Cold War Confidential
INT./EXT. CHELSEA NEW YORK GALLERY - DUSK
Price cards from the Eastern European exhibit, 'The Art of Perestroika' are turned, twirled and exhumed.
Revealing a pandora's box of decreasing size RUSSIAN DOLLS, a GALLERY ATTENDANT pushes a 'CLOSED' dealer's card.
As she whispers "sold", V.F. TINNER, a handsome young man, opens the gallery doors to summer's windy possibilities.
INT. DOWNTOWN NEW YORK TRANSIT - DUSK
The bus is empty: Latino secretaries, punkish students, fat businessmen.
Missing the upper rail, TINNER, watches his gallery brochure sail: THE ART OF PERESTROIKA.
Someone accidentally pushes Tinner's face to the window.
A couple of girls put out hand-made jewellery: delicately painted compacts, lipstick cases, wind-blown earrings and insignia rings.
High school art ambition. Manhattan rent.
On the street the bus misses stopping at various Village spots, a bar - "Downtown Beirut", "Fat Ray's Costume".
A group of striking workers hesitates, cat-calling a sexy woman.
An old Chinese man makes peace over a kite.
TINNER (V.O) (CONT'D)
I was recruited to the CIA mid-nineties. Immigrant stock to Soviet Counter Intelligence.
A homeless man trips to a curb.
Tinner blinks at his lack of reflection, looks to his package of Russian dolls.
He wears brown plaid - unassuming wire-rim glasses.
His body is lean.
On the gallery program Tinner underlines, "Happenings - Abstract Expression - American Counterculture."
A black cat causes a fender bender.
TINNER (V.O.) (CONT'D)
In 1991 Soviet Union collapsed.
Tinner forces his way through the bus.
Could I get a transfer?
The Haitian driver wipes his brow.
EXT. BUS NEW YORK'S EAST VILLAGE - DUSK
Slumming middle-class kids, artists, the homeless, a mass of tired people coming from work.
Tinner pushes himself from the bus.
His beeper falls to the gutter.
Beside a small glass bottle of what looks like multi-colored sequins, the digital display blinks, 'CHECK MESSAGE.'
EXT. NEW YORK CIA INTERROGATION ROOM - DUSK
A homeless man loses something in a garbage.
The stars and stripes of the U.S. flag die in low wind.
Perched on a security wall, a bluebird tumbles to a ledge.
A subtitle dissolves under the bird: NY CIA.
INT. NEW YORK CIA INTERROGATION ROOM - DUSK
The camera moves down legs - a young beautiful woman.
The woman picks up a fallen placard, 'SVETLANA FEDENKO.'
She's sophisticated with a tattoo that reveals her as untypical CIA.
The ceiling fan starts spinning.
A silver handgun on the table stops rocking.
Words are etched in Cyrillic.
A bullet and a shoulder holster are next to the gun.
A subtitle under the Cyrillic: 'Gun.'
The man facing Svetlana, SPECIAL AGENT STAMLEY, is well-muscled, tough, with a stonecutter's face.
Except for unrhythmic tapping of his foot, he is docile.
Rows of files are thrown about.
A photo is plastered against the wall next to a map of Haiti.
Svetlana is unhooked from a lie detector.
Her hand drops an unlit cigarette.
Svetlana speaks with a discernable Slavic accent.
Stamley flips a tape recorder back and forth.
It takes a couple tries.
He blinks at the Luger's lightly rolling bullet.
Nature. . .
Svetlana tries to remain still.
Her lips reveal a coy smile.
The department. . .
This isn't a test.
Svetlana presses her lip.
Stamley's voice is geared to intimidate.
It's questionable whether its working.
You're on the bed. . . .
A timid interruption.
Does it matter?
You don't specify?
St. Marks -- The deal.
Stamley's patience wears.
Where you're coming from. . .
You note the deal.
Stamley fails to note the position of Svetlana's hand.
Svetlana's pinky makes not quite the lightest movement.
On the next finger she misses a ring.
Is this hypothetical, Stamley?
Stamley picks up the pace.
Svetlana's upper lip does not quiver.
I don't understand.
The lie detector needle twitches.
Show me the money, Svetlana?
Svetlana's pinky moves.
Stamley goes for the gun.
Svetlana is faster.
She fires directly into the lie detector.
Stamley refuses to dive through the chair in front of him.
Svetlana climbs through the window.
Halfway through, she turns.
She blasts the hell out of Stamley.
Faint but steady, Stamley's eyes' blink.
Moving diligently from garbage to ground, Svetlana puts a run in her stocking.
Stamley takes note.
INT. EAST VILLAGE TENEMENT - NIGHT
Tinner blinks, wipes his eye.
