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ALL SCRIPTS




                              NINE




                           Written by

                Michael Tolkin & Anthony Minghella






                                            Final Script
                                       November 11, 2009





INT. PRESS CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

The flicker of film.   Footage from a press conference.

                         GUIDO
            You kill your film several times,
            mostly by talking about it. A film is
            a dream. You kill it writing it down,
            you kill it with a camera; the film
            might come to life for a moment or two
            when your actors breathe life back
            into it - but then it dies again,
            buried in film cans. Mysteriously,
            sometimes, in the editing room, a
            miracle happens when you place one
            image next to another so that when,
            finally, an audience sits in the dark,
            if you're lucky -- very lucky - and
            sometimes I've been lucky - the dream
            flickers back to life again. That's
            why I'm secretive.

                         REPORTER (O.S.)
            So what's your favorite pasta?

                         GUIDO
            Finally, a serious question.

Laughter.   A word:

                        NINE

INT. STAGE 5, CINECITTA - NIGHT

A huge soundstage. The STUDIO SUPERINTENDENT lets a
man into the stage, turns on a working light.

SUPERTITLE: Cinecitta film studios, Rome, 1965

                         STUDIO SUPERINTENDENT
            Good luck, Maestro.

Departing, he closes the soundstage door.

As the man crosses the shadowy stage, a dim shaft of
light catches his face, weary, handsome, haggard.
GUIDO CONTINI, the most famous film director in the
world. In front of him:

AN ENORMOUS, DUSTY, MULTI-LEVEL FILM SET under
construction. A complex maze of scaffolding, its
unfinished, chaotic elements suggesting ancient ruins.
Cracked stone facades, broken columns, open
platforming, the skeleton of a grand staircase.    A
lighting grid, not yet hung, and a camera crane
surrounded by a forest of studio lights on stands.
                                    p. 2



Guido sits at the table, lights up a cigarette and puts
on his glasses. He looks at the plans, looks up at the
stage, puts his glasses down and stands up, stepping
over to the crane.

Guido, alone, cigarette hanging from the corner of his
mouth, contemplates the studio, its turbulent set, in
every sense a jumble of ideas.

Guido looks at the set in despair. He sits in the
bucket seat of the crane, buries his head in his hands,
overwhelmed.

THE FIRST OF NINE LOUD CHURCH BELLS CHIMES

                       GUIDO (V.O.)
          Maestro, Maestro, Maestro Contini...
          How do you begin? How do you begin
          this thing? Page 1... Page 1... Page
          1... Page nothing...

In the distance, a figure approaches out of the
darkness, the darkness of Guido's imagination. An
escape from his tortured reality.

The figure emerges gradually, like a goddess. She is
gorgeous, imposing, and seductive. She is CLAUDIA, his
film star, his muse. When Claudia reaches Guido, she
stops in front of him, takes his hands from his face,
and kisses him. And with that gesture, the music
swells, the lighting grid rises majestically into the
air, the gritty soundstage transforms into something
beautiful, transforms into the interior world of
GUIDO'S FANTASY.

As Claudia moves away, more and more women slowly
appear. They emerge from everywhere. These are the
women from Guido's life, past and present. Women from
his films, women he has loved, the sources of his
inspiration and creative genius.

A grand OVERTURE unfolds. The most significant women
in Guido's life are revealed, each with their own
powerful entrance:

LUISA, his wife

CARLA, his mistress

LILLI, his costume designer and accomplice

GUIDO'S MAMMA, her spirit

STEPHANIE, a fashion journalist

SARAGHINA, a whore
                                       p. 3



A dark and glamourous dream. The women surround Guido
and he loses himself and his anxiety in their
collective embrace.


INT. STAGE 5, CINECITTA - DAY

The fantasy ends abruptly with A VIOLENT GRATING NOISE,
as the studio's truck doors are yanked open, jolting
Guido who is slumped in the crane seat. Harsh daylight
penetrates the gloom. Too bright. He blinks,
discombobulated, as a group of silhouetted figures
approach with purpose. One of the figures is a well-
fed, amiable character, DANTE. He is Guido's longtime
associate and Producer. A younger, more ascetic figure
accompanies him, sharp and birdlike. This is FAUSTO, an
accountant. Dante speaks quickly and without obvious
punctuation:

                       DANTE
                 (walking)
          Guido! You're here.

                       GUIDO
          Buongiorno, Dante.

                       DANTE
          I've been looking for you all over the
          place. The set's coming along. How
          are you?

                       GUIDO
          Bene, grazie, bene.

Guido stands to greet him. They kiss on both cheeks.

                       DANTE
          Bene. My God, you look terrible,
          better go to makeup, forget you've got
          a press conference?

                       FAUSTO
                 (discreetly, to Dante)
          He has no tie.

                       DANTE
          Yes, makeup and wardrobe.

He takes Guido's arm and they head towards daylight.
Guido looks back at Fausto, who follows and with a look
and a gesture asks Dante who is he?

                       FAUSTO
                 (overlapping Dante)
          Signor Contini, I'm Fausto.     Good
          morning, Signor Contini.
                                       p. 4



                       DANTE
                 (interrupts)
          He's counting costs, you know. The
          Bank wants him here.
                 (to Fausto)
          Don't speak to him, I speak to him.

                       FAUSTO
          Okay, I have some questions for Signor
          Contini.

                       GUIDO
          We all have questions for Signor
          Contini.

They head outside.


EXT. CINECITTA - DAY

Guido, Dante and Fausto hurry through the studio en
route to the Production Offices. Behind them is a large
poster of CLAUDIA, starring in Guido's last movie, a
failure, LA DONNA MODERNA (The Modern Woman). As Guido
passes he causes a mild stir, and many people nod
deferentially, offer a Maestro, or Dottore. Guido nods.

                       FAUSTO
          Yes, but please, please, I think it's
          customary for there to be an approved
          script and budget before filming
          commences...

                       GUIDO
          Is he going to follow us?

                       FAUSTO
          It's not my intention to be difficult.
          Maestro, I am a huge admirer of
          Maestro Contini's movies, your early
          films are...everybody loves them
          and... I consider it a great honour
          for me to be here now... none the
          less, I need a script and a budget.

Neither Dante nor Guido respond. Fausto flounders.
They make their way to the Production Offices.
Everywhere signs for the movie, ITALIA.


INT. PRODUCTION OFFICES, CINECITTA - DAY

A long corridor, bustling with activity. The trio
heads down it. If a pretty girl goes by, and there are
several, both Guido and Dante turn to look but without
missing a beat of their solemn conversation.
                                       p. 5


As they progress into and through the open plan office,
many of the crew look up and cluster around, trying to
get Guido's attention, swelling the procession,
interjecting with their urgent requests.

There are set models everywhere, in the process of
being constructed, or painted.

JACONELLI, Guido's production designer, looks up from a
model, hurries over. Nobody stops moving.

As a pretty girl passes between them, they all turn to
look.

PIERPAOLO, Guido's young PA, has caught up with the
procession. He has dozens of phone messages, sorting
through them, as he walks alongside Guido, through a
partitioned office -

                       PIERPAOLO
          Where do you want your messages?

                        GUIDO
          On my desk.

                       PIERPAOLO
          There's no room on your desk.

- into the main office -

                       GUIDO
          Under my desk. In the trash. Non lo
          so.

                       PIERPAOLO
                 (waving them at him)
          Some of these are urgent!

                       GUIDO
                 (to Pierpaolo)
          Get me a cigarette.

                       JACONELLI
                 (confidentially)
          We will never be ready to shoot in ten
          days.

                        GUIDO
          Jaconelli -

                       FAUSTO
                 (at the same time)
          Not ready?!

                       GUIDO
                 (continues)
          Ascolta me.
                       (MORE)
                                    p. 6

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
                 (he kisses Jaconelli on
                  the cheek)
          Careful what you say. He's a spy from
          the bank.

Guido carries on moving through the office.

                       DANTE
          He's not exactly from the bank, Guido.

Now BENITO, Guido's Casting Director, moves towards
Guido, Guido tries to duck away from him as they head
towards Guido's office.

                       BENITO
          Dottore, Dottore. You have actors
          waiting for you in your office.
          Auditions all morning. You should see
          what I've found. I found two sisters.
          Look, they're right...

Guido turns through another partition, as they all
besiege him with questions. Benito despairs.

                       BENITO (CONT'D)
          Dottore, this way...

Guido heads towards Wardrobe, goes straight through the
door, swinging it shut, leaving the chaos behind him.

Dante blocks Benito.

                       BENITO (CONT'D)
          Maestro!

                       DANTE
          Not now. He's got the Press
          Conference.


INT. WARDROBE, CINECITTA - DAY

Guido comes through the door, blows hard from the
barrage.

They're in Lilli's domain here, and a haven, always,
for Guido. Part Edith Head, part Coco Chanel, Lilli is
Guido's Costume Designer, no longer young, cranky,
indomitable, sharp as a tack. She adores Guido without
any sentiment. She's incapable of sentiment. Guido
heads straight towards her desk, where she is cutting
some fabric.

                       GUIDO
          I need a cigarette.

Dante comes in, closing the door behind him.
                                      p. 7



                       DANTE
          He needs a shirt and tie, Lilli.

Guido sits up on Lilli's table, as Dante heads to
Lilli's desk and picks up the phone to make a call.

                       GUIDO
          I need a coffee and a cigarette.

He lies down.

                       LILLI
                 (unimpressed)
          Answer a question, I'll give you a
          coffee. Answer another question, I'll
          give you a cigarette. And so on.

                       GUIDO
          Actually and an aspirin.

Dante stands at Lilli's desk and looks at some
drawings.

                       DANTE
                 (in the background, on the
                  phone)
          We're running late...

                       LILLI
                 (turns to Guido and lights
                  a cigarette)
          Calm down. Directing a movie is a very
          overrated job, we all know it. You
          just have to say yes or no. What else
          do you do? Nothing. Maestro - Should
          this be Red? Yes. Green? No. More
          extras? Yes. More lipstick? No. Yes,
          no, yes, no, yes, no - that's
          directing.

Lilli hands Guido the lit cigarette.

                       GUIDO
          That's right: that's directing. And it
          doesn't seem to make a blind bit of
          difference, finally, what the answer
          is...

                       LILLI
          So please, Guido, yes or no, do you
          want any costumes in this film?

                       GUIDO
          Yes.
                                      p. 8



                       LILLI
          You see - simple!
                 (handing him an espresso
                  fetched by her assistant,
                  ROBERTA)
          Might I know what period the movie's
          in?

Lilli glances at Dante who has edged closer to the
table, he looks at the costumes.

                       GUIDO
          Yes, yes.
                 (downs the espresso)
          Soon.

Lilli glares at Dante, ushering him away.

                       LILLI
          You know I don't allow producers in
          here.

                       DANTE
          Alright. Two minutes Guido.

Lilli is the only person who intimidates Dante. He
leaves. Guido pulls out his own tie from his pocket.


Lilli walks round and takes the tie off him. Guido sits
up. Lilli puts the tie round his neck.

                       LILLI
          He's gone. Have you written a word of
          the script?

                       GUIDO
          No.

                       LILLI
          Are you in a panic?

                       GUIDO
          Yes.

She ties Guido's tie for him.

                       LILLI
          Is Luisa going with you to the Press
          Conference?

                       GUIDO
          No. Nobody. Dante.    And his spy.

                       LILLI
          You need to shave.    You look terrible.
                                      p. 9



                       GUIDO
                 (looking around,
                  desperate)
          Why is there no fire escape in here?
          What if somebody needed to escape? I
          can't face these reporters. I have
          nothing to say.

                       LILLI
          You'll be fine. You're a world class
          liar, darling, go out there and lie
          for Italy, lie for Italia.


EXT. ROME - DAY

Guido is driving his Roadster   through the streets of
Rome. An Italian pop song of    the day is playing on the
radio as he speeds around the   Piazza del Poppolo. In
front of him in the convoy is   Dante with Fausto.


INT. GUIDO'S CAR - DAY

As Guido drives, he turns to see his MAMMA in the
passenger seat. He's not remotely surprised. She
appears the way he remembers her. Mamma is
extraordinary.

                       GUIDO
          What the hell's wrong with me? I
          can't sleep. I can't think. I can't
          write. I can't breathe. My heart is
          racing. Am I dying, Mamma? I owe you
          flowers, I know. I'll come to the
          cemetery at the weekend. You should
          have let me bury you in Roma, Mamma, I
          could visit you every week. Don't
          look at me like that.

                       MAMMA
                 (with kindly patience)
          Oh, Guido, Guido.

He stops at a busy intersection.


EXT. STREETS OF ROME / INT. GUIDO'S CAR - DAY

This is the Rome of La Dolce Vita, the Rome of Vespas,
skinny ties, cool sunglasses, impossibly cool young
people. A magnificent fall day, and the cafes are
stuffed with the beautiful and chic.
                                     p. 10



                       MAMMA
          This is your Rome, Guido. The world
          sees Rome the way you invented it.
          Your films did that.

                       GUIDO
                 (buoyed by her
                  encouragement)
          I miss you.

                       MAMMA
          I miss you, too.

Guido is in his own world. The policeman raps on the
bonnet of the car. Guido startles and pulls off, alone
in the car.

Guido looks across as he drives. Mamma has gone.


EXT. HOTEL EXCELSIOR, VIA VENETO - DAY

The convoy comes to a quick stop in front of the Hotel
Excelsior on the Via Veneto.

As soon as Guido gets out of the car, the waiting
paparazzi snap his picture. Beautiful women look at
him. Guido moves quickly by them.

Dante and the team hurry after him.   Fausto tackles
Dante.

And they hurry after Guido.


INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - DAY

A big suite. About fifty reporters, men and women, are
in the room, and an array of microphones are on a
coffee table next to a long couch. Excited chaos. A
RADIO REPORTER narrates in the background.

                       RADIO REPORTER
          And we're just waiting for the arrival
          of Contini...any moment now - Could
          this film put the Maestro back on top?

A few news cameras are filming.    There's a buffet, and
a bartender.

And Guido comes into the room, shaking hands, patting
shoulders, grabbing a glass of champagne. Dante and the
team follow him in.

                       RADIO REPORTER (CONT'D)
          And here he is..!
                                   p. 11



                       DANTE
          Silenzio, per favore...Thank you,
          thank you...

                       RADIO REPORTER
          Dante, Guido Contini's long time
          producer, is about to speak...

                       DANTE
          I want to say a few words from my
          heart. I am humbled and thrilled to
          be able to announce that I am
          producing Guido Contini's next film,
          Italia, which will star once again
          Contini's longtime inspiration, the
          international film star, Claudia
          Jenssen...

A stunning film poster is revealed -- Claudia Jenssen
emerging from the Colosseum: CLAUDIA JENSSEN. UN FILM
DI GUIDO CONTINI. ITALIA. Flashes. Excitement.

                       DANTE (CONT'D)
          ...we start shooting in ten days time
          in Cinecitta. That makes it one week
          from Monday.
                 (to Guido, handing over)
          Thank you, Maestro, thank you very
          much. This is our ninth film
          together. Guido Contini.

                       GUIDO
          Thanks for coming, everybody.

Pretending to leave, he heads towards the exit and
kisses Dante on the cheek.

He returns to the couch. All the reporters fire their
questions at once. The questions come on top of each
other, and Guido covers his despair with an inflated
energy. He takes his sunglasses off and signals to
DINARDO, a harsh-looking woman.

                       DINARDO
          Maestro Contini. Maestro Contini.

                       GUIDO
          Yes.

