Archive for the TV Category

It’s All About The Ending

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by Zipoy

I have a theory. It’s all about the ending.  And delivering on your promise.

Fans were irate after AMC’s The Killing closed out its first season with a cliffhanger and many unanswered questions.  The show sprinted out of the gate.  Artistically, that is.  Critics and viewers fawned over the series, its lush cinematography, rain-drenched locale (Seattle), and mesmerizing characters — the people affected by the murder of a 16-year-old girl, Rosie Larsen.  For 13 episodes, The Killing followed  the detectives — Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder — hunting for Rosie’s killer, the young woman’s grieving family and the political staffers whose car was used as her tomb.

The posters promoting the show in every subway stop in New York featured the prominent scrawl, “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” As a viewer, you might reasonably expect to find out who the killer was by the end of season one.  Especially given the marketing tagline.  This show was built on the premise of finding Rosie’s killer, and the audience traveled through terrorist cells, call girl services, beatings, a funeral, political maneuvers and the local Seattle mob.  And, still, with just a few minutes to go, a major reveal about one of the characters called into question everything that had been revealed about him (say, what? Holder is going rogue?), and there is no definite answer about Rosie’s killer.

Imagine going to see Bridesmaids this spring and the film being just about the bake shop.  Or plunking down $120 dollars for The Book of Mormon on stage in New York and instead getting a musical about Revelation with the promise of a sequel about The Book of Mormon.

Art sometimes is most entertaining when it plays with the audience’s expectations, but the fine line is tipped when promises aren’t met.  It’s a wise lesson to learn.  If you are going to ask the question, “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?,” please be prepared to answer it.

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Fairy Tale Friday – The Bitter Woods – Chapter 6

Posted in Film, Theater, TV on March 18, 2011 by Montserrat Mendez

The Bitter Woods

by Montserrat Mendez

copyright

 

The Hunter breaks from the pack of HORSES.

INT. SNOW WHITE’S CHAMBER IN CHATEAU CHARMING — DAY

SEVEN YOUNG MAIDENS prepare the queen’s chamber. King CHARMING enters.

KING CHARMING
Where is she?

The maidens look shyly at the floor. Tercera, one of the maidens answers.

TERCERA
We do not know sire.

KING CHARMING
Leave.

The maidens, heads bowed, exit. He examines her things. Each of them priceless.

THE SECRET DOOR to the MIRROR ROOM opens.

KING CHARMING
Have you seen our sons?

SNOW WHITE
(surprised)
Husband? You startled me.

KING CHARMING
Have you seen them?

SNOW WHITE
No.

KING CHARMING
I hear they have taken your guards into The Bitter Woods.

SNOW WHITE
Yes, yes, I’d quite forgotten.

KING CHARMING
To find the girl?

SNOW WHITE
I imagine so.

KING CHARMING
(re: The Mirror Room)
You spend too much time in the company of IT as of late.

SNOW WHITE
The mirror?

KING CHARMING
I should have left it destroyed where it was found.

She walks over to him, puts her head upon his chest.

SNOW WHITE
There is something quite wrong here. Something’s being hidden from me.

KING CHARMING
What can possibly be hidden from you?

SNOW WHITE
Yet great evil hides near.

KING CHARMING
Snow, evil will exist no matter. You can’t control great evil with great evil.

SNOW WHITE
(sweetly)
Are you calling me evil husband?

KING CHARMING
The people fear you. They once loved you.

Snow draws away from him. Walking out of the BEDROOM. The KING FOLLOWS. TRACKING SHOT as they walk down a —-

GREAT STONE HALL.

SNOW WHITE
The people have nothing to fear. Everything I do is for their protection!

KING CHARMING
Your sons.

SNOW WHITE
Our sons.

KING CHARMING
If I could but call them mine. But you never let me be fatherly to them.

SNOW WHITE
You had occasion. You chose otherwise.

KING CHARMING
Are you blaming me for the mistakes of my youth?

SNOW WHITE
Youthed or aged they were your mistakes none the less.

She stops at a SET OF HEAVY WOODEN DOORS, is about to open them. He stops her.

KING CHARMING
Don’t you see. The people ought to be protected from them. It seems to me that if there is great evil to be contained it is the ones inflicted by your sons.

She slaps him.

KING CHARMING
They rape.

She slaps him again.

KING CHARMING
They kill.

She goes to slap him. He holds her hand up in the air.

KING CHARMING
All under the Queen’s protection.

SNOW WHITE
Would you do it? Would you cut them down so easily? Don’t forget that you’ve cut into my heart before and a great wrath is waiting for you where my heart once fluttered!

She flings the doors open with great violence.

INT. DRESSING ROOM — CONTINUOUS

The Stepmother works on a MANNEQUIN, Several others servant girls carry material and work on SPINDLES following the STEPMOTHER’S INSTRUCTIONS.

SNOW WHITE
DRESSMAKER!

STEPMOTHER looks up, SNOW WHITE continues the face off with her husband. Then just as magically, Snow White turns to the women in the room, and transforms herself into the girl the fairy tales tell of. SHE SEES the DRESS ON THE MANNEQUIN.

SNOW WHITE
A Wondrous dress. For me?

King Charming walks away in disgust.

STEPMOTHER
Yes, a mysterious merchant sold it to me, it was not an agreeable price, but rarely does one come upon such fine material in these parts. He told me quite the tale about its origin, made from the webbing of a dragon spider.

SNOW WHITE
Was it a tale well told? I’m sure it was!

The DRESS is much like a KIMONO, except more fluid, gorgeous RED SILK flows forward and on the BACK a DRAGON has been delicately sewn with GOLD THREAD.

STEPMOTHER
GOLD thread has been used to hem it.

SNOW WHITE
Put it on me, would you?

She giggles like a young girl as all her servants begin to UNDRESS her. She is down to her CORSET and UNDERGARMENTS. MICHAEL Enters carrying another roll of FABRIC. The MAIDENS crowd around the queen to hide her indecency.

SNOW WHITE
Don’t you know not to enter when the queen is dressing.

Michael drops the roll of FABRIC, which rolls to the foot the maidens creating a STREAM OF SILKEN BLUE.

