NOVEL SCENE GUIDE
IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL FILMMAKERSIf you have not already done so you should read the novel synopsis of the work chosen for this first competition. This will give you a greater feel for the setting, characters, and themes. YEAR OF THE RHINOCEROS is a story of those who defied the corporate invasion of Washington in the 1980's. On a primal level it is GOOD vs. EVIL. It is driven by unique and flawed characters, while at the same time employing the essence of the drama to create dilemma and high stakes. YOTR is also a love story, visually poetic, and in places, even magic realist, thus allowing for memorable special effects in the narrative.
Think of it as "Donny Darko" meets "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
NOTE: We are looking for imaginative filmmakers to take on this novel, as well as novels in future competitions, and to also form part of a growing resource list for use by publishers and authors. If you are unclear about our aims, please read our introduction on the home page.
YOTR SCENE SUMMARIES BY CHAPTERClick links below to get further info on downloading the .DOC file for scenes.
In this scene at Cafe Artaud in Washington, Manny Eden interviews with his future boss, Basil Hunsecker, for a job at the government agency, the Office of Whistleblower Council. Though he hates the boss, Manny must swallow his anger because he badly needs the job. But this doesn't stop his imagination from rebelling. By the end of the interview, the entire cafe is transforming into an instrument of revenge.
Having landed the job despite obstacles, Manny Eden enters the government office in D.C. for the first time. The viewpoint is second person. The reader becomes the character as he first encounters the dysfunctional alien beings who inhabit the Washington planet, including science-fiction princess and OWC secretary, Deejah Thoris.
Manny Eden's first introduction to fellow professionals. As he meets each one, more dysfunctionalism is apparent. Manny is asked to define himself by category. He also gets his first glimpse of Laney Dracos, her naked body graphically depicted on the cover of a local arts newspaper. He learns that she's a singer in a punk band called Tammy Pon and The Mental Douche.
In the office without a compass, Manny is instructed by his boss Hunsecker to meet with a co-worker named Becky Bergstein and begin his training process. Becky, a foe of the Republican regime that runs the agency, has zero desire to help anyone hired by Hunsecker, so the meeting between them is strained and hostile. Becky dismisses Manny by sending him to look for a training file somewhere in the cluttered office of Laney Dracos. Manny is soon shocked out of his wits when a furious Laney appears and accuses him of being a spy.
Afterwards, a flashback occurs. Recovering from his fight with Laney, Manny recalls a spring picnic beside Lake Michigan and a more serious physical battle he'd had with a conservative newspaper editor by the name of Syd Drummond over Syd's failure to tell the truth about the criminal activities of the town mayor, "Boss Rosetti."
Manny Eden has a long talk with fellow co-worker, Varsana Pardo, a conservative who energetically supports Hunsecker and the White House regime of Reagan. He learns from her a lot of new gossip about Laney Dracos. It also becomes more obvious at this point that the office culture of OWC will never allow Manny to truly help a single whistleblower. Finally, a strange and violent event takes place that stuns Manny.
A pivotal scene in the novel. A staff meeting wherein the Reaganites use every ploy and lie possible to make certain that no whistleblower will ever be taken seriously. As Laney Dracos points out later: they use law to "gut the law." At the climax of the meeting, Laney appears and happily rips everyone a new one. Manny Eden finds it increasingly difficult to deny the fact he has chosen the wrong side in this ongoing struggle of good vs. evil. Also, his infatuation with Laney is intense.
Narrated in first person by Laney Dracos, we follow her to a lavish and bizarre party in a castle-like mansion in Virginia owned by a very wealthy socialite by the name of Emperatriz Soors. While floating about the party, and suffering from a dark depression she has named Gertrude Stein, Laney successfully confronts and combats the various gods of Reaganite rule, including THE FIRST NANCY herself. Even George Bush Jr. is included in the bash. Like her, we stare dumbfounded as the President of the United States makes a total ass out of himself by playing a role in a skit that satirizes the Wizard of Oz while at the same time insulting liberal stereotypes.
In this chapter, Laney Dracos meets with Manny and attempts to convince him to join her side and struggle against the Reaganite regime that is screwing whistleblowers. (The second scene in this chapter was used to create the current film trailer, BAD BOSS THEORY). Laney lays it all out for Manny. She informs him that the U.S. government is the largest criminal enterprise in human history. Despite evidence to the contrary, and his growing love for Laney, Manny continues to resist the truth.
Manny Eden learns, courtesy of Babs Easton, that she has suddenly become his new boss. Manny can barely disguise his surprise and contempt, because he sees Babs as the primary office bimbo and brown-noser. Babs, enjoying her newfound power, baits Manny and rubs his nose in the situation. (This scene comprised the audition video, BABS ON HIGH)
Once again, you are Manny Eden, but this time, you are face to face with a whistleblower by the name of Keat Linderhart, a person who believes you are trying to betray her. Caught between your boss Hunsecker, and the hysteria of Keat, you struggle for a solution. At last, Laney Dracos appears to do battle with the forces of evil, but no sooner does she take on Hunsecker than another champion of Reagan appears--an Orange County punk hellcat by the name of Luna Goodpal. This is truly a bizarre scene.
Hunsecker calls Manny Eden into his office, frantic over the previous incident in Chapter 18 that involved the whistleblower Keat Linderhart. He's baiting Manny and manipulating him to make certain of his loyalty. He also takes the opportunity to smear Laney Dracos. This is one of Hunsecker's best scenes next to the interview scene.
Manny follows Laney to a surreal sculpture park in D.C., and there, she informs him of her dire situation, the true threats to her well being. Her depression and anger kick in double time. She becomes abusive with Manny and berates him till he can't stand it any longer. To put it mildly, the Reaganistas are winning, the Year of The Rhinoceros is thundering on, and not a single Democrat remains to prevent the stampede of the blue-suited herd. The corporate take-over of Washington is in full swing.
Manny gets a call from Laney. She is helping a whistleblower doctor, recently arrived in Washington to report the untimely deaths of patients under the care of hostile nurses and surgeons. Upon arriving at the rendez-vous point, Manny finds Laney engaged in a raging catfight with Luna Goodpal, the Reaganite cheerleader. The cops show up and things go down hill from there. Later, Laney is released, and fate catches up with her. Manny becomes a grief-stricken man.
A victim of temporary insanity, Manny decides to take revenge on the bosses of OWC. Told from Deejah's point of view. Lots of extras in this one.