                       DINARDO
          Grazie. Maestro Contini, your new
          film is called Italia... big title.

Another journalist, Leopardi, vile - sitting next to
her, egging Dinardo on - almost sniggers with contempt.
                                      p. 12



                       GUIDO
          Actually, it's my shortest title yet.

                       DINARDO
          But hardly a modest one.

                       GUIDO
          Films are not modest. They cost too
          much, they take too long, and they
          involve too many people. So they
          should have grand titles.

                       DINARDO
          And might you tell the press what the
          film is about?

                       GUIDO
          Why? I still don't know what my last
          film was about.

                       LEOPARDI
                 (In a loud aside to
                  Dinardo)
          That was the problem. Nobody else did.

                       GUIDO
          Of course I can tell you what my film
          is about...I can tell you the story, I
          can tell you who I am going to cast,
          the music I want to use, I can tell
          you everything... but... I... won't.
          I'm afraid that if I say anything, the
          word might get out to the Press.

General laughter in the room. He wins a round, but is
clearly feeling the strain... Dante recognizes, steps
in.

                       DANTE
          Our next film will be exactly as it
          sounds. Italia. It's the very spirit
          of Italy - Italy as myth, Italy as a
          woman, Italy as a dream.

                       LEOPARDI
          Is this true?

                       GUIDO
          It sounds fantastic.    I can't wait to
          see it.

He's still winning. Ignoring the question, he points
to STEPHANIE, a gorgeous fashion reporter he recognizes
from American Vogue.   Flirtatious and charming, she
wants him and he senses it.
                                    p. 13



                       STEPHANIE
          Signor Contini.

                       GUIDO
          Stephanie.

                       STEPHANIE
          Grazie. Could you tell the fashionable
          women of America who your favorite
          designer is this year?

                       GUIDO
          I'm less interested in the wrapping
          than what might be inside it.

                       REPORTER ONE
          Signor Contini! You're a man of the
          world, yes? Educated in Britain, a
          home in Biarritz. With Italia is it
          fair to say that you've come home for
          good?

                       REPORTER TWO (O.S.)
                 (tries to interrupt)
          What do you think of the New Wave in
          the French Cinema?

                       GUIDO
          For good?

                       REPORTER FOUR
          It's been a long time since you made a
          movie with your wife, do you plan on
          casting her in this new film?

Guido is spinning plates.

                       GUIDO
          I told Luisa that when we got married
          I would never again make love to my
          leading lady.

                       REPORTER FOUR
          But she hasn't worked at all since
          working with you.

Laughter. Everyone starts firing questions at Guido
again. Another REPORTER asks a question.

                       REPORTER FIVE
          But why are you being so tight-lipped
          about this film? It's a serious
          question. What's the big deal?
                                       p. 14



FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

We discover Guido, alone on the soundstage of his
unfinished set. A retreat into surreality. He sits on
the same couch from the hotel suite. He slouches, arms
folded, legs crossed, with his hat pulled over his
eyes.

                        GUIDO
           I WOULD LIKE TO BE HERE.


INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. DAY

                        GUIDO
           You want me to be serious? In a Press
           Conference?


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                        GUIDO
           I WOULD LIKE TO BE THERE


INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. DAY

                        GUIDO
           I thought I was the clown in this
           circus.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                        GUIDO
           I WOULD LIKE TO BE EVERYWHERE AT ONCE
           I KNOW THAT'S A CONTRADICTION IN
           TERMS.


INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. DAY

                        LEOPARDI
           Signor Contini. Artists do their best
           work before they're famous. Now
           you're famous. Without wishing to be
           negative - but your last two films,
           they're not, they were...

                       GUIDO
           Flops.

                        LEOPARDI
           Your word. Flops.
                                   p. 15




INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       GUIDO
          AND IT'S A PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY WHEN
          MY BODY'S NEARING FIFTY AS MY MIND IS
          NEARING TEN.


INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. DAY

                       LEOPARDI
          I'm just asking if you're nervous?
          You seem nervous...

This stops Guido. He doesn't answer. We see a bead of
sweat running down the back of Guido's neck.

Everyone waits.

                       GUIDO
          Excuse me?

                       LEOPARDI
          What I'm asking, Maestro, is have you
          run out of things to say?


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

As the number progresses, Guido gets up from his chair
and begins to scale the enormous heights of his
unfinished set, with great effort.

                       GUIDO
          I CAN HARDLY STAY UP
          AND I CAN'T GET TO SLEEP,
          AND I DON'T WANT TO WAKE TOMORROW
          MORNING,
          AT THE BOTTOM OF SOME HEAP
          BUT WHY TAKE IT SO SERIOUSLY?
          AFTER ALL, THERE'S NOTHING AT STAKE
          HERE - ONLY ME
          I WANT TO BE YOUNG.
          AND I WANT TO BE OLD.
          I WOULD LIKE TO BE WISE BEFORE MY TIME
          AND YET BE FOOLISH AND BRASH AND BOLD.
          I WOULD LIKE THE UNIVERSE TO GET DOWN
          ON ITS KNEES AND SAY, "GUIDO,
          WHATEVER YOU PLEASE,
          IT'S OKAY EVEN IF IT'S IMPOSSIBLE,
          WE'LL ARRANGE IT."
          THAT'S ALL THAT I WANT.
                                   p. 16




INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - DAY

                       STEPHANIE
          I was wondering if you think there's a
          limit to what you can show in a movie.

                       GUIDO
          What would you like to see that I
          haven't already shown you?

She smiles, he smiles back, lighting his cigarette.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       GUIDO
          I AM LUSTING FOR MORE,
          SHOULD I SETTLE FOR LESS?
          I ASK YOU, WHAT'S A GOOD THING FOR
          IF NOT FOR TAKING IT TO EXCESS?
          ONE LIMITATION I DEARLY REGRET:
          THERE'S ONLY ONE OF ME I'VE EVER MET.


INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - DAY

Guido turns to the mantle. He grabs a bottle of
whiskey, looks up into the large gilded mirror at his
reflection. We see two Guidos.

                       GUIDO (V.O.)
          I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ANOTHER ME TO
          TRAVEL ALONG WITH MYSELF.
          I WOULD EVEN LIKE TO BE ABLE TO SING A
          DUET WITH MYSELF.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       GUIDO
          I WOULD LIKE TO BE HERE
          (SING ALONG WITH MYSELF IN A SONG)
          TO BE THERE (WALKING DOWN A LANE NOW),
          EVERYWHERE
          (EVERYWHERE)
          EVERYWHERE, THAT'S A CONTRADICTION IN
          TERMS
          I WANT TO BE HERE
          (WITH A COUNTER-)
          HERE (MELODY IN THE)
          HERE (TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU GUIDO)
          GUIDO (GUIDO)
          GUIDO (GUIDO)
          GUIDO. ME (ME) ME!
          I WANT TO BE PROUST...
                                     p. 17




INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE/INT. EXCELSIOR HOTEL - DAY

Amidst the chaos, Guido notices a waiter with a tray of
glasses entering the suite through a hidden door in the
wall. As the waiter passes, Guido slyly opens the door
and sneaks out.

                       GUIDO (V.O.)
          ...OR THE MARQUIS DE SADE.
          I WOULD LIKE TO BE CHRIST, MOHAMMED,
          BUDDHA
          BUT NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE IN GOD.
          AND YOU KNOW I MEAN IT WITH ALL OF MY
          HEART -
          IT'S THE END IF SOMETHING IMPORTANT
          DOESN'T START...


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Guido continues climbing higher and higher.

                       GUIDO
          ...I WANT TO BE YOUNG,
          BUT I HAVE TO BE OLD.
          WHAT I WANT IS A TALE OF SOUND AND
          FURY
          THAT SOME IDIOT WENT AND TOLD.
          I WOULD LIKE THE UNIVERSE TO GET DOWN
          ON ITS KNEES
          AND SAY, "GUIDO, WHATEVER YOU PLEASE,
          IT'S OKAY EVEN IF IT'S RIDICULOUS,
          WE'LL ARRANGE IT..."


INT. EXCELSIOR HOTEL - DAY

Guido slips through the hallway, down the grand lobby
staircase, and escapes.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       GUIDO
          SO ARRANGE IT!

As Guido reaches the pinnacle of his Everest-like set,
Guido's WOMEN appear on the different levels.

                        WOMEN
          ARRANGE IT!

                       GUIDO
          THAT'S ALL THAT I WANT!
                                      p. 18




EXT. ROME - DAY

Guido speeds away from Rome in his Roadster.


EXT. ROME ROAD - DAY

Guido's car passes by the remnants of an ancient
aqueduct, with women from his fantasy draped around
him, spilling out of his car.

THE WOMEN sing a musical flourish of praise to Guido.

                       WOMEN (V.O.)
          CONTINI, CONTINI, CONTINI, CONTINI...


EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - AFTERNOON

Now Guido and his women are in the countryside.

                       WOMEN (V.O.)
          CONTINI, CONTINI, CONTINI, CONTINI...

The car races over a hill, blurring the countryside,
and we see the blue Mediterranean sea, and the pretty
spa town of ANZIO.


EXT. HOTEL BELLAVISTA - DAY

                       WOMEN (V.O.)
          GUIDO!

The Alfa Spyder comes to a screeching stop in front of
the gates of the entrance of an impressive looking Spa:
GRAND HOTEL BELLAVISTA. The hotel has a slightly faded
glamour, something that lifts it a little out of time.
Guido's women are gone as the song ends.

SUPERTITLE: Bellavista Spa Hotel, Anzio, Italy


INT. LOBBY, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - DAY

Guido enters like a thief. He doesn't want to be
recognised. He approaches the Front Desk, where an
immaculate Desk Clerk, the urbane and wise DE ROSSI,
waits to greet him.

                       GUIDO
          I need a room.

                       DE ROSSI
          Of course.
                           p. 19



               GUIDO
A suite.

               DE ROSSI
Yes.

             GUIDO
With a view of the sea. A balcony.
Something with air.

             DE ROSSI
All of our suites have air... let me
just look for you.

             GUIDO
I've come from Milano.

             DE ROSSI
I understand.

               GUIDO
On business.    I'm a businessman. Busy
busy busy.

             DE ROSSI
       (without looking up)
Would Maestro Contini prefer to
register under a pseudonym?

             GUIDO
       (doleful)
Please.

             DE ROSSI
       (suggesting a name)
Signor Milano?

               GUIDO
Why not.

             DE ROSSI
       (continuing to work)
Needless to say, I love your films.
Guilty pleasure. Those early films.

             GUIDO
Not the flops.
       (anxious, confidential)
I need to see a doctor. Do you know
one who's discreet...? I'd like to
see him today, in my room, now, if
possible.

             DE ROSSI
Consider it done. Please.
                                     p. 20



                       GUIDO
                 (takes the key)
          And I need to place a call.   To my
          wife.

Guido writes the number on a piece of paper on the
desk.

                       DE ROSSI
          You can take the call at the lobby
          phone over there.


INT. TELEPHONE KIOSK, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - DAY

Guido heads into the elegant Art Deco booth, pulls the
glass door shut. The phone rings. He picks up.


INT. CONTINI HOME, ROME / TELEPHONE BOOTH - DAY

We intercut between the phone booth and LUISA in their
apartment in Rome... Luisa knows every move of
Guido's. She manages him very well, calm, dry and
funny.

                       GUIDO
          Luisa, tesoro...

                       LUISA
          There you are.

                       GUIDO
          Is everybody mad at me?

                       LUISA
          Well, I'm mad at you.   Where are you?

                       GUIDO
          I had to escape from the Press
          Conference.

                       LUISA
          I heard. Dramatic.

                       GUIDO
          Don't tease me. I'm sick, Luisa.

                       LUISA
          You're making a film. You make a
          film, you get sick. It's what happens.

                       GUIDO
          No, but this time I'm really sick.      I
          can't breathe.
                           p. 21



             LUISA
Are you by yourself?

             GUIDO
Yes, of course I'm by myself.

             LUISA
Then shall I come?

             GUIDO
Yes, please come, that's why I'm
calling, please come straight away.
That would be wonderful.

              LUISA
Okay.

             GUIDO
Great. Marvellous.

             LUISA
I don't know where you are.

             GUIDO
I don't know, some spa.   Horrible.   I
just kept driving.

             LUISA
Well I can't come if I don't know
where you are.

             GUIDO
       (suddenly claustrophobic)
And, actually, it's hardly worth it.
I'll be home in a day or two.

             LUISA
       (all too familiar )
Yes, it's hardly worth it.

             GUIDO
But I do wish you were here.

             LUISA
Get some rest, take the waters, sleep,
then come back here and make a good
movie.

              GUIDO
I love you.

              LUISA
Get better.
                                      p. 22




INT. LOBBY, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - DAY

He hangs up, pensive. Goes straight back to De Rossi
at the Front Desk, and scribbles down another number.

                       DE ROSSI
          Your doctor is on his way.

                       GUIDO
                 (carefully)
          This number - if a woman answers you
          put it through to my room,
          otherwise...

De Rossi understands.

                       DE ROSSI
          It's a wrong number.


INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

...CLOSE-UP on Guido's eye, being held open by a
DOCTOR. Guido is on the bed, shirt open. The Doctor
examines Guido's eye while a heavy-set NURSE takes his
blood pressure. The Doctor stands and turns to his
case.

                        GUIDO
          What?

                        NURSE
          Dottore.

                        DOCTOR RONDI
          Si?

He walks round to her. The Nurse whispers to the
Doctor. They look at the blood pressure gauge. Guido
is disturbed by their conspiracy.

                       GUIDO
          What is she whispering? Is it my
          blood pressure? Is it serious? Am I
          dying?

                       DOCTOR
                 (to the Nurse, not
                  answering Guido)
          Check again.

The doctor, interrupting him, takes a tongue depressor
from his kit.

The doctor, sits on the bed beside Guido, and takes his
cigarette out of his mouth. He stubs it out.
                                     p. 23



                         DOCTOR (CONT'D)
          Stress.    Exhaustion.

THE PHONE RINGS. The doctor is in the way of the phone.
Guido desperately makes an attempt to reach it and
can't. He's trapped by the doctor and by the nurse
holding his arm.

                       DOCTOR (CONT'D)
          Your liver, your heart, your kidneys,
          they're all very cross with you,
          Signore.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"/INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

WE CUT TO A PAIR OF FULL BEAUTIFUL LIPS SINGING HIS
NAME.

                        CARLA
          GUIDO...

                        DOCTOR

          Open wide.

Guido opens wide, gagging, as the phone continues
ringing. Guido looks at the ringing phone, but the
nurse has his arm in her grip as she takes his blood
pressure for the second time. And the phone continues
ringing.

                       DOCTOR (CONT'D)
          But you've come to the right place.
          There are a dozen mineral springs
          around the town...


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"/INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

NOW WE CUT TO A SUGGESTIVE LOOK FROM A HEAVILY MADE UP
EYE.

                        CARLA
          GUIDO...

                       DOCTOR
          ...the Roman emperors came here for
          the waters...

Guido lunges for the ringing phone, with the blood
pressure cuff still on his arm, and picks it up. It is
CARLA, at the perfect wrong time.

                       GUIDO
                 (into the phone)
          Pronto.
                                    p. 24



                        DE ROSSI (V.O.)
           Signor Contini, it's the Signora.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"/INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

WE SEE ISOLATED IMAGES OF A SEDUCTIVE BODY: A LONG LEG
IN SHEER BLACK STOCKINGS, A SHAPELY ASS, MAGNIFICENT
BREASTS.