MICHAEL
Forgive me, I was not aware.

He looks up briefly.

SNOW WHITE
Who are you?

STEPMOTHER
My son. Michael.

SNOW WHITE
Michael? Is this that fat child that once played with my sons.

He looks up. Shyly nodding his head. The queen walks through her protective shell maidens and traipses over the RIVER Of BLUE SILK and up to MICHAEL. She is quite TAKEN with his fine, feminine features. A BEAUTIFUL BOY indeed.

SNOW WHITE
I fail to see any signs of that once unsightly LITTLE boy.

She smiles. He bows.

STEPMOTHER
Son, you have much work to do.

SNOW WHITE
Listen to your mother Michael. Good sons always do.

She claps her hands and the MAIDENS speed around her once more continuing to dress her. Snow White’s gaze is fixed on Michael, with an enigmatic smile.

OFF OF THE STEPMOTHER’S WORRIED LOOK WE —

CUT TO:

MICHAEL walking through the great HALL. Hauling fabric. He stops to look at his reflection on the window.

MICHAEL
(to himself)
I was not unsightly.

Through the window, he sees into the OUTER GARDENS in front of the castle. Then from behind one of the sculpted shrubs two unsightly little boys run out. Chasing behind them with a sword and a bow are the two prince’s.

This is MICHAEL’S MEMORY. YOUNG Prince Glassister draws back his bow and arrow and —

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
Stop right there intruders.

YOUNG ALEX and MICHAEL stop and turn.

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
For your crime you shall be punished.

He shoots — swoosh….

YOUNG PRINCE BEDFORD
What are you doing?

The arrow flies in between the brothers and hits a rabbit.

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
Got him.

All four boys run over to see the dying rabbit. Alex, moves aside the brush to find five wild bunnies underneath.

YOUNG ALEX
You killed their mother.

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
So…

YOUNG MICHAEL
Perhaps we can save the…

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
You will leave them where they are. Fending for themselves will make them strong.

YOUNG MICHAEL
What would you know of fending for yourself?

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
What did you say?

YOUNG MICHAEL
I’m sorry, I didn’t…

Glassister grabs one of his arrows and stabs Michael on the shoulder. Bedford pushes his brother away and attends to the wound.

YOUNG PRINCE BEDFORD
Are you all right?

Michael notices Glassister’s threatening gaze.

YOUNG MICHAEL
It’s just a scratch. I’m fine.

But the shoulder is bleeding profusely.

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
I know what we shall do, let’s take them to see the witch.

YOUNG ALEX
The witch?

YOUNG PRINCE GLASSISTER
Yes! She roams the depths of the castle in great suffering begging for death. Come let’s see!

They run up the stairs. MICHAEL, the MICHAEL of our current story follows these ghosts of his memory as they reach the front of the castle, enter and head down a hallway. OUR MICHAEL follows down several hallways. Where are they going? With each step the passages grow darker. Then a DOOR leads them into a —

ROOM

Long in disuse. Michael sees the YOUNG PRINCE push a brick into the wall, which forces another brick to slide out, then the Young Prince reaches his hand inside, and releases a latch. The BRICK FLOOR spirals down into a series of STEPS. Glassister excitedly runs down as the other young Prince descends. Michael grabs Alex’s hand —

YOUNG ALEX
Come Michael. Let them be, we’re going home.

The MEMORIES run right through MICHAEL’S body, who now stands on this doorway, watching his childhood disperse into dusty memory. Standing in the doorway of the room he looks around, makes sure no one has seen him, and sneaks in. As a child he didn’t notice the detailed murals that once decorated this room, and which tell the story of SNOW WHITE’S ASCENDENCE TO THE THRONE. How she was MISTREATED, GIVEN an APPLE, found by KING CHARMING in a GLASS COFFIN, and then one last mural, the most disturbing one of all, shows the new QUEEN piercing the shackled EVIL QUEEN through the heart. Behind the QUEEN AND KING, stand KING CHARMING’S parents, and they too have a dark expression in their eyes, but they have been, for quite some time, dead.

MICHAEL feels along the wall for the brick that will allow him to see the stairs, if only to confirm his memories, when he finds it, he follows the same procedure the Prince followed years before. Sure enough, A SPIRAL STAIRCASE lowers.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE BITTER WOODS — CONTINUOUS

Simultaneously, ALEX, tries to descend down a treacherous side of a cliff.

CUT TO:

INT. THE DUNGEON — CONTINUOUS

Now at the bottom of the steps, Michael faces a vast dungeon sprawled out before him. He reaches the end of the PASSAGE WAY and turns.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE BITTER WOODS — CONTINUOUS

ALEX slides down and the ROCKS underneath him begin to give way.

ALEX
Perhaps this is not the way.

He turns only to find A WOLF.

CUT TO:

INT. THE DUNGEON — CONTINUOUS

Michael walks further in. A SHADOW runs near him. He catches just a glimpse! Enough to make him turn back.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE BITTER WOODS — CONTINUOUS

Alex attempts to slide away from the wolf but the rocks give way under him. He loses his footing, suddenly he FALLS! Smashing his body on the rocks below.

ANGLE ON ALEX’S LEG

Brutally twisted at the knee. He sees the WOLF still stalking at the top of the cliff. He tries to stand but this only makes him SCREAM IN AGONY! The WOLF HOWLS! ALEX looks around. He sees carcasses of other animals, human skulls. Things have fallen here before, very few have survived. She looks back up and she is sorrounded by wolves.

IN THE DUNGEON

The rumored WITCH with glassy eyes, pearl white hair and ghostly skin grabs MICHAEL. MICHAEL SCREAMS!

IN THE BITTER WOODS

The birds of the FOREST take flight escaping Alex’s cries. The wolves leap down towards her. He reaches for something to protect himself with, grabs the WOLF HEAD CANE, and its eyes GLOW, sending a beam of light in the WOLVES Direction. THE WOLVES HOWL. Alex SCREAMS!

SUPER FAST INTERCUT BETWEEN THE

DUNGEON and the

CABIN/CAVE.

INSIDE THE CABIN/CAVE

Rudolfo begins to GROWL.

