THE SEASON OF MISTS
Script by
Anna Tchernakova and Evgenia Tirdatova
Based on an original idea by Anna Tchernakova
© 2006

This work has been registered with:
Writers Guild of America, West
REGISTRATION # 1155830


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         29B     EXT. SMALL TOWN, STREETS - NIGHT                     29B

                 Like a strange vision from someone's dream the car with
                 Peter and the musicians moves slowly along the streets
                 of the sleeping town. Marina is driving. Garik, Renat
                 and Ilya are inside the car, with all the luggage.
                 Sasha and Peter with his trumpet are sitting in the
                 open boot. Peter is diligently playing something
                 clearly Russian, which, judging by Sasha's cringes,
                 Peter doesn't remember that well. Finally Sasha can't
                 bear it anymore. He takes out his own violin and joins
                 in. And a beautiful melody soars over the night town. .
                 .



          30     EXT. VILLAGE, GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE - NIGHT    30

                 Marina walks to the house. Before entering, she stops
                 by the living room window and looks inside.

                 Gregory is dozing in front of the flickering
                 television. The table is set for a birthday dinner -
                 two plates, two glasses, flowers. . ..

                 Marina looks at Gregory with a mixed expression.



          31     INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT31

                 Marina sits down on the floor, her back against
                 Gregory's legs.

                                         MARINA
                           Why didn't you have something to
                           eat?

                                         GREGORY
                                (waking up)
                           I was waiting for you. How was
                           the theatre?

                 Marina doesn't respond straight away.

                                         MARINA
                           I never got there. Met some
                           Russians... They'd lost a
                           passport... Then we found it
                           thank God... Musicians... They
                           have a concert tomorrow in
                           Oakham.

                                         GREGORY
                           I see. . .. Do you want a glass
                           of wine?... The fish is in the
                           oven, still warm.

                                         MARINA
                                (guiltily)
                           We've had something to eat, so
                           I...

                                         GREGORY
                           Why couldn't you call and let me
                           know?

                 Marina is silent. Gregory gets up from the chair,
                 switches off the television and goes to the kitchen,
                 leaving Marina alone. Marina sits still, listening to
                 Gregory pouring himself a glass of wine and starting to
                 eat.



          32     INT. VILLAGE GARAGE - DAY                             32

                 Gregory, now in his working outfit, is busy underneath
                 a car raised up in the air on a platform. He is helped
                 by a tall skinny man of uncertain age with sadly
                 drooping moustache (JONATHAN).
                 Both are excellent mechanics - their movements are
                 confident and economical.

                 Sound of a radio playing loudly in the garage. Gregory
                 and Jonathan work silently, with the accompaniment of a
                 local radio station broadcast coming loudly from an old
                 radio in the corner. Jonathan puts on a wheel, while
                 Gregory is finishing working with the chassis. Then he
                 steps aside and Jonathan pushes the switch. The
                 platform starts to come down. Gregory stumbles over
                 something and swears. Jonathan flicks the switch. The
                 car stops suspended in the air.

                                         JONATHAN
                           Are you alright?

                                         GREGORY
                                (with irritation)
                           Fine, fine. Take it down for
                           God's sake, why have you
                           stopped?!

                 Jonathan shakes his head.

                                         JONATHAN
                           Did you have a bad night?

                 He turns the switch. The car lands. Gregory wipes
                 something from the car's shiny bodywork. Jonathan gets
                 into the car and drives it outside, coming back with
                 another car. Gregory is waiting by the switch. Jonathan
                 gets out. Gregory turns on the switch and the car is
                 raised in the air.

                 Marina steps inside the garage, stops on the threshold.
                 She carries a pan wrapped in newspapers. Jonathan
                 notices her, straightens up, smiles and waves his hand.
                 Gregory turns around.

                                         MARINA
                                (talking fast)
                           Meals on wheels...I've made some
                           soup... still hot…

                 She takes out spoons, bowls and a serving spoon. Puts
                 it all on a workbench, moving aside wrenches.

