THE SEASON OF MISTS
Anna Tchernakova and Evgenia Tirdatova
Based on an original idea by Anna Tchernakova
This work has been registered with:
Writers Guild of America, West
REGISTRATION # 1155830
12. EXT. VILLAGE, STREET - DAY 12. Marina walks angrily along the street, gradually calming down. She notices Darby trudging along on the other side of the street with a pile of papers in his hand. He stops by the post box and puts the pages in. Intrigued, Marina crosses the street towards him. Darby notices Marina, gives an uncertain smile, nods and passes her. Then he stops, turns round and hands her a page. DARBY You might need it, you might need it. Marina takes the flyer. She wants to say something, but Darby turns away and continues his walk. The flyer says: How to Get Ready to Meet Aliens. 13. EXT. VILLAGE, VILLAGE GREEN - DAY 13. The hairdresser's door is locked and has a 'closed' sign hung on the inside. Three old ladies - JANE, MARY and LIZ - are waiting on the steps outside. Jane is tall and thin, with a very straight back. She is still beautiful, despite her age, which she doesn't try to hide. She does, however, experiment with the colour of her hair, which is a striking pitch-black at the moment. Mary and Liz look a bit like sisters - both are round-faced and have wavy white hair. They smile to Marina, who runs up the steps to open the door. MARINA (opening the door and prompting it open) I'm sorry I'm a bit late... Good morning... Hello... How are you today? She notices another of Darby's flyers lying on the floor by the door and picks it up. 14. INT. VILLAGE, HAIRDRESSERS - DAY 14. Jane is sitting in the chair in front of the mirror, studying her own reflection. Liz and Mary are waiting for their turn on the chairs by the wall. JANE (to Marina) Darling, I've decided to take a risk… Marina nods, putting a protecting apron on Jane. JANE (CONT) …and try a new colour if I may… LIZ AND MARY discuss what colour JANE will choose this time - and make a bit of fun about her. Jane, now with a plastic cap covering her head, is waiting by the wall while Liz is in the chair facing the mirror. Mary is drying her hair under a hair-dryer. Jane studies Darby's flyer. JANE I've always said that after Sarah's death he should have got himself a new woman… LIZ What are you talking about? Jane waves the flyer. MARY (angrily) It's all pure self-indulgence and alcoholism. I'd take him off the state pension, and he'd forget about the stone straight away. JANE (continues) The fact that she was never found… (she notices that Marina is listening with attention and explains for her benefit) …His wife disappeared after ten years of marriage… LIZ (joins in) One morning she went to town - and never came back, imagine! It was me I saw her last!... I still remember her eyes… Sitting at the bus stop, with her purse and her bag. . . JANE (to Liz) Don't interrupt!... So, a year later he started saying that she'd been 'abducted'… She stresses the word 'abducted' and points to the ceiling. They are silent for a moment. LIZ (after a pause, to Mary) If you had married him, everything would be different now… MARY (coughs) Don't talk nonsense! Jane puts aside the flyer and shakes her head in disapproval. She glances at Mary who is sitting with an angry expression, and winks to Liz. JANE (with innocent expression) Mary, dear, why don't you invite him for a cup of tea, talk to him about his drinking… MARY (shrugs her shoulders) I've never run after men, and I won't do it in my seventies! JANE Well you're wrong… (she sighs) We don't have much time left, dear… LIZ Thank you for reminding us! Marina changes the ladies around: Liz gets up from the chair and sits down under the second hair-dryer. Jane takes her place on a chair facing the mirror. Marina takes off the plastic cap. Jane admires her new colour. NEXT COLOUR RED JANE (studying herself in the mirror, satisfied, to Marina) It's you my darling, so young and beautiful, who has all her life still ahead of you! 15 EXT/INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE - DAY 15 Marina is in the corridor in front of the mirror. She is now wearing a smart pullover, trousers and shoes with heels. She puts the last touches of make-up on her face, runs a hairbrush through her hair and puts on her overcoat. Writes a note: 'Gone to the theatre'. She notices a cardboard box with old newspapers and a plastic bag full of beer cans, pointedly left by the door. She picks them up, stumbling over the rug again. Infuriated, she takes the rug and tries to put in the box. The rug falls out. 15B EXT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE - DAY 15B Marina throws the rug into the black rubbish bin by the house. 