THE MUSICAL CHAIRS OF MOTEL 6
INT. MOTEL ROOM – ONE CONTINUOUS SHOT
In full view: a motel room, furnished with a single bed, a dresser, a nightstand, and an armchair standing in the center of the room. The floor is covered with a thick rug, making the room ooze of the 90’s.
On the opposite end of the room is a small panorama window, slightly opened to let in the fresh breeze of a stormy winters night. Outside, a horizon of an ocean, lit up by an OKQ8 gas station at a small industrial harbor where a hovering fishing boat is filling up its tank.
The sound of a slow pacing melody is played almost to complete silent, slowly increasing in rhythm and volume as we very slowly begin to zoom in on the center of the room. Scattered on the floor are a number of crumbled pieces of paper.
To the right: a closed door. To the left: A wall covered with thick television screens stacked onto each other, where each of the screens displays a single room with one person moving inside. The sound is muted.
A WOMAN’S voice is heard through the wall.
The reaction time is a factor. You have to keep moving, that’s the trick.
We hear the flush of a toilet and the Woman, dressed in tight jeans and a thick jumper, exits and enters the room, closing the door behind her. She moves with haste across the room while grabbing a cell phone from the bedside table.
Next to the television screens is a small black printer device with a roll of paper attached to the wall. A receipt from the small devise is printed out. The woman tears off the paper strip and reads it. Walks up to one of the screens and taps on the glass with her free hand.
Did I miss something important?
We hear a MAN’s voice through the cell phone speaker.
Depends on what you mean by important?
She turns the piece of paper into a ball and tosses it, takes off her sweater and throws it onto the bed. Underneath she wears a thin see-through top over her black bra. The Woman begins to pace, circling the armchair while tapping on the cell phone screen. Another receipt is printed out. She tears it off.
The volume increases as we continuously zooms in. A sense of stress is visible in her eyes as she reads the note.
This is what I‘m talking about. Now this fucking Jona lost his job.
Some guy in New Zealand. I made a wrong choice. I ordered another set of that grey t-shirts you know I like and I bought it from that outlet place, you know that place where
everything is half price - I mean, why should I pay more than I have to, that’s my choice, but then of course the other factory had to shut down because of my followers and Jona lost his job, well him and twenty other New Zealanders – is that what you call them?
Why do you care?
Don’t be like that. Acting like it doesn’t affect you. Look outside, don’t you see them moving?
I don’t see anyone?
Almost out of view, the Woman moves up to the televisions screens and changes the channel on one of them. She becomes out of sight. The sound increases.
You don’t have to actually see them. But you feel them, right? You feel them moving, changing things. And that affects me – you - it affects all of us.
The Woman reenters the image and while staring at her phone, she circles the chair one more time.
Are we playing a game? Then I quit. I don’t want to be part of this. I surrender.
While standing, she pulls off her jeans, one leg at the time.
That’s not an option. And why even contemplate quitting when you know you’ll eventually loose at some point.
Then I don’t see a reason to wait. Let’s get it over with.
The sound is now almost unbearably high. The chair and the window behind it is all that is in view. The Woman paces back and forth.
There’s one big fucking reason. Knowing you will eventually loose is the ultimate freedom. Don’t you get that?
The Woman suddenly notices a stain in the rug, stops to look at it, then moves out of the image.
To know that you are about to loose removes all future consequences of your actions.
The Woman enters the frame with a knife in her hand.
It doesn’t matter what you do today because tomorrow, or the day after, you will be out of the game, gone. So play. That’s the only choice you have.
The Woman kneels and cuts out a square of the rug with the stain in the middle.
One has to be the looser. Are you really going to give them that satisfaction, to let them play instead of you?
She moves up to the wall next to the window where a framed painting hangs, removes it from the wall, and takes the frame off the painting – replacing it with the rug piece. She hangs it back on the wall. Takes a snapshot with her phone, and goes back to pacing around the chair while tapping on her phone. She moves out of frame towards the television screen wall.
I get what you mean. But I can’t help but to feel that it’s just a waist of time.
The Woman reenters with a piece of paper in her hand. We zoom in on her face as she stands in front of the chair, reading the piece of paper.
Quite the opposite. It’s all about passing time. To distract yourself while waiting.
The music stops playing. The Woman sits down, and turns her phone off.