Jo and the Amazing Technically Uncoloured Trenchcoat part 1
The story of one man's descent into chaos through a struggle fueled by past friendship, bitter rivalry, and a library card catalogue.
note: i made this long before Brick, though apparently Brick was being written at the time.
Tags: film noir high school vending machine c-
Added: 5 years ago
[scene opens with black and white footage of a men's restroom, as a young man wearing a fedora and trenchcoat is hiding in one of the stalls]
JO: [in voice over] Sweat was dripping like a cold wet towel, seeping through the ink of the papers in my hand. Only a matter of time now before they found me.
[he looks over some strips of paper in his hands]
JO: [in voice over] Just awhile longer before they'd be able to taste my scent.
[cut to a closeup of the paper, which is revealed to be "Date Due" slips]
JO: [in voice over] Dogs ripping through metal. Not enough time to put it all together. Well, still had enough to shove it all through my head once more.
[he stares up at the lights in the ceiling]
JO: [in voice over] Maybe I'd get lucky, notice a pattern.
[cut to a closeup of his face]
JO: [in voice over] No, only happens in the picture shows. But I guess it would help, y'know, clear up ... whatever.
[cut to Jo standing in the school cafeteria, next to a security guard posted next to the vending machine]
JO: [in voice over] Things had never been as bad before. Just a couple weeks ago, the joint had been tight as the vending machine security.
[cut to students walking through the halls, as Jo walks past the camera]
JO: [in voice over] I'm Jo, by the way.
[cut to a group of students excitedly looking at a printout of grades posted on the wall, as Jo enters the scene]
JO: [in voice over] School was going ... as expected.
[cut to a closeup of the printout (as Jo's finger points towards a "C-"), then back to Jo as he hangs his head in disappointment]
[cut to Jo's house, as his mother and father are sitting at the kitchen table]
JO: [in voice over] Even the family wasn't complaining.
[Jo enters the scene, as his mother turns and nods at him blankly (his father doesn't even look up from the newspaper)]
[cut to inside the high school, as another young man is standing at the front of a table surrounding by other students]
JO: [in voice over] My friend Jim had got himself a respectable position at the head of the student council. He'd even passed a bill demanding the use of an attendant to clean all washrooms every second day. The bill was controversial on account of the high wages demanded by the toileteer.
[Jim throws some strips of paper into the nearby wastebasket, then addresses the rest of the council]
JIM JOHNSON: Well, it's unanimous! Never again will we have to suffer!
[the council gives him a polite round of applause, then cut to Jo standing next to a girl in the hallway]
JO: [in voice over] Jim and I hadn't spoken in some time. We'd been friends since kindergarden.
[cut to two young boys (one of them wearing a fedora) sitting in the schoolyard]
YOUNG JIM: Would you be my friend?
YOUNG JO: [pause] Yes.
[cut back to Jo, as he notices that the girl's notebook has "Jimmy Johnson" written on it (with the dot over the "i" replaced with a heart)]
JO: [in voice over] But he's always been the one to stand up and talk to people. I was more the sitter to his ... not sitting. I guess.
[cut to three male students carrying Jim down the hallway]
JIM JOHNSON: So then I said, "Well then I guess I'm buying!"
[they all laugh uproariously at his joke, as they begin to pass Jo]
JO: Jim ...
JIM JOHNSON: Halt!
[the students put him down]
JIM JOHNSON: Joey! Been awhile, been awhile ...
[he stops and smiles at the girl]
JIM JOHNSON: And, uh, who's this?
DAME: Hi! Ohmygod I love you so much! I voted for you so much! Uh, can I ... can I get a picture of you or something?!
JIM JOHNSON: Maybe later. I'll see you in the math lounge ... Seven o'clock?
[the girl (who had been staring at Jim with a crazed look in her eyes) drops her notebook and puts her hands to her face]
DAME: Oh gasp! Oh ... oh swoon!
[she faints, then Jim (nonplussed) turns his attention to Jo]
JIM JOHNSON: Joey, Jo, Joseph ... Let's talk. Uh, I'll pencil you in. Ten minutes from now? Lunch? Cafeteria?
[cut to a closeup of the fainted girl, as Jim casually steps over her]
JIM JOHNSON: Let's go, people!
DAME: Bye Jim!
[the girl pops up and gets in Jo's face]
DAME: Okay wow! You know him?! Ohmygod! He's such a dreamboat! At first I thought I was just dreaming, but then I was all like, "Hold on, girl! No dream could possibly be this amazing!"
[she continues talking a mile a minute, as Jo just ignores her and stares off into the distance]
JO: [in voice over] Jim had landed himself a classy dame for sure, but there was something ... different about him. Maybe it came from his whole "Look at me, I'm getting carried by three people" appearance. Maybe it was just me. Something seemed up, and not in the standing sort of way.