INSIDE the DUNGEON.

The WITCH has MICHAEL pinned against the wall. She has no pupils, but somehow can see.

THE WITCH
Who are you?

MICHAEL
Michael. My name is Michael.

The queen transforms her face to that of Michael’s for an instant.

THE WITCH
I can smell your secret… GIRL!

MICHAEL
How could you?

THE WITCH
(smelling her)
Blood flows from your womb. Beware —

IN THE CABIN/CAVE

Grabbing the crossbow, THE HUNTRESS runs out! IN one SUPER FAST INTERCUT both the Witch and the Huntress warn —

THE WITCH/ THE HUNTRESS
(in unison)
The storm gathers.

THE CABIN/CAVE PORCH

Cinderella watches the sunset, spilling out like blood into the sky.

THE HUNTRESS
Get inside. Lock the doors.

CINDERELLA
What’s wrong?

THE HUNTRESS
Something stirs in the woods.

The Huntress and Rudolfo run into the woods. Still –

IN THE DUNGEON

Michael runs up the PASSAGEWAY and out of the room. As if by MAGIC the steps close up behind him.

INT. HALLWAY — CONTINUOUS

Michael has managed to find his way back to the HALLWAY that leads to the QUEEN’S fitting room. SEXTA, one of the queen’s most trusted servants surprises him.

SEXTA
(approaching him)
This area of the palace is forbidden.

MICHAEL
I’m sorry, I was just… I was following…

SEXTA
The queen desires the pleasure of your company.

MICHAEL
Yes of course.

SEXTA
She’s to be found in the Interior Garden.

INT. INTERIOR GARDEN — MOMENTS LATER

Surrounded by the INNER WALLS of the CASTLE the Interior Garden is ironically enough an APPLE ORCHARD. Near the center of the GARDEN stands, A six-foot tall by four foot wide circular dome of GLASS, which contains a single WHITE COBRA. Sitting atop a plethora of apples. THE GLASS CAGE itself sits in front of a LARGE POOL FOUNTAIN – with a CONSTANTINOPLE STYLE SNOW WHITE tiled on the pool’s FLOOR. ONE MASSIVE CONTINUOUS MARBLE BENCH surrounds these two objects. Snow White dressed in the Dragon dress looks upon the snake as Michael approaches.

MICHAEL
You wish the pleasure of my company.

There are fairy tale princesses and then there is SNOW WHITE in this dress.

SNOW WHITE
I do.

They sit. He is apprehensive. The snake catches his attention, as he draws nearer the snake Spreads it’s butterfly neck wide.

SNOW WHITE
It does not trust you.

MICHAEL
I do not trust it.

SNOW WHITE
And you should not for if you are bitten by this serpent would not die yet wish for death for all days remaining.

MICHAEL
What does it do?

SNOW WHITE
It will make it so that anyone you kiss would die before sundown. A person so bitten will have to forsake love forever. I prefer its poison diluted. Much like it was given to me once.

She reaches inside the cage carefully taking out an apple.

SNOW WHITE
(offers it to Michael)
Want a bite?

Michael shakes her head NO. Snow White smiles.

MICHAEL
A cage is lonely.

SNOW WHITE
Have you ever heard the tale of the snake, the woman, and the apple tree?

MICHAEL
My mother told it me as a child.

SNOW WHITE
All tales must have Good, Evil and Temptation.
(beat)
But is it a true tale?

MICHAEL
Its validity is of no consequence as long as it serves its purpose.

SNOW WHITE
What is its purpose I wonder?

MICHAEL
To show us the path to Good.

SNOW WHITE
There are many paths to good. There are many good paths. Even an evil path can lead to good.

MICHAEL
It depends on what you consider good and what you consider evil.

SNOW WHITE
And have you ever considered that evil is necessary.

MICHAEL
How is that?

SNOW WHITE
Without it, how would you know what good is?

MICHAEL
Do you believe that?

SNOW WHITE
I don’t know what to believe.

MICHAEL
Are you good?

SNOW WHITE
I was good once. Once upon a time. But that path has been hidden from me.

MICHAEL
You will find it again.

SNOW WHITE
I never said I was looking.

She gives Michael a kiss.

SNOW WHITE
(whispers)
Don’t you want to be led into temptation?

She kisses him again forcing herself upon him, Michael breaks away. Embarrased he avoids her hypnotic gaze. She suspects something, smells him, like a predator would smell its prey.

SNOW WHITE
Where have you…
(suspiciously)
You may go now.

MICHAEL
(his voice cracks)
You’re highness.

We stay ON SNOW. She is suddenly quite taken with this young man. A light RAIN BEGINS To fall. Snow stretches out her arms and welcomes it with open arms as the cloth begins to cling to her body.

Think Globally, Act Locally

Posted in Film, Theater, TV with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2011 by Zipoy

I’ve recently begun contributing to the new site NearSay, which bills itself as New York Insider News.  The site’s mission is to bring the latest neighborhood news to people who want it most.  The site aggregates news from other news sources (Gothamist, New York Times, New York magazine, Time Out New York, Curbed.com and others) and also provides fresh content created by “N-siders” (New Yorkers who profile events in their neighborhoods).

The site, which launched last fall, has grown exponentially since then.  New York is a big place, and New Yorkers, myself included, are often looking for ways to make the city smaller, easier to navigate.  NearSay does just that.  It provides the local news as well as information on the latest nightlife events or cultural events in the neighborhoods you hang out most.

So, NearSay has inspired me to think about how to make future  AMZ Creative projects (we’ve got a few we will announce soon!) work in this way.  How do we think globally about the art we produce and act on a more local level to engage people?  Sure, there is social media, Facebook, Twitter, and so much more.  Who knows what will come down the pike next?  But, we always must ask the questions about how to involve others in the work we do.

Fairy Tale Friday – The Bitter Woods

Posted in Film, Theater, TV, Upcoming Projects with tags , , , , on February 25, 2011 by Montserrat Mendez

The Bitter Woods

by Montserrat Mendez

CHAPTER 3

 

She closes the book. Stares at the fire.

CINDERELLA
What do you read?