                 Jonathan wipes his hands with a rag, lifts the lid,
                 sniffs with satisfaction and serves. Gregory looks away
                 sulkily.

                                         GREGORY
                           Why you are not at work?

                                         MARINA
                                (lightly)
                           Oh.. U menia pereuchet…

                 Gregory looks at her, not understanding. Marina smiles
                 and kisses him on a cheek.

                                         MARINA
                           Don't worry. I've cut
                           everybody's hair...in the best
                           possible way…

                 Because… we are all going out today, remember?... we
                 all…

                 (turning to Jonathan)

                 …and you, Jonathan as well, we are going to a recital
                 by the Russian quartet... So don't be late, I've
                 promised them a full house.

                 Gregory frowns.

                                         GREGORY
                           We have urgent work.

                 Jonathan, who is devouring the soup, pulls his sleeve.

                                         JONATHAN
                           Come on, we'll manage. Sit down
                           and have some. It's
                           delicious!... If every Russian
                           woman cooks like you, I'm ready
                           to marry any of them with my
                           eyes closed!

                 He looks at Marina with tender admiration. Gregory, who
                 has now melted a little, waves his finger jokingly at
                 Jonathan.

                                         GREGORY
                           Well I wouldn't advise it even
                           to my worst enemy!

                 Marina slaps him on the bottom. Gregory laughs,
                 satisfied with the effect, draws Marina closer and
                 gives her a hug.



          33     INT/EXT. ROAD, FIELD, STANDING STONE - DAY            33

                 Marina is driving her car. She notices Darby trudging
                 across the field, stops the car and gets out.

                 She watches Darby walking away from the Standing Stone
                 towards the village. After some hesitation, Marina
                 climbs over a wooden fence surrounding the fields and
                 walks up the hill towards the Stone.

                 The surface is wet and uneven, with sheep's droppings
                 and occasional patches of grass which the sheep have
                 missed. In most places it's eaten to the bare ground.

                 Marina walks slowly around the Stone, thinking about
                 something. The Stone is old but still bears traces of
                 the human hands, which shaped it many years ago. The
                 grass around the Stone is tall, with an even flattened
                 path around.

                 Nearby, on the slope of the hill, sheep are grazing.
                 Far away on the horizon the viaduct stretches across
                 the valley.



         34.     INT. SMALL TOWN, CHURCH - DAY                        34.

                 The musicians are rehearsing. They are finishing
                 playing the last movement of a string quartet by
                 Schubert. They don't notice Marina who carefully closes
                 the heavy church door and sits down on the side by a
                 pillar.

                 Now we see that Ilya is the first violin, Sasha is
                 second, Garik plays the viola and Renat is the cellist.

                 They stop and prepare for the next piece. Ilya says
                 something to Renat, who is looking nervously through
                 the music in his briefcase. They all wait. Renat takes
                 all the music out, spreads it on the floor, then checks
                 the briefcase - now empty - again.

                                         RENAT
                           I am so sorry, Ilya
                           Vladimirovich, I've mixed it up.
                           I've brought the trio instead of
                           the quartet.

                                         ILYA
                                (starts to shout)
                           Are you completely crazy?! We
                           have a contract saying 'a
                           quartet by Taneev', a quar-tet?!
                                (to Sasha and
                                 Garik)
                           And of course no one has a score
                           with them?!

                                         GARIK
                           But, my dear, what for? A
                           professional musician should
                           know everything by heart, so
                           that in any state of body and
                           mind…

                 Behind Ilya's back Sasha puts his finger to his lips
                 asking Garik to shut up. Renat is stooping guiltily.

                                         ILYA
                                (to Renat)
                           Well, you'll pay the forfeit!

                 Marina gets up from her place, wanting to say
                 something, but Garik notices her, winks with a little
                 smile and puts his arm around Ilya's shoulders.