DAME: And I'm so excited about getting married to him and I think we're gonna have a beautiful wedding and do you wanna be the best man?
[cut to Jo sitting alone in the cafeteria, as he checks his watch]
JO: [in voice over] Looked like Jim had forgotten our little appointment. Well, that was fine ... I was sure he had other things to fix.
[Jo gets up and puts some change on the table before leaving, then cut to Jo walking outside in the school parking lot]
JO: [in voice over] I was also coming up empty on the ride home from my parents. Finally, I decided to make my way back on foot ... but I noticed something as I left.
[cut to a young man dragging a garbage bag outside of the school, then the camera pans up to show Jim and the dame talking in the window]
JO: [in voice over] Probably nothing ... but then again, nothing in these bathroom stall flashbacks ever was.
[cut to Jo walking up to his house, where he finds a note taped to the front door]
JO: [in voice over] It's a strange thing when your parents make a split-second decision to up and leave for a short vacation to Fiji without any sign or warning.
[cut to Jo walking into his kitchen]
JO: [in voice over] Leaving only careful instructions on how to bake, boil, and stew every meal for the next week.
[cut to Jo looking through his refrigerator, then cut to Jo opening his garage door]
JO: [in voice over] Strange. Not entirely unexpected. I think. Happens to everyone at some point ... right?
[he walks outside, as the scene fades to black]
JO: [in voice over] At school, there was word of a crime in the library.
[cut to Jo walking into the school library]
JO: What happened here, Red?
[the camera pans over to reveal two male students wearing old-timey British custodian helmets]
RED: Don't get yourself involved in another one, Jo ... That's our job!
JO: [in voice over] Red was the student-appointed head of the school's junior justice squad. I'd lost the position by five votes.
[cut to another shot of Jo standing at the library entrance]
JO: Just tell me what happened, Red.
RED: Look, it ... it's an open-and-shutter. You don't even really need to know.
JO: Well then, why can't you just tell me, Lieutenant? Or are you afraid I'll crack it faster than your little team here?
RED: It's already been cracked, Jo!
RED: Yeah, now forget it!
[as the two get in each other's faces, a young female librarian (glasses, hair in a bun) stands up from behind the front desk and reprimands them in a nasally voice]
DAWN: This is a public library, huh?
JO: [in voice over] Dawn, the school librarian. She was hard as linoleum and still running the place after nearly two decades of post-retirement stress disorder.
[cut to Jo and the justice squad walking through the library]
RED: Listen, some kid comes in here last night. Name's Billy Crystal, just a coincidence. Anyway, this boy-o checks out fifty books and leaves through the front door.
JO: Wow, that's ... nearly fifty books over the limit.
RED: No kid should be readin' that much.
[cut to a closeup of Jo]
JO: Mind if I take a look around?
RED: You're not gonna find anything, but sure ... Come on, Boyle, let's file this thing!
[they begin to leave]
JO: What're you gonna do with the kid?
RED: Expel him, hopefully ... Quit wastin' your time, Jo, you haven't cracked a thing in months!
[they leave, then cut to Jo looking at a notebook sitting on the front desk ... except the librarian reaches in with a yardstick and slaps his hand away]
DAWN: The card catalog has been tampered with enough! Unless you feel like dealing with the Library Force Five!
JO: That's just a myth ...
DAWN: I think, if you're not more careful, the only myth around here is going to be you! Don't make me blow my whistle!
[she holds up a whistle, as Jo puts his hands up and slowly backs away]
JO: [in voice over] The evidence so far was clean ... until I noticed something.
[cut to Jo walking out of the library, when he turns and notices that one of the shelves is completely empty]
JO: [in voice over] Nearly all the books had come outta the section "J" ... the section closest to the counter. Something was up, and it wasn't the jig.
[he turns and continues walking out of the library]
JO: [in voice over] Nobody seemed interested enough in taking a closer look at this avocado, so I was the one left with the tab.
[cut to Jo outside of the school, as a male student hands him a manilla envelope]
JO: [in voice over] I started calling in favors. Background check on a kid here ...
[cut to Jo opening a filing cabinet]
JO: [in voice over] Some files there ... Wasn't exactly a regular trove behind every card or paper, but when I had everything I could get, it just didn't add up.
[he closes the filing cabinet]
JO: [in voice over] The kid ... was a dunce.
[cut to Billy Crystal in gym class, as he stares blankly while getting hit in the head with a dodgeball]
JO: [in voice over] Billy had failed phys ed ...
[cut to Billy sitting in science class, holding a bunsen burner in each hand ... when he gets hit in the head with a dodgeball (again staring blankly ahead with no change in expression)]
JO: [in voice over] He'd failed science ...
[cut to the school auditorium, as Billy and two other students are on stage performing a play]
ACTOR 1: Oh no, the Cobras are after us!
ACTOR 2: What're we gonna do now, Lyle?