                        CARLA
           I WAS LAZING AROUND MY BEDROOM WHEN
           YOU CALLED AND AN IDEA OCCURRED TO ME
           I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING
           ABOUT, GUIDO...

                         GUIDO
                  (coming back quickly to
                   life)
           It's a very an important call, Doctor.
           I'm sorry, I have to take it. Private
           call.

                          DOCTOR
           As you wish.

FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

An enormous swathe of pink satin rakes across the
scaffolding of Guido's unfinished set. Emerging from
the highest point is a pair of long legs sliding down
the lush fabric. She wears stockings, heels and little
else. Bathed in hot light, Carla reveals herself from
inside the sumptuous folds of satin.

                        CARLA
           WHO'S NOT WEARING ANY CLOTHES?
           I'M NOT!
           MY DARLING,
           WHO'S AFRAID TO KISS YOUR TOES?
           I'M NOT!
           YOUR MAMA DEAR IS BLOWING INTO YOUR
           EAR,
           SO YOU'LL GET IT LOUD AND CLEAR,
           I NEED YOU TO SQUEEZE ME HERE...
           AND HERE...
           AND HERE...


INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

The Nurse, still taking his blood pressure and
listening to his pulse, is concerned about Guido's
vital signs.
                                   p. 25



                       NURSE
          Doctor... His pulse... it's racing.

                       DOCTOR
                 (to Guido)
          Is something wrong?

                       GUIDO
          What? Yes, yes. It's about my film.
          It's from the Vatican. Go ahead,
          Monsignore! Yes, yes, of course, I'm
          listening.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Carla slides from the lush fabric onto a mirrored
platform. As she sings, she writhes and undulates in a
seductive display of sexuality. This is Guido's
ultimate fantasy.

                       CARLA
          COOTCHIE, COOTCHIE, COOTCHIE COO.
          I'VE GOT
          A PLAN FOR WHAT I'M GONNA DO TO YOU,
          SO HOT
          YOU'RE GONNA STEAM, AND SCREAM, AND
          VIBRATE LIKE A STRING I'M PLUCKING-
          KISS YOUR FEVERED LITTLE BROW
          PINCH YOUR CHEEKS TILL YOU SAY "OW,"
          AND I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO SHOW YOU HOW,
          GUIDO.


INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

Guido trying to hide the effects of this phone sex from
the Doctor and Nurse.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Carla grabs onto two satin-covered ropes, suspended
from the ceiling. She wraps herself in them, swinging
and gyrating.

                       CARLA
          WHO WON'T CARE IF YOU COME TO ME TIRED
          AND OVERWORKED?
          I WON'T! BAMBINO,
          WHO KNOWS A THERAPY TO BEAT WHAT YOU
          CAN GET FROM ME?
          I DON'T!
          BUT THIS WILL HAVE TO BE ENOUGH FOR
          NOW,
          GUIDO,
          CIAO.
                       (MORE)
                                      p. 26

                       CARLA (CONT'D)
                 (spoken)
          I love you, Guido.

Carla disappears in a cloud of hot steam that becomes
the steam from an arriving train.


EXT. ANZIO, TRAIN STATION - DAY

And out of the steam... CARLA comes walking toward
Guido, swinging her hips, with a PORTER behind her,
pulling five bags on a wagon. Carla is dressed in her
own style, which is not chic, but it's what Guido
likes, a little too tight, a little flamboyant. She
wears it with pride.

                         CARLA
          Guido!    Ciao!

                         GUIDO
                   (to himself, remembering
                    how much work she is)
          Carla.
                   (and now to her, covering
                    his ambivalence)
          Carla!

                       CARLA
          I'm so happy to see you.

                         GUIDO
          Carlissima.

She gives him a hug and a kiss, both too much for him
in public.

                       CARLA
          I missed you so much.
                 (they move off)
          Are you happy I'm here?

                         GUIDO
          Of course.

                       CARLA
          But very happy? Or just a little
          happy?

                         GUIDO
          Very happy.

She sees something in his face that worries her.

                       CARLA
          What's wrong? You look very tired,
          very tired.
                                    p. 27



                       GUIDO
                 (avoiding this, looks at
                  her bags)
          Carla, all those bags for the weekend?

                       CARLA
          Yes, the Bellavista is a very
          fashionable place. You know I stayed
          there with my parents, during the war,
          it was full of Germans.

                       GUIDO
          Carla... I have to tell you... they
          found out who I am at the hotel--

                       CARLA
          No...

                       GUIDO
          ... yes, horrible, but obviously we
          don't want to be followed by the
          press, so I found the most charming
          pensione for you, and it's right here.
          It's charming.

                       CARLA
          Here at the station?


EXT. PENSIONE FERROVIA - DAY

A small pensione across the street from the station.
Carla sizes it up, and it's really not at all what she
was hoping for, but she doesn't say anything.


INT. PENSIONE BEDROOM - DAY

Later, Carla, in silhouette, from behind. Wrapped in a
sheet, she is looking out the window of the dingy room.
The light from the pensione's neon sign spills in. They
whisper.

                       GUIDO (O.S.)
          Close the curtains, it's too light in
          here.

Carla closes the curtains.     They continue to whisper.

                        GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Perfect.   Now, go into the corridor---

                       CARLA
          What?
                                    p. 28



                       GUIDO
          Shhh! Yes, count to ten and come back
          in, and pretend you're in the wrong
          room, and I'm a complete stranger--

Carla sits on the bed facing Guido.

                       CARLA
          I love your games!

She kisses him.

                       GUIDO
          I'm here on business.

                       CARLA
          Okay.

                        GUIDO
          Go, go.   Wait. Your face.

                       CARLA
          What about it?

                       GUIDO
          Get your makeup.

Guido switches on the light, puts on his glasses, and
tilts the lamp shade up. He begins to pencil in a
beauty mark and darken her eyes. He is meticulous
about this, and precise, and takes his time to make it
exactly as he wants it.

                       CARLA
          I had a nightmare last night. We were
          in that little alley behind Piazza
          Navona, where I bought you that scarf,
          remember? The same one your wife
          bought you--

                       GUIDO
                 (probably doesn't)
          Don't move, Carla.

                       CARLA
          When you wear it, I never know if it's
          hers or mine.

                       GUIDO
                 (not really listening)
          Uh-huh.

                       CARLA
          So we were there, on the ground,
          naked, kissing, and we didn't care,
          and then my husband arrived and killed
          us both with a shovel! Poor Luigi!
                       (MORE)
                                   p. 29

                       CARLA (CONT'D)
          He would never do that! He's so sweet.
          He speaks Latin! He knows all the
          Roman Emperors.

                       GUIDO
                 (still intent on his
                  makeup job)
          Good for him.

                       CARLA
          Perhaps there's a job for him in the
          movie--

                         GUIDO
          Why not?

                       CARLA
          You could work well together.

                       GUIDO
          Beautiful. When you come in I want
          you to be my little savage.

                         CARLA
          Yes.

                        GUIDO
                 (gesturing towards the
                  door)
          Go, go.

Guido takes off his glasses and puts them on the side
table..

                       CARLA
          You think I am one of your actresses?

                       GUIDO
          Hurry, please, Carla.

Carla gets up and takes Guido's glasses with her. Guido
turns out the light and settles into his pillow, for
the game. Carla looks at herself in the mirror.

                         CARLA
          Oh, Madonna!

                       GUIDO
          I'll pretend to be asleep.

Carla turns back to the mirror, she puts on Guido's
glasses and turns back to him.

                       CARLA
          What if I really found the wrong room?
          Would you be jealous?
                                   p. 30



                       GUIDO
          Could you do such a thing?

Carla teases him with a look that says, "Why not?"

                       CARLA
                 (coyly)
          Hm! Who knows?

Carla goes into the hall and closes the door behind
her. We HEAR the MATRON who runs the Pensione talking
to her. While they talk, Guido removes a crucifix from
the wall and puts it in the bedside drawer.

Now Carla comes back into the room, giggling, signaling
for Guido to keep quiet.

                       GUIDO
          What happened?

                       CARLA
                 (still giggling)
          It was the woman from the hotel. She
          wanted to give me towels.

                       GUIDO
          Come here.

                       CARLA
          Okay.

                       GUIDO
          What?

                       CARLA
          You are a stranger, I don't know you.

                       GUIDO
          Carla, just come here.
                 (indicating her sheet)
          Be savage. Show me.

She crosses the room and climbs onto the bed and opens
the sheet slowly, spreading her arms wide.

                       CARLA
          Excuse me! I've got the wrong room.

                       GUIDO
          Yes, you have. And I don't have the
          faintest idea who you are.

She throws herself on Guido, whose arms enfold her.
                                     p. 31




INT. PENSIONE BEDROOM - LATER

Carla is asleep, her bare back a thing of post-coital
beauty. Guido sits on the edge of the bed, quietly
getting dressed, filled with confusion and guilt.


INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE PENSIONE BEDROOM - NIGHT

Guido tip-toes out of Carla's room, shoes in his hand.
He walks down the hallway, alone.

                       GUIDO (V.O.)
          Page one, page one, page one...
          The figure emerges from the darkness
          like a goddess. She is Claudia, his
          muse...


INT. HOTEL, GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

IMAGES OF CLAUDIA in his fantasy.   Kissing him.
Walking away...

                       GUIDO (V.O.)
          She takes the man's face and kisses
          him...

Guido is surrounded by discarded bits of paper, an
outline of Italia. An empty sheet of paper sits in his
typewriter on his desk. He is not working on the
outline. He is sketching a voluptuous woman...

                       GUIDO (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          ...And with that gesture, he's
          suddenly inspired to write
          something... profound.

...he draws in the nipples on the woman's breasts.

Guido becomes discouraged. He tosses off his glasses
and runs his hands through his hair in frustration.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Mother of God, give me a sign.

He's happily distracted by the sound of vehicles
arriving outside his window. He opens a slat in the
shutters, looks down as a motor calvacade draws up. At
its heart is an impressive luxury car.
                                     p. 32




EXT. HOTEL BELLAVISTA, POV FROM BALCONY - DAY

Hotel staff swarm around the vehicles which discharge a
procession of religious, including an ANCIENT CARDINAL
in scarlet robes and the CARDINAL'S SECRETARY. Priests
follow as the Cardinal heads inside the hotel.

Guido is intrigued, hurries out of his hotel room.


INT. HOTEL BELLAVISTA LOBBY - DAY

As Guido hurries down the stairs, the Cardinal is being
helped into the elevator. The CARDINAL'S SECRETARY is
dealing with check-in formalities with De Rossi. Guido
calls to him.

                       GUIDO
          Excuse me, father...

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
                 (turns)
          Buongiorno.

                       GUIDO
          His Excellency, the Cardinal, is he -?

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
                 (recognising Guido)
          Signor Contini!
                 (starstruck)
          I am a big fan.

                       GUIDO
          I would very much like to speak to the
          Cardinal. Do you think he might grant
          me -

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Is Claudia Jenssen with you?

                       GUIDO
          No.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Pity. His excellency is a big admirer
          of Signorina Jenssen.

                       GUIDO
                 (explaining)
          I'm in need of some guidance, some
          pointers...

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Do you think you could find a signed
          photograph of Signorina Jenssen?
                                        p. 33



                       GUIDO
          For His Excellency?

                        CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Si.

                       GUIDO
          I'm sure that would be possible...

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Truly?   What a pleasure. Arrivederci,
          Maestro.

He heads towards the elevator. Guido watches him go,
then a voice calls out his name....GUIDO! Guido can't
turn round. He knows that voice.

                        DANTE
          Guidino!

Guido hurries towards the elevator. The elevator doors
close. Guido is trapped.

                       GUIDO
          I'm not going to ask how you found me.

                       DANTE
          Please - it's my job. A producer
          needs to know where his director is at
          all times...even to know the pensione
          where his mistress is staying...

                        GUIDO
          Oh God.

                       DANTE
          I understand, Guido. Rome is
          absolutely unbearable. The pressure.
          It's no good.

                         GUIDO
          Really?    You understand?

He takes Guido by the arm and leads him to a stairwell.


INT. HOTEL BELLAVISTA - STAIRCASE - DAY

                       DANTE
          Of course I understand.      Absolutely.

                       GUIDO
          You're not going to drag me back?

                       DANTE
          No. You're a genius and genius must be
          served.
                                     p. 34



                       GUIDO
          Thank you, my old friend.
                 (Dante is guiding him)
          Where are we going?

                       DANTE
          You can't be in Rome. Okay.
                 (heading towards the
                  ballroom)


INT. GRAND BALLROOM, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - DAY

                       DANTE
          Rome will come to you!

Dante opens the door of the Ballroom to reveal a full
PRODUCTION OFFICE, ART DEPARTMENT, COSTUME DEPARTMENT,
CASTING OFFICE. The models, costumes, headshots,
everything all in place or being put into place. An
absolute beehive of activity. Guido is staggered.

                       DANTE (CONT'D)
          It's a fantastic place for you to
          focus. Everyone is here to help the
          movie. Everyone is here because they
          love you, Guido.

He stands watching Guido with genuine admiration as he
sets to work with his team. Guido moves through the
room avoiding specific questions from everyone. As he
does so, Dante makes his way over to Guido with a
magnificent girl on his arm.

                       JACONELLI
                 (explaining his designs)
          Yes, with the flower and the glass and
          the arches of the Roman Empire...

                       DANTE
          Guido...you remember Donatella.

                        DONATELLA
          Ciao.

                        GUIDO
                  (he doesn't, she's new)
          Ciao.

                       DANTE
          Donatella, you tested her.

                       DONATELLA
          I was very nervous. He probably
          doesn't remember. I was quite
          nervous.
                                     p. 35



                       GUIDO
                 (distracted, taking it all
                  in)
          No, I remember you. You were, we all
          enjoyed you, so to speak.

                        PIERPAOLO
          Maestro...

Pierpaolo, Guido's assistant, holds a telephone.   Guido
wants to know who it is.

                       PIERPAOLO (CONT'D)
          Claudia's agent...

Guido grimaces. Then takes the phone.   He attacks the
phone call with gusto.

                       GUIDO
                  (listens to a stream of
                  invective)
          Did she like the script?
                 (gestures for Pierpaolo to
                  light him a cigarette)
          No no no no - impossibile - are you
          telling me she didn't get the script?
                 (shouting at Pierpaolo)
          Pierpaolo!

He takes the cigarette with a smile, and then without
missing a beat starts barking at Pierpaolo.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Claudia didn't get the script! Send
          her another one. For Chrissake. Send
          her two!

                       PIERPAOLO
                 (playing along)
          Yes, I'm sorry. Right now.

                       GUIDO
          Cretino!
                 (back to Lombardo,
                  listens)
          Yes, yes, that's what I say, people
          just don't realise - she's an actress
          as well as a star - I know Dante's
          dying to talk to you. A dolpo. Ciao.

He hands the phone to Dante, who's delighted to see
Guido back on good directing mode.

                        DANTE
          Lombardo...
                                    p. 36



As Dante takes over, Guido walks away, heads towards
Lilli and her domain.


INT. LILLI'S TEMPORARY OFFICE, BALLROOM - DAY

                       GUIDO
          Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap!

Guido leaps over the balcony and lies down on a table.
Performance mode off. Lilli nods to Roberta to leave.
Roberta puts down her work and clears the room quietly,
leaving them alone.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          What are we doing here?

                       LILLI
          I'm happy. I brought my swimsuit.

Lilli is working at a mannequin, hand-sewing some
sequins on a costume. A red feathered boa is draped on
the figure.

