Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One of my favorite monologues from any movie.


Hannah and Her Sisters  Woody Allen 1987
EXT. STREET OUTSIDE FREDERICK'S LOFT - NIGHT

Lee walks along the sidewalk in the rain; she's bareheaded. The streets are dark.  A car drives by; a pedestrian passes holding an umbrella.  Lee passes a restaurant well lit inside by hanging lamps.  The baroque music continues as she enters the loft, her head soaked.  She closes the door,
touching her soaking hair.

  FREDERICK
        (offscreen)
 You're late.

Lee walks through the loft's living room area, unbelting her
coat, towards the bathroom.  She passes Frederick, who sits
at a table in the kitchen area, drinking a cup of coffee and
reading the paper.  A plate with a half-eaten sandwich sits
in front of him.  The music stops.

  LEE
        (opening the bathroom door)
 Lucy and I kept talking, and I didn't realize how late it had gotten.

  FREDERICK
        (barely glancing up
        from his paper)
 You missed a very dull TV show
 about Auschwitz.  More gruesome
 film clips...and more puzzled
 intellectuals declaring their
 mystification over the systematic
 murder of millions.

As he talks, Lee is seen turning on the bathroom light.  She
takes off her coat, hanging it on a hook, then begins to dry
her hair with a towel.

  FREDERICK
        (turning his head
        slightly in Lee's
        direction and gesturing)
 The reason why they could never
 answer the question "How could it
 possibly happen?" is that it's the
 wrong question.  Given what people
 are, the question is
        (swallowing)
 "Why doesn't it happen more often?"
 Of course it does, in subtler forms.

Frederick takes a bite of his sandwich and another sip of
coffee as Lee walks out of the bathroom, tossing the towel
down on the counter.

  LEE
        (moving her fingers
        through her wet hair)
 I have a little headache from this
 weather.

She takes a kettle and fills it with water.

  FREDERICK
        (grunting, sipping
        his coffee)
 It's been ages since I sat in front
 of the TV... just changing channels
 to find something.

As Frederick continues his monologue, Lee is busy in the
background: striking a wooden match and lighting a burner on
the stove for the kettle, taking a glass out of the cupboard,
walking into the bathroom for some pills, filling the glass
with water in the kitchen sink, and taking her pills.

  FREDERICK
 You see the whole culture...Nazis,
 deodorant salesman,
 wrestlers...beauty contests, the
 talk show... Can you imagine the
 level of a mind that watches
 wrestling?
        (gesturing)
 Hmm?  But the worst are the
 fundamentalist preachers...third-
 rate con men, telling the poor
 suckers that watch them that they
 speak for Jesus...and to please
 send in money.
        (picking up his sandwich)
 Money, money, money!  If Jesus came
 back, and saw what's going on in
 his name, he'd never stop throwing
 up.

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