He places his tweed over his shoulder accidentally dropping it.
He sits at the stairs along his mazelike hallway and opens his package while a fat African American earth mother passes with groceries.
At the end of the corridor a couple boys play cops and robbers.
Tinner lingers at an open door holding his package.
A voluptuous, petticoated Latino woman squeezes water from a rag.
A poster behind her comes unglued.
Poster: 'VIVA CUBA, VIVA CASTRO'.
EXT./INT. TINNER'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Tinner has trouble unlocking his door.
He walks in, flips a fan, the refrigerator swings.
In the distance, the answering machine misses beeps.
This was that summer. Not even a rat. My old partner, used to say, 'Flushing 'em to the street.' But I'm from the Midwest - arid plain, wheat fields, Midwest farmers' daughter.
Tinner goes to his CD.
He puts on Willie Nelson.
Willie croons, 'You Were Always on My Mind.'
Next to the player is a library of Soviet avant garde art books and a few named works: MARX AND ENGELS READER, BERKELEY IN THE SIXTIES, ACTIVISM IN AMERICA.'
Above these, a Haitian voodoo veve flag of 'ERZULIE FRIEDA', goddess of unrequited love.
Tinner strips halfway to his undershirt and sets up his Russian dolls in front of him.
He pours himself three drinks - two different glasses, three scoops of gliding ice cubes - overfill second glass.
From the library, Tinner dries a HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOK that's gotten iced and then opens it.
HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOK
Tinner is pictured younger and in various Midwest high school activities (art, drama, track) near a striking young girl, GAIL ANN.
In the Drama Club picture Gail Ann is dressed as a peasant girl.
Tinner is a proletarian suitor from Fiddler on the Roof.
Tinner falters before another entry.
The caption reads,
"GONE IN BODY, IN SPIRIT NOT FORGOTTEN. GAIL ANN VLADA. Cancer took our friend, January 15, 1989".
Next to her picture is A.E.Houseman's poem, 'TO AN ATHLETE DYING YOUNG'.
Tinner Reads (V.O):
The Time you won your town the race,
we chaired you through the market place;
man and boy stood cheering by,
and home we brought you shoulder-high.
And round that early-laurelled head,
will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
and find unwithered on its curls,
the garland briefer than a girl's.
Embedded beside the picture is a couple polaroids - a younger Tinner next to Gail Ann in her hospital bed.
PHOTO 1: she looks ravaged. The effects of chemo-therapy affecting a loss of hair and weight.
PHOTO 2: she wears a kerchief to cover hair loss.
BACK TO SCENE
Tinner closes the book.
He has trouble lighting a cigarette, stares blankly at the message
The phone rings.
Tinner hesitates in picking up.
There's a Lieutenant Harriman on the line?
A pause followed by a husky male voice.
Goddamn redneck. Tinner?
You gotta call collect, Harriman?
We gotta job.
Don't want it.
You listen to messages?
Stamley got shot.
He might not last.
Gimme an hour.
Tinner pauses holding the receiver and pressing 'erase' on the message machine to erase the previous eight messages.
EXT./INT. NY - CIA HALL OF JUSTICE - NIGHT
A modest greystone building.
A business-like Tinner strides down a long corridor dropping and spilling the contents of his brief-case.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS CHIEF HAROLD HARRIMAN grumbles at the hallway's
They continue together down the hallway.
The KGB woman?
The officer-manned security door in front of Tinner is slow to open.
The men delay then walk through.
When the Anti-Soviet unit was dissolved, I took the buyout. My old partner, Stamley, and Harriman, took lateral transfers. Lateral.
INT. CIA SECURITY HALLWAY - NIGHT
The men walk along the building's inner sanctum.
Department paid money for these KGB's.
We had 'em check-marked.
Jeezus, Stamley was trained.
Or did I trust him with my life more years than I should have?
INT. INSPECTOR HARRIMAN'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Harriman is in his sixties with traces of a Chino-Haitian or Siberian/Germanic exotic ancestry. The scar in his neck and lazy eye say danger - suited freak. The Ph.D. from NYU and stacks of books and files on the wall behind him say something else.
On the wall are shelves of thick black binders.
They unindexically read,
"SOVIET UNION MARCH '79 - JANUARY '80 - CLOSED".
The files stop at JULY, 1992.
Among the folders are a few Haitian voodoo artifacts along with the open book 'The Divine Horseman' by Maya Deren.
Harriman hands Tinner a set of folders.
He has trouble lighting a cigarette.
Shot just left of Harriman's bulging crotch.
Harriman's got prostate. Before I quit, he handed me a cigarette - "Light up son.
Tinner puts Harriman's pack of cigarettes back on the table.