16 EXT/INT VILLAGE GREEN, CORNER SHOP - DAY 16 Marina loads the recycling into the car. Across the village green, a middle-aged healthy-looking woman in a vendor's gown (FIONA) arranges vegetables on a small stand by the entrance to the corner shop. There is a second stand with newspapers and magazines. Fiona notices Marina and waves to her in greeting. Marina runs to the shop. Fiona wipes her hands on the gown and picks up a thin yellow brochure from the newspapers' stand. It's the Parish magazine. She hands it to Marina. FIONA I've had to shorten it a bit as the Garden Society asked to publish a notice. . . Marina leafs through the magazine, finds her article entitled 'Once again about dog poo on our streets' and quickly scans it. Fiona goes back to arranging tomatoes and potatoes. MARINA You know Darby...The old guy who's waiting for aliens...I'd like to write about him for the next issue...Can I? Fiona raises her head from the tomatoes. FIONA Ah, Darby...Well, he's not quite...in his right mind. . .. I don't think anyone would find it interesting. . . (with enthusiasm) …You know, I was thinking the other day, why don't you write about your life in Russia... How you grew up, went to school, were a young communist... and everything was forbidden... three or four hundred words? Marina bites her lip, not knowing if she should laugh or be upset. 17 EXT/INT. CAR, COUNTRY ROAD - DAY 17 Marina drives her car along a narrow winding road. The back of the car is filled with rubbish for recycling. There is a very slow tractor driving in front of Marina, taking up most of the road. Anxious, Marina looks out of the window hoping to overtake the tractor, but doesn't risk it. Finally, the tractor slows down and turns into a field. Marina speeds up. 18 EXT. RUBBISH AND RECYCLING SKIP - DAY 18 Marina throws newspapers and beer cans out of the car. 19 EXT/INT. CAR, STATION - DAY 19 Marina stops at the entrance to the station parking lot with a sign 'FULL'. 20 EXT/INT. CAR, SMALL TOWN, STREETS - DAY 20 Marina circles the street looking for a parking place. There is a solid row of cars parked on both sides of the street. Finally, in despair, she drives onto a pavement and parks the car by a streetlamp. 21 EXT. STATION, PLATFORM - DAY 21 Marina runs up the stairs and gets to the platform just as the doors of the train close. She runs to the nearest door, gestures and waves to the TRAIN DRIVER, but he spreads his arms indicating he can't do anything. The train starts moving. Upset, Marina looks at the leaving train. She walks slowly along the platform. The information board shows the time of the next train to London. Marina checks her watch and sits down on the bench. The station is empty and quiet. The sound of the train dies away. The loudspeaker announces the arrival of a train from London. A train arrives and stops at the opposite platform. A FEW PASSENGERS get out. The train leaves. People walk to the station building, except for FOUR MEN with luggage and musical instruments in cases. They are discussing something animatedly and, judging by the gestures, it's clear that they are having an argument. Marina looks at them with curiosity. They raise their voices, and Marina now hears what seems to be the sound of Russian. A STATION ATTENDANT walks along the platform to the station building. One of the musicians stops him and tries to explain something. The station attendant clearly doesn't understand and shrugs his shoulders. After some hesitation, Marina gets up from the bench. 22 EXT. STATION, THE OPPOSITE PLATFORM - DAY 22 As she approaches the group, she witnesses a fiery argument. One of the musicians, a youngish man with pink cheeks (ILYA) is blaming the oldest of the group, a grey-haired slightly stooping man with a guilty expression (GARIK). A third musician, a lively energetic middle-aged man (RENAT) is trying to act as mediator. The fourth, a man in his early forties with short hair (SASHA) is standing quietly at the side, struggling with his mobile phone. Absorbed in their conversation, they don't notice Marina who stops nearby. GARIK (in Russian, not addressing anyone in particular) You should speak at least some of the language if you're so keen to go abroad!... And stop ordering me around! ILYA (grumpy) I am not responsible for your documents!... Ilya turns around and paces the platform. Garik tries to light a cigarette, his hands shake and he breaks one cigarette