                                         GARIK
                                (insinuating)
                           Listen, Ilyusha, what if we do
                           play the trio instead of the
                           quartet?... They, the Turks,
                           won't notice anyway. Taneev is
                           Taneev, a Russian composer, just
                           as it's written in the contract.
                           . .

                 Ilya frees himself and spreads his arms.

                                         ILYA
                           You, Igor Evgenievich, are a
                           real swindler! I don't sight
                           read at recitals!

                 Garik sighs hypocritically and shakes his head.

                                         GARIK
                                (innocently)
                           I thought you knew it by heart.
                           . .
                                (incidentally)
                           Sash, what about you? Could you
                           help us out? I know of course
                           you won't be as good as Ilya
                           Vladimirovich, but perhaps you'd
                           save us from the forfeit?

                 Garik sits down, takes the viola and starts playing.
                 It's obvious now that Garik is a very fine musician.
                 Renat puts the music on the stand in front of him, but
                 Garik shakes his head - he doesn't need the music.

                 Sasha takes his violin and joins in. He has a beautiful
                 rich sound. Marina comes closer. Renat puts the music
                 on Sasha's stand, but Sasha doesn't look at it either.

                 Renat sits down, opens his own music, waits till the
                 end of the bar and joins in.

                 Ilya stands stiffly. The trio plays well, too well for
                 Ilya's self-esteem. He finally collects himself and
                 noisily puts away his instrument and the music.

                 Garik nods to Sasha and Renat. They stop.

                                         GARIK
                                (innocently)
                           What do you think, Ilyush? Do
                           you think we'll get away with
                           it?...
                           Especially if you play one of
                           your brilliant solos for an
                           encore, to make everyone happy?

                 Ilya silently picks up his violin case and walks to the
                 exit.

                                         ILYA
                                (from the door)
                           We'll see. The rehearsal is
                           over.

                 He goes out of the church, and the heavy door closes
                 behind him with a loud squeak.

                 Garik, Sasha and Renat look at each other and smile.



          35     EXT. BOROUGH HILL, ROAD TO - DAY                      35

                 Sasha, Garik, Renat and Marina walk along a muddy farm
                 track towards a hill looming ahead. The track passes
                 through someone's farm, stretching along the fence and
                 a barn with identical black and white cows.

                 On the other side black and white sheep are grazing in
                 the field.

                 Garik is reading a tourist guide as they walk.

                                         GARIK
                           One of the local landmarks is a
                           Iron Age fort…
                                (stops and looks at
                                 the cows)
                           Marinochka, how do these English
                           manage to make identical cows?
                           Do you have cows?

                                         MARINA
                           No, we have sheep.

                                         RENAT
                           Do you kill lambs in the spring?

                                         MARINA
                           No. We only shear them. . ..

                 Marina glances at Sasha who looks remote and tense.



         35B     EXT. BOROUGH HILL - DAY                              35B

                 On the top of the hill there is a flat field as if
                 prepared for a cricket match, except for the middle,
                 where the turf is interrupted with something looking
                 like a labyrinth path. It's very windy. The 360-degree
                 view shows a succession of gentle hills with occasional
                 villages and the familiar viaduct very far away.

                 The group stops by a sign showing directions and
                 distances to various places - a few local villages and
                 towns, London and, unexpectedly, Paris.

                                         GARIK
                                (studying the sign)
                           There is no Moscow here...Well,
                           you, failing students, where's
                           Moscow?

                 Renat looks at his watch, then up to the sky towards
                 the sun hidden in clouds, turns around, counts
                 something , makes a few steps aside and points straight
                 ahead.

                                         RENAT
                                (proudly)
                           North-North-East.

                 Garik smirks, takes out a Swiss army knife, and opens
                 it revealing a small compass.

                                         GARIK
                           Failed.

                 He checks the compass, digs in his pocket (dropping
                 notes, crumbled paper, receipts and buttons), and,
                 finally, produces a red marker. Draws a thick line on
                 the sign and writes 'Moscow'. The wind blows open the
                 sides of his jacket. He reaches to the side pocket and
                 takes out the coca-cola bottle.

