Chameleon Street - The Library
"Walking into the library is like walking into a cathedral." - William Douglas Street, Jr.
From the award-winning independent film Chameleon Street, which is based on the true story of an amazing con man from Michigan, William Douglas Street, Jr. (Wendell B. Harris, Jr.) who exchanges his dead-end life for a brand-new identities. http://www.ama zon.com/Chameleon-Street/ dp/B001RQZAQK
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Added: 1 year ago
[scene opens with an exterior shot of the Yale University Library]
WILLIAM: [in voice over] Thanks to Dick's idea, I now have total access to the university's facilities, including the library here ... but it won't be long until the registrar gets hip to this game. I've got to get another identity, quick!
[cut to an interior shot of the library, as William walks in and looks around]
WILLIAM: [in voice over] Walking into the library ... like walking into a cathedral.
[he heads towards the front desk, where a young female librarian (curly red hair, pink jacket, black blouse) is looking down at a book]
WILLIAM: [in voice over] I approach the librarian.
[the camera cuts to William's POV, as it zooms in on the librarian's face (who still has her gaze turned downwards)]
WILLIAM: [from off camera] Excuse me, Miss.
[she finally looks up (without saying a word), then cut to a shot of the camera panning across several students sitting at tables in the library]
WILLIAM: [in voice over] I always feel right at home in a library ...
[the camera catches one student reading a book while (for some reason) wearing an expressionless white face mask]
WILLIAM: [in voice over] Well, who have we here ... Jason goes to Yale?
[the camera continues panning across the room]
WILLIAM: [in voice over] I love the atmosphere in a library ... You can almost here the sound of thought. Can ya hear it?
[the camera stops at a young woman reading a book by herself]
WILLIAM: [in voice over] And at the moment, all of my thinking is headed in a ... bi-lingual direction.
Chameleon Street is a 1989 independent film written by, directed by and starring Wendell B. Harris, Jr.. It tells the story of a social chameleon who impersonates reporters, doctors and lawyers in order to make money.
The film is a satire based on the life of Detroit con artist and high-school drop-out William Douglas Street, Jr., who successfully impersonated professional reporters, lawyers, athletes, extortionists, and surgeons, going so far as to perform more than 36 successful hysterectomies. A Sundance Film Festival press release in 2008 described it as "one of the first films to examine how mellifluously race, class, and role-playing morph into the social fabric of America."
Chameleon Street (1989). Wendell B. Harris Jr. plays con man and master of disguises William Douglas Street, who passes himself off as a French exchange student at the Yale University library.