THE HUNTRESS
Fairy tales.

She says as she throws the book into the fire.

THE HUNTRESS
Lies.
(beat)
You must be quite the prize for so many to be searching for you so zealously.

CINDERELLA
I am no ones prize.

THE HUNTRESS
You’ll come to find that everyone is a prize to someone else.

CINDERELLA
How long have I’ve slept?

THE HUNTRESS
You were dead for one night slept for two more.

They are not alone. Next to her strange savior, The White Wolf raises his head.

CINDERELLA
You?

THE HUNTRESS
You owe him your life.

Rudolfo rises, makes his way over to Cinderella. She walks back and up against an open window. The Wolf JUMPS and Cinderella screams as she moves out of the way. But it is out the WINDOW that Rudolfo intended to go. Pulling herself together Cinderella sits by the window. The woods outside seem to CRY.

CINDERELLA
Where am I?

THE HUNTRESS
Deep in the forest, you’ve come farther than most dare.

CINDERELLA
(re: the woods)
They’re crying?

THE HUNTRESS
They fear men, and this many of them have never treaded this deep in a very long time.

CINDERELLA
Looking for me?

THE HUNTRESS
They shan’t reveal you. They have chosen to protect you.

CINDERELLA
And who protects them?

THE HUNTRESS
The wolves of course.

Cinderella gazes out the window. CAMERA TRAVELS through the Forest away from the Cabin/Cave we follow the wolves. They stop at the edge of the forest, but we continue out of the forest and into the Kingdom.

A WOODEN SIGN at the ENTRANCE reads: FEREWEIGH

IN ONE CONTINUOUS CRANE SHOT we pull up and past the sign and fly over the surrounding VILLAGE, until we reach, the —

EXT. CHATEAU CHARMING — MORNING

It is by our standards three times more grand the palaces of our history. For not only does it stand tall and beautiful, it also seems to lay out forever and stands so close to the edge of a ROCKY CLIFF as to almost fall in it. WE PULL UP the side of the structure and spy inside through the —

INT. QUEEN’S CHAMBER — CONTINUOUS

SNOW WHITE, Queen of Fereweigh, more beautiful this morning than in the stories we remember, brushes her legendary ebony black hair. The chamber door opens. She hides the mirror in a drawer, turning in time to see her sons enter. Glassister has his mother’s looks, but Bedford is rougher, more like the king.

BEDFORD
Mother…

SNOW WHITE
You have not found the girl.

GLASSISTER
We have been unable…

SNOW WHITE
Why son, it seems you have misplaced your future bride.

GLASSISTER
She’s deep in the woods.

SNOW WHITE
Where she will be protected.

GLASSISTER
Surely you may help me find her. You were protected by those woods once.

SNOW WHITE
Once. A very long time ago.

GLASSISTER
I would need knights. Just a few.

SNOW WHITE
Ask your father.

BEDFORD
Yes, well, you see…

GLASSISTER
He already said no.

SNOW WHITE
Then it seems we are done.

GLASSISTER
But mother.

SNOW WHITE
You can take my personal guards.

Glassister smiles victorious.

SNOW WHITE
And the Hunter.

GLASSISTER
But…

SNOW WHITE
He is a good tracker.

GLASSISTER
(meaning the opposite)
That is why we arrived triumphantly with the girl.

SNOW WHITE
He’s survived the woods many times.

GLASSISTER
Yes mother.

SNOW WHITE
Son, there is no need for your father to know.

GLASSISTER EXITS. Snow turns her attention now to her favorite son. She lies down on the bed. There is almost a flirtatiousness between them.

SNOW WHITE
Do you believe he’s in love with her?

BEDFORD
Love at first sight? Like you and father?

SNOW WHITE
Yes.

BEDFORD
He wants her. He will have her.

SNOW WHITE
That can pass for love these days.

Bedford looks at his mother.

BEDFORD
There was this…

From his coat pocket he pulls… A GLASS SLIPPER.

SNOW WHITE
Her slipper?

BEDFORD
A strange slipper indeed. It has quickening within it.

She takes a closer look and sees the SILVER within the GLASS. When SHE TOUCHES IT, the Design of the silver changes entirely. She is INTRIGUED.

BEDFORD
There was more. I noticed that…

As he Explains WE SEE IMAGES THAT MATCH.

BEDFORD
When she arrived she seemed to be floating.

INSERT TEASER: Guests on the ball looking at her.

BEDFORD
The guards said she arrived on a carriage all of silver and she left at the stroke of the witching hour in the same manner.

INSERT TEASER: Cinderella runs into the INTRICATE CARRIAGE and the FOUR HORSES pull away.

BEDFORD
I followed after brother so this I can also attest. But when the search continued into the night, The Hunter confided, that there were no horse TRACKS to be followed.

INSERT VISUAL: The Hunter and Bedford in the middle of the road.

ANGLE ON THE CARRIAGE TRACKS.

We can see The Hunter mouth. “No Tracks.”

BEDFORD
The Carriage tracks stopped Mid-Road. Upon which the girl’s footprints began. One footprint to be exact. Her bare foot. It was as if the horses and the carriage simply disappeared.

SNOW WHITE
This slipper is all you found of the girl?

BEDFORD
Not all, I found this.

He reveals a HORSESHOE also MADE OF GLASS, also with SILVER that looks alive within it. He places the HORSESHOE on her mother’s DRESSING TABLE then takes a JEWELRY BOX and places it over it. Suddenly, The Jewelry box floats up, the horseshoe underneath it.

BEDFORD
There was magic involved, and magic would certainly mean…

SNOW WHITE
Evil.
(beat)
Find out who this girl is.

BEDFORD
And Glassister?

SNOW WHITE
The Woods will occupy him. Go to the village and announce that all the Registered Daughters of the kingdom must try on this slipper.

BEDFORD
More than one could fit it.

SNOW WHITE
Not if it’s magic.

BEDFORD
But we know the girl is in the woods.

SNOW WHITE
Precisely, someone in the kingdom is missing a daughter. Bring that family to me.

BEDFORD
What do you intend to do?

She gives him no response.

BEDFORD
Very well.

He starts out but turns.