                                         GARIK
                           To warm up...You, Marinochka, go
                           first as our only woman. . .

                 Marina takes a small sip, returns the bottle. Garik
                 drinks, than passes the bottle to Sasha.

                                         GARIK
                           Don't drink much before the
                           concert.

                 Sasha takes a gulp, passes the bottle to Renat. Renat
                 drinks. Garik takes the bottle away from him. Sasha
                 walks to the middle of the field, stops by the turf
                 labyrinth and tries to read the sign.

                                         MARINA
                                (coming closer,
                                 translating)
                           This type of turf maze may date
                           from medieval times. Religious
                           penitents may have followed the
                           maze on hands and knees
                           repeating prayers...to redeem
                           their sins. . .

                 Garik gracefully falls to his knees in front of Marina.

                                         GARIK
                                (pointing to the
                                 maze)
                           Well, Marinochka, shell we
                           proceed? To redeem our sins…

                                         MARINA
                           I don't have sins.

                                         GARIK
                                (confidently)
                           You will have them no doubt.

                 Sasha turns around and starts walking back towards the
                 car. Garik and Marina look at him.



          36     INT. SMALL TOWN, CHURCH - DAY                         36

                 Sasha and Garik tune their instruments. Renat repeats a
                 musical line trying to perfect it. Looking detached and
                 indifferent, Ilya plays virtuoso exercises.

                 An older man with a respectable face (local music
                 promoter JOHN) walks along the rows of seats
                 distributing programmes. Marina is helping him.

                 Suddenly Sasha puts aside his instrument, gets up and
                 walks to the doors. After a moment's hesitation, Marina
                 follows him.



          37     EXT. SMALL TOWN, CHURCH - DAY                         37

                 Sasha is nervously smoking, sitting on a stone bench by
                 the church door and mindlessly looking at a notice
                 board on the wall opposite.

                 Seeing Marina he gets up, freeing a place for her and
                 steps aside so that the smoke doesn't go on her.

                                         SASHA
                           I'm sorry...most likely you
                           don't smoke...I don't normally
                           smoke either ...My mother was a
                           chain smoker...rolled cigarettes
                           with her shaking hands till her
                           death... I begged her to quit,
                           but she would hush me up - it's
                           not your business - and that's
                           it!... It was forty days
                           yesterday since she died, but I
                           still can't get used to it. . .

                                         MARINA
                           Was it her who made you study
                           music?

                 Sasha nods, puts the cigarette down and throws it in
                 the bin.

                                         SASHA
                           That's it. I won't smoke. You've
                           come out and I've calmed down. 
                           But don't sit in the front row
                           if you can avoid it.

                 Marina looks at him with attention, smiles and nods.



          38     INT. SMALL TOWN, CHURCH - DAY                         38

                 The church is slowly filling with people. There are a
                 few carefully dressed OLD LADIES and OLD MEN, and a few
                 MIDDLE-AGED COUPLES. SEVERAL CHILDREN between seven and
                 ten sit in the middle of the front row. A TEENAGE BOY
                 IN GLASSES takes a place in the aisle. But the church
                 is far from being full. Anxious, Marina looks at the
                 door.

                 Enters Darby, who, limping and nodding to himself,
                 finds a place in a corner behind the pillar.

                 Finally, Gregory, Jonathan and Dasha appear. Dasha's
                 expression says that she would prefer to be in some
                 other, more interesting place. Loyal Pranav walks
                 behind Dasha, but Dasha doesn't pay any attention to
                 him. Gregory is cleanly shaved and in a fresh shirt,
                 and Jonathan is dressed in a suit.

                                         DASHA
                                (to Marina,
                                 provokingly)
                           I have a maths test tomorrow by
                           the way.

                                         MARINA
                                (in Russian)
                           Never mind, it won't be long.
                           You need some education.