Four video monitors are on Harriman's desk.
Harriman delays in placing three videotapes into monitors.
Five tapes behind him are marked and key-latched - CONFIDENTIAL.
Tinner looks away from the videotapes.
Harriman fiddles with tracking.
Four Russians, three women - one keeper.
Harriman falters in handing Tinner a folder with a picture of a young handsome Slav, VLADIMIR SHEVCHENKO.
Each video lights a Slavic woman, of various ages and styles.
MARINA - fifties, sophisticated, conservative.
KATYA - twenties, club babe, Village.
SVETLANA - thirties, savvy midtown.
In the videos the women are variously robed.
They work on well-heeled men.
When the Union collapsed, these KGB sold out - Hong Kong, France, South America. Interested only in what brought 'em.
The American Way.
Tinner tips the stack of videos.
An older, middle-aged man in boxers straddles Svetlana.
We hired these women. They're trained. Our files, apparently.
They were looking. . .
We don't know. The whole Stamley interview was supposed to be. . .
A hearty pause.
Standard. Former Soviet Union's collapsed. Officially, there are no Commies. . .Cuba, Red China.
We're trying to keep this quiet. Have any idea how many former Commies reside in New York?
Harriman goes away from the monitor.
He pulls another stack of videos from their cases.
You got an appointment at the Russian embassy tomorrow.Study these.
Harriman piles a folder.
Did the embassy give the reference for the woman who shot Stamley?
I hired her.
Tinner looks unquestionably at his old boss.
From the massive library of closed black reports behind him a picture falls. Harriman reaches away from it.
Ring 'em in quietly - live.
Tinner moves his finger away from a single folder.
Which one gave it to Stamley?
Harriman puts the folder back to a stack and opens it.
On a profile sheet of Svetlana Fedenko, Tinner's eyes have trouble blurring an address, 'Brighton Beach Hotel, Brooklyn'.
Me and Stamley didn' get along. . .
Harriman makes no motion.
Tinner begins to mess materials.
That height thing?
Tinner puts back one of the folders and videos.
Out of control.
Harriman looks down from his work to the back fire-escape.
INT. CIA HALL OF JUSTICE HALLWAY - NIGHT
Tinner pauses up the hallway glancing at markers of American justice:
A portrait of the Pilgrims' Plymouth landing divides the hall.
America - opportunity - even former Commies. What if the press got wind "Supposed Guardians High-Priced Commie Thugs?
A blind woman statuette holds scales which perceptibly move.
EXT./INT. VOLYA HOTEL LOUNGE - NIGHT
A Marlene Dietrich Blue Angel type torch singer, MARINA, gyrates spread eagle, stressing a ribbed chair.
She ends a Russian version of 'Always on My Mind.'
Maybe I never told you,
Maybe I never took the time.
You were always on my mind,
You were always on my mind.
Unshaven Russian men pinch svelte Russian women.
Drunks falter in their indulgence.
An ample American waitress spills a vodka order.
EXT. VOLYA HOTEL ENTRANCE - NIGHT
An electrical storm brews.
Russians hug each other in doorways to avoid the building downpour.
Tinner rides past a series of Brooklyn signs and landmarks.
The signs are being changed to Russian.
He stops at the entrance to the old Brooklyn 'CONEY ISLAND' hotel.
The Russian Cyrillic-lettered sign now reads, VOLYA.
Russian immigrants to Brooklyn liberated the name - Little St. Brighton.
A clean laundry sheet flies onto a broken laundry line.
INT. VOLYA HOTEL LOUNGE - NIGHT
Tinner slips near the previous Vodka spill.
Because his attention gravitates to blossoming Russian romance, he misses various Communist era markers:
Hammer and sickle ashtrays.
Soviet heroic era statuette chachke.
Tacky icons - Brezhnev and Stalin.
Soviet general uniforms displayed as artifacts.
Nadia Komanich and Sputnik photos.
An announcer in a tacky pink tuxedo shirt, IVAN SHTEFF, argues with a Ukrainian Cossack dancing duo.
The drop-dead gorgeous older blonde singer, Marina, lets an accordion drop.
She finishes a 'Hopak'.
Tinner misses hailing the newly shaven bartender, LEVKO.
Two Cossack dancers miss clashing sabres.
One of the Cossacks' sabres flies just short of the crowd.
The bartender argues with a young woman who drops a vacuum cleaner.
Tinner picks up his picture of Svetlana.
The woman tears a corner of the photo.
Tinner flashes his ID and speaks words which are inaudible due to the act's accompanying accordion.
She nervously grabs a pen from Tinner.
#4D is now written on the back of the piece.