BEDFORD
You did believe in love once?

SNOW WHITE
Once, a very long time ago.

Snow White’s steely statement chills Bedford. He leaves, taking the shoe with him. The door is not closed for a second, that Snow White latches it and OPENS A SECRET DOOR to a room she now calls the –

INT. MIRROR ROOM — CONTINUOUS

The entire room is full of Mirrors, on the wall, the floor, stacked one on top of the other. But there is one Mirror that is hung carefully, with a large Piece of DARK VELVET CLOTH over it. She REVEALS —

A SHATTERED MIRROR.

Precariously put back together except for one large missing PORTION close to the CENTER.

Snow closes her eyes and concentrates —

SNOW WHITE
Agrah lamah turon Agrah. Agrah lama turon Agrah Sahnteon.

The shattered pieces seem to melt into each other and become a WATERY WAVE, but then it cannot complete the transition and returns to its cracked appearance. In its center, looking back at Snow is a darker version of her own face.

THE REFLECTION
A curious visitor indeed. Such a pleasure.

Snow White opens her eyes and sees her own reflection.

SNOW WHITE
You’ve changed.

THE REFLECTION
So have you. This is the first time I have been able to reflect you. The crown must be a heavy burden indeed.

SNOW WHITE
You know why I’m here.

THE REFLECTION
I see only what you want to see.

SNOW WHITE
What do you see?

The reflection closes her eyes. Her face begins to appear on the various mirrors, one by one The Reflection searches around.

THE REFLECTION
Very little. My leash has been shortened.

SNOW WHITE
It’s not short enough.

She shows the GLASS HORSESHOE to the REFLECTION.

THE REFLECTION
Ah, where did you find me?

SNOW WHITE
You tell me.

When Snow holds up the HORSESHOE to the mirror the SILVER trapped within the glass begins to pull Snow with great force.

THE REFLECTION
That belongs TO ME!

SNOW WHITE
And I shall not keep it from you.

Snow lets the Horseshoe go. It melts into the MIRROR restoring some of the mirror’s missing section.

THE REFLECTION
It’s not all of it.

SNOW WHITE
There is more.

THE REFLECTION
Where?

SNOW WHITE
A girl.

THE REFLECTION
You wish for me to find her. Well, well, well, that I can do.

SNOW WHITE
Find her.

THE REFLECTION
You must say the words, though it will damn your soul.

A STAND OFF. After which Snow raises her eyes, stares at her own reflection and icily states.

SNOW WHITE
Mirror, Mirror.

The Reflection smiles— and Snow White feels a pull of her body towards the mirror and a mist, a piece of her soul, smokes its way towards it.

SEVERAL ANGLES

The mirror scours the ENTIRE KINGDOM, we now understand how the mirror finds its targets. Through the reflections on MIRRORS, GLASS, even WATER — The evil reflection of SNOW WHITE examines each vain girl, seeing if she is the one. WE pull back to reveal the entire TOWN as the spirit of the REFLECTION moves from house to house, reflection to reflection.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE VILLAGE — MORNING

At the very center of town, there’s a GRANITE FOUNTAIN of “The Fallen Witch” with a SWORD entering her HEART, having fallen into great disrepair. People have paid it no mind for a very long time. From its center however we can see 360 degrees into the Businesses of FEREWEIGH, the baker, the Printer, and the Dressmaker’s Shoppe to which we pull closer until we’re in the—

INT. DRESSMAKER’S SHOPPE — CONTINUOUS

Sewing on a spindle in the corner is the STEPMOTHER. Her Beautiful dresses draped across the shoppe. Four village ladies shop and gossip.

WOMAN #2
If she ran into the woods, we will certainly never hear from her again.

WOMAN #1
We just may. People have survived the Bitter Woods before.

WOMAN #2
Only the queen and that’s because the king came upon her dead.

WOMAN #3
Are you certain my husband will like this?

The Stepmother is glad for this sudden shift in conversation.

STEPMOTHER
He will adore you in it.

WOMAN #2
Of course by husband you meant lover.

WOMAN #3
Don’t be bawdy.
(beat)
Leave that job to the ones with proper cleavage.

Laughter! The door BURSTS open. The ladies frozen in place as Guards enter making way for the Prince.

STEPMOTHER
Prince Charming.

The ladies curtsey. One with her cleavage in full display.

BEDFORD
Ladies.

STEPMOTHER
You honor us.

BEDFORD
(in disdain)
I am sorry for busting in on you like this.

STEPMOTHER
I am humbled, if the queen desires to see..

BEDFORD
You’ve been my mother’s Dressmaker for seven years now.

STEPMOTHER
Since my husband’s death, yes sire.

BEDFORD
Yes, well, mother wonders about the dress the girl wore.

STEPMOTHER
The girl?

BEDFORD
The one that got away. You and your sons were present.

STEPMOTHER
We were very honored to be invited.

BEDFORD
Such a fine garment. It was of your making?

STEPMOTHER
It was… not sire.

BEDFORD
You have one daughter, have you not?

STEPMOTHER
Stepdaughter.

BEDFORD
Why did you not bring her? As part of your family, the invitation included her.

STEPMOTHER
My daughter is not a handsome girl Prince Charming. Therefore I felt inviting her, well… She would have never met the courts standards. Beauty is highly regarded. I did not wish to embarrass the lass.

BEDFORD
Embarrass her you must. All Registered daughters of the land must be made available for a shoe fitting of sorts. I expect you to have yours at home when we knock.

Bedford Exits. The very moment the door closes the women chatter up a storm.

WOMAN #4
This girl must be of royal blood.

STEPMOTHER
I highly doubt that. But she was beautiful.

WOMAN #1
(secretly to Stepmother)
We both know that dress was of your making.

STEPMOTHER
Yes.

WOMAN #1
It was the very dress I rejected.
(beat)
I will keep your secret. I have a daughter as well.

WOMAN #2
My son, he’s one of the queen’s private Guards.

WOMAN #1
Is he?

WOMAN #2
Tells me they have been ordered to search the Woods until she is found.

WOMAN #3
Wolves are aplenty in those woods, and the wood’s victims cry well into the night.

