Academic journal article Framework

Aurora, Film Treatment, 1980

Academic journal article Framework

Aurora, Film Treatment, 1980

Article excerpt

Note: Written for Andrew Braunsberg, etc.1

Treatment

The beautiful, black, piercing eye of a falcon ... the swift movement of its proud head ... its beautiful, terrible claws ... gripping leather.

Voice off ... "What do you see Wanderer ... no victim today?"

The point of view of the falcon ... rolling hills, storm clouds, distant trees ... Nothing is moving, except the elements ... Nothing is heard except the breathings of the earth ...

Suddenly there is a clatter of wings ... a bird takes to the air from fifty yards away. There is a flash of wings, the sound of rushing wind and a black arrow silhouetted against the sky climbs and climbs towards the clouds, hovers for a moment, and plunges vertically, as fast as light ... there is a puff of feathers in the air as it strikes ...

Long shot ... The man alone on the stark, empty hills ... a small black figure against the light, walking towards his falcon on its kill ... Close- up ... The Peregrine falcon clutching its victim ... now dead. The leather glove slips gently towards the bird and it steps lightly onto it, lifting the dead bird in its claws ... "Good bird ... good bird" the man murmurs softly, affectionately. With a deft flick the bird is hooded. The head is torn off the dead bird ... the hood is taken off the falcon again, and he is allowed to eat his reward ...

Long shot. The man alone with his bird, as dark storm clouds hover over him menacingly ... He walks across the rolling mountain foothills, his falcon on his glove ... perhaps there might be another kill ...

Titles

(Over the falcon flying ... )

Beyond the forested mountain slopes that surround Lake Tahoe are wild rolling hills, that become more and more stripped of trees as they reach down to the edge of the Nevada desert ... At the edge of the trees, overlooking a deserted plateau (that once knew Navaho Indians, and later, the rush of men looking for gold) ... is a fine- looking wooden hunting lodge ... smoke curls from its chimney ... an axe rests against a pile of newly hewn firewood.

The man is returning, exhausted from his hunting, his falcon on his fist, hooded now. He places his bird gently onto its wooden block on the lawn, un- hoods it and gives it some food to eat ... the wing of one of the birds it has caught. He goes into the simple, rustic kitchen ... puts down two dead Chukor partridges on the table.

There is a small red light on the telephone answering machine ... flickering, calling for his attention ... He winds back the tape and listens ... We watch his face now ... handsome, rugged, mean on emotion ... hardened with reluctance to listen to the message ... A face that is at once tough and masculine, but with soft eyes and mouth ... a man who is sensitive enough to love a falcon, and knowing and wise enough to mistrust the entire world ...

He listens and we listen. It is a girl's voice, elegant, cultivated, but false somehow ... "Hi there Darling ... I suppose you are out with your bird ... Well I know you said not to call except for one reason ... well ... I'm sorry! It is the one reason. The permission has come through. You're leaving in two days time. Sorry ... just when you took a month off. But I presume this is what you really wanted? I'm off to New York in two days time ... Another jeans advert. Maybe we can meet" ... The voice is ultra- cool ... He picks up the phone and dials. "Is that you Billy? Can you come round. Yes now ..."

He goes out to his falcon, and sits on the grass next to him. It is still tearing savagely at the wing ... plucking every small feather in his search for the meat ... "Sorry old boy I know ... I promised you a month and it's been a week ... just when you were flying again! I'll have to leave you with Billy again ... What would we do without Billy?" The bird tears at the flesh, unconcerned with human excuses and confusion ... certain in its function and needs, it has killed . …

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