[the camera pans over to Billy, who stares blankly ahead and says nothing ... then gets hit in the head with a dodgeball]
JO: [in voice over] He'd gotten a "C" in drama!
[cut to Billy sweeping a hallway in the school]
JO: [in voice over] Billy's only source of income was his job as assistant janitor. His parents didn't give him an allowance. They weren't around the house much, either.
[cut to a closeup of Billy, as he continues to sweep while using a pair of scissors on his hair with his other hand]
JO: [in voice over] And, he cut his own hair.
[cut to Jo making dinner in his kitchen]
JO: [in voice over] Why a kid who had failed every written exam or subject he had ever taken would love books was baffling, and it didn't take a sprocket scientist to figure the lack of motive was a big hole in this cheesebox. The only person I hadn't asked about him ... was him. So I paid Billy a little visit.
[cut to Billy's house (as he sits on the couch watching TV), when Jo walks in]
JO: Hello, Billy. My name is Jo. I'm investigating your ... case?
BILLY CRYSTAL: [pause] You see a sign out front?
JO: Yes I did, Billy. Tell me, do you sign everything with an "X"?
[cut to Jo holding up his handwritten sign ("Go away! Sined, X")]
BILLY CRYSTAL: Well, them's how ya sign ...
JO: Billy, can you tell me what you were doing the night you signed out all those books?
BILLY CRYSTAL: What?
JO: How did you get the books, Billy?
BILLY CRYSTAL: Well, they were just in the back of the truck.
JO: What does that mean, Billy?
BILLY CRYSTAL: Well, y'see, I'm more of a Pisces ... Man!
[he rolls over onto his stomach, then looks up at Jo (as if recognizing him for the first time)]
BILLY CRYSTAL: You're the man from yesterday ... What're you doing here?
[he gets up and stares at Jo]
JO: How'd you get the books?
BILLY CRYSTAL: Oh, the sack!
[cut to the previous day, as a closeup reveals that the man dragging the garbage bag outside of the school was Billy]
BILLY CRYSTAL: [in voice over] It's, uh, I was just doin' the workin' ... Y'know.
[cut to a closeup of the garbage bag, as some slips of paper fall out of a hole in the bottom]
BILLY CRYSTAL: [in voice over] The sack, and I was workin', and I was pullin' on my little sack, and it ripped and the papers went everywhere, and it left a trail.
[cut to Billy throwing the bag into a dumpster]
BILLY CRYSTAL: [in voice over] And then I went back and I picked up the papers that I had dropped, re-put them in the bag.
[cut to Billy staring at one of the papers with a confused look on his face]
BILLY CRYSTAL: [in voice over] Re-bagged, bagged 'em again, and then I drug my ... the bag back to the truck.
[cut back to Billy's house]
BILLY CRYSTAL: And when I got back to the truck, to my dismay ... there was another sack'a books in my truck! Not that there was one there before, there was just one there now!
[cut to a closeup of Jo, as he stares at him incredulously]
BILLY CRYSTAL: They's right here!
[Billy holds up a handful of papers, as Jo grabs them away, then cut to Jo walking outside while staring at the strips of paper]
JO: [in voice over] It was a ripe melon this thing was becoming, with more twists than an "er" ... and by "er" I mean "twister", but without the twist. The twist was on the melon, and the melon was the case.
[cut to a closeup of Jo staring at one of the papers under a magnifying glass]
JO: [in voice over] Every paper had three things ...
[cut to a closeup of the paper, which reads "Jeffrey Zablotny"]
JO: [in voice over] A name ...
[cut to another part of the paper, which reads "Kyle?"]
JO: [in voice over] Another name, "Kyle" ...
[cut to another part of the paper, with a big "X" written next to the word "no"]
JO: [in voice over] And a checkbox, marked with either a "yes" or a "no" ... Practically all of 'em were "no"s, save for three. One of them three had Jim's name on it, and I'd be able to talk to him when I saw my homework done before supper.
[cut to Jo talking with a female student, who shakes her head]
JO: [in voice over] And for awhile, that was all I had to go by. No other leads ... I talked to everybody, and everybody knew nothing.
[cut to Jo walking down the hallway]
JO: [in voice over] The library card catalog was my only inkling, and the pen was running low. I'd have to take my chances with whether or not the infamous Library Force Five was right outta Dawn's ear, and sneak in when no one was looking. But if the stories were true, I'd be as good as a half a history lesson from What's-His-Face.
[cut to Jo entering the library and checking the librarian's notebook, where he finds a "Date Due" slip with "Billy" written on it (with the dot over the "i" replaced with a heart)]
JO: [in voice over] But I didn't count on a midnight shift ...
[Dawn walks in, and drops her book in shock upon seeing Jo behind the front desk]
DAWN: He's into the library card catalog! Library Force Five!