after another. Angry, he crumbles the pack and throws it on the ground. Renat silently picks it up and looks around for a rubbish bin. He doesn't see any, and, having no better alternative, puts the pack in his pocket. RENAT (reconciliatory) Igor Evgenievich, I think really it's your fault, so. . . Sasha turns towards them. SASHA John should be here any minute...He'll deal with it, don't worry... (looks towards the station) I don't understand why he's late. ILYA (turning on Sasha) You see, who made the arrangements?! I did warn you!... Sasha tries his mobile once more. MARINA (coming closer, in Russian) Can I help you? Everyone stops and turns towards her. GARIK Are you Russian? MARINA Yes. Garik sighs with relief. GARIK (to Marina) You are a Godsend. RENAT (to Marina) Do they have rubbish bins anywhere round here? ILYA (to Marina) You see, Igor Evgenievich left the bag with his passport on the train. . . (stops and looks at Marina with suspicion) By the way, do you speak English? MARINA Yes. I live here. GARIK What's your name? MARINA Marina. GARIK You see, Marinochka, I put it on the luggage rack, and... 23 INT. STATION - DAY 23 The group is waiting by the ticket counter. Marina is filling out a form while the STATION ATTENDANT on the other side of the glass is talking on the phone. Marina completes the form and slides it under the glass. The station attendant nods, takes the paper, glances at it. He puts down the phone. STATION ATTENDANT If they find it, they will send it back on the next train...Normally, we are obliged to destroy all unattended luggage, but I've explained the situation...Would you like to wait? MARINA Yes, thank you very much. GARIK (in Russian, impatiently) What did he say? Marina moves away from the ticket counter, gesturing to the musicians to follow her. MARINA You have to wait. He's called the train. If they find the bag, they will send it with the next train. GARIK (with exaggeration) Marinochka! Angel! Saviour! We should have a drink for this! ILYA (gloomily) Sure, and good-bye to our evening rehearsal. . . GARIK (cheerfully) Don't worry Iliusha, we'll get ourselves together. . . He produces a coca-cola bottle half-filled with transparent liquid. GARIK Go on, I still have some. . . RENAT Igor Evgenievich, maybe that's enough for today?... Should we have a game of poker instead?... GARIK Let's go Marinochka, don't listen to them. . . He puts his arm around Marina's shoulders, gently pushing her forward. Marina hesitates. SASHA (looking at Marina attentively) Are we making you late? MARINA Actually I was going to London to the theatre...Haven't been for ages. . .. GARIK (interrupting) Oh no, you can't leave us like that! The theatre won't go away, we'll show you any theatre you want! 24 INT. STATION, PLATFORM, WAITING ROOM - DAY 24 The group sits inside a small glass waiting room in the middle of the platform. Marina is in the centre. One of the bags serves as a table. There is the Coca-cola bottle, now empty, five plastic cups, a couple of packets of crisps and the left-overs of some Russian chocolate 'Inspiration'. The party is in full swing. Marina looks jolly and excited. Garik turns over the bottle, shaking out the last drops of vodka into Marina's cup. Ilya shakes his head, opens his bag and produces a fresh bottle of whisky. Garik smiles with satisfaction. Renat spreads his arms in astonishment. Ilya distributes the whisky, takes up his cap and gets on his feet. ILYA Marina...hm. . . MARINA (helping him) Ivanovna. . .. ILYA (with pathos) Marina Ivanovna, for you! (in bad English) Happy Birthday! They touch their glasses. Renat takes out a comb, put the chocolate wrapping on top of it and plays 'Happy Birthday'. The rest join in, beating the rhythm, singing and whistling. They all laugh. 24B EXT. STATION, PLATFORM - DAY 24B Marina goes out onto the platform, looks at the information board. Sasha follows her, leaving the rest inside the waiting room. SASHA I don't understand why John has not met us. . . MARINA Don't worry, I'll give you a lift to the hotel. Marina looks at her watch, then at the empty track. The train is nowhere to be seen. Marina snuggles up in her coat. SASHA (coming closer) Are you cold? MARINA No, I'm fine. It looks like it's going to rain. Sasha takes off his jacket and puts it on Marina's shoulders. MARINA (touched by the typically Russian gesture) Don't...You'll catch a cold and fall ill, and most likely you don't even have health insurance. SASHA You have an accent. MARINA (incredulous) An accent?! SASHA Yep. (he mimics her) . . .'you don't even have health insurance'. . . Marina smiles. MARINA I don't really get to speak Russian here. SASHA Have you been here for a while? MARINA Seven years. SASHA Wow. Do you like it? What are you doing? Marina hesitates. MARINA I write.., a bit...but the language is still foreign ...In Russian - an accent, and in English - an accent. . .. SASHA What language do you speak to your child? MARINA Mostly English...How do you know about the child? Sasha smiles. SASHA Guessed somehow. 