TOM HUMPHREYS @ HIGH ART
INT. PENTHOUSE – NIGHT
An almost common setting, in the sense that this is to be expected from a soirée thrown by insanely wealthy socialites. Not so common in terms of numbers, this is after all the top one percentile. This being said, nothing really out of the ordinary: obscure but tasteful midcentury with a sprinkle of art deco in a three-story penthouse in the 6th arrondissement. A grand living room with soaring ceilings and paintings covering the walls in abundance, too many in fact, which probably should be considered a bit garish except that the hosts are well known collectors and we all comply.
It’s the tail-end of the night and the camera pans the room spotting what appears to be two figures deep in conversation.
– Everyone is delusional these days. I mean, I feel delusional for even saying this.
– Not sure what you mean darling.
– Well, even to say “everyone”, I mean who am I to account for anyone?
– Is that a Carol Simon on the wall?
– I think it is.
– I’ve never seen that one, even in a reproduction.
– Anyways baby, you know I barely read the news, I just can’t be bothered, I’d really just rather spend my energy on what’s around me, you know like friends, family, my neighborhood, you.
– There’s this Italian saying, it goes something like, “il mio piccolo orticello”. I think it means “my own little garden”.
– I’ve heard that before, I like it. Oh, I’ve had too many of these, shall we go home?
– This all sounds very apolitical darling, maybe you should eat something.
– What’s the alternative babe?
– Well darling, an infantile madman becomes president and everyone is sexually harassed.
– Haha, ooh these are good, is this Bottarga on top?
The young male server responds “yes it is” with a trained smile.
Another conversation can be heard in the background
– That’s really bad form, artists can be such sociopaths, I heard Samantha really championed him. And Moretti/Springer isn’t even a good gallery! What a terrible move…
– I know, what do you think of his work?
– To be honest, I don’t know it well enough to have an opinion.
The camera follows the server into the kitchen where we catch a glimpse of 10 or so busy workers, all in their twenties.
INT. TAXI (MOVING) – NIGHT
Backseat of a taxi headed towards the 9th. It’s Saturday night and you can hear the streets in the background, still pregnant with folks drunk on booze and the energy of life in a metropolis.
– Maybe it is just the power structure and not men in particular, I mean doesn’t everyone in positions of power have a tendency to abuse?
– But babe, those power structures are inherently patriarchal, how everything is organized.
– Why would anyone want to be in a position of power.
– Haha, easy for you to say…
– That painting was really interesting.
– Again about the painting? It’s just a Painting baby.
– I know darling, I’ve just never seen it before and there was something about it, just strangely compelling, that shape in the center.
– It looked like a hamburger, or a macaron.
– Or some kind of eye staring back at you and you couldn’t tell whether it was receding or on the surface, like a kind of trompe l’oeil effect but without all the fussiness that usually comes with it.
– To be honest babe, I don’t really get painting these days. It just seems so superfluous.
– And the light blueish walls, almost like a frame, framing this arrangement or even mechanism. It’s amazing to think about how many decisions are made in a painting, it’s an entire structure, each painting its own institution. I wonder if by osmosis you can change or even evolve being next to one.
– That sounds ridiculous baby.
– Here’s my stop.
– What? Aren’t we going home babe?
EXT. STREET (METRO STATION ENTRANCE) – NIGHT
The taxi door opens and a figure swiftly exits and escapes toward the metro entrance, while a figure inside the taxi can be heard calling out.
– Tom! Where are you going? Get back here right now! What are you doing??
The figure halts and briefly looks back to respond before disappearing into the station.
– My name’s not Tom darling.
1, rue Fromentin