WOMAN #4
If I were chosen by Prince Glassister, I would run myself, Bitter Woods or not. He’s buried a bride before. I hear he tortured her, drove her mad.

STEPMOTHER
Tales, that’s all. The Prince is harmless.

WOMAN #1
Then why did the girl run?

TO BE CONTINUED:

Fairy Tale Friday – The Bitter Woods – Chapter 2

Posted in TV, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 18, 2011 by Montserrat Mendez

CHAPTER 2

FROM A THICKET, THE WOLVES

Studying the gathering of men, recede. Their eyes blink out, silently into the shadows. The White One then leaps over the path the way that the Torchbearers came. They all turn. Even the Hunter is fooled.

THE HUNTER
That way!

They rush back into THE BITTER WOODS.

Title Sequence.

CUT TO:

THE LAKE —

Cinderella’s body rises to the surface. Her eyes open yet dead we pull closer, closer, closer to their pale, icy blueness and then we are —

EXT. ANOTHER LAKE – YEARS BEFORE — DAY

FAVORING a SMALL HANDSOME Snow Covered COTTAGE.

Her STEPBROTHERS sit by the edge of the lake tying on their primitive WOODEN ICE SKATES, plainly dressed Cinderella strides purposefully towards them.

CINDERELLA
What are you doing?

ALEX
We’re Ice gliding.

CINDERELLA
Ice gliding?

MICHAEL
Yes! Look!

Michael and Alex push themselves to their feet and soon are GLIDING ACROSS THE LAKE.

CINDERELLA
Can I try?

Since the brothers ignore her, she steps on to the edge and slips towards them.

CINDERELLA
Please.

After some furtive whispering they glide towards her, grab her by the arms and pull her along laughing.

CINDERELLA
Alex! Michael!

MICHAEL
Don’t worry we won’t let you fall.

A few seconds later she’s laughing along with them.

CUT TO:

EXT.A ROAD — CONTINUOUS

A MAN on a HORSE trots along. He hears his daughter’s laughter.

FATHER
(smiling.)
Ella.

From a distance, he sees her at the center of the lake. A loving smile spreads across his face.

RESUME ON the LAKE.

Grabbing two branches from nearby, the brothers begin to spar.

MICHAEL
I shall protect the princess’ honor with my life evil Wizard from the West.

CINDERELLA
Michael, my valiant knight.

ALEX
A curse on the princess I have placed,never on land again shall she stand.  Frozen to remain until the spring thaw sinks her to Hades.

MICHAEL
We shall see about that.

CINDERELLA
I hear the Evil Warlock has weak ankles valiant knight.

ALEX
Thank you princess.

Michael and Alex play. Upon hearing her father’s horse, Cinderella searches the horizon.

CINDERELLA
Father!

She waves. Behind her, Michael vanquishes Alex.

CINDERELLA
Fair Knight restore me to land for our great King Father has returned from the mighty hunt…

Her brothers glide towards her, and that’s when the ICE beneath her BREAKS! She PLUNGES!

CUT TO:

HER FATHER

Witnessing his daughter’s PLUNGE. He gallops his horse to the edge of the lake. With a WOLF’S HEAD CANE, he tries to reach his daughter as quickly as he can.

–SHE SLIDES under the ICE —

Michael and Alex try to break the ice with their ICE SKATES.

–A SPLASH!–

As the father jumps into the HOLE, shortly after, he pushes her through. Michael grabs her face and in a kiss, blows air into her lungs. She comes back to life violently.

MICHAEL
It’s a good thing you were here father.

That’s when they realize Father never made it out of the WATER, that in their haste to save her NO ONE pulled him out.

ALEX
Father…?

That’s when HIS DEAD BODY floats underneath them, coming face to face with Cinderella. There is no rescuing him. He is already dead. On his eyes, so similar to hers, as we…

CUT BACK TO:

EXT. THE RIVER — NIGHT

Her body floating —

CINDERELLA
Once upon a time I died.

The lovely corpse floats away from us, slowly resting against a rotted tree trunk near the edge of the lake. The wolves appear from within the forest led by the WHITE. Biting into the collar of her dress, they drag her out of the RIVER.

And then they HOWL —

ANGLE ON A PAIR OF FITTED ARCHER BOOTS.

Belonging to a stealthy, athletic being stepping through the woods without making a sound; The booted stranger, face unseen, picks up the body walking towards a BLACK MARE. (The Horse’s name is BOLT). On BOLT’S SIDE, an ornate wooden CROSSBOW rests attached to the SADDLE. Cinderella is placed on this horse then the stranger and pack of wolves disappear into the night.

INT. THE CAVE — NIGHTS LATER

Cinderella stirs finding herself in a FANCY CANOPY BED surrounded by curtains of LACE. Beyond that, CANDLES shine twice as brightly because the entire CAVE is full of —

ARMORS, HELMETS, SWORDS, and WEAPONS belonging to once GREAT KNIGHTS no longer with us.

She further realizes that she’s inside a CAVE. Water dripping from above creates a natural water basin on one corner. Pushing her bed sheets away to find she has been dressed in a silken nightgown of pure RED contrasting the WHITE of the BED SHEETS like BLOOD on SNOW. She pushes the LACE aside to get a better look at her surroundings. She sees the WARM GLOW of a FIRE just around the corner. She stands. Her feet still bandaged; she grimaces, but braves on, walking in the direction of the GLOW until she encounters an EXIT OUT OF THE CAVE, and into a CABIN with a large fireplace. (The CABIN must be built at the mouth of the CAVE!)

CINDERELLA
(whispers)
Remarkable.

She spies a figure sitting at a crafted ARMCHAIR. We cannot see the face, but we can see the ANCIENT LOOKING BOOK that it reads. She creeps closer to her SAVIOR, lightly so as not to make a sound. But then we hear —

THE HUNTRESS
You walk like a stone elephant.

We now know one thing for sure. Her KNIGHT is a GIRL. This is the HUNTRESS. Standing she faces her salvage. ~Gorgeous Red Curls fall over her shoulders and an IVY TATTOO giving the impression of life within the very IVY can be seen on her arms and up the side of her neck. There is a scar over her left eye but it does not diminish the beauty, only add danger to it. How do you address such a wild creature?