                       LILLI (CONT'D)
          It was Luisa's birthday yesterday.

                       GUIDO
          What? No. Oh please God. No. I
          spoke with her yesterday. She didn't
          even mention it. Give me a cigarette.

Lilli points to the one in Guido's hand.

                          LILLI
          What's that?

Guido sees the costume.

                          GUIDO
          What's that?

                       LILLI
          It's for Claudia.

                       GUIDO
          For which scene?

                       LILLI
          Well I don't know which scene until
          I`ve seen the script, but she always
          likes something like this, or you do.

                       GUIDO
          Looks like the Folies Bergere. It's
          wrong. Italian women don't wear those
          things.
                                    p. 37



                       LILLI
          Don't knock the Folies Bergere...

Lilli tosses the boa over her shoulder as she continues
pinning the costume.

                       LILLI (CONT'D)
          ...it brings back happy memories.
          That's where I learned my art. All
          those sequins, all those feathers.
                 (Still working)
          And, you're wrong, you put Claudia
          in one of these for that nightclub
          scene in Natura Morta.

                       GUIDO
          Why did people love that film?

Guido picks up a straw hat. Puts it on his head
playfully.

                       LILLI
          Oh Guido, don't. That's death.     Every
          time we have to start again.

                       GUIDO
          I'm trying to find it.

                       LILLI
          You won't find it with your head
          jammed halfway up your ass.

                       GUIDO
          Ashtray.

She produces one.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Thanks. You were saying - my head is
          jammed up my ass.

                       LILLI
          Halfway. I don't know. Why not dream
          up something entertaining, Guido?
          Something with music...with dancing...
          God knows, we could use a little joie
          de vivre around here...

Guido looks into the faded ballroom mirror behind her
and sees...
                                    p. 38



FANTASY:


INT."SOUNDSTAGE"

...Lilli, draped atop an upright piano, the red
feathered boa hangs from her shoulders. She places the
same straw hat on her head.

The soundstage has been transformed into an
impressionistic version of the Folies Bergere of the
1930's, with Lilli as its French Star. A spotlight
finds Guido watching from the scaffolding of his
unfinished set. The din of the theater audience fills
the smoky atmosphere.

                        LILLI
                  (singing and performing in
                   a french accent)
           LE CINEMA TODAY IS IN A CRISIS
           DIRECTORS ARE SO EXISTENTIALISTES.
           THE MOVIES ARE
           NOT WORTH THEIR ENTRANCE PRICES
           IF NO ONE SINGS A LOVE SONG
           WHEN HE'S KISSED.
           LOVE CANNOT BE LOVE WITHOUT "LE
           SINGING,"
           A STRING, A CLARINET, A SAXOPHONE TAKE
           A LESSON FROM THIS OLD PARISIENNE
           AND THE FINEST ENTERTAINMENT SHE HAS
           KNOWN.

Behind a black scrim, ghostly images come to life.
Apparitions that reveal themselves as exotic SHOWGIRLS
barely covered in beads, sequins, and feathers. They
descend the grand staircase.

                        LILLI (CONT'D)
           FOLIES BERGERE-
           WHAT A SHOWING OF COLOR, COSTUME, AND
           DANCING!
           NOT A MOMENT IN LIFE COULD BE MORE
           ENTRANCING
           THAN AN EVENING YOU SPEND
           AUX FOLIES BERGERE.
           FOLIES BERGERE,
           NOT A SOUL IN THE WORLD COULD BE IN
           DESPAIR
           WHEN HE IS GLANCING
           AT THE FABULOUS STAGE
           DES FOLIES BERGERE

The showgirls disappear. Lilli comes down from the
piano and crosses onto the stage. The scrim rises.
From every corner, more showgirls begin to enter.
                                   p. 39



           LILY                           SHOWGIRLS
FOLIES BERGERE-               OOH LA LA
LA MUSIQUE, LA DANSE, LE
SON, LA LUMIERE!              OOH LA LA
LES PETITS JOLIES SEINS DES
BELLES BOUQUETIERES           OOH LA LA
SUR LA BELLE PASSARELLE DES
FOLIES BEREGERE,              OOH LA LA
PAS DE MYSTERE-
LE SPECTACLE EST TOUT A       OOH LA LA
FAIT DECOUVERT.
"ET PAS TROP CHER"
VIENS CE SOIR AVEC MOI
AUX FOLIES BERGERE.

Lilli crosses onto the passerelle, and speaks directly
to the audience.

                       LILLI (CONT'D)
          Ah, Bon soir, bon soir, bon soir. Je
          suis la vedette des Folies Bergere.
          Vedette, it means 'star.'

Lilli singles out guests at the lip of the stage:

                       LILLI (CONT'D)
          Let me tell you. Last night I looked
          down at this table in the chairs you
          are sitting in now, and what did I
          see? A priest! And next to him?

Suddenly, she sees Young Guido in the audience.

                       LILLI (CONT'D)
          Ahh, mon Dieu! Guido? Guido Contini?
          What are you doing here at the Folies
          Bergere? You naughty boy! You're
          only nine years old! But I'm glad
          you've come. Would you like to join
          me on stage? Yes. Come. Come, come,
          come.

And she brings him onto the stage. The audience
applauds. She addresses him as though he is Older
Guido.

                       LILLI (CONT'D)
          Feeling better? There's no room for
          hopelessness in here, is there, Guido?
                 (to the audience)
          We must explain something to our young
          Guido. What do we want? Laughter!
          What do we want? Love! What do we
          want? Dreams! Let us not forget,
          Guido, mon cher -- That's our
          privilege - to entertain.
                                   p. 40



The number kicks into full gear with a rousing can-can.
Young Guido finds himself swept into Lilli's
intoxicating world.

                       LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS
          FOLIES BERGERE
          THE MUSIC, THE LIGHTS, AND THE
          LAUGHTER,
          THE ANSWER TO WHAT YOU ARE AFTER
          EACH NIGHT AT THE FOLIES BERGERE.
          FOLIES BERGERE

                       LILLI
          BY THE HEAVENS ABOVE, YOU WILL SWEAR
          THERE'S NOTHING RARER!

                       LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS
          THAN THE FOLIES BERGERE

Lilli crosses the proscenium. Her boa grows and grows
until it stretches the length of the stage.

                       LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS
                       (CONT'D)
          FOLIES BERGERE
          THE STAGE OVERFLOWING, AND GIVING A
          MUSICAL REASON FOR LIVING EACH NIGHT
          AT THE FOLIES BERGERE.
          FOLIES BERGERE...

                       LILLI
          TO YOUR MODERN IDEAS I COMPARE ONE
          DERRIERE!

                       LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS
          AT THE FOLIES BERGERE!

Lilli wraps her long boa around Young Guido. He and
Lilli are lifted onto an art deco swing, flanked by two
showgirls, that rises into the air. He is transported
and inspired.

                       LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS
                       (CONT'D)
          THE ANSWER TO WHAT YOU ARE AFTER,
          THE MUSIC, THE LIGHTS, AND THE
          LAUGHTER
          OF THE FOLIES BERGERE!


INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - NIGHT

We seem to be looking at the SET ON STAGE 5. But
suddenly a HUGE HEAD dips into the shot and it's Guido
contemplating a model of the set. He places a figure
on the top of the staircase.
                                     p. 41


He moves round to the front of the model and places
another figure on the top of the scaffold tower. He
knocks it over.

Unconvinced, he sits down on the sofa. The coffee
table is covered in head-shots. He finds the one of
Claudia.   Guido looks at it.

He lies back to write and finds himself in CLAUDIA'S
LAP. She hands him a lipstick, smiles and strokes his
hair. He starts to sign - "TO HIS EXCELLENCY.... "
then paints his lips and kisses the photo himself.
Claudia laughs.


INT. ANCIENT BATHS - DAY

Grottos and tunnels are thick with steam.    Guido
follows the Cardinal's Secretary.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          The Cardinal is right this way.

The Cardinal's Secretary leads Guido to a private area,
where the Cardinal is already soaking in a large tub of
hot water.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
                       (CONT'D)
          Your Eminence, Signor Contini is here.

The Cardinal's Secretary makes a gesture to Guido to
get into the tub with the Cardinal. Guido gets in the
water. The Cardinal looks hard at Guido and then makes
his first pronouncement.

                       CARDINAL
          I like Charlie Chaplin.

                       GUIDO
          Me too.

                       CARDINAL
          A genius. What can I do for you?

                       GUIDO
          Do you believe in God?

The Cardinal's Secretary is shocked.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Signor Contini, please.

                       CARDINAL
          No, no, it's an honest question.    Yes,
          I believe in God.
                                    p. 42



                        GUIDO
          So do I.

                       CARDINAL
          Are you a Catholic?

                       GUIDO
          Oh yes, very much so. Not as much as
          I would like to be, not as much as you
          would like me to be, I'm sure, but
          certainly yes, I'm trying.

                        CARDINAL
          Try harder.

                       GUIDO
          Yes, yes. I will, I will. Your
          Eminence, I am not happy. I'm
          searching for something. I feel a
          sense of misery, of despair and --

                       CARDINAL
                 (interrupting)
          I saw your films. Not the flops, the
          others, the good ones.
          But you think people need to see so
          much sex?   It's not necessary. We can
          all imagine.

                       GUIDO
                 (laughing)
          Excuse me - my films are what I
          imagine.

                       CARDINAL
          Then your imagination has no moral
          training.

                       GUIDO
                 (nonplussed)
          How do you train the imagination?

                       CARDINAL
          The imagination is God's garden; don't
          let the Devil play in it. Teach our
          Italian women to be wives, not whores,
          don't make us look at filth and
          debauchery. Make us proud to be
          Italian...

Guido's head disappears under the water.    The sound of
the Cardinal's voice trails away...
                                      p. 43



MEMORY:


EXT. BEACH - DAY

SUPERTITLE:   Pesaro, Italy, 1926

Young Guido, dressed in his school uniform, runs fast
across the rough dunes with five boys from the village.

The boys head for a graffiti-covered defensive wall
with barbed wire along the top, a leftover from the
war.

They reach into pockets and extract small change, hand
it to Young Guido, already the ring leader.

They crawl through a small opening in the wall and
approach an abandoned bunker...


EXT. SARAGHINA'S BUNKER - DAY

...Young Guido takes a step forward toward the bunker,
as the other boys fearfully take a step back.

                       YOUNG GUIDO
                 (not loud enough)
          Saraghina.
                 (louder)
          Saraghina.

Now all the boys join in.

                        BOYS
          Saraghina!   Saraghina!

                       YOUNG GUIDO
                 (loudest)
          Saraghina! Sa-ra-ghina!

A shadow moves inside the bunker. Now even Young Guido
takes a step back, but the boys are taking three steps
back.

And then she comes out. SARAGHINA is a gritty, earthy
woman, with a powerful, voluptuous energy. She has
darkened eyes and a beauty mark: she is clearly the
model for the whore makeup on Carla.

She looks at the boys. She may be a crazy whore, but
she's not an animal, she's just playing one for the
boys, and they don't quite understand that she's having
her own fun with them.

She takes a deliberate step. Young Guido stands his
ground. She takes another step and holds out her hand.
                                    p. 44



Young Guido opens his hand with the coins.

She looks at the money.   Is it enough?


But she grabs his wrist, and holds it, and then takes
the coins.

She stuffs the money in her ample bosom and heads back
to her bunker. She returns dragging an old broken
chair, places it in front of the boys and sits, ready
for the "show."

Saraghina scoops up the soft white sand in her hands
and pours it over her body...

A dark vamp begins.


FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Curtains of falling sand fill the soundstage.

Through the sand, we see Saraghina seated on the same
chair from the beach. She speaks, surrounded by other
WHORES in provocative positions on beaten-up chairs.

                        SARAGHINA
           So, you little Italian devils, you
           want to know about love? Saraghina
           will tell you...and if you want to
           make a woman happy, you rely on what
           you were born with. Because it is in
           your blood.


EXT. BEACH - DAY

With a smile, she pulls her dress off her shoulders.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                        SARAGHINA
                  (sings)
           BE ITALIAN, BE ITALIAN.
           TAKE A CHANCE, AND TRY TO
           STEAL A FIERY KISS.
           BE ITALIAN, BE ITALIAN.
           WHEN YOU HOLD ME, DON'T JUST HOLD ME
           BUT HOLD THIS!

She grabs her breasts.
                                   p. 45




EXT. BEACH - DAY

She undulates her body. The boys watch and cheer.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       SARAGHINA
          PLEASE BE GENTLE, SENTIMENTAL,
          GO AHEAD AND TRY TO GIVE MY CHEEK A
          PAT,
          BUT BE DARING AND UNCARING.
          WHEN YOU PINCH ME, TRY TO PINCH ME
          WHERE THERE'S FAT.


EXT. BEACH - DAY

Saraghina gets up on the chair, lifts her skirt, and
begins to move her hips.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

         SARAGHINA                       WHORES
BE A SINGER, BE A LOVER       BE A SINGER, BE A LOVER,
PICK THE FLOWER NOW BEFORE    BEFORE IT'S PAST, BE
THE CHANCE IS PAST, BE        ITALIAN, BE ITALIAN.
ITALIAN BE ITALIAN
LIVE TODAY AS IF IT MAY
BECOME YOUR LAST!


EXT. BEACH - DAY

Saraghina drops to the ground and playfully writhes in
the sand. The boys are transfixed.

She gets up and heads towards the water.   The boys
follow, running.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Saraghina and The Whores brandish tambourines. They
begin a slow, rhythmic and sensual dance that builds
into a wild and raucous tarantella.

We furiously intercut between the musical fantasy and
the memory of the boys romping on the beach with
Saraghina, across the sand and through the water.

         SARAGHINA                       WHORES
BE A SINGER, BE A LOVER,      BE A SINGER, BE A LOVER,
PICK THE FLOWER NOW BEFORE    BEFORE IT'S PAST.
THE CHANCE IS PAST.
                                     p. 46



         SARAGHINA                         WHORES
BE ITALIAN, BE ITALIAN,         BE ITALIAN, BE ITALIAN.
LIVE TODAY AS IF IT MAY
BECOME YOUR LAST!

The whores dance.

The number ends.


EXT. BEACH - DAY

Two PRIESTS are running down the beach, cassocks
flapping.

The boys run. Young Guido tries to run away from the
priests. They catch him and carry him away from the
beach.


INT. ST. SEBASTIAN CHAPEL - DAY

Off-screen, a boys choir sings KYRIE.

The priests drag Young Guido through the school's
chapel, past a tortured Christ hanging above the ornate
altar, into the Principal's office.


INT. PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE - DAY

Guido's mother is there with the PRINCIPAL (again, she
appears the way he remembers her).

                       MAMMA
          I am ashamed of you, Guido.

                       YOUNG GUIDO
          But Mamma, what did I do.

                       PRINCIPAL
          Bring him here. That savage is the
          devil. God will punish you for your
          sins, now and forever.

The Principal produces a cane and starts to whip the
boy remorselessly. Mamma looks away. Young Guido cries
out as they punish him...


INT. PENSIONE BEDROOM - DAY

...and the cry is now in Guido's mouth, on top of Carla
in the spasm of sex... He suddenly can't breathe...
Carla is suddenly aware that he's not in ecstasy... He
rolls over, recovers slowly. As always, immediately
wanting to leave after the sex.
                                   p. 47



                        CARLA
          What? What?

                       GUIDO
          I can't breathe, I can't breathe.

                       CARLA
          Guido, don't die on me! Can you
          imagine... poor Luigi! It would kill
          him.