INT. VOLYA HOTEL CORRIDOR - NIGHT
The hallway has graffiti scrawled in Russian.
Tinner has trouble finding door #4D.
He pauses, listens, hesitates in knocking.
The only sound is the cocktail lounge's distant accordion.
Tinner takes out his American Express.
Breaking the card in process, he expedites entry.
One hand near his gun, he opens the door.
INT. SVETLANA'S ROOM - NIGHT
As a hunter gauging signs, Tinner steps in.
He looks past the shower.
Wet soap in a puddle.
A pillow stands on the floor.
Tinner looks in front of it.
He pulls it back into its case.
SLOW MOTION: Feathers fly.
From a faucet, water squeezes out drops.
A window frame is half broken.
Tinner runs five fingers over a TV, switches it down.
The Yankees strike out.
EXT. FIRE ESCAPE - NIGHT
Oblivious to the cloudburst, the previous Blue Angel woman, Marina, shivers outside the room's window fire-escape.
She is being soaked.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. SVETLANA'S ROOM - NIGHT
There's a broken lipstick - a strange insignia underneath it.
Tinner collapses it.
A bulb hangs from the ceiling.
Tinner undoes the bulb, climbs on the bed.
He counts water droplets from the room's window.
The window gives off strange reflections on the hardwood floor.
Tinner opens and closes the window and finds a fire escape.
He jumps onto the bed, takes the smallest Russian doll figurine out of his coat pocket but then again notices squiggly shadows.
He forcibly removes the double-pane window.
It contains a series of MICROFICHE.
Tinner removes them.
A curious collection.
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. STREET BELOW - NIGHT
Svetlana pulls herself against a corner of brick wall in shadow.
She stares up at Tinner.
Svetlana puts away her luger.
Another woman weighs down her hand onto the gun's barrel.
EXT. RUSSIAN EMBASSY - MORNING
The ostentatious New York Russian Embassy building is a remnant of the Soviet Union's former glory.
Shaved and better-dressed, Tinner drops a suitcase which he carries with him.
As he limps up stairs, he shakes his head at the building's Cold War architecture.
INT. RUSSIAN EMBASSY - MORNING
The interior is lavish - red carpet, baroque chandelier, ornate mirror, the hint of a not-quite-forgotten Communist past.
A nasty SECURITY GUARD balances precariously on top of a desk.
I have an appointment with the consulate - V.F. Tinner.
He tries ignoring a large Soviet heroic era bust - Stalin.
The bust highlights a wooden alcove.
More things change, Stamley used to say, more they. . .
Tinner fondles the wooden alcove.
You like our. . .?
NADIYA NATASHA, a striking young Slavic secretary.
She wears black, high heels and secretarial glasses.
The glasses fail to conceal a burgeoning sexuality.
Soviet Heroic artifact.
Are you a historian, Mr. Tinner?
Nadiya puts out her hand.
Does she expect him to kiss it or shake?
INT. SOVIET EMBASSY HALLWAY - MORNING
The pair continue down the hallway through a set of security doors.
We're putting together an exhibit.
The Soviet period.
Very good, Mr. Tinner, I'm Nadiya Natasha, Consulate Kropotkin's secretary.
Nadiya buzzes a higher level security door.
They walk past an empty plush oak room with large open windows.
In a manner.
They pause at a map, globe and glass-cabineted Soviet flag, all suggestive of the Soviet Union's former glory.
Then you understand misfortune befallen my country?
As any westerner.
Nadiya has trouble opening a final door.
INT. SOVIET CONSULAR GENERAL OFFICE - MORNING
An old suited man, CONSULATE GENERAL EFRAIM KROPOTKIN, stands from behind a plush oak desk.
He looks like he could have been a major general.
A couple similar Haitian voodoo artifacts to ones in Harriman's office unobtrusively adorn the room.
Kropotkin fixes the lock on a window - Central Park.
Mr. Tinner, Dr. Efraim Kropotkin.
Used to be the best view of Manhattan, Mr. Tinner.
Tinner refuses to approach the window.
Kropotkin withdraws his hand.
Kropotkin is a dignitary with the aristocratic flavor of a bygone era.
I'll get to the point, Major Kropotkin.
He is recognized in his former military capacity.
Nadiya goes to a samovar.
The tinkle of fine bone china.
Elite KGB women units. . .
Tinner notes delicate china.
(winks at Nadiya)
Some historians believe so.
Indulge me, Mr. Tinner.
Nadiya cuts a thin lemon rind.
We seem to have hired a few strays.
As Tinner ponders his smallest doll figurine, Nadiya pours tea into cups.
Nadiya turns with the set.
Nadiya takes two lumps from a teacup.
Would she work here, Mr. Tinner?
