. She did not regain consciousness, dying that morning.


According to current newspaper reports, far fewer mourners attended the burial than the several thousand who came to the funeral.

A husband, from whom she had been separated,

thwarted all efforts to purchase a stone.

It is known that once or twice he pocketed the money raised for that purpose

and bought himself at least two new suits of excellent quality. 


The grave remained unmarked for 50 years.

Much later a tombstone was finally placed.

It was paid for by a famous singer and another woman who,

as a child, had done housework for the dead woman.


exterior tracking shot. the sound of a needle being put

on a record. a man is slowly crossing a very busy

intersection as bessie smith begins singing "blue spirit

blues" (spencer williams, 1929). steam rises up from

sewers in the foreground, The monolithic, dark brown mass

of the woodhull hospital towers in the background.


Record:   Had a dream last night that I was dead.

          Had a dream last night that I was dead.

Heat was buried all around my bed.

The devil came and grabbed my hand.

          The devil came and grabbed my hand.

          Took me way down to that red-hot land.

          Mean blue ferries stuffed their forks in me.

          Mean blue ferries stuffed their forks in me.

          Made me moan and groan in misery.

          Ferries and dragons spitting out blue flames.

          Ferries and dragons spitting out blue flames.

          Showing their teeth, oh they was glad I came.

Demon's eyelids dripping blood.

Demon's eyelids dripping blood.

Dragging sinners through their brimstone blood

This is hell I cried!

Cried with all my might

This is hell I cried!

Cried with all my might

All my soul, I can't bare the sight

Start running cause it is my cut

Run so fast someone woke me up.                   


cut to black screen to credits.






























burak image 1


burak image 2