                       GUIDO
                 (finding her ridiculous)
          If I die it would kill your husband?

Guido shrugs the sheet off and sits up slowly. Carla
kneels up and hugs him, kissing his back.

                       CARLA
          No, that's not what I meant, Guidino.
          No. Where are you going?

                       GUIDO
          I have to go to work. Carla, I can't
          breathe.

Guido stands up and picks up his shirt. He puts it on
whilst they argue.

                       CARLA
          Let me come with you.

                       GUIDO
          It's impossible.

                        CARLA
          Why?

                       GUIDO
          Because it's impossible. Please.

                       CARLA
          But why is it impossible? Look at your
          producer! He's married, he brings his
          girlfriend to work and nobody cares.
          Guido. Everybody knows about me. Why?
          Why won't you let me near you?

                       GUIDO
          For the very same reason you don't
          want me to die on top of you. It's
          not fair to your husband. It's not
          fair to my wife.
                                      p. 48



                       CARLA
          See, you're playing with me. You're
          twisting everything... Please let me
          come with you.

                       GUIDO
          No.

Guido heads towards the door, still dressing.

                       CARLA
          I'll be here waiting for you with my
          legs open.

Disgusted with himself, he leaves.


INT. TERRACE RESTAURANT, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - NIGHT

Glittering lights on the terrace. A view of the sea.
A pop band and a dance floor.   A slick Italian MALE
SINGER performs QUANDO QUANDO QUANDO. People dance.
The whole PRODUCTION TEAM is at a working dinner.
Guido is at the end of the table, spilling ideas,
struggling, struggling to make sense of Italia -

                        GUIDO
          Let's say there were ten sequences,
          each one set in a different period,
          but played by the same cast, a man and
          a woman, a woman and a man...
                 (pours himself a glass of
                  wine)
          Something light and hectic - like
          Mozart would do it, like Figaro.
                 (to Lilli)
          Like the circus...

                       DANTE
          Claudia is going to be amazing.

                       BENITO
          It sounds like a masterpiece.

                       FAUSTO
                 (hissing at Dante)
          Dante, you see, he hasn't written a
          word...

                       DANTE
                 (defending his director)
          The screenplay is first of all a map.
          That's a map.
                                      p. 49



                       GUIDO
          Let's try to dig for something else.
          Maybe a group of people digging, with
          shovels, in the desert.

                       LILLI
          Guido.

She nudges him. He looks across the restaurant to see
his wife at the entrance looking for him...

                       GUIDO
          Luisa!

He jumps up from the table and hurries towards the
dance floor, genuinely happy.

ON THE DANCE FLOOR:

 - as Guido is protective of Luisa... holding her back
from the dinner table.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          I can't believe you came.

                       LUISA
          The jungle drums said it was an
          emergency.

                       GUIDO
          The jungle drums exaggerated just a
          tiny bit.

                       LUISA
          Not entirely.
                 (with concern)
          You haven't been sleeping.

                       GUIDO
          I was dying, until just now.    Come.

He pulls her into the middle of the dance floor.    They
start to dance.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          And don't think I forgot your
          birthday. When you get home, the house
          will be full of flowers...

                       LUISA
          Am I already going home?

                       GUIDO
          I hope not. Happy Birthday, my
          darling.
                                   p. 50



They move together, enjoying each other.   She kisses
him.

They walk towards the table.

AT THE TABLE:

                       DANTE
                 (Seeing Luisa)
          Here she is. At last.   Magnificent.
          You know Donatella?

                       LUISA
          I do now.

She leans across to kiss Lilli.

He sits Luisa down, goes to grab a bottle of champagne.

                       LUISA (CONT'D)
                 (to Lilli)
          Thank you for calling.

                       LILLI
                 (confidentially)
          You're saving the movie. Give him a
          good idea, for God's sake.

Luisa says hello to the rest of the gang, there are
kisses, etc. as Guido returns and pops open the bottle
of champagne.

                       GUIDO
          Let's drink a toast to Luisa's
          birthday.

                       LUISA
                 (negating it)
          It was Monday.

                       DANTE
          Happy Birthday!

                       LUISA
                 (not quite able to forgive
                  him)
          Thank you.

                       GUIDO
          Happy Birthday.

Just then, the Cardinal's Secretary appears.   Heads
towards the table.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Maestro.
                                      p. 51



                       GUIDO
                 (standing up to greet him,
                  then turning to Luisa)
          Ah, Don Mario. Excuse me, darling,
          this is Don Mario. This is my wife,
          Luisa.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          A pleasure, Signora.

                       LUISA
          Sit down, won't you, Don Mario?

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Oh no.

                       LUISA
          Please.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          I was telling your husband how much I
          admire his movies. Publicly, you know
          the Church condemns them - we have to -
          but we all love them.
                 (To Guido)
          Last year we did our own version of
          your Il Vicolo at the Christmas
          Party.

                       LILLI
          That I would pay to see.

                       GUIDO
          Luisa was in that film.

                       LILLI
          She was the best thing in the movie.

                        GUIDO
          It's true.   It was your first part.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          Of course! - you're Luisa Acari! Oh
          my Lord!

                       LUISA
          I was.

Music begins.

                       CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
          You can't stop being somebody.

                       LUISA
          Can't you?
                                    p. 52



                        CARDINAL'S SECRETARY
           Well there's a good catholic wife for
           you, Guido, that's what they do -
           sacrifice. Still, Signora Contini, it
           must be a very exciting life for
           you...

Luisa looks to Guido.   Close up on Guido.


FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

The restaurant table as well as the production team are
transplanted onto Guido's unfinished set. They are
surrounded by camera equipment, standing lighting
units, etc. Luisa rises from her chair, distancing
herself from the scene. The other characters, with the
exception of Guido, freeze in a dimly lit macabre
tableau.

Luisa contemplates her life with Guido.

                        LUISA
           MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES
           TO MAKE THEM HE LIVES A KIND OF DREAM
           IN WHICH HIS ACTIONS AREN'T ALWAYS
           WHAT THEY SEEM-
           HE MAY BE ON TO SOME UNIQUE ROMANTIC
           THEME.
           SOME MEN RUN BANKS
           SOME RULE THE WORLD
           SOME EARN THEIR LIVING BAKING BREAD.
           MY HUSBAND.... HE GOES A LITTLE CRAZY
           MAKING MOVIES INSTEAD.
           MY HUSBAND SPINS FANTASIES,
           HE LIVES THEM, THEN GIVES THEM TO YOU
           ALL
           LIKE MICHELANGELO,
           HE PAINTS HIS PRIVATE DOME
           BUT CAN'T DISTINGUISH WHAT'S HIS WORK
           AND WHAT'S HIS HOME.
           SOME MEN SELL STOCKS
           SOME MEN PUNCH CLOCKS
           SOME LEAP WHERE OTHERS FEAR TO TREAD.
           MY HUSBAND, AS AUTHOR AND DIRECTOR,
           MAKES UP STORIES IN HIS HEAD.

As the number progresses, the world around Luisa
disappears into a black void, leaving only herself,
with Guido in the shadows. Luisa climbs the staircase.

                        LUISA (CONT'D)
           GUIDO CONTINI, LUISA CONTINI:
           NUMBER ONE GENIUS AND NUMBER ONE FAN.
                        (MORE)
                                     p. 53

                       LUISA (CONT'D)
          GUIDO CONTINI, LUISA CONTINI:
          PASSIONATE WOMAN IN LOVE WITH THIS MAN
          LONG AGO - MANY YEARS AGO.
          ONCE WE TWO WERE-
          GUIDO CONTINI, LUISA HIS LOVER:
          ACTRESS WITH DREAMS AND A LIFE OF HER
          OWN,
          THEN WE HAD NO END OF WORLDS TO
          DISCOVER,
          SINGING TOGETHER ALL NIGHT ON THE
          PHONE LONG AGO - SOMEONE ELSE AGO...


MEMORY:


INT. INSERT STAGE - DAY

Luisa's screen test for Guido. A work print in
scratched black and white. The music continues.

                       CLAPPER LOADER (O.S.)
          Signorina Acari, per favore. Provino
          numero uno. Luisa Acari.

The clapper board. TITLE: IL VICOLO (The Alley)    Her
name: LUISA ACARI.

A small set. A couple of tables and chairs, as if it's
an outdoor cafe in Piazza Navona.   Luisa enters,
younger, she's like Audrey Hepburn...

Luisa sits on the chair.

                       GUIDO (O.S.)
          Your name, it's Italian.

                       LUISA
          My father's Italian. My mother's
          French.

                       GUIDO (O.S.)
          What have you done before?

                       LUISA
                 (eyes twinkling)
          Oh, I've waited...

                       GUIDO (O.S.)
          Waited? For this?

                       LUISA
          Waited tables.
                 (they both laugh)
          And, of course, I studied theatre and
          mime in Paris. But, mostly waited
          tables.
                                   p. 54



Guido enters.   He's fascinated by her. She's taken
aback that he's in front of the camera and approaching
her. He walks straight up to her and unties her hair.
It's oddly intimate. He stands back to reappraise her.

                       GUIDO
          Thank you.

                       LUISA
          For what?

                       GUIDO
          Thank you. For what I'm looking at.
                 (walking away)
          Keep running.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Luisa is now at the top of the staircase. She looks at
Guido from a greater distance and descends the stairs.

                       LUISA
          LONG AGO - SOMEONE ELSE AGO.
          HOW HE NEEDS ME SO,
          AND HE'LL BE THE LAST TO KNOW IT.
          MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES.
          TO MAKE THEM HE MAKES HIMSELF
          OBSESSED.
          HE WORKS FOR WEEKS ON END
          WITHOUT A BIT OF REST-
          NO OTHER WAY CAN HE ACHIEVE HIS LEVEL
          BEST.
          SOME MEN READ BOOKS,
          SOME SHINE THEIR SHOES,
          SOME RETIRE EARLY,
          SOME STAY UP TO DREAM AND MUSE.
          MY HUSBAND ONLY RARELY COMES TO BED -
          MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES INSTEAD.
          MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES...


INT. TERRACE RESTAURANT - NIGHT

In reality, Luisa sees Carla enter the restaurant.
They look at each other. Carla tries to change
direction, or look as if she's come to the wrong place.

...Luisa gets up abruptly.

                       LUISA
          Excuse me, I suddenly feel very tired.

She hurries away. Guido senses something terrible is
happening. He gets up and goes after his wife.
                                    p. 55




EXT. STEPS, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - NIGHT

Guido catches up to Luisa as she storms up the steps.

                       GUIDO
          Luisa!

                       LUISA
          I'm staggered by my own stupidity.    I
          could vomit.

                       GUIDO
          Luisa - will you please just tell me
          what happened?

                       LUISA
          You open your mouth and a lie comes
          out.

                       GUIDO
          What lie?

                       LUISA
          Why am I surprised? - it's like
          breathing to you.

She walks away up the steps. Guido can only guess at
what's happened. He heads back to the terrace
restaurant...


INT. TERRACE RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Guido comes back inside. Carla is seated at a table.
She sees him and calls for him.

                       CARLA
          Guido.

Raging, he grabs her and frogmarches her out the door.


INT. LOBBY, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - NIGHT

Guido pulls Carla through the lobby. She's humiliated.

                       CARLA
                 (trying to explain)
          I was hungry. I'm tired of eating
          alone in that room.

                       GUIDO
          There are plenty of restaurants.
                                    p. 56



                       CARLA
          I wanted to see the hotel. I told you
          I came here with my parents when I was
          little. I didn't come to disturb you.

                       GUIDO
          Well you certainly managed to.

                       CARLA
          Why didn't you tell me Luisa was going
          to be here!

                       GUIDO
          I didn't know she was here.   She just
          turned up.

                       CARLA
          Well, she could have warned you.

                       GUIDO
          The only privilege my wife has these
          days is not having to warn me.

He walks over to the front desk, to the ubiquitous De
Rossi.

                       GUIDO O.S
          A taxi, please, for the Signora.

                        DE ROSSI O.S.
          Right away.

Guido goes back to the suddenly vulnerable Carla.

                       GUIDO
          Carla, you have to wait outside.

                       CARLA
          Will you wait with me?

                       GUIDO
          I'm in the middle of a working dinner
          with my colleagues.

                       CARLA
          So why do I have to wait outside?

                       GUIDO
                 (shamed)
          I'll find someone to escort you home.

He disappears. Carla walks towards the door, conscious
of De Rossi. She's humiliated. De Rossi comes out
from behind his desk, approaches her.
                                   p. 57



                       DE ROSSI
                 (carefully)
          Signora, would you rather wait inside?

                       CARLA
          I'm going to walk.   Please tell my
          friend I had to leave.

She walks away.


EXT. ROAD - NIGHT

Carla walks along the road in the dark, stumbling
along.


INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - NIGHT

Guido enters. The two single beds. Luisa is apparently
asleep in hers. Guido sits on his bed. Glum.

                       GUIDO
          Apparently she's staying in some
          grotesque pensione next to the
          station.

Luisa doesn't move.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Luisa, if I'd invited her here, she
          would be staying in the hotel,
          wouldn't she? Think about it. I
          didn't even know you were coming.

                       LUISA
                 (without opening her eyes)
          Very plausible.

                       GUIDO
          Because it's true.

Luisa turns on her bedside lamp and sits up in bed.

                       LUISA
          You told me it was finished.

                       GUIDO
          It is. Look, she was worried about
          me, she came to see if I was all right
          - which yes, is stupid but not, as far
          as I know, a crime, and hardly a
          mortal sin.

Luisa suddenly laughs, disconcertingly.
                                      p. 58



                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
                 (smiles, insecure)
          What? What are you laughing about?

                       LUISA
          Nothing. If you could see yourself.
                 (raising herself up
                  further)
          I couldn't live with it - the
          absurdity of being you, the effort of
          having to hide and lie and cheat. It's
          exhausting, no wonder you've got no
          script, you're too busy inventing your
          own life.

                       GUIDO
          It's finished. It's finished.
                 (and he is exhausted)
          If it wasn't before, it is now.

                       LUISA
                 (lying back on her bed)
          Blah blah blah blah blah.

Luisa turns over, reaches to the bedside lamp and turns
it off. Guido gets up and hurries from the room.


INT. BAR, HOTEL BELLAVISTA - NIGHT

Guido enters the bar, goes up to the bartender.

                       GUIDO
          Vodka.

A voice comes from behind him.

                       STEPHANIE (O.S.)
          I'll have one of those. Due.

Guido looks around, it's the Vogue Journalist from the
Press Conference. Stephanie grins at him, infectious,
full of flirt.

                       STEPHANIE (CONT'D)
          Hi, Guido Contini. Stephanie, from
          Vogue, remember me?

                       GUIDO
          Yes, I remember very well, Stephanina
          from Vogue.

                       STEPHANIE
          So, coincidence. You being here.    And
          me being here.
                                     p. 59



                       GUIDO
                 (taking his glasses off)
          Amazing. May I take a cigarette?

                       STEPHANIE
          That was quite a performance. At the
          Press Conference. The Vanishing Act.

Guido takes a cigarette. The drinks appear.    Guido
produces some money.

                       STEPHANIE (CONT'D)
          No, please, my treat.

                       GUIDO
                 (paying)
          Please.

                       STEPHANIE
          Grazie.

                       GUIDO
          Prego.

                       STEPHANIE
                 (eyeing Guido)
          I've seen all your movies.

                       GUIDO
                 (lights their cigarettes)
          Really?

                       STEPHANIE
          Like a million times. They're the only
          movies that tell the truth about the
          modern world.

