Saturday, October 9, 2010

Excerpt from A Gambian Action Movie [An Attempt at a Movie Scene]

The people who stand outside on the road are like a soundtrack. When Jaiteh Kabaa passes they cheer loudly, in their tattered clothes and oppressed hairstyles. And then they see the police approach, and they all fall silent. Close-ups of a few of their faces showing the change from excitement into a hardness. Inside the cars the faces of the police filled with a stern determination.

The police cars race, Jaiteh Kabaa leading them.

Inside of Jaiteh Kabaa's car.

Gear change. One, to Two.

Close up of Jaiteh Kabaa's face. Dashingly handsome, like those action movie stars. A toothpick clenched between his front teeth, a carefree smile on his face. He seems to be positively enjoying himself.

A drum beat, deep, resonating, in the background.

Gear Change. Two to Three. The roar of an engine discovering its power.

Close up, of Jaiteh Kabaa's face. A look of slight concentration now, though he still looks like he doesn't have a care in the world.

Outside of the car. The police cars are in hot pursuit, though there is still distance between them and the criminal's car.

At the traffic lights. Cars head from the north, cars head from the east. A close-up of the light, changing from yellow to green. The northern cars stopping, the eastern cars beginning to roll forward. And headed for a collision with the line of cars is Jaiteh Kabaa.

Pounding music, quick and clean shots establishing the truth: line of cars, traffic lights, the steel body of Jaiteh Kabaa's car gleaming under the Sun. Then an overhead shot showing us the whole scene, Jaiteh Kabaa headed toward his doom. Pulse-pounding music.

Switch to inside of car. Break pressed down on with foot, clad in ragged leather shoe. Hand switching gear fluidly, leg on break lightly letting up while that on accelerator matches its rise with a descent.

Close up of Jaiteh Kabaa's grim face.

A screeching of tires, a screaming of drivers.

The northern light switching to yellow, the eastern light switching to red.

A gap between the line of cars opening, so small, so tiny…

A sliding, of Jaiteh Kabaa's car. A close-up of his foot on the brake, the car beginning to drift. Its tires emit smoke, for a moment he looks almost about to lose control over it.

And then clean as a barber's shave his car squeezes into the tiny gap formed in the line of cars, spinning into it, a 360-degree twirl that leaves it emerging on the other side still headed in the same direction.

A last shot of the scene behind him, a confused contortion of cars, horns beeping wildly, drivers arguing furiously over whose fault it is.

Close up of Jaiteh Kabaa's face, hand patting his hair down, the sweat on his brow, the relief and self-congratulation on his face.

Two of the police cars arrive at that instant

and brake just in time to prevent an accident. Close up of the police faces, angry, mouths moving in random insults and threats.

The two following police cars manage to make it

quickly dipping in through the Shell and dipping out again on the other side.

Jaiteh Kabaa taking the turn into Bakau. A shot of Timbooktoo, an orange seller with his wheelbarrow in front of it.

One police car racing past the junction, its driver not wised up in time.

One police car taking the turn, narrowly missing a lame man crossing the road, who abandons his crutches and runs for dear life.

The race down the empty highway.

Close up of the Marina signboard racing past. Close up of a beaureaux de change. Yellow fences and blue compound gates, red Peul shops stamped all over with the coca cola sign.

Almost at the junction that leads right to the stadium.

Close up of Jaiteh Kabaa's face, lips pursed up, eyes a slit of concentration.

Police car racing behind, siren on at full blast. People stopping on the street to see what is going on, snatching back their children.

Gear Change. Three to Two. A light touch of the brakes, a foot hovering over them.

Jaiteh Kabaa's hands, a gentle pressure on the wheel

An outside shot, showing both cars, rushing down the road at breakneck speed.

A drum roll.

And then Jaiteh Kabaa's car, slippery as a fish, elusive as love, takes the right turn that we did not even know was there, sliding gently off the road and, almost as an afterthought, changing its direction.

The police attempting to take it too, but not so fast, not in so old a car.

Close up of the police man's face, his widening eyes, his mouth an O of surprise.

A man riding a bicycle appearing in front of him, wobbling in fright.

He swerves to avoid him

And crashes into a cartoon of mayonnaise lying by the side of the road. It softens the crash, and he is covered in exploding mayonnaise.

He gets out of the car, shaking his fist at the sky.

Close up of Jaiteh Kabaa's face, a smile on it.

1 comment:

  1. Lol, brilliant write up.... I love the cinematography, but the issue is, how in this world will this be actually filmed? Is it possible to get the traffic to stop at the 'traffic light' junction iin order to shoot a movie??

    lol, i love the write up thou and its funky.....