CINDERELLA
Thank you.

The Huntress stares, sits again and turns to the last page of the book.

THE HUNTRESS
(reading)
… and they lived happily ever after. The End.

She closes the book. Stares at the fire.

CINDERELLA
What do you read?

THE HUNTRESS
Fairy tales.

She says as she throws the book into the fire.

Lessons I learned while Dying

Posted in Film, Theater, TV, Uncategorized, Upcoming Projects with tags , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2011 by Montserrat Mendez

February 14th, 2006

There are life changing events in your life, and then there are events that give you birth.   While many people consider their birthday, the day they rocketed out of the womb, screaming into a magnificent scary world.

The truth is that they are moments when you are truly born, and you’re aware of them. Painfully and joyfully aware of them. For some people, this enlightenment is a slow process and takes them through various iterations of their lives.

For me, it all happened on Feb. 14th, 2006.  That was the day I almost died.  I considered the rest of my time after this, well, a complete gift and blessing.  For the simple fact that as you read this, I SHOULDN’T BE HERE.

I won’t go into the deeply personal way this came about.  It was a health issue, and well, the details are not as interesting.  But, I will give you ten lessons I learned from my near death experience:

1.  Never Judge a Book by its cover:

My sister brought me  into St. James Hospital, in Newark, New Jersey on that Valentine’s day, I was half conscious.  I had already been at the emergency room three times that week, and each time the doctors would send me home with new medication and a new mis-diagnosis.  My body had gone toxic, so I was vomiting my insides, this incredibly yellow vile that just kept coming up.  I remember my mom cradling me in her arms.  And the Nurses behind the station, ignoring my cries.  After all I had been there three times before that very week.  In walk, four thugs, i mean, thugs in the way they look.  I was at that moment judging their cover.  They came in with a friend, who had broken his arm.  They wore street clothes, they looked like they were ready to take out a convenience store, and they are the people you completely judge as less than you, for simply being who they are.

They saved my life.  Because, it took them only ten minutes in that waiting room for them to start the revolt that would get me into the E.R. and into an operating table.  Within minutes, while seeing me throw up all over the waiting room floor, one of them walked up, past the security guard and banged on the window, and screamed, “This kid is dying out here!”

The security guard came, but that only made another one of them get up, and then the other one, and then, soon enough all these people had gathered around me to save my life.

the people who saved my life were not the doctors, sure they cut into me and did their job but that’s what they trained for. My saviours that day, where people who saw a situation that was being ignored by the people in power, and they rallied, and they screamed and they SAVED ME.  I will never forget that.

2. You don’t have enough time to change the world. You have enough time to love it:

The world will change with or without you, we are always in the state of evolution.  And while it may seem that there are people out there changing the world. Their goal is not to change it. People who change the world, don’t have in their goals list.  TODAY I’m going to CHANGE THE WORLD.  No, they wake up and they do what they love, they fight for what they love, they live their lives with love.  And somehow they change the world, but if they don’t, they have lived a full life.

3. Listen to Your Body:

Your body knows everything.  What’s going on in the inside and what’s going on the outside. Truth be told, I knew something was wrong in my stomach a full two years before I landed in that hospital.  But I didn’t trust it.  I was tired, I was angry, I was emotional, hell, I wasn’t even digesting correctly.  But we lie to ourselves all the time, we try to rationalize our internal physical feelings and give them emotional colors.  I was depressed, of course I was depressed, I was dying!

Two years ago, I was meeting someone for coffee, I met this person at a book store on 72nd, and for the most part I was running late.  But, I walked into that book store, and my entire body responded. I got the wind knocked out of me, and I had what I can only describe as a “Christmas” feeling.  My body was telling me something, two years later, this is my bestest friend in the entire world.

Listen to your body!  It will know when something is wrong and when something is right. It will tell you when something is good for you, or when something is just not what you should be doing. It will even tell you when someone is lying, manipulating,  and also being completely honest with you.  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, and treat it well.  It’s a feeling machine, exercise it, give it water, turn IT into not just a temple, but a way to connect to others and a way to feel out every situation.

4. Respect other people’s journey.  and while you’re at it, show a little RESPECT:

Everyone’s journey will be different.  Don’t judge other people’s journey.  Don’t even worry about it, unless someone’s journey is completely interfering with yours, why sweat it.   It will cost you a lot more precious time, gossiping, and criticizing what others are doing than you would expect.

Just walk your path every day. Smile, be respectful, and don’t involve yourself in the criticism of others.

Also, put a distance between yourself and people who just find it necessary to talk about others. You will not believe how lighter the path becomes, when you don’t burden yourself  with caring about how others are leading their lives.  As one of my favorite quotes of today say:  What other people think of me, is none of my business.

5. You have one specific purpose, one reason for being here above all others.

FIND IT and then don’t let anything dissuade you from it:

On February 14th, 2006.  I had one moment that defined me more than any other.  I felt my spirit leave my body.  Not only did it leave my body, It watched my body from across the room.  It was the scariest experience of my life.  But it was only second to the moment before I passed out, when I saw my entire life flash before my eyes, it does happen that way, what no one tells you is that, it also flashes before your eyes EVERYTHING YOU NEVER GOT TO DO, and guess what, those seconds felt like a life time.  A FUCKING LIFETIME.

I knew I always wanted to write, I knew I always wanted to work on what I’m do right now.  And now, no one can dissuade me from it.  People try to get me to do other things, they do, they sometimes try to tell me what’s good for me.  Or that I should do this, or that.  But that’s not true, you get one chance, you get one life, and you get a certain number of years.  It’s all so finite, we are a second, our lives are a flash.

FIND WHAT YOU WERE BORN TO DO and DO IT, EVERYDAY.  Don’t waste a single second.

6.  Fall in Love and when you do FALL HARD:

I had never been in love.  I have liked people, I have slept with a whole bunch.  But LOVE, to me was an idea.  And most of the time I wanted something from the other person. I loved them because they thought I was brilliant, or funny or  good-looking. Or I loved them because they fit into what I thought I wanted.  Or they gave me a sense of security.