                       GUIDO
          And what truth is that?

                       STEPHANIE
                 (thinks)
          Death of religion... Sexual
          revolution...

                       GUIDO
          I don't think religion is dead. And
          what exactly is the sexual revolution?

                       STEPHANIE
          That we can talk about later.

Stephanie crosses her legs. Guido looks down and sees
her grey patent leather boot moving in time to the
beat.

A RHYTHM BEGINS.
                                    p. 60



                        STEPHANIE (CONT'D)
           You have such style. I always think
           that. That's the other thing I love
           about your movies.

                          GUIDO
                    (appalled)
           Style.

FLASH: A SUDDEN HEAD TURN OF A MAN IN SHADES.

                        STEPHANIE
           Every frame is like a postcard.

                          GUIDO
                    (appalled)
           Okay.

                        STEPHANIE
           It's great: you care as much about the
           suit as the man wearing it.

FLASH: A SUDDEN IMAGE OF MEN IN STYLISH SUITS.

                        STEPHANIE (CONT'D)
           It's the Italian man in you: pays for
           your drinks, undresses you with his
           eyes...

FLASH: A SUDDEN IMAGE OF A WOMAN'S HIP THRUST.

                        GUIDO
           I hate that man.

                        STEPHANIE
           No! Style is the new content! It's
           what my readers love. They want to
           dress like Claudia Jenssen. They want
           to undress like Claudia Jenssen. They
           want to ride on a Vespa down the Via
           Veneto. They want to live in an
           Italian movie.


FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

The tiered levels of the unfinished set are covered
with go-go girls in silver miniskirts. At the center
of the stage, Italian male models in stylish suits and
Ray Bans strut down a fashion runway.

Stephanie makes her entrance on the catwalk.
                                   p. 61



                       STEPHANIE
          I LOVE THE BLACK AND WHITE!
          I LOVE THE PLAY OF LIGHT!
          THE WAY CONTINI PUTS HIS IMAGE THROUGH
          A PRISM.


INT. HOTEL BAR - NIGHT

Guido lights Stephanie's cigarette.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       STEPHANIE
          I FEEL MY BODY CHILL
          GIVES ME A SPECIAL THRILL
          EACH TIME I SEE THAT GUIDO NEO-REALISM


INT. HOTEL BAR - NIGHT

Guido and Stephanie share a laugh as she steals a sip
from Guido's glass.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Stephanie leads the men in a series of tight, rhythmic
moves.

                       STEPHANIE
          I LOVE THE DARK AND HANDSOME GUYS
          WITH THEIR SKINNY LITTLE TIES
          DRESSIN' MOD, LOOKIN' OUTTA SIGHT!
          I LOVE TO WATCH `EM AS THEY CRUISE
          WITH THEIR POINTY LEATHER SHOES
          WEARIN' SHADES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
          NIGHT.


INT. HOTEL BAR - NIGHT

Stephanie rubs her leg against Guido's.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       STEPHANIE
          WHATEVER GUIDO DOES, IT MAKES ME SMILE
          HE IS THE ESSENCE OF ITALIAN STYLE.
          I LOVE THE GLAMOROUSLY LATIN WORLD
          THAT ONLY GUIDO CAN PORTRAY!!!

          CONTINI'S CINEMA ITALIANO!
          I LOVE HIS CINEMA ITALIANO!
          HE MAKES ME FEEL WITH CINEMA ITALIANO
                       (MORE)
                                      p. 62

                       STEPHANIE (CONT'D)
          MY LIFE IS REAL WITH CINEMA ITALIANO
          HE IS THE KING OF CINEMA ITALIANO!


INT. HOTEL BAR - NIGHT

Stephanie whispers into Guido's ear, as she drops her
room key into his pocket. He watches her hips swing as
she walks out. Guido plays with her room key, deciding
whether or not to follow.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

A long line of chic women replace the men on the
runway, joining Stephanie.

                       STEPHANIE
          THOSE SCENES I LOVE TO SEE
          FROM GUIDO'S "P" "O" "V"
          THERE'S NO ONE ELSE WITH HIS UNIQUE
          DIRECTOR'S VISION.
          HIS ANGLES - WIDE AND TIGHT -
          EACH MOMENT FEELS SO RIGHT...
          DEFINES ITALIAN STYLE BY ONLY HIS
          DECISION!
          I LOVE THE SPEEDY LITTLE CARS
          THE HIP COFFEE BARS
          THE SLEEK WOMEN IN POSITANO...
          GUIDO'S THE ULTIMATE UOMO ROMANO!

                       STEPHANIE AND MEN
          CONTINI'S CINEMA ITALIANO!
          I LOVE HIS CINEMA ITALIANO
          GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO
          GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO
          GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO
          GUIDO GUIDO!

DRUM BREAK.   The number heats up.


INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - NIGHT

Guido exits the elevator, weary and ripe with self-
disgust, and walks down the hallway to Stephanie's
door.

Guido pushes open the door and drops her key in a bowl.
He walks tentatively into the room and sits on her bed.
The dressing room door is deliberately ajar.

Guido catches a glimpse of Stephanie undressing in a
mirror.
                                       p. 63




INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                         STEPHANIE
            DARK AND HANDSOME GUYS
            SKINNY LITTLE TIES
            SHADES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
            SPEEDY LITTLE CARS
            HIP COFFEE BARS
            SLEEK WOMEN IN POSITANO...

    STEPHANIE AND WOMEN                     MEN
ECCO IL RE DEL                  ECCO IL RE DEL
CINEMA ITALIANO                 CINEMA ITALIANO
QUESTO O E IL                   QUESTO O E IL
CINEMA ITALIANO                 CINEMA ITALIANO
NELLA MIA ANIMA

                         ALL
            NELLA MIA ANIMA
            NELLA MIA ANIMA
            CINEMA ITALIANO

            BIANCO-NERO BIANCO-NERO
            BIANCO-NERO
            NERO-NERO

                         STEPHANIE
            CINEMA ITALIANO

            WOMEN                           MEN
BIANCO-NERO BIANCO-NERO         DARK AND HANDSOME GUYS
BIANCO-NERO                     SKINNY LITTLE TIES
NERO-NERO                       SHADES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
                                NIGHT
                                SPEEDY LITTLE CARS
                                HIP COFFEE BARS
                                MOD, LOOKIN' OUTTA SIGHT

                          ALL
            NELLA MIA ANIMA
            CINEMA ITALIANO
            NELLA MIA ANIMA
            CINEMA ITALIANO

            CONTINI'S CINEMA
            ITALIANO!

Suddenly,   Guido is sharing the runway with Stephanie,
the go-go   dancers, and the male models, soaking up the
adoration   as his idol-worshipping audience cheers and
paparazzi   flash. It's a party. Champagne Popping.
Flowing.

Everyone is chanting Guido's name.     Guido and Stephanie
exit the runway, arm and arm...
                                       p. 64




INT. STEPHANIE'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Guido feels consumed with self-loathing.

                       GUIDO
          No.

He gets up from the bed and bolts from the room...


INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - NIGHT

...Guido enters his own suite. He sits down on Luisa's
bed, curls round her and kisses her neck. Determined
to commit to Luisa.

                       GUIDO
          I love you Luisa.

After a moment she turns to him, her own hand seeks
his.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Can we please try to be close again.

The PHONE RINGS, shockingly loud. He kisses Luisa,
then grabs the phone to silence it.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Pronto...


EXT. PENSIONE FERROVIA - NIGHT

Guido arrives at the Pensione.   The Matron is waiting
at the door. Distressed.


INT. PENSIONE FERROVIA - NIGHT

As they walk down the hall -

                       GUIDO
          Is the doctor still with her?

The Matron nods.

                       MATRON
          Yes, he's in there. He's waiting for
          you. This way.
                                      p. 65




INT. PENSIONE BEDROOM - NIGHT

Guido goes in with the Matron to find her DAUGHTER
pressing a cold compress onto Carla's head as she lies,
feverish in the bed. DOCTOR RONDI is packing up his
things.

                       CARLA
                 (distant)
          You came.

                       GUIDO
                 (taking her hand)
          I'm here.

Doctor Rondi is brisk.   He nods to Guido that they go
outside.

                       DOCTOR RONDI
          Signor Contini.

As Guido makes to leave -

                         CARLA
          Come back.

Guido reassures her with a gesture.


INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE PENSIONE BEDROOM - NIGHT

Guido and Doctor Rondi come out. Guido is concerned.
Doctor Rondi writes out a prescription as he talks.

                       DOCTOR RONDI
          She took five or six pills, enough to
          make herself very sick. I understand
          she's your mistress.
                 (Guido can't answer)
          This is a sordid business. You movie
          people, I suppose you don't consider
          yourself bound by morality...

Guido doesn't fight. Rondi hands him the prescription,
picks up his bag, turns and walks away, leaving Guido
leaning against the wall...


MEMORY:


EXT. BEACH - DAY

Young Guido, alone and dressed in his school uniform,
runs fast across the rough dunes.
                                     p. 66



                      MAMMA (O.S.)
          Guido? Dove corri? Where are you
          running to?


INT. PENSIONE BEDROOM - NIGHT

... the door knob turns. Guido comes back into the
room, indicates to the Matron and her daughter that
they should leave.

                         GUIDO
          Thank you.    I'm going to stay with her
          now.

                       MATRON
          If you need us for anything, just
          call, okay? Francesca, andiamo.

                         GUIDO
          Grazie.

He sits on the side of the bed and puts his hand over
hers.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Carla, I should call your husband.

                       CARLA
          No, he'll take me home.

                       GUIDO
          What have you done to yourself?    I'm
          not worth dying for, Carla.

                       CARLA
          Don't be angry with me. Everything I
          do, I just want you to love me.

This comes out with enormous tenderness, as if she
suddenly understands herself.

                       CARLA (CONT'D)
          When you're not here with me, I'm
          still here. When you're in your life,
          making your movies, dancing with your
          wife - I'm still here.

Guido hears her.    Knows what she's saying is true.   She
looks at him.

                       GUIDO
          Ssshh. You should rest. We'll talk
          about everything in the morning...

He stands and pulls a sheet up over her.
                                        p. 67



                        CARLA
                  (Clutching at him)
           Don't leave me. Don't leave me.

Guido lies down next to her, she turns to face him.

                         GUIDO
           Rest, rest.   Cara mia...

FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                        MAMMA (O.S.)
           ...Caro,caro mio.

...Young Guido is scaling the unfinished set, as Mamma
circles him from below. Hundreds of candles fill the
darkness.

Mamma intercepts Young Guido as he jumps down from the
spiral staircase and she swings him into her arms. She
sings playfully.

                        MAMMA (CONT'D)
           GUARDA LA LUNA CHE BRILLA LASSU
           HOW THE MOON GLOWS
           AS IT SMILES OVER YOU
           WHEN YOU'RE DREAMING
           BLISSFULLY!
           DREAMING, FLYING FREE!


INT. PENSIONE BEDROOM - NIGHT

Guido attempts to comfort Carla.

                        CARLA
           My husband thinks I'm clever, that's
           the strange thing, because I'm not,
           well you know that, I spend too much
           time in my little brain thinking about
           you, about where you are, what you are
           doing, what you dream of.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Mamma guides Young Guido through an allée of candles.

                        MAMMA
           OH, DREAM OF YOUR YOUTH
           WHEN I'M STILL BY YOUR SIDE
           DREAM OF YOUR MANHOOD,
           PRAY I'M THERE TO GUIDE YOU
           AND WHEN YOU GROW OLD
                        (MORE)
                                    p. 68

                       MAMMA (CONT'D)
          HOW MY LOVE STILL WILL SHINE
          ALWAYS REMEMBER MY SON...
          YOU WILL ALWAYS BE
          MINE!
          YES, MINE!

She gently spins Young Guido, and - as he completes the
turn - he is replaced by Older Guido. Mamma now waltzes
with her adult son.

                       MAMMA (CONT'D)
          GUIDO
          SAI CHE TI VOGLIO BENE,
          FIGLIOLO MIO,
          GUIDO
          DO YOU THINK THAT SO MANY
          WILL LOVE YOU
          AS I DO?

Mamma caresses Guido's face.   Guido pulls away.

Older Guido watches, as Mamma takes Young Guido up the
grand staircase.

                       MAMMA (CONT'D)
          GUARDA LA LUNA,
          SHE HANGS IN THE SKY
          BEAMING HER BLESSING
          TO MAKE YOU AND I KNOW THAT
          THIS ONE GOODNIGHT KISS
          WILL KEEP ALL YOUR LIFE
          PERFECT LIKE THIS.

Mamma sits on the steps with Young Guido.     He rests his
head in her lap.

Older Guido walks past them up the staircase.

                       GUIDO
          Hold on to me, Mamma.   Don't let me
          wake from this.

He disappears into darkness.


INT. PENSIONE BEDROOM - DAY

Guido wakes. It's morning.

Carla looks very fragile as the first rays of sun touch
the room. Him, too. He rubs his face, hears voices.
He gets up, goes out to investigate.


INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE PENSIONE BEDROOM - DAY

Carla's husband, LUIGI, is talking with Matron on the
landing.
                                   p. 69


Guido straightens himself up, approaches, as Matron
retreats to leave them alone. LUIGI is a nice,
dignified man. He's very anxious. He and Guido can't
really look at each other.

                         MATRON
          Excuse me.

She leaves.

                         LUIGI
          Is she okay?

                         GUIDO
          Yes.

                       LUIGI
          I'd like to take her home.

                       GUIDO
          Of course. I'm sorry.
                 (hapless)
          She loves you, you know that, don't
          you.

                       LUIGI
          She's my wife.

He walks into the room. Guido stands outside for a
second, then turns to go.


INT. GUIDO'S SUITE - DAY

The door is open as Guido enters. He's confused,
worried that Luisa has gone, perhaps. But then he sees
a figure moving about in the dressing room, emptying a
closet.

                         GUIDO
          Darling?

Dante appears, stuffing Guido's things into a suitcase.

                       DANTE
          We're going back to Rome.

                       GUIDO
                 (anxious)
          Where's Luisa?

                       DANTE
          Luisa? She's gone. She's had it with
          you.
                 (different tone)
          And quite frankly, so have I. You
          drag a whole crew up here and then you
          just disappear.
                       (MORE)
                                    p. 70

                       DANTE (CONT'D)
          I can't protect you anymore. And
          Claudia is in Rome. Makeup tests start
          today. Remember?

                          GUIDO
                 (sits)
          I can't.

                       DANTE
          You can't. You must. Don't sit down.

                          GUIDO
          I need help.

                       DANTE
                 (still packing)
          You've had help. You've seen the
          doctors, you've seen the priests,
          you've taken the cure.

                       GUIDO
          I'm not cured.

                       DANTE
                 (decisive, no arguments)
          That's enough! The movie calls, your
          star has landed. Fausto - take his
          things please.

Dante walks over to the door with the suitcase, passing
Fausto. A Bellboy and a luggage cart stand in the hall.

                      DANTE (CONT'D)
                (impatient,
                at the door)
          Guido! Andiamo!


EXT. GATES OF CINECITTA - LATE AFTERNOON

Guido's Roadster approaches the gates. There are
PAPARAZZI gathered for the arrival of Claudia, for the
beginning of filming. They drive through, solemn faced,
ignoring the press.

                       GUIDO (O.S.)
          I need more time.