Nadiya does not hesitate in pouring.
Tinner looks to Nadiya's shoes, nylons and slip and then taps his little doll.
Italian, French, Victoria's Secret?
Your underlying point.
Russian, English, probably French?
Are you wondering whether my secretary is a linguist, Mr.Tinner?
Tinner looks away from the ring on Nadiya's wedding finger.
You go home to your husband . . .
She's not married.
Then you are asking for a date, Mr. Tinner?
Tinner takes his ring finger away from the teacup's lip to his doll.
Nadiya picks up his drift..
Here?. . .
She catches herself.
Former. . . I meant Russia.
Is Nadiya flustered?
Tinner turns to Kropotkin.
He begins to pack folders.
Last question, Nadiya. You know these women on a first name basis?
I need to step out.
I'm impressed, Mr. Tinner.
Tinner closes the folder of former KGB's.
He takes them from the table.
But she's good?
Kropotkin orders the photos of the six KGB agents that Tinner has shuffled.
He arranges them in some strange game of solitaire around the
You blame us?
For thinking my government could change ideology through dollars?
INT. DOWNTOWN SOHO GALLERY - MORNING
VLADIMIR SHEVCHENKO stops among a happening demonstration of
abstract black splatter paintings.
He is a menacing, carved-out young Slav, sculpted - Soviet Heroic era statue.
There is something not quite evolved in his physiognomy.
Next to the splatter paintings are two Jackson Pollock style action paintings being accomplished in red, white and blue, 'America the Beautiful' and 'The American Dream' - splattered stars and stripes.
Vladimir does not appear interested.
He retapes an article back into the newspaper.
The artist working in the gallery takes care to make a path around him.
A Downtown Haitian cat-like vixen is attracted.
The following dialogue takes place in Russian.
Subtitles are superimposed.
Ve Deestale Mekrofeesh?
You get the microfiche?
Khtoys deestav tam pered mene.
Someone got there before me.
Vladimir hands Svetlana The New York Times article.
The Byline and part of the article which Vladimir previously browsed reads,
"OFFICER SURVIVES MAFIA-STYLE HIT"
"Special investigations Officer, W.P. Stamley, was taken to Beth Israel Hospital today after taking several bullets to the chest. He is in critical but stable condition".
INT. SOVIET CONSULAR GENERAL OFFICE - MORNING
Tinner and Kropotkin conclude their discussion.
Kropotkin stops playing with files.
Former KGB women.
Best way to an American man.
Since the Union's fall, we've had no contact with these people.
Kropotkin lingers in handing the photos back.
Tinner finishes gathering his things.
He sits back down and puts away his doll.
Kropotkin moves towards the desk.
INT. SOVIET EMBASSY HALLWAY - MORNING
Nadiya hesitates to escort Tinner out.
Commerce, our mutual goal now, Mr. Tinner? Transition to a market economy.
She stops typing at a desk.
They walk separately down the hallway.
INT. SOVIET EMBASSY ENTRANCE - MORNING
Nadiya and Tinner pause before the embassy doorway.
Union collapsed, loyalties switched. Rest your mind, I didn't recognize the others.
Simple switch, Ms. Natasha?
Nadiya has trouble flipping a security switch to open the doorway.
Good day, Mr. Tinner.
EXT. SOVIET EMBASSY ENTRANCE - MORNING
Tinner descends stairs.
Nadiya calls out after him.
I, too, a remnant, Mr. Tinner?
Noting remnants of Cold War architecture, Tinner trips.
Well maintained, Nadiya.
EXT./INT. EAST VILLAGE BAR "DOWNTOWN BEIRUT" - DUSK
FAT RAY and his black transvestite designer partner, COLOR BOX, finish off the day with happy hour.
Fat Ray unbuttons a subtle Hawaiian shirt.
He has trouble lighting a Cuban cigar.
Color Box is well-dolled out in transvestite splendor.
The female bartender takes away another round.
You know why I never score?
(checking himself with compact)
Tell me, sweetie?
People say I'm fat.
Work it, Ray.
Beautiful girls come by. In my lap. I don' use opportunities.
KATYA walks in.
The youngest of the three KGB women.
Thigh highs, tube top, Red Army major's cap - sexy East Village chic.
Look what the cat dragged in, Ray. One of our customers.
Fat Ray licks back greasy hair and lasciviously fingers his shirt.
INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY- NIGHT
From the back, a man limps down a sterile hospital hallway.
A cute mulatto woman in a nurse's uniform tries not to notice the man's leg.
It is Tinner and a CUTE NURSE.
Tinner checks the microfiches he had found in Svetlana's apartment.
They now reside in his breast coat pocket.
