Brian Snuff – Not so much Protagonist as Bystander
The Man with the Movie Camera. That’s me. Even without the movie camera. I am focused, mechanical. I am watching. Not in a creepy way, at least not anymore creepy than cinema itself. Voyeurist verses Narcissist. I’d like to see those two exchange blows in a streetfight.
Kes has been building puppets. Incredible puppets with plaster and strings and faces full of toil, age and expression. They’re irrelevant to the film we’re making at the moment. But he’s driven by impulse, he needs to busy his skills. I sometimes wish I knew how to channel him better. He’s worked his fingers to dry blisters and is feeling anti-social.
SNUFTY (TENTATIVELY) : You are coming to film club tonight, aren’t you, Kes?
Kes is washing his hands in the kitchen sink. He is of slight build with dark blonde hair. He wipes hair from his face and pushes spectacles up his nose. He has the face of an angel. He would probably win the hearts of women everywhere if he was capable of communicating with them. He gets too preoccupied with details.
KES : I’m not sure I can.
SNUFTY : Shall I ask you later?
KES : Yes.
Kes gets tired of human interaction easily. Particularly groups. It’s probably because he notices too much detail. It’s difficult to take it all in. You have to prioritise, I think. Not all the mis en scene and dialogue is vital. You must somehow pick out and emphasise the bits that matter. Like when Jeanie is telling of her latest strange adventure, there is a lot of filler you should filter out. Kes struggles with listening to Jeanie.
I took some digital photos of his puppets and left for the cafe where Nikita is working today. She lost her other job recently, I’m not sure why. Sometimes it’s best not to put your hand in a tiger’s mouth to find out why he’s missing a tooth.
Bane is already there with Rhian, who has a ready-to-be-bored expression on her face. I try to give a little small talk before we start talking shop but it falls from my mouth in a stilted fashion. Bane interrupts.
BANE : Where’s the halfling?
I communicate the answer silently, my mouth set in a fine line. Bane tuts.
SNUFTY : He’s made these though.
I show Bane and Rhian the photos. She takes the camera off me and peers at them.
RHIAN : Creepy.
BANE : I thought he was making a zip line for the camera.
SNUFTY : He is. He says he’ll finish it tomorrow. We don’t need it it until next week anyway.
BANE : But he doesn’t even know if it will work. He needs to check it doesn’t shake too much. I should phone him. Give him a kick up the tiny backside.
SNUFTY : He won’t answer.
Bane ignores me and rings Kes. Kes doesn’t answer. He texts me ten minutes later asking why Bane phoned.
SNUFTY : His own sweet time. And it really is.
BANE : What?
Nikita is loitering next to our table polishing cutlery. At first I think her new manager is annoyed at this. Then I realise he’s just staring at her generally. Bane is reading through some of the tweaks I’ve done to the script. Except I don’t think he knows where the tweaks are. Bane needs something to go POW! before he notices it. Rhian has already got bored and left. Our conversations are full of in-jokes and jargon scraps to her, I suppose.
BANE : That line is really funny.
I peek over.
SNUFTY : You wrote that bit.
Bane looks up and laughs. He has a very solid head, with cubic qualities. Someday I’ll summon the courage to make him play a robot.
BANE : I’m such a dick.
NIKITA : You are.
She takes the tray of cutlery back to the counter. Her manager cracks a joke I can’t hear, she fake smiles at him.
SNUFTY : Why isn’t Leon…?
BANE : Eh?
He turns and looks at Niki.
BANE : Hitting that…?
He puts the words in my mouth. I could never use the phrase. Bane looks at me.
BANE : Making sweet sweet love?
SNUFTY : Yeah.
BANE : He’s a stoner, Snufty, mate. They like to avoid negative forcefields.
My phone buzzes. I check the message, it’s from Kes.
‘I’ve finished the zip line. I’ll see you tonight’.
Subtext – Jammy little genius.
Frank City Film Club – Episode List