Kristina Bryan

Great minds discuss ideas...Eleanor Roosevelt

46

29

The Milliner's Daughter

UPDATE UPDATE: HERE IS THE SECOND DRAFT... AFTER SOME WONDERFUL SUGGESTIONS AND FEEDBACK I THINK  I AM CLOSER THAN BEFORE. ONCE AGAIN, FEEL FREE TO LEAVE ME ANY FEEDBACK.

For my text I have selected Mrs. Williams from Spoon River Anthology.  I will also using excerpts from the poem written by Dora Williams, Reuben Pantier, Mrs. Purkapile and Roscoe Purkapile.

Mrs. Williams

 I was the milliner talked about, lied about, Mother of Dora, whose strange disappearance was charged to her rearing.

My eye quick to beauty saw much beside ribbons and buckles and feathers and leghorns and felts, to set off sweet faces, and dark hair and gold.

One thing I will tell you and one I will ask: the stealers of husbands wear powder and trinkets and fashionable hats. Wives, wear them yourselves. Hats may make divorces--they also prevent them.

Well now, let me ask you: if all of the children, born here in Spoon River had been reared by the County, somewhere on a farm; and the fathers and mothers had been given their freedom to live and enjoy, change mates if they wished, do you think that Spoon River had been any the worse?

Dora Williams

When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me I went to Springfield. There I met a lush,
whose father just deceased left him a fortune. He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.


A year passed and one day they found him dead. That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago.


After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain. I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate 
went mad about me--so another fortune. He died one night right in my arms, you know.
(I saw his purple face for years thereafter. ) There was almost a scandal.


I moved on, this time to Paris. I was now a woman, insidious, subtle, versed in the world and rich.
My sweet apartment near the Champs Elys river became a center for all sorts of people,
musicians, poets, dandies, artists, nobles, where we spoke French and German, Italian, English.


I wed Count Navigato, native of Cenoa. We went to Rome. He poisoned me, I think.
Now in the Campo Santo overlooking the sea where young Columbus dreamed new worlds,     see what they chiseled: "Contessa Navigato Implora eterna quiete."

When I was trying to pick the perfect poem, I knew I wanted my main character to be a woman and as I read all the poems I was drawn to two in particular, one by Mrs. Williams and the other by Dora Williams. At first I did not realize that these two women were blood related, that they were mother and daughter--hmmm...which one do I choose? The jilted, bitter gold digger/widower or, her mother, the husband stealing milliner.

I have to admit much like the women folk of Spoon River I too was quick to pass judgemnent on Mrs. Williams, but as a read bettween the lines I found something more... a story, hidden deep inside a poem, a story... waiting to be told.

Logline: An elderly woman reveals disturbing family secrets, implicating her daughter as a murderer.

The story takes place in the present, at Spoon River Hospice Center, room B16.

Mrs. Williams is a frail, elderly woman in her late 80's, not only suffering from the natural ailments of old age, she also suffers from short term memory loss. The old womans mind is trapped in Spoon River, gazing out a small window of time, the life she remembers spans about 32 years.

For years Mrs. WIlliams and her daughter Dora were the center of idol chit chat. Mrs. Williams the young, beautiful widow, raising an equally beautiful, promiscuous daughter--with no thanks to the petty women folk of Spoon River Mrs. Williams reputation as the town Milliner was surpassed by her reputation as a husband stealer. Sadly, the only memories she can recount contain deep, dark family secrets that allude to child molestation and murder. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZnAMTdDalsek9inRmEzl8-iXNxosraYVsBDxJXFsrpQ/edit?usp=sharing

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UPDATE:  I have finished my first draft and I am completely open to any suggestions you may have.  Please keep in mind this is the first screenplay I have ever attempted to do, you will find gramatical errors I am sure...lol! I have cast only 2 characters; Mrs. Williams, an elderly woman suffering from dementia is a resident at a convalecent center and her caretaker Nurse Becky, is the only witness to her implications.

For my text I have selected Mrs. Williams from Spoon River Anthology. I will also using excerpts from the poem written by Dora Williams.

Logline: An elderly woman reveals disturbing family secrets, implicating her daughter as a murderer.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XPngDSqAffWuxQRAHTz9-_RMlkgKRmAcfQhaGoJVuuo/edit?usp=sharing

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This is my first attempt at writing a screenplay, I have yet to finish it, so bear with me; I will be updating the first draft soon.

Mrs. Williams

 I was the milliner talked about, lied about, Mother of Dora, whose strange disappearance was charged to her rearing.

My eye quick to beauty saw much beside ribbons and buckles and feathers and leghorns and felts, to set off sweet faces, and dark hair and gold.

One thing I will tell you and one I will ask: the stealers of husbands wear powder and trinkets and fashionable hats. Wives, wear them yourselves. Hats may make divorces--they also prevent them.

Well now, let me ask you: if all of the children, born here in Spoon River had been reared by the County, somewhere on a farm; and the fathers and mothers had been given their freedom to live and enjoy, change mates if they wished, do you think that Spoon River had been any the worse?

Dora Williams

When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me I went to Springfield. There I met a lush,
whose father just deceased left him a fortune. He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.


A year passed and one day they found him dead. That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago.


After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain. I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate
went mad about me--so another fortune. He died one night right in my arms, you know.
(I saw his purple face for years thereafter. ) There was almost a scandal.


I moved on, this time to Paris. I was now a woman, insidious, subtle, versed in the world and rich.
My sweet apartment near the Champs Elys river became a center for all sorts of people,
musicians, poets, dandies, artists, nobles, where we spoke French and German, Italian, English.


I wed Count Navigato, native of Cenoa. We went to Rome. He poisoned me, I think.
Now in the Campo Santo overlooking the sea where young Columbus dreamed new worlds,     see what they chiseled: "Contessa Navigato Implora eterna quiete."

When I was trying to pick the perfect poem, I knew I wanted my main character to be a woman and as I read all the poems I was drawn to two in particular, one by Mrs. Williams and the other by Dora Williams. At first I did not realize that these two women were blood related, that they were mother and daughter--hmmm...which one do I choose? The jilted, bitter gold digger/widower or, her mother, the husband stealing milliner.

As I lay in bed Friday night tossing and turning, thinking about these two women, I could not make up my mind. So many possible scenarios, so little time--litterally so little time. I have never written a screenplay before let alone writing a screenplay for an eight-minute short film--I know right!

Naturally I turned to my husband, my best friend, who by now was obviously sick of all the pillow talk, he lay there motionless, eyes closed, perfectly still--much like a victim of a bear attack, so I was left to my own devices. I could feel the restless leg syndome setting in-- it was going to be a long night... 

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