WOMAN / PHOTOGRAPHER / / MAN / TOURISTS / COWS
EXT. HOT DAY IN THE CRATER OF A DORMANT VOLCANO
THROUGH A PHOTOGRAPHIC CAMERA FRAME: Details of the bottom. Scorched earth, CLICK! Imperceptible vapours, CLICK! Rock formations of sulphur shades colourings, CLICK!
OFF FRAME: A photographic camera set on a tripod (sturdy outdated professional equipment). PHOTOGRAPHER is focusing scrupulously. Sweat gleams on his face.
IN FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER is loading a new frame in his camera. BZZZZZiiP! Behind him, in the fair distance, figures of TOURISTS going about sightseeing the place. A CAR HORN BLASTS.
PHOTOGRAPHER changes camera lens. He takes a hand exposure meter and photometers the surroundings. He sweeps the sweat from his forehead, then focuses his picture. CLICK! Behind him, tourists are going up the slope.
ANOTHER SPOT – TRAIL ON THE CRATER SLOPE
PHOTOGRAPHER is going up the crater slope, carrying folded on his shoulder the tripod with the camera. He’s got a small equipment case in hand. COWS ROUTING. He reaches a spot with nice view. All around the crater COWS are grazing. He puts the case down and sets up the tripod. ENGINE NOISE. He turns and stares at the dirt road.
LONG SHOT: TOURISTS boarding on a motor coach. Further down, a canteen. Inside it, a WOMAN.
PHOTOGRAPHER is occupied with his work. He turns the exposure meter towards the bottom of the crater. He reads it. Then he turns the camera in the same direction. He focuses.
WIDE ANGLE SHOT THROUGH FRAME: Crater bottom. CLICK!
OFF FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER cocking his camera. BZZZZZiiP! He turns and looks further back, higher, at the motor coach ascending the dirt road. A beaten pick-up truck comes down hastily in the opposite direction. It blows its HORN. The two vehicles pass by its other in a cloud of dust. The pick-up covers the distance and stops in front off the canteen. Rushing, a MAN in his early forties gets off.
PHOTOGRAPHER loosens the camera from the tripod, wears its hanging strap around his neck. He folds the tripod. Takes another look behind him. The MAN is unloading from the carrier some carton boxes containing bottles of water. The WOMAN is carrying them to the canteen. MAN gets in the truck - starts the engine, backs up - drives away along the dirt road – clouds of dust.
PHOTOGRAPHER kneels down and lays the folded tripod on the ground. He opens up the case – among the equipment a half-full bottle of vodka – changes lens – wipes off his sweat.
Behind him, WOMAN is walking towards him. She’s wearing a dress and a colourful cap. She’s holding a bottle of water. She approaches the PHOTOGRAPHER and hands it over to him.
WOMAN leaves – goes towards the cows. She drives them away shouting and waving her hands.
PHOTOGRAPHER opens the bottle cap and drinks some water. He takes the camera from around his neck, places it carefully down and showers the remaining water over his head. WE HEAR THE OVERTONES OF THE WOMAN SHOUTING “Shoo! Shoo!” He looks towards her. He watches her lean, delicate figure amongst the cattle. He drops the empty bottle and once more puts the camera around his neck. He wipes his wet hand on his trousers. He looks through his camera.
IN FRAME: WOMAN’S slim figure is herding the massive cows. “Shoo! Shoo!” – He focuses. CLICK!
The COWS tear away. WOMAN fans her face with her colourful cap – puts it back on her head – returns.
Kneeling by the case, PHOTOGRAPHER is changing lenses again. He takes a look at the approaching woman.
Do you object my paying you for the water?
He takes a coin out of his pocket. WOMAN takes the coin. She takes a few steps and sits on the edge of the crater. She produces a cigarette and lights it. While she’s smoking, a CLICK is heard. She turns to see PHOTOGRAPHER cocking his camera. BZZZiiP!
Are you taking my picture?
WOMAN peeks towards the canteen. Then she looks forward again.
PHOTOGRAPHER changes position – points his camera at her – focuses.
IN FRAME: WOMAN turns towards him. Her eyes stare at him through the lens.
The man that brought those bottles of water is my husband.
OFF FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER cocks again his camera. BZZZiiP!
Seems like he’s taking his time.
WOMAN exhales some smoke. PHOTOGRAPHER takes sight at her again. He focuses.
IN FRAME: WOMAN’S figure smoking against the edge of the crater. CLICK!
OFF FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER cocks. BZZZiiP! Points it again. Focuses.
IN FRAME: Close up of WOMAN’S face. CLICK!
OFF FRAME: He cocks again. BZZZiiP! Changes position – breaks away and climbs up a rise. He looks down at the woman at the edge of the crater.
Don’t you get scared sitting there?
Scared of what?
I don’t know; maybe of the height...
WOMAN glances at him. Then turns and looks at the bottom of the crater. She picks up a stone – throws it in the void. SOUND OF STONE TUMBLING.
PHOTOGRAPHER focuses his camera.
IN FRAME: WOMAN’S figure staring at the dormant crater beneath her. CLICK!
OFF FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER loads a new frame. BZZZiiP! He climbs down the rise. Takes a few steps towards her. He raises the camera and takes sight at her. He focuses.
IN FRAME: WOMAN’S face staring empty eyed at the crater abyss. She turns and looks at him through the lens.
Are you married?
OFF FRAME: He cocks again his camera. BZZZiiP!
WOMAN takes of her cap and fans her face. PHOTOGRAPHER raises again his camera. He focuses.
IN FRAME: WOMAN’S face sensually enjoying the fanning. CLICK!
OFF FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER changes position – loads a new frame. BZZZiiP!
He points the camera towards the WOMAN – focuses.
IN FRAME: WOMAN leans back and rests on her arm. Her dress is lifted up a bit. She looks straight ahead. CLICK!
OFF FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER cocks. BZZZiiP! Aims. Focuses.
IN FRAME: WOMAN in the same posture, turns and glances at him. She gives him a smile.
Your ears are way too large.
He cocks the camera – BZZZiiP! – looks forward – levels the camera with his eye again – takes sight – focuses.
IN FRAME: WOMAN laid back. She keeps on staring at him. CLICK!
OFF FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHER lowers his camera. He starts rounding up the film. BZZZZZZ…
Why are you taking these pictures?
For some postcards.
Nobody’s buying them. I’ve got stacks of them up there.
PHOTOGRAPHER takes out the film – drops it in his case.
CLOSE UP: The film reel bounces against the vodka bottle DjiiNG!
He takes the camera strap off his neck, puts it in the case and shuts it. Once more he wipes off his sweat. He comes closer to the edge of the crater. He sits at a distance from the WOMAN. They both look in front of them in the void. PHOTOGRAPHER takes out a handkerchief and wipes up his sweat. They exchange a look. Again, they turn their heads away. Nobody’s saying anything. With their figures seated on the edge, they gaze motionless in the crater in front of them. They remain silent. For a quite some time.
They say it may erupt again some day.
WOMAN takes a look at him. Then she turns her head again.
They keep on gazing at the dormant crater. Their eyes are fixed on the void.
With nature one can never be at ease.
WOMAN takes a last puff – exhales the smoke – tosses away the cigarette into the void.
They remain gazing at the crater. ENGINE NOISE. WOMAN turns and peeks. Along the dirt road, shows up the motor coach carrying a new load of tourists. WOMAN stands up – leaves. PHOTOGRAPHER watches her breaking away towards the canteen. Then he turns back to the dormant crater.
LONG SHOT AREA TAKE FROM ABOVE
Mountains all around. Below in the basin, earth scorched by the fury of the past volcano eruptions.