                       DANTE (O.S.)
          Forget the script. Claudia's here now.
          She'll inspire you to do what you do
          best, write with your camera.
                                     p. 71




EXT. CINECITTA - LATE AFTERNOON

The whole energy of this return to Cinecitta is hectic,
people wanting to work, equipment waiting to work,
everybody and everything needing Guido's attention.

Guido drives towards the stages. Guido feels the
pressure that the whole studio is gearing up for a
movie that doesn't exist.

Guido is trying not to panic. He feels as if he's just
arrived in prison camp. He drives fast and straight to
Stage 4, and as they head towards the studio, they are
immediately swamped. Pierpaolo has a hundred requests
for Guido...

                       PIERPAOLO
          Maestro, the screen tests are back
          from the lab. Will you watch them now?

                       DANTE
          Tonight.   We'll watch everything
          tonight and make some decisions.

                       PIERPAOLO
          Design meeting? Production meeting?

                        DANTE
          Tonight.

                        PIERPAOLO
          Tonight.

Dante marches Guido towards the stage. Lilli joins
them.

                       LILLI
          Claudia says where are you? She's in
          fine form. Feisty.

                        GUIDO
                  (knows what that means)
          Okay.

                       LILLI
          She asked if she could read my script
          as she didn't have one. I said I
          didn't quite have mine.

Lilli peels off and joins her assistant Roberta at a
rack of costumes.
                                    p. 72




INT. INSERT STAGE, CINECITTA - LATE AFTERNOON

A couple of huge cameras are being prepared, some
lights are being flown up into the grid, the LOADER is
preparing the Clapper Board. The Loader has created a
slate: ITALIA, CLAUDIA JENSSEN, HAIR AND MAKEUP TESTS.

The gang enters. Guido says a brisk hello to the crew,
then leaves the set quickly. Finds the studio
telephone behind the flats. He dials.

Guido waits. Luisa picks up the phone.

                       LUISA
          Pronto.

                       GUIDO
          Luisa, it's me. Please don't hang up.
                 (she doesn't respond)
          I want you to be with me in the
          screening room tonight. I want to talk
          to you about the casting, about the
          script. Everything...


INT. INSERT STAGE/CONTINI HOME - LATE AFTERNOON

INTERCUT, LUISA at home, listening, inscrutable.

                       GUIDO
          Otherwise I won't be able to start, I
          won't know what I'm thinking...

Luisa listens. Pierpaolo appears again, always the
same, needs him to start.

                       PIERPAOLO
          Maestro.

Guido nods, waves him away.

                       GUIDO
          Are you there? Luisa?

                       LUISA
          Go on.

                       GUIDO
          I'm not asking you to let me come
          home, I just want you to come to the
          screen test tonight. Not for me, but
          for the movie. You always have, you
          always do.

Luisa puts down the phone.
                                     p. 73



Guido is in a mess.


INT. INSERT STAGE - EARLY EVENING

Guido walks forward and sits by the camera, as suddenly
there's a commotion at the studio door, and Lilli and
some of her assistants come through, silhouettes only,
followed by a tall figure, who demands the space around
her. As the others walk towards a holding area with
costumes, and wigs and all manner of items, the woman,
who is CLAUDIA, of course, simply walks into the light,
her home, and stands there waiting for Guido.

She looks stunning and glamorous. The epitome of a
Sixties movie star. Guido gets up and approaches
Claudia.

Pierpaolo acts as First Assistant Director.

                       PIERPAOLO
          Silence please. Se gira. And we are
          rolling.

Guido gets behind the camera and films Claudia's test.

                       GUIDO
          Could you turn to the right please,
          Claudia.

                       CLAUDIA
          Yes, I can turn to my right.

                       GUIDO
          And can you turn to the left.

                       CLAUDIA
          Yes, I can turn to my left.

                       GUIDO
          Now just one slow turn for us.

                       CLAUDIA
                 (she turns around)
          Okay, one slow turn.

                        GUIDO
          Bellissima.   Brava.   Cut.

                       PIERPAOLO
          We've got it. Next costume please.

Makeup artists and costume assistants immediately
surround her, loosening her hair.

Dante is thrilled. Fausto is also mesmerised.    She's a
star, that's the long and short of it.
                                   p. 74


And she's warming up for a fight with her director.
Another litany of jibes, half-joking, but dangerous.

                       CLAUDIA
          Has anybody got a script? Script
          missing, handsome reward.... Lost, one
          script, title Italia. Can't make a
          film without it...

Lilli comes forward, puts a chinchilla fur coat on
Claudia, adjusts her hair.

                       CLAUDIA (CONT'D)
          So interesting to do hair and makeup
          for a part when you don't know what
          the part is.

Guido adores her, her spirit, her feistiness.

                       CLAUDIA (CONT'D)
                 (shrugs off the coat)
          No! I'm going back to my hotel now.

                       PIERPAOLO
                 (anxious)
          But please, just a couple more
          costumes, Claudia.

                       CLAUDIA
                 (to Guido)
          I'm going back to my hotel now, my
          darling, and when I there is a script,
          I'll read it and then we'll take it
          from there.
                 (calls over to Lilli)
          I love the costumes, Lilli. They are
          beautiful.
                 (back to the guys,
                  sweetly)
          Ciao Bello.

                         GUIDO
          That's fair.

                         DANTE
          Claudia!

                       GUIDO
                 (to Dante)
          That's fair.

                         DANTE
          Fair?

                       GUIDO
          I'll be back.
                                    p. 75



Guido races after Claudia, taking the chinchilla coat
from Lilli with him. Opportunity for escape.

                       DANTE
          (calling to Guido)
          You've got dailies, Guido.

                       GUIDO
          I'll be right back.

                       DANTE
          (shouting)
          You've got meetings.


EXT. CINECITTA - NIGHT

Guido drives Claudia towards the gates, which swing
open. The paparazzi are in waiting and swarm the car,
flashbulbs popping, men clambering onto the car for a
picture of the Star driving away with her Director.
Lots of shouting and pleas, lots of remonstration from
Guido. They drive away, and are immediately followed
by a posse of photographers on their mopeds and Vespas
and little cars.


INT. CAR, ROME OUTSKIRTS - NIGHT

Guido's Roadster roars away, the papparazzi posse
following.   Guido glances at Claudia, loves having her
in the car, she's such a class act. He's always
inspired. He's driving fast but distracted by her.

                       GUIDO
          You look ravishing.

                       CLAUDIA
          You're not seeing me, you're seeing
          Lilli's wigs and makeup, I'm somewhere
          hidden underneath.

Guido's a good driver and weaves in and out of the
traffic. So do the posse, but as the road opens up,
they can't keep up with him and he manages to overtake
a car, they speed after him.


EXT. MEDIEVAL LANES, TRASTEVERE - NIGHT

Guido stops the car by some narrow streets in the
Trastevere, just south of the Vatican. They watch the
photographers hurtle past in search of them.

They sit for a second.
                                   p. 76



                       GUIDO
          It's good to see you.

                       CLAUDIA
          I'm assuming that's code for there's
          no script.

Guido is exasperated.

                       GUIDO
          Why is everybody so suddenly obsessed
          with the script?

Claudia listens. She's always seduced by the way he
speaks, his passion. They fall in love with each other
in every movie, that's the way of it. Guido lights a
cigarette.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          Talk to the people who love you in our
          films, they're not interested in my
          script! They're interested in the way
          you turn your head, the way the camera
          looks past you to the moon... the way
          you smile a little as you cry, the way
          you really do blush for the camera -
          how?! -
                 (enough examples, sighs)
          who even knows, but whatever else it
          is, it's not my script.

Guido has no confidence in what he's saying anymore.

They get out of the car and begin to walk away.    It's
almost deserted here.

                       CLAUDIA
          So Lilli says I'm playing a million
          different parts -

                       GUIDO
          Not a million - you're the muses, the
          incredible women who made Italy what
          it is today, a country run by men -
          who are themselves run by women,
          whether they know it or not.

                       CLAUDIA
                 (teasing him)
          So I'm the women behind the great men?

                       GUIDO
                 (trying hard to tell the
                  truth)
          The great women...
                       (MORE)
                                       p. 77

                        GUIDO (CONT'D)
           In a way - yes - you have this man in
           the story and he's, he wants to take
           hold of everything, to devour
           everything, he can't let anything go,
           or, he doesn't want to, and he changes
           direction every day, because he's
           lost, he's dying, he's bleeding to
           death...

                        CLAUDIA
                  (deflating)
           And these muses - they fall in love
           with the man?

                         GUIDO
           Exactly!   They fall in love with him.

                        CLAUDIA
                  (decisive)
           I'd rather be the man.

                        GUIDO
           What?

                        CLAUDIA
           I'd rather be the man.

She grabs his hat, puts it on her head.     Saunters down
the road. He follows.


FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                        CLAUDIA
           IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY,
           ONE TIME I NEEDED YOU,
           IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY,
           YOU WERE MY FRIEND.
           MAYBE IT LASTED A DAY,
           MAYBE IT LASTED AN HOUR,
           BUT SOMEHOW IT WILL NEVER END.


EXT. MEDIEVAL LANES, TRASTEVERE - NIGHT

                        CLAUDIA
           These women who come off their
           pedestals for a kiss - they're just
           fantasies.

                        GUIDO
           No, you misunderstand...
                                     p. 78




INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       CLAUDIA
          IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY,
          I THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU,
          IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY,
          I WANT TO CRY.
          SOMETHING INSIDE ME GOES WEAK,
          SOMETHING INSIDE ME SURRENDERS,
          AND YOU'RE THE REASON WHY,
          YOU'RE THE REASON WHY.
          YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DO TO ME.
          YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE.
          YOU CAN'T TELL WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE ME
          LOOKING AT YOU.
          IT SCARES ME SO THAT I CAN HARDLY
          SPEAK.


EXT. MEDIEVAL LANES, TRASTEVERE - NIGHT

                       GUIDO
          She's his inspiration.

                       CLAUDIA
          I can't keep playing that part.

                       GUIDO
          I fall in love with you every time.

                       CLAUDIA
          When there's a camera between us.

                       GUIDO
          No.

                       CLAUDIA
          It's not a real person, Guido.
                 (pointed)
          And this man you describe - he doesn't
          know how to love.

                       CLAUDIA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
          IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY,
          I OWE WHAT I AM TO YOU.


EXT. PIAZZA WITH FOUNTAIN - NIGHT

Claudia heads towards a little Piazza with an ancient
fountain in the centre of the square. The Piazza is
empty except for a few cars parked where the entrances
have been blocked off. Claudia steps up onto the
fountain.
                                     p. 79



                       GUIDO
          There was a time once, we were on
          location, some terrible hotel - and
          you were in the room directly above me
          and I could hear you walking about...

Guido sits down at the edge of the fountain.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          ...and, all through the night, I
          wanted to rush up the stairs and
          hammer on your door until you opened.

                       CLAUDIA
          And why didn't you?

                       GUIDO
          I don't know. I don't know.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

                       CLAUDIA
          SPECIAL TO ME IN MY LIFE,
          SINCE THE FIRST DAY THAT I MET YOU.
          HOW COULD I EVER FORGET YOU,
          ONCE YOU HAD TOUCHED MY SOUL.
          IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY,
          YOU'VE MADE ME WHOLE.


EXT. PIAZZA WITH FOUNTAIN - NIGHT

Claudia leaves behind the hat on the fountain and moves
closer to Guido. The music continues.

                       CLAUDIA
          Maybe you should have knocked, maybe
          you should have knocked me right off
          the pedestal. I can't do this
          anymore.

She takes off her wig and diamond earrings.

                        CLAUDIA (CONT'D)
          This is me.   And you have a wife who
          loves you.

She hands him the wig and the earrings.    She kisses
him.

                       CLAUDIA (CONT'D)
          I'll miss you. Wrong girl.

The music ends.   Claudia turns and walks away.
                                     p. 80




INT. SCREENING ROOM, CINECITTA - NIGHT

A screen, the leader of a film reel, numbers counting
down, the synch pop on 3, and Claudia appears on the
screen, looking extraordinary from the hair and makeup
test. People start to comment, all enthusiastically.

Guido gets a cigarette off Pierpaolo and lights up.

                       DANTE
                 (to Lilli)
          Great work, Lilli... Wonderful
          costume...

                       LILLI
          Thank you.

                       DANTE
          ...and the hair, makeup, fantastic.

Guido watches, sitting alone, he turns around as he
sees someone come in the door, but it's Gianluca, not
Luisa.

                       BENITO
          She has a beautiful profile.

                       DANTE
          Two great profiles.

                       FAUSTO
          She's a goddess.

                       DANTE
          And the back isn't too bad.

                       FAUSTO
          She came directly from Venus.
          Beautiful.

                      DANTE
          Fantastic. Guido?     Really nice.
          Who's next?

                       BENITO
          Actresses.

                        DANTE
          Okay.   Let's see the actresses.

The reel finishes. The lights come up, to excited
chatter, he looks at Lilli a row or two behind him, she
shrugs sympathetically.

The room goes dark, the next reel begins.      Guido turns
back to look at the screen.
                                     p. 81



During the reel, Dante is very decisive... shouts out,
as the women appear.

They come on, one after the other, say their names.
Guido gives them things to do.   Pick up the phone and
argue with your lover. No, make him laugh. Make him
want you.   Walk towards the camera as if you were
frightened. As if you were angry. ON ELEANORA - very
angry on the phone:

                       BENITO
          If we like her, we have to call her
          agent right away. Everybody wants her
          right now.

                       DANTE
          Well they can keep her.

                       BENITO
          She's a very funny actress.

                       DANTE
          She's peculiar. You don't like her
          Guido?

Next actress: ILARIA. Someone comes in the door.
Guido turns and sees it's Luisa, sitting next to Lilli.
She's come. He turns back to the screen.

Another actress appears. It's Donatella. Very
nervous. She says her name. Guido instructs her.     She
tries the phone, the walks. She's not a natural.

Luisa finds the gentle humor in this situation. She
looks at Guido. A little smile. He feels it like
sunshine. He turns back to the screen.

                        DANTE (CONT'D)
          She's nice.

                       FAUSTO
          She's very natural.

                       DANTE
          Even better. She's a bit nervous
          here. What do you say, Guido?
          Donatella's nice?

Another girl: ALESSIA. Very striking. Keeps looking
out past the camera, getting sotto voce instructions
from Guido. Her hair is in a chignon. She begins her
improv, but Guido interrupts her, suddenly appears in
front of the camera. Approaches her, and undoes the
chignon, freeing her hair. She's beautiful and
innocent. Guido says something to her, a whisper. But
what he says and how he says it, the smile it provokes,
goes like a dagger to Luisa.
                                      p. 82



                       DANTE (CONT'D)
          Who's this? I thought we were looking
          for a blonde.

                       FAUSTO
          She's too tall.

                       DANTE
          Very tall.

                       BENITO
          She's very beautiful.

                       DANTE
          It's not the point.     Guido wants the
          blonde.

                       FAUSTO
          She's not bad, but -

                       DANTE
          Shh.

                       FAUSTO
          She's beautiful.

                       DANTE
          She's too beautiful.      For my tastes.

As the reel finishes... and the lights come up.

                       DANTE (CONT'D)
          I don't know what Guido thinks. I
          think we are happy with Donatella.
          Donatella's better, isn't she?

                       GUIDO
          Sure.

                       DANTE
                 (delighted, jumps up)
          Great. Anyway, fantastic day, but we
          have to go home. We have a very, very
          busy day tomorrow. Thank you very much
          everybody. Thank you. Okay, well
          done.