25 INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE, ENTRANCE - DAY 25 The door opens. Dasha throws her backpack on the floor and shakes her shoes off her feet. 26 INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY 26 Dasha puts porridge into a glass bowl, generously splashes in milk and puts the mixture in the microwave. She puts a bowl on the table, neatly folds a napkin and puts it beside the bowl, a spoon on top. A jar of honey appears as if from nowhere, and Dasha puts a full spoon of honey in her mouth. She notices a note on the table saying 'Gone to the theatre', and studies it in puzzlement. 27 INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE, TOILET - DAY 27 Dasha is sitting on the toilet reading a book. There is the sound of the front door opening and closing. GREGORY (OFF SCREEN) Dash? DASHA (shouts) I'm doing a poo. GREGORY (OFF SCREEN) (shouts) Thanks for sharing it with me! 28 INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY 28 Dasha returns to the kitchen, book in hand. Part of the table is covered with groceries that Gregory is putting in the fridge. There is a bunch of flowers as well. Gregory unwraps the flowers, puts them in a vase and fills the vase with water. Dasha takes the porridge out of the microwave, puts it in the bowl, adding a very substantial amount of honey. She sits down and opens the book, simultaneously taking a mouth-full of porridge. GREGORY Where's mum? DASHA (absorbed in book) Went to the theatre. Gregory stops and turns to Dasha, puzzled. GREGORY Theatre?!.. When is she back? DASHA (the same) Don't know. She passes Marina's note to Gregory. Gregory reads and sits down on a chair, looking lost. DASHA (the same) You can watch football all evening. . . Gregory shakes his head, silent. DASHA (takes her eyes off the book and looks at Gregory) Dad, don't you ever get fed up with her? She can be so annoying!... GREGORY No. Dasha apprehends his answer, then goes back to the porridge and book. 29 EXT. SMALL TOWN, STREET NEAR THE STATION - NIGHT 29 It's now dark. The musicians and Marina walk noisily along the street to Marina's car. Garik swings around the recovered briefcase. The street is now empty, and the only cars are Marina's, parked by the streetlamp, and a white van parked right behind it, blocking the way out. ILYA (very loudly) What's the hell. . . MARINA Hush...Please, could you all talk a bit softer. . .. After a hesitation Marina knocks at the door of the terraced house nearest to the car. The door opens and a big red-faced man (PETER) appears. He sees four men behind Marina's back and steps back into the house, slightly frightened and ready to close the door. MARINA I am extremely sorry to disturb you so late, but is it your van...blocking my car. . .? PETER (hesitantly nods) Mine. RENAT (cheerfully, in Russian) So we'll move it. . .. Renat, Garik and Sasha lean on the van trying to move it away from Marina's car. Marina waves her hands in protest. Peter, concerned, steps out. RENAT It'll be fine, man, don't worry. . .. MARINA (to the musicians, in Russian) Stop it please! (to Peter, apologising, in English) I'm sorry...They're Russian, musicians, a string quartet...on tour. . . She points to the luggage and the instrument cases guarded by Ilya near the car. Peter unexpectedly calms down and cheers up. PETER Ah, musicians... (proudly) I'm one as well! He disappears behind the door to reappear with a trumpet. Plays a scale. The musicians applaud. Peter smiles widely. A woman's voice says something from inside the house. PETER (shouts back) Yes dear. He winks to the musicians, puts his finger to his lips and closes the door tighter. RENAT (whispering) Well guys, I definitely think we should have a drink. . . Renat produces the plastic cups, and Garik distributes the leftovers of whisky. Marina smiles, shaking her head in disbelief. The men drink, Peter still holds the trumpet. He passes the trumpet to Marina, disappears again behind the door to reappear with a new bottle of whisky. Delighted, Garik gives Peter a friendly shove on the shoulder.