Sunday, June 07, 2009

My Version of 'Rear Window'.

A Photographer is recuperating from a broken leg and confined to a wheelchair in the house of the present. He peeps out the windows with his secret binoculars trained forever on the house of dreams, across the street of time. He sees shadowy forms through the windows of the houses opposite and in the house of dreams especially. A Bull which walks upright like a man regularly visits a tailor's dummy. A large mechanical woman pushes dead birds into a suitcase. A little thin man with a great deal of untidy grey hair arrives wearing a grey suit and a black bowtie each day. He enters the building but never leaves. A large fat bald man in a white suit leaves the building each day but never returns. Does the small man transform somehow into the large man?

Every day the photographer is visited by a cranky but friendly home care nurse and his young girlfriend. He talks to both of them about his neighbours. After the bull makes repeated late-night trips carrying a large water cooler, the photographer notices that the mechanical woman is now gone, and sees the bull cleaning a large screwdriver, knife, lightbulb and handsaw. Later, the bull ties a large packing crate with heavy rope, and has moving men haul it away. By now, the photographer, his nurse and his girlfriend have concluded the missing mechanical woman has been murdered by the bull.

An old Army Air Corps buddy of the photographer is now a police detective. He looks into the situation and finds that the mechanical woman is in the underworld, has sent a postcard to her husband, and the packing crate they had seen was full of her many, many, many scorpions. Chastised, they all admit to feeling rather silly but relieved to find out there was not a murder. The photographer and his girlfriend settle down for an evening alone, but a scream soon pierces the courtyard when a radio belonging to a neighbour couple is found smashed. The neighbours all rush to their windows to see what has happened, except for the bull, who sits unmoving in his dark apartment, the tip of his cigarette glowing.

Convinced that the bull is guilty after all, the photographer's girlfriend slips a note under his door asking "What have you done with her?" while her photographer boyfriend watches through the window to see his reaction. As a pretext to get him away from his apartment, the photographer attracts the bull's attention by calling to him through a loud hailer and arranges a meeting at a bar. He thinks the bull smashed the radio to keep it from playing the music of the mechanical woman in the underworld. When the bull leaves, the girlfriend and the nurse grab a shovel and start digging, but find only a large rock with a pulsating, glowing eerie light to it.

The girlfriend climbs the fire escape to the bull's apartment and squeezes in through an open window. Inside she finds the mechanical woman's anchor, the sort of anchor usually belonging to a small sailing boat which she would never have left behind her if she had indeed embarked upon a trip to the underworld. She holds the anchor up for her boyfriend to see, turning it upside-down to show that she has not yet found the direction of the ground. The photographer watches helplessly as the bull comes back up the stairs, trapping the girlfriend inside the apartment. Calling the police as the bull enters the apartment, the boyfriend and the nurse watch as the girlfriend is discovered by the bull. They see her try to talk her way out, but the bull grabs her and begins to rape her. They watch as he turns out the lights, and listen as Lisa screams for help. Just then, the police arrive and also attack the girlfriend. With the police present, the boyfriend can do nothing but watch helplessly as Lisa's hands are tied behind her back, and a large ring with a ruby stone is placed upon her finger. The girlfriend mouths the words 'time time time'. The bull sees this as well, and, realising that she is signaling to someone across the courtyard, turns to look directly at the boyfriend.

The boyfriend uses his loud hailer to call the police detective, who is now convinced that the bull is guilty of something though he is not sure what. The nurse takes all the cash they have for bail and heads for the police station, leaving the photographer alone. He sees that the bull's apartment lights are off, and hears the door to his building slam shut, then slow footsteps begin climbing the stairs. Looking for a method of defence, the photographer can find only the flash for his camera and a box of flashbulbs. The footsteps stop outside his door, which slowly opens. The bull stands in the dark, asking "Who are you? What do you want from me?" the photographer does not answer, but as the bull comes for him he sets off the flash, blinding the bull for a moment. The bull fumbles his way to the photographer's wheelchair, grabs him, and pushes him towards the open window. Hanging onto the ledge, yelling for help, the photographer sees his girlfriend, the detective, and the police all rush over. The bull is pulled back, but it is too late, the photographer slips and falls just as the police run up beneath him. Luckily they break his fall, and his girlfriend sweeps him up in her arms. The bull confesses to the murder of the mechanical woman, and the police take him away..

A few days later the heat has lifted, and the photographer rests peacefully in his wheelchair – now with two broken legs from the fall. His girlfriend reclines morosely beside him, appearing to read a book on Himalayan travel but turning, after her boyfriend is asleep, to a new issue of Robots, Androids and AIs, a fashion magazine.

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