No, that’s not the way it works at all, keep your heart open and a person will come into your life that will change it, it will inspire it, it will make you focused, and make you a better person.

Love, is love, it’s not sex.  It may not come in an ideal package, or an ideal situation, it develops from trust and friendship, and then one day you fall hard.  LET IT HAPPEN.

7. Don’t Lie or Betray:

Tell the truth.  It may be harsh, it will sometimes be hard to tell and most often it will be hard to hear. But it will not keep you up at night.  It will get rid of all anxiety.  it will liberate you and set you free.  All the cliches are true.  You will not have to deal with the little extra things you have to do when you lie.  And you will not have to treat your relationships with the extra care that you do, when you live in the fear that the person may find out the truth one day. You see, you will have so much less energy when you lie.  Tell the truth, and use that energy to do something more positive.

8. Learn to Bend, Walking away is always easier:

We all love to win a fight, or an argument.  But at what cost.  I bend, someone tries to convince me of something that I don’t even care about, I bend, let them win the argument, I walk away and knock out ten pages.  No argument is worth winning if it’s gonna WASTE YOUR TIME.

9.  Objectify your Depression:

Sad moments will still happen, life will not be easy and you will often meet great defeats. Objectify it.  I used to get knocked out for days when I was depressed.  Then I objectified my depression.  I gave it a name, Solomon, and now when Solomon comes for a visit, I talk to it, I take it out for a jog, take it to the gym, and sometimes I very much listen to what it has to say. Because, while depression can be mental, it can also be physical.  I used to think i was crazy, but you know what, now i often find I’m just dehydrated.  Objectify your depression and make it a friend, most often than not, it will tell you exactly what is wrong and most importantly how to bid it goodbye.

10.  Say Thank you for everyday.  EVERYDAY COUNTS.

You will not believe how limited your time on earth is.  The only way I know, it’s because, I saw it flash before my eyes, and it was over so quickly.  Life is a precious gift.  But it does indeed have an expiration date.

You have your life, minus the time you sleep, minus the times that are spent getting and going to places, minus the time you spent arguing, minus the time you spend proving that you are right, minus the time you spent cutting down that person down that wasn’t even in the room, minus the time you spend wanting what someone else has, minus the time you spend in fear,  minus the time you spend on facebook.

You have a very limited time.  To find your life’s purpose and get to it. Why, oh why would you waste any single second of it.

I almost died 5 years ago today.  My life prior to that, was different from the life I have today.  The life I have today has a lot more love, a lot more passion, a lot more people I love in it, and a lot more successes.  Actually, if you look at the sum of my life, my major successes came in the last five years, of those last five years my biggest leaps forward only happened when I fell in love.

LIFE

LOVE

LOVE LIFE

LIVE TO LOVE

The rest of it, it will go so quickly, you won’t even know what hit you.

Writing that has changed my life.

Posted in Film, Theater, TV on February 7, 2011 by Montserrat Mendez

Today is my birthday.  I was born 30 something years ago in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

I am a writer; so of course, I want to talk about words that have touched me.  Words are an amazing thing, if properly arranged, like notes of music, they can touch the human spirit.

So today I want to share with you four writers and their words; words that have  made me smile, made me cry and most importantly have inspired me to pursue my dreams. (I have chosen 4 writers from different fields, one screenplay, on tv play, on stage play and one prose)

1. Movie – Shakespeare in Love – Tom Stoppard:  There is a scene in the movie, where Viola De Lesseps explains to the Nurse what she wants.  In a scene that was  simply for character development these words reached out and have inspired me since the moment I heard them:

Viola De Lesseps: I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… over-throws life. Unbiddable, ungovernable – like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love – like there has never been in a play.

2.  Buffy – The Vampire Slayer: The Body – Joss Wheddon:  Leave it to Joss Wheddon to explain the pain of death in a completely original heartbreaking way as Anya an ex-demon (really!) begins to come to terms that when humans die, it’s over.  I consider this, if not the best episode ever written for television, then certainly among the top ten.

Anya: Are they gonna cut the body open?
Willow: Oh my God! Would you just… stop talking? Just… shut your mouth. Please.
Anya: What am I doing?
Willow: How can you act like that?
Anya: Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot? I mean, is that the helpful thing to do?
Xander: Guys…
Willow: The way you behave…
Anya: Nobody will tell me.
Willow: Because it’s not okay for you to be asking these things.
Anya: But I don’t understand.
[begins to cry]
I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s- There’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore. It’s stupid. It’s mortal and stupid. And-and Xander’s crying and not talking, and-and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.

3.  Universal Robots – Mac Rogers (inspired by Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Capek):  I considered this play, the best piece of theatre I have ever seen in my life, and Mac Rogers the best “yet to be” discovered writer of my lifetime.  After two hours in which we see our entire 20th Century Timeline decimated by human choices and by our own creations, the last human seeking an answer that eludes her, and looking to revenge herself, asks one of the machines for his sacrifice, the following exchange takes place:

Primus: You may not cut Robot Helena!

Jo: If not her, then you. Choose.

Primus: Then me! But you may not cut her!

Jo: Fine. Lie Down.

Helena: No! Primus! You must not. Let it be me.  you only need one. Miss Jo!? Let it be me.

Primus: Let it be me.

Helena: No! Let it be me! you will not cut Primus.

Primus: You will not cut either of us Miss Jo.

Jo: Why not?

Primus: Because…

Helena: We Belong to each other.

I remember this performance, and at those words. “We Belong to Each other,” There was a collective gasp, an intake of breath that united an entire audience to an incredible cast, and for one second of humanity, we did indeed belong to each other.  Till this day, no moment in theatre has equaled that moment. And I don’t think any moment ever will.

4. The Velveteen Rabbit – By Margery Williams:  of all the life lessons literature has taught me, this is one of my very favorites:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand”

of course, i could make a list of 10, 20, 100 of these.  But when I sat down to write this blog, these are the ones that first popped into my head.  And the ones I think about most.  Their power in my life is tangible, and influential.

What are the words from any media that have touched, made you laugh, think, cry, and perhaps have even changed you?