                                         DASHA
                                (in English)
                           Thanks!

                 Dasha sits down besides Marina. Pranav takes a place in
                 the row behind. Dasha doesn't like it. She gets up,
                 walks to the front row and pointedly takes a place near
                 the teenage boy in glasses.

                 Upset, Marina looks at the half-full church. It seems
                 that there won't be any more audience.

                 John comes to the front and greets the audience.

                                         JOHN
                           Today we are honoured to have
                           the most distinguished guests
                           from Moscow. . ..

                 Peter appears in the church and walks along the aisle.
                 He settles noisily in the middle of the front row,
                 catching his breath and wiping his sweating forehead
                 with a tissue.

                 The musicians smile.

                 . . .The sound of music fills the space. Garik winks to
                 Marina. Marina moves her eyes to Sasha. Sasha plays
                 with great inspiration, and his solo sounds clear and
                 poignant…



          39     EXT. TOWN, FIELDS, VIADUCT, STANDING STONE - EVENING  39

                 …soaring over the town...fields...the viaduct with a
                 slowly moving train...and the Standing Stone behind
                 which the sun sets.



          40     INT. SMALL TOWN, CHURCH - EVENING                     40

                 Behind the church's windows - darkness. The audience is
                 leaving the church. Garik turns away and drinks from
                 the coca-cola bottle.

                                         GARIK
                           Not a bad recital… ah, Ilyusha?

                 He winks to Sasha. Smiling, Sasha puts away the violin.
                 Peter, proud to know the musicians, helps to collect
                 the music from the stands. Visibly annoyed, Ilya
                 stumbles over the chair.

                                         ILYA
                           Where's this highly praised
                           John? I haven't come from Moscow
                           to play in front of dodgy
                           pensioners!

                                         RENAT
                                (quietly, to Sasha)
                           Here we go again…

                 Ilya is about to say something else, but notices
                 Marina, Gregory and Jonathan approaching and stops.
                 Dasha waits separately a few steps away.

                                         MARINA
                           A wonderful concert!... This is
                           our friend Jonathan. . .

                 Jonathan nods and puts his hands to his chest
                 expressing his gratitude.

                                         MARINA (CONT.)
                           …my husband Gregory…

                                         GREGORY
                           Spasibo, ochen' horosho,
                           molodez, golubchik, moi ruki!

                                         MARINA
                           …and almost all his Russian
                           vocabulary…
                                (turns around
                                 looking for Dasha)
                           …and my daughter Dasha who
                           always walks alone…

                 She points to Dasha. Dasha reluctantly comes closer.
                 Gregory tenderly pushes her forward, to Marina. Garik
                 stretches his hand to Gregory.

                                         GARIK
                           Liverpool. Arsenal. Chelsea.

                 Gregory laughs and shakes hands with Garik.

                                         GREGORY
                           No. Ipswich Town.

                 Marina meets Sasha's eyes. Sasha turns around, goes to
                 the other side of the stage and starts packing his bag.

                 Smiling, John walks towards the group, spreading his
                 arms and starting to talk from the distance.

                                         JOHN
                           Wonderful concert! Such a
                           wonderful concert! Are they
                           ready?

                                         MARINA
                                (to musicians)
                           As far as I understand, he wants
                           us to go to the pub now…

                                         GREGORY
                                (to Marina)
                           So we won't wait for you for
                           dinner?

                 Marina wants to say something, but Garik interrupts
                 her, addressing Gregory and making an inviting gesture
                 signifying a drink.

                                         GARIK
                           Pub?

                                         GREGORY
                           I am sorry I can't. . .
                                (points to Dasha
                                 and continues in
                                 poor Russian)
                           Dasha, dinner! Dasha, time for
                           bed!

                 Garik spreads his arms.