The cute young nurse frowns, points to a clock visiting hours sign and then looks away from Stamley's room.
INT. STAMLEY'S ROOM - NIGHT
Hooked to all manner of machines, Stamley lies in a hospital bed staring glumly at a couple of the Russian dolls Tinner has set up in front of him.
He is the kind of tough, overweight, cynical New Yorker able to weather the storm - a forever complaining survivor.
Tinner has trouble with his lighter.
Special Agent Svetlana. Shoulda' known. Worse than you. . .and you were pretty crummy.
Tinner throws his polished oxfords off Stamley's bed.
Never shot you in the chest, Stamley.
He walks over to play with one of Stamley's life support machines.
Ever been to the Russian embassy?
Not on my A list. I thought you were through.
Cat came back. What did you stumble onto?
Do I know?
Stamley starts to cough.
From the library?
I'm dying? Aren't you supposed to bring flowers, candy, 'get well soon'? . .
Tinner gets up to go.
Easy, partner. You'll survive. Next time I might even get the chance.
Fat chance, Tinner.
INT. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - NIGHT
Tinner hesitates in the academic green soothing lights of the oak panelled New York Public.
It's his first time.
The late night NY library crowd (i.e. transient professors, sex starved schoolgirls, old writers).
Stamley didn't know what he'd stumbled on. Wasn't sure about Harriman. This was my lead.
A sexy middle-aged LIBRARIAN WOMAN studies Tinner's incompetence.
He has trouble finding, sitting and then fiddling with a microfiche machine.
Be my guest.
You have microfiche?
Tinner fumbles in his suitjacket and pulls out his doll.
He hesitates with his stack.
The librarian looks surprised.
Usually, it's one.
She has trouble placing one in the machine.
I brought them from home.
The librarian doesn't believe him.
Tinner examines microfiche.
The librarian gets up.
Whatever it is, it's in Russian.
How's your Russian?
The librarian smiles curiously at Tinner.
She's seen stranger things.
WIDEN VIEW AGAIN
Educated bums, schizoid homeless, degenerate students and Tinner reading about GEDE, God of Sex, Death and Transformation in a book called "THE SACRED ARTS OF HAITIAN VOODOO".
People don't generally write Russian here. And Kropotkin and the consulate? I got the feeling he was out of date. Unlikely KGB would spy on their own embassy.
INT./EXT. CIA HALL OF JUSTICE - NIGHT
Old Chief Harold Harriman tapes together a yellow 'Postit' message pad sticky in the exact same shape as Vladimir's previous "Stamley" article.
The paper reads,
"BETH ISRAEL VISITING HOURS 2.00-11.00 P.M.
STAMLEY RM. 13H4."
Harriman taps his watch which has curiously stopped
He opens a set of Russian immigration records: 1991-1995.
In front of him he unfolds a list which reads,
Under this he has struck in a big '?' and left of this is a squiggled out - 'PROSTATE CANCER???!'.
On the other side of the paper is a pencil sketch of the voodoo
Loa Goddess, "Erzulie Frieda", the exact same one that hangs in
Harriman turns off his office lights, loosens his tie, puts away his briefcase.
To the security guard's annoyance, he walks hurriedly out of the building not signing out.
INT. HOSPITAL STAMLEY'S ROOM - NIGHT
Vladimir and Svetlana enter Stamley's room.
Svetlana contemplates her gun within a bunch of flowers.
Stamley opens his eyes first focusing on the dolls' Tinner had
previously brought then the pair - his worst nightmare realized.
Vladimir stops to look over the life support.
Hearty American policeman, survives.
What did I do to you, Svetlana?
Vladimir replugs one of Stamley's life support tubes.
Where's the microfiche?
I thought this was drug money? Wasn't it a drug deal?
I jeopardize life for dollars, Stamley?
Vladimir releases one of the support tubes.
The mechanism is locked.
Who took microfiche?
Stamley begins to fade.
My former partner. They use guys like him to dispose of people like you.
Where do we find him?
They stop threatening the life support.
He finds you.
Vladimir hooks a support tube and looks over one of the dolls.
I don't know.
Stamley struggles to remain live.
He paid a visit to your embassy this afternoon - Krototsky?
Did Tinner give Kropotkin the microfiche?
I don't know.
The Chief, Harriman.
INT. TINNER'S APARTMENT NIGHT
Tinner's refrigerator swings open.
He spills out his ritual drinks.
Tinner looks away from the message machine to his veve flag of 'Erzulie Frieda".
He bumps into his table, notices his high school yearbook move.
He releases the message button.
Mr. Tinner? We met at the embassy - Nadiya Natasha. I will be at Le Bar Bat on 12th at 10:00.
