Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

How Film became the Seventh Art: a very very short short



A frazzled YOUNG MAN (late 20s) rushes up to the counter on the third floor of the Ministry, an artfully ruinous pile of Corinthian columns on Mount Olympus Boulevard, two blocks past the Freeway. ZEUS (truly ancient, with white hair) is standing behind the high counter glaring out at him.

                                                 YOUNG MAN (excitedly)                                                                                           Am I in time to get a number?

He enunciates clearly, turning his head slightly toward a brand new Sony Handycam held by a slovenly guy with a scraggly ponytail. Another guy in jeans is waving a unidirectional shotgun mike around with annoying carelessness.

                                                 ZEUS (unenthusiastically)                                                                                         Yeah, just barely. If you had gotten here just a few                                                                 minutes later, I would have been safely gone and                                                                   you would have to wait till  my next opening hours.

                                                 YOUNG MAN                                                                                                           Really? When’s that?

                                                  ZEUS                                                                                                                    2075 AD. Nine a.m. sharp.

                                                  YOUNG MAN (into the camera)                                                                                 Whew!

                                                  ZEUS                                                                                                                   Name?

                                                  YOUNG MAN                                                                                                         Philm. D. Essai

ZEUS makes a disapproving grimace, as he starts to fill in the registration form.

                                                   ZEUS                                                                                                                  Ye Gods, that’s a mouthful. What name are you going by in art?

                                                   YOUNG MAN                                                                                                               (shouting and opening his arms expansively to the camera)                                                  Cinema!

                                                    ZEUS (nodding approvingly)                                                                                  Excellent choice!

The YOUNG MAN peers at the paper ZEUS is writing on, then he points at the entry ZEUS has just made.

                                                     YOUNG MAN                                                                                                        You spelled it wrong! That’s Cinema with a C, not a K!

ZEUS sneers at him and crosses out the K. The cameraman moves in to get a better read on ZEUS’ expression. Without looking up, ZEUS points at the cameraman.

                                                    ZEUS                                                                                                                   Does he have a permit to do that?

                                                     YOUNG MAN (a little too quickly)                                                                             Er, yes! Of course! They have the paperwork downstairs.

The YOUNG MAN watches with growing excitement as ZEUS loudly stamps several copies of the registration form with an ancient stamp. ZEUS hands him the first copy, with a big number “Seven” written on it.

                                                    ZEUS (sharply and in a rush)                                                                                   Okay, here you are. It’s official: Cinema, the Seventh Art.                                                         Whoop-dee-doo. Now go to cashier 23, and let me get out                                                       of here, before any more of you barbarians show up. Rumor                                                     has it that snot nosed jail-bait, Animator Comix is on his                                                           way up here to get a number, too.

                                                    YOUNG MAN                                                                                                         Yeah, you should have seen him jumping around when he                                                       found out he was eligible under the new diversity regulations.

                                                     ZEUS (earnestly leaning closer)                                                                               Doesn’t anyone know their place anymore?

Just then, a loud commotion is heard as a BLOND SKATER (18 yrs. old) in dreadlocks and a dirty T shirt crashes his skateboard into the potted laurel bush. He calls out to ZEUS from across the room.

                                                     BLOND SKATER                                                                                                      Hello! Excuse me, Mister Zeus? I need a number, dude!

                                                      ZEUS (mumbling under his breath)                                                                          Oh, shit. Too late.



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