          41     INT. PUB - NIGHT                                      41

                 Marina, the musicians and Peter are sitting around a
                 table in a crowded and smoky pub. John has already
                 left. There are pints of beer on the table, half-eaten
                 plates of fish-and-chips...It's too noisy to hear any
                 conversation. Ilya has cheered up and joyfully tells
                 something to Renat. Peter and Garik are arguing. Marina
                 gets up and walks through the hall to the toilets. She
                 notices Darby sitting alone by the counter.



          42     INT. PUB, TOILETS - NIGHT                             42

                 Entering the washrooms, Marina bumps into Sasha who is
                 leaving the toilet. Confined in a small space, they
                 awkwardly pass each other. Sasha's hand accidentally
                 brushes Marina's body. Embarrassed, Sasha mutters an
                 apology and exits.

                 Marina turns on the tap and puts her face under the
                 water. She presses wet fingers against her temples and
                 looks at herself in the mirror. The mirror is old, and
                 Marina's face is blurred, duplicated by the mirror's
                 dilapidated surface.



          43     INT. PUB - NIGHT                                      43

                 Marina sits back at the table. Sasha is sitting
                 silently at the side, not joining in the conversation.
                 Marina turns to him.

                                         MARINA
                           Are you bored?

                 Sasha shakes his head.

                                         MARINA
                           Do you see that old man?

                 She points to Darby by the bar counter. Sasha turns
                 around.

                                         MARINA
                           Many years ago his wife
                           disappeared, and he thinks that
                           she has been abducted by aliens.
                           And he's waiting for them by a
                           strange stone near our village…

                 She checks Sasha's reaction. Sasha doesn't smile, and
                 looks attentively at Darby. Darby leaves change on the
                 counter and trudges away.

                                         SASHA
                                (seriously)
                           Can we see it?

                                         MARINA
                           What?

                                         SASHA
                           The stone.

                 Marina smiles and nods.



          44     INT/EXT. CAR, FIELD - NIGHT                           44

                 Marina and Sasha are together in the car.

                 The headlights illuminate parts of the road,
                 bushes...The car turns, passes over a cattle grid
                 (which makes a loud sound under the wheels) and stops
                 on the side of a narrow farm track. On both sides of
                 the track there are dark fields with light blotches of
                 sheep. Marina turns off the engine and switches off the
                 lights.

                 They get out of the car. The sheep dash noisily away in
                 the darkness.

                 Now Marina and Sasha walk up the hill towards the
                 Standing Stone silhouetted against the night sky.

                 They stop by the Stone. There, it seems to be a bit
                 brighter; the Stone is illuminated by the light of the
                 Moon, and every detail on its surface is clearly
                 visible.  The faces of Marina and Sasha are also
                 illuminated by the light reflected by the stone. Sasha
                 cautiously reaches to the Stone.

                                         SASHA
                                (surprised,
                                 whispering)
                           It's warm…

                 Marina is very close. He turns around and touches her.

                                         SASHA
                           You too.

                 In the silence there is the sound of grazing sheep.
                 Somewhere far away a late train signals in the
                 darkness.

                                         MARINA
                           But I am not a stone.

                 She looks at him, and touches his face with her finger,
                 tracing the shadow the stone throws on his check. He
                 catches her hand, kisses her palm. Then pulls her
                 towards himself. Finds her lips. . .



          45     INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT    45

                 Marina locks the front door, takes off her shoes. There
                 is a light left on for her in the kitchen. Marina steps
                 there, stands still for a moment, then turns off the
                 light.

                 We hear her go to the bathroom and switch on the
                 shower.



          46     INT. GREGORY'S AND MARINA'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT    46

                 Marina slips into the dark bedroom, stumbles over
                 something in the dark, freezes, then tiptoes to bed.
                 She gets under the blanket and wraps herself in the
                 covers, her back to Gregory. Closes her eyes.

                 Gregory is not asleep. He listens to Marina's
                 movements, waiting for her to say something. She is
                 silent and motionless. He listens to her deep breathing
                 - she seems to have fallen asleep.
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THE SEASON OF MISTS © 2006 AT and ET.