Tinner looks away from his watch.
Ten to ten.
You have things that belong to us, Mr. Tinner.
INT. LE BAR BAT - NIGHT
Typical low light swank Manhattan bar.
Beautiful people fill the room.
Nadiya sits at the bar, dressed to kill.
A couple well-heeled black men template their approaches.
You wanted to talk?
I wasn't completely honest. The embassy.
Not a place noted for sincerity.
I told you before. I don't know much but. . .
The bartender passes.
After the Union's fall, the KGB split.
Yeah. (Pause) One group for dissolution. A splinter convinced the fall was temporary.
I spend my nights with Russian librarians.
Nadiya looks desperately at Tinner.
What do you know about microfiche?
A quizzical look continues.
What do you mean?
Lists? People who emigrated, loyalty pledges, e-mail addresses. . .
What if I said you haven't been in Brooklyn since thirteen and your name's....
Nadiya sheds a tear.
I'd call you 'liar'.
Nadiya takes out a compact, fixes her mascara.
Okay, I apologize.
Tinner wipes her tear.
My application for citizenship I'm a believer in market reform.....
Her compact has the same strange insignia as the ring.
Tinner turns to the bartender.
EXT. NEW YORK GARBAGE-FILLED STREET - NIGHT
Tinner kicks garbage walking down a wind blown New York backlane.
An old black suit, top hat, sunglasses and cane carrying man
crosses his path. He is a representation of the Voodoo God, GEDE,
and unobtrusively carries a plastic Darth Vader Doll.
How much Kropotkin knew. I wasn't exactly sure. Embassy chiefs, KGB divisions? Do Commie's wear Victoria's Secret?
Nadiya is gone.
EXT. DOWNTOWN BEIRUT BACKLANE - NIGHT
Fat Ray stands in the backlane's semidarkness.
Katya pulls him against a fire-escape.
She takes his Cuban cigar from his lips.
Katya begins on Fat Ray's pants.
Relax, strong American.
Fat Ray is calm.
Katya slaps him
She pushes up his arms.
Ray's hands clasp the fire-escape behind him.
Katya casts away the Cuban cigar igniting a garbage fire.
Katya places a set of handcuffs on him.
His hands are cuffed against the rail.
She pulls Fat Ray's wallet from his high riding trousers.
Fat Ray still doesn't realize he is being robbed.
Katya begins to leave.
We were a go for a hot night?
We are. I go. You have hot night.
Katya exits taking out Fat Ray's I.D., Social Security, credit cards and money.
She dumps his wallet to the burning can.
Against Fat Ray's pathetic shadow, flames decrease.
EXT. TINNER'S EAST VILLAGE STUDIO STREET POV - NIGHT
The starry-filled night.
At a table near his window, Tinner enters and drops a stack of documents next to his patiently waiting dolls.
A cat falls from his balcony.
Soaking her plants with water, The Latina woman in the apartment beside him almost breaks a flower stem.
The two youngsters seen earlier catch each other along apartment stoop ledge.
A homeless addict gets up from the street.
Tinner misses hitting his message machine:
Tinner, Harriman. They hit Stamley again. Keeps muttering 'microfiche'.
INT. TINNER'S STUDIO APARTMENT - NIGHT
Tinner jumps from the top of a table full of folders given to him by Harriman.
He has the folder of Special Agent 'Marina Khoklova' open.
She is a striking older Russian beauty.
The folder gives a wealth of detail regarding her education, skills and abilities.
Tinner puts away a broken magnifying glass.
He lays it on Marina's photo - MAGNIFICATION.
Ever get that feeling you have seen someone, witnessed being. Then the unconscious-"Access denied."
Tinner gets up from the desk.
He closes the fridge.
Places a broken jug of ice tea against his forehead.
He places the jug opposite the window and looks through distorted reflections.
There is a darkened cracked mirror across from him.
Next to that, a small unobtrusive picture of him and Gail Ann in happier days.
Tinner places his hands slowly through the open window.
On the street, two wigged West Village transvestites have trouble plastering signs to a wall.
One drops a ghetto blaster which blasts out a techno dub - Pet Shop Boys 'Always on My Mind.'
The sign reads,
"WIGSTOCK: LEAVE THE PARTY IN UNION SQUARE."
Tinner turns to the window.
His height phobia acts up.
He recovers with a realization.
INT. COCKTAIL LOUNGE HOTEL VOLYA - DAY
Tinner cannot get the attention of Levko, the bartender from the Lounge he was in the previous evening.
Everything is darkened for day cleaning.
A few diehard daytime drinkers.
Paying Tinner little attention Levko throws away a table trashed
from the previous evening.
Singing like Dietrich in the Blue Angel. She was wearing a wig.