[cut to a male student emerging from behind the bookshelves, menacingly slapping two chalkboard erasers together]
[cut to a large male student (wearing a sleeveless shirt and a bowtie) emerging from another part of the library]
[cut to another male student rolling out from underneath one of the desks, brandishing a yardstick like a bo staff]
[cut to another male student popping up from behind a bookcart, flinging an index card at the camera like a ninja throwing star]
[the camera pans over to show another bookcart, where another male student pops up spinning a water pistol on his finger]
[cut back to the librarian]
DAWN: Get him!
[she blows on her whistle, then Jo quickly jumps over the front desk and exits the library, with the Library Force Five in hot pursuit]
[cut to Jo running through the school as dramatic music plays]
JO: [in voice over] I ran. I ran for my life, and into the final bastion of mortality ... Men's room, first floor.
[cut to the men's room door, as Jo rushes inside, while the Library Force Five eventually run past the door (searching for him)]
[cut to various shots inside the restroom]
JO: [in voice over] I'm not dumb, y'know. I'm no kinda crumb bum. The dame was involved somehow. She'd signed out the books. Billy signed everything with an "X", and the dame ... Well, she dotted her "i"s with hearts. Jim was part of it, too. They'd both gotten Billy to take the fall, but for what? I have no idea.
[the camera slowly pans across the bathroom floor, revealing that Billy is hiding in one of the stalls and standing on the toilet, in the original shot from the beginning of the film]
JO: [in voice over] Without motive, well ... Well, what's my motivation for even finishing this sentence? Only a matter of time now and I'll be gone.
[cut to Jo looking over the slips of paper, when he hears someone approaching, then looks down to see someone's feet stop in front of the door to his stall]
[the person knocks, so Jo relents and slowly reaches over to open the door ... except that (rather than the Library Force Five) he finds that it's a janitor with a "Kyle" name tag]
[the janitor looks at him and smiles, then Jo looks at the pieces of paper (as the camera zooms in on the part which reads "Kyle?"]
JO: Holy shit ...
[Jo exits the stall, as the janitor walks in and begins cleaning]
JO: [in voice over] And it all fit together ... The fall, the dame, the papers, the cards. Everything. The goddamn kitchen sink wouldn't have missed this party!
[Jo turns and stares into the mirror]
JO: [in voice over] The toilet cleaning bill was Jim's first in office, and a major campaign seller due to its impractical nature. Without it, Jim was practically a nobody.
[cut back to a slow motion shot of Jim throwing the papers into the wastebasket during the student council meeting]
JO: [in voice over] No dames. No money. Only little old me to think about ... So he threw out the ballots and made like a Shirley Temple.
[cut to a flashback of Jim and the dame in the library, as he leans her back and is about to kiss her]
JO: [in voice over] Sweet goin' down, but not much of an actress ...
[right before kissing her, Jim looks out the window, then drops her]
JO: [in voice over] In my opinion, at least.
[Jim leans in closer to the window, then cut to an overhead shot of Billy examining the slips of paper that had fallen out of his garbage bag]
JO: [in voice over] When he saw our friend Billy examining the only record of his corruption, he had to cover it up, and he had to cover the coverup.
[cut to the dame on the floor, as Jim stands over her]
JO: [in voice over] So he took the person closest to him on a ride to Libraryville. Population, him and the dame.
[cut to Jim and the dame inside the library, as he hands her some books from the "J" section]
JO: [in voice over] He threw the books in the only truck left in the lot, and the rest writes itself ...
[cut to the dame writing on one of the "Date Due" slips in the book, then to a closeup of the signature under "Borrower's Name" ("Billy Crystal" with a heart over the "i")]
JO: [in voice over] I'd cracked it. And scene.
[cut back to the men's room (as Jo washes his hands in the sink before exiting), then to the principal's office as Jo slaps down the slips of paper on the counter]
JO: [in voice over] I turned in the slips and got the word out ...
[cut to Jim being led out of the building by two security guards]
JO: [in voice over] He got taken to an American finishing school.
JIM JOHNSON: No!
[cut to Jo standing outside, as the breeze knocks his hat off his head]
JO: [in voice over] As for me ... Well, I lost my hat. So naturally, I'm considering becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
Written and directed by
Tayves Fiddius ... Jo
Marco Galvani ... Jim Johnson
Jeffrey Zablotny ... Red
Lyndsay Watson ... Dawn
Bryan Nothling ... Billy Crystal
Katie Stuart ... Girl/The Dame
Jason Buitenhuis ... Hannigan
Ali Kashani ... Kyle
Yashar Farmanara ... Yashar
Jamie Edwards ... Vendor
Ian Boch ... Gusterson
Bea Donald ... Mom
Tim Porteous ... Pop
Little Galvani ... Young Jim
Littler Galvani ... Young Jo
A Crazy Yelling Man Production