The screening room empties, a lot of mutual
congratulations on good work, especially to Lilli, and
a hug or a handshake from almost everybody for Luisa.
Lilli kisses her, leaves. Just the two of them now,
husband and wife, several rows apart in the empty
screening room.

                       GUIDO
          It meant so much to us all.    That you
          came.
                       (MORE)
                                    p. 83

                        GUIDO (CONT'D)
                  (nothing from Luisa)
           What did you think? Did you like
           anybody or -?
                  (nothing)
           Luisa?

FANTASY:


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

THE BEAT OF A STRIPPER'S DRUM.

A gloved hand emerges from behind a beaded curtain,
beckoning. The curtain opens, revealing the silhouette
of a figure bathed in red light.

Guido sits in an audience of raucous men who have
filled all the seats around him. They start to whistle
as if they were at some sleazy club. Guido squirms,
trapped.

The figure steps forward. It's Luisa, tricked out like
a seedy nightclub stripper.

                        LUISA
           YOU WANT MY LOVE?
           TAKE IT ALL
           YOU WANT TO WATCH IT ALL COME OFF?
           TAKE IT ALL
           COME ON NOW
           SHOW ME HOW
           YOU TAKE IT ALL...


INT. SCREENING ROOM, CINECITTA - NIGHT

                        LUISA
           Thank you.

                        GUIDO
                  (encouraged)
           What for?

                        LUISA
           Thank you for reminding me I'm not
           special. You don't even see what you
           do, do you? Even the moments I think
           are ours, it's just you working to get
           what you want.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

Luisa strips.
                                    p. 84



                       LUISA
          YOU WANT MY GLOVE?
          ARE YOU ENTHRALLED?
          YOU WANT TO SEE IT SLIP AWAY
          AND WATCH IT FALL?
          OH WE KNOW
          IT'S YOUR SHOW
          SO TAKE IT ALL


INT. SCREENING ROOM, CINECITTA - NIGHT

                       GUIDO
                 (dawning on him)
          What are you talking about?

He stands up, leans on the chair back.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          The screen test? You have to
          understand, it's nothing, this is what
          I do, I direct. That's my job.

Guido stands up straight.

                       LUISA
          And this is our life. You think to
          create is to forgive yourself in
          public. Fine. But don't think I can
          forgive you in private, because I
          can't ever.


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

As the strip becomes more raw, Luisa defiantly exposes
her body and her contempt for Guido. Guido watches,
humiliated.

                        LUISA
          SO GO AHEAD
          TAKE IT ALL

          YOU WANT MY SOUL?
          TAKE IT ALL!

          IT'S TIME TO LEAVE.
          IF I'M TO LIVE.
          BECAUSE I HAVE NO MORE,
          THERE'S NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE...

Instrumental.

Luisa charges into the audience: she is mauled and
assaulted by the men.
                                     p. 85



                       LUISA (CONT'D)
          I WATCH YOU RISE!
          I WATCH YOU FALL!
          WHILE I AM STANDING
          WITH MY BACK AGAINST THE WALL
          NOW IT'S YOUR TURN
          TO FINALLY LEARN

          YOU HAD THE WORLD
          YOU HAD YOUR FLING
          YOU WANTED MORE THAN EVERYTHING
          YOU GOT YOUR WISH
          YOU GOT YOUR PRIZE
          NOW TAKE IT RIGHT BETWEEN YOUR THIGHS
          YOU GRABBED FOR EVERYTHING MY FRIEND
          BUT DON'T YOU SEE
          THAT IN THE END
          THERE WILL BE
          NOTHING!


INT. SCREENING ROOM, CINECITTA - NIGHT

                       LUISA
          You're just an appetite, and if you
          stopped being greedy you'd die. You
          take everything, and I'm empty.

Luisa gets up from her chair, heads to the exit door.

                       LUISA (CONT'D)
          You know, I'm glad I came. I can see
          now... it's hopeless...

Luisa leaves.   Guido is left alone.

The room goes dark as the screen tests, on a loop,
start up again.

Guido walks into the flickering light of the
projector...

                       GUIDO
          What have I done? What have I done,
          Luisa?


INT. "SOUNDSTAGE"

...He sits silhouetted by the harsh white beams.

                         GUIDO
          I CAN'T   MAKE THIS MOVIE,
          THERE'S   NO WAY THAT I'LL BEGIN IT.
          I CAN'T   BEAR TO SEE THE CAMERAS ROLL.
          PROBLEM   IS THE SUBJECT,
          THERE'S   NO PLEASANT WAY TO TREAT IT.
                         (MORE)
                                   p. 86

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          THE PROBLEM IS THE AUTHOR'S LOST
          CONTROL.
          HOW I WISH IT DIDN'T HAVE TO BE SO,
          BUT WE CUT THE LOSSES-STARTING NOW
          STRIKE THE SET AND KEEP IT FOR SOME
          SIDESHOW.
          TELL THE CAST AND CREW THAT THEY CAN
          ALL GO.

Guido stands and walks towards the image on the screen.
He violently rips the screen to the ground.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          FIND ANOTHER GENIUS,
          I CAN'T BE ONE OR BECOME ONE.
          I CAN'T EVEN TELL HOW I'D BEGIN.
          HELP LUISA, HELP ME, HELP ME MAMMA,
          HELP ME SOMEONE.
          HERE'S A PLACE WHERE I HAVE NEVER
          BEEN.
          GUIDO OUT IN SPACE
          WITH NO DIRECTION,
          GUIDO AT A LOSS FOR WHAT TO SAY,
          GUIDO WITH NO INTERVENING ACTORS,
          GUIDO AT THE MERCY OF DETRACTORS,
          GUIDO HERE, WITH NO ONE ELSE BUT...
          NOTHING HOLDS TOGETHER
          NOTHING MAKES A BIT OF SENSE NOW
          IMPOSSIBLE TO GRASP OR UNDERSTAND
          HOW CAN I GO ON TO WATCH THE WHOLE OF
          MY EXISTENCE
          END UP BEING NOTHING THAT I PLANNED
          HAVE I LOST MYSELF AND ALL I WISHED
          FOR
          HAS MY LIFE BECOME A MINDLESS GAME
          GUIDO, I CAN'T STAND THE NAME OF GUIDO
          GUIDO, FOR GODSAKE,
          WHO IS THIS GUIDO?
          GUIDO HERE, WITH NO ONE ELSE BUT
          GUIDO...

Guido collapses to his knees.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
                 (honest)
          I destroyed everything, Mamma...

Suddenly, his mother appears.

                       GUIDO (CONT'D)
          ...I destroyed everything, I just...
          you make one wrong turn and then
          because of that, after it all the
          turns are wrong. And you are so far
          from where you wanted to be...and
          you're lost and then you're lost.
                                       p. 87



                       MAMMA
          No one can help you find your way.
                 (a beat)
          It's up to you, Guido. Up to you.
          Nobody else.

In Guido's face, a soulful recognition that what she's
said is true.


INT. CINECITTA, STAGE 5 - DAY

A HUGE CRASH...

...A large piece of Guido's set comes crashing down.

Dante and Guido walk through the empty soundstage,
leaving behind the set which is being dismantled by a
group of construction workers.

                       GUIDO (O.S.)
          Old friends, I have to come clean with
          you.


INT. PRODUCTION OFFICES, CINECITTA - DAY

REALITY. Guido faces his production team.      This is
hard for him.

                       GUIDO
          There is no movie. I can't pretend
          anymore. We have to stop.
                 (nothing more to say)
          I'm sorry.

There is silence in the room.


EXT. CINECITTA, STAGE 5 - DAY

The metal soundstage door opens as Guido and Dante walk
through and into the sunlight. Guido is defeated. He
stops at his car and turns to Dante. Guido gets in his
car. Guido drives away. Dante watches him go.


EXT. BEACH - ANGUILLARA - AFTERNOON

A cold wind blows.   A lonely figure (GUIDO) walks along
a deserted beach.

SUPERTITLE:   Anguillara, Italy, 2 years later
                                    p. 88




EXT. BEACH CAFE, ANGUILLARA - AFTERNOON

It's the end of the season. Only a few customers left
in the cafe, as the waiters close up for the day,
pulling down umbrellas, stacking tables.

Guido's changed, bearded, hair longer and unkempt.
Haggard. He looks out to sea, alone, as the waves
crash to and fro. A newspaper sits open in front of
him. Scribbles and heavy markings circle an ad for a
theater production in Rome. Guido gets up at this
moment, starts to leave, hesitates, takes the paper,
folds it under his arm, and exits the restaurant.

He heads up the steps towards the promenade and we
catch a glimpse of the profound regret in his eyes -


EXT. ROME, THEATER - NIGHT

Guido waits, nervous, in a doorway across the street
from a theatre that's presenting the Pirandello play,
DIANA E LA TUDA, starring LUISA ACARI.

Luisa exits the theatre with the company of actors, all
of them plaited together in post-performance bonhomie.

Guido watches from a distance.

Luisa takes the arm of a handsome male, as they cross
and head down the street.


EXT. ANGUILLARA STREETS - DAY

Guido and Lilli walk along the waterfront.   People pass
by occasionally. They talk -

                       LILLI
          I'm glad she's acting again. I made
          her costumes for the play. She's
          funny.

                       GUIDO
          She seemed so happy. I didn't want to
          interfere... Is she with anybody?

                       LILLI
          Guido, she's my friend. I'm not her
          mother. I don't know. I expect so.
          Nobody likes to be alone. Promise me
          you're going to let me cut your hair
          and get rid of that awful beard.
                                      p. 89



                        GUIDO
           I like to get about without everybody
           pointing at me.

                        LILLI
           And where are you getting about?

                        GUIDO
           Nowhere. Here. I walk. Just to be
           able to walk.

                        LILLI
           Are you seeing anybody?

                        GUIDO
           No, no. Nobody.

                        LILLI
                  (teasing)
           Well, it sounds exciting. Walking
           around and not seeing anyone, growing
           a beard.   I might come up here and
           join you.

                        GUIDO
           Don't tease me, Lilli.    My heart is -

                        LILLI
           - I know.

                        GUIDO
           I just miss her. I should have IDIOT
           tattooed on my forehead.

                        LILLI
           Luisa certainly thinks so.

                        GUIDO
                  (grasping at this)
           Does she? Did she really say that?

                        LILLI
           Stop! I'm not going to act as a
           postman between you both. Come back
           to Rome. Make a movie. Go to work.

He sits.   Lilli joins him.

                        GUIDO
           No. Never. I've spent this time
           trying to learn something, Lilli, to
           not be the person who forgets about
           everybody else, the person who never
           grew up.
                                      p. 90



                       LILLI
          You're such a dope, aren't you?
          Making movies wasn't your problem. You
          were your problem.   Don't stop being
          a child. You'll never make another
          movie! Nobody wants that...
          especially Luisa.

She indicates the people who pass.

                       LILLI (CONT'D)
          Guido - there probably isn't a single
          person passing by who hasn't been
          touched in some way by one of your
          movies. That's your gift. That's what
          you've been given. Use it. Just use it
          with some grace. For Chrissake.

                       GUIDO
                 (doubtful)
          The only movie I could make now would
          be... I don't know... would be about a
          man trying to win back his wife.

                       LILLI
          Sounds perfect.
                 (after a beat)
          The costumes might not be so bad too.

FLASH: Lights from a makeup mirror. A glimpse of a
female eye applying false eyelashes.

FLASH: A man of the collar applies pancake makeup,
while a cigarette dangles from his lips.

Young Guido, 9, appears and whispers into Guido's ear.

                       YOUNG GUIDO
          We're ready to begin!


INT. FANTASY DRESSING ROOMS

A surreal backstage, the cast of Guido's life, whores,
models, schoolboys, priests, etc. A show about to
begin.

The music of "Be Italian/Folies Bergere" plays and
builds throughout.

People run past with props, lights, etc.    Showgirls are
hurrying. A beautiful confusion.
                                      p. 91




EXT. STAGE 5, CINECITTA - DAY

Guido pulls up in his car outside the soundstage. He
stops the engine, and sits for a moment in silence.
Summoning his courage, he gets out of the car. He is
greeted by Pierpaolo. He seems to need and acknowledge
his support. Pierpaolo is tender.

                       GUIDO
          I can't remember how you do this.

                       PIERPAOLO
          You'll remember.


INT. FANTASY DRESSING ROOMS

The camera moves through the backstage mayhem.

Mamma is in her dressing room preparing. Saraghina is
sharing a dressing room with a Priest. He is helping
with her corset. Carla and Luigi. Carla fixes her
husband's hair. Claudia and Stephanie smoke and talk.
Lilli adjusts her own, and other men's wardrobe.


INT. STAGE 5, FILM SET, CINECITTA - DAY

Guido is in his element again, locked in passionate
discussion with an ACTOR and an ACTRESS. In his hand,
an actual script. The set surrounding them is modest;
a tiny bedroom with a single window and rumpled sheets.
The vast film Italia has clearly given way to something
smaller, and perhaps truer: the tale of a man and a
woman.

                       GUIDO
          I don't want to say too much. The
          first way that we kill our film is by
          talking about it. But this scene is
          about reconciliation. And within the
          scene I would like you to try and find
          your way to begin that journey back
          towards each other.


INT. FANTASY DRESSING ROOMS

Young Guido rushes by the dressing rooms.

                       YOUNG GUIDO
          Presto! Presto! Take your places!
          Andiamo! Andiamo!

The dressing rooms begin to empty.
                                    p. 92




INT. STAGE 5, FILM SET, CINECITTA - DAY

From high above on the soundstage catwalk, Young Guido
watches Older Guido at work.

                       GUIDO
                 (Continuing to speak to
                  his actors)
          Maybe it's the most important building
          block that we have to begin again...
          We start from the beginning each time
          and I feel today as if I'm starting
          from the beginning. We'll just keep
          asking each other questions, and don't
          look to me for the answers, okay?

On cue, Young Guido opens the door behind him and
ushers in THE CAST OF GUIDO'S LIFE. They enter with a
sense of anticipation and excitement and arrange
themselves on the staircases and scaffolding that loom
behind Guido. They are all dressed in angelic white.

But Guido is oblivious, focused instead on the task
that lies ahead. He talks to his cameraman. Puts down
his script. He takes off his jacket and hangs his
glasses off his sweater, stands contemplating the set
in front of him.

                       PIERPAOLO
          Maestro, should I call final checks?

                       GUIDO
          Yes.

                       PIERPAOLO
          Makeup, please! Final checks!

A LONG WIDE PAN reveals a tableau vivant looming behind
Guido like a glorious choir, his every muse, his every
inspiration. They watch him as he begins to work. A
part of him now and forever.

Guido sits on the crane.

The soundstage door opens, and we see a small figure
slip quietly onto the set. Tentatively, she steps
through the shadows. It's Luisa. From a discreet
distance, she watches her husband return to his gift.

Pierpaolo calls for silence.

                       PIERPAOLO (CONT'D)
          Alora. Silencio per favore. Silence
          please.
                 (to camera)
          Gyriamo. E alora motore!
                                    p. 93



CLOSE UP ON THE CLAPBOARD.   WORKING TITLE: NINE.   DIR:
G. CONTINI.

As the clapboard strikes.

                       CLAPPER LOADER
          Slate.

At the last moment, Young Guido runs fast, down the
maze of steps, across the soundstage and jumps onto the
crane with Guido as it begins to rise. Luisa watches.
As the last note plays, the crane soars higher,
carrying Guido up and up.

                       GUIDO
          ACTION.

CUT TO BLACK.

Nine



Writers :   Michael Tolkin  Anthony Minghella
Genres :   Drama  Musical  Romance


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