Tinner tries to show Levko the picture from the CIA folder.
I don't care for cinema.
Levko speaks with a thick Slavic accent.
You know how many people without green card?
You get a name, address.
You see him. Last night. Manager.
The MC in the pink tux?
INT. VOLYA HOTEL - MANAGER'S OFFICE
IVAN SHTEFF stretches unshaven and blowing out a vacuum hose. He is in the same pink tuxedo shirt from last night.
A young, scared, half-dressed Russian woman is on her knees at an outlet unplugging the vacuum cleaner's electric cord in and out.
I'm not Immigration and Naturalization.
Who works legally?
Both Ivan Shteff and the young woman remain convinced of Tinner's credibility.
They confer in Russian and eye Tinner unsuspiciously.
(shouting above vacuum)
I saw her working the stage.I'm a special investigator.
Lots of people work stage.
The vacuum's electric cord comes untangled.
Ivan Shteff stops arguing with the young woman in Russian.
This was a blond.
Tinner spots the wig in a pile of clothing.
Wearing a wig.
Ivan Shteff grabs the property back.
A tag is sucked into the vacuum hose.
It reads 'Fat Ray's Costume Rental - 496 Broome NY, NY.'
Performers wear wigs.
Thanks for your Slavic hospitality.
EXT./INT. FAT RAY'S COSTUME RENTAL AND WIGSHOP.
In his undershirt, Fat Ray snuffs out a Cuban cigar.
His face is now chapped and one of his arms bandaged.
His big black transvestite helper, Color Box sits looking for silver buttons for a gold-sequined nightdress beside two zombie dolls.
A couple of transvestites debate about clothes in the corner.
One of my friends rented a wig.
Fat Ray stresses himself applying burn ointment to his face and arms.
What do you want me to do?
I want to make payment.
437 and it was blond.
Fat Ray rummages through the receipts.
The girl or the wig?
Beginning to loudly whistle like a stuck pork pig Ray finds the receipt.
Whoohooh. Your friend?
Fat Ray hides the receipt from Color Box which he has already recognized.
Ray backs away from Tinner.
From behind, Color Box tries to put the muscle on Tinner.
The pair begin to throw him out of the shop.
Tell Firestarter Russki call girl I want my I.D.
Burning working stiffs at Downtown Beirut.
Downtown. . .
Call girl friend? Long black hair, Russki accent.
On second, pally. . .
Fat Ray pushes against one of Tinner's pockets..
Tinner reverses the lock, throws Color Box, takes out his gun.
Hey, wait a minute. You're not one of her sick little friends. You're a cop.
Tinner turns to leave.
Got me, pally.
Stick her in the clink, Sarge.
Throw away the firelatch, Chief.
Thanks - girls.
Tinner walks out of the wig shop to the street.
EXT. EAST VILLAGE STREET TELEPHONE.
Tinner walks up the street before spying the bar, 'Downtown Beirut'.
Across the street is a broken pay telephone.
He walks to the pay telephone, sets up his doll on top of it and dials.
When a woman plays hard to get in Russia . . .?
A Midwest girl . . .
Where are you?
Tinner tries not to notice a scantily-dressed young woman enter the bar.
Downtown Beirut mean anything?
Tinner puts away his picture of Katya.
How 'bout dinner?
Not an option.
Let me give you some time.
Tinner lingers with the phone and begins towards Downtown Beirut.
EXT./INT. RUSSIAN TEA ROOM - NIGHT
Accidentally dropping the evening's paper, Kropotkin stands from his seat at his regular table
Marina spots him crouching near a table.
She makes her move.
She is an older sophisticated European woman, who moves with a
Let me help.
Not at all, Mademoiselle.
Kropotkin appears unmoved by Marina's beauty.
Kropotkin looks from his paper.
St. Petersburg. (Pause) Have we met?
J. F. Kropotkin.
The pleasure is mine.
I recognize your face but . . .?
Marina messes her hair.
An older Russian woman.
In the stars.
EXT./INT. DOWNTOWN BEIRUT
The bar has more than a few biker patrons and a different bartender from the previous night.
Katya stops gyrating opposite the back jukebox and pooltable.
As Tinner enters, Katya lasciviously looks away from his crotch.
Her tee-shirt reads "Havana Pussy Kat, Join the Revolution".
She is dressed up in East Village chic - thigh highs, mini.
The FEMALE BARTENDER passes.
In his dialogue, Tinner awkwardly impersonates a nervous Southern businessman.
Red dog. Double vodka and ma'am, little boy's room?
The bartender refuses to point to a sign which reads 'BLEED YOUR LIZARD'.
Katya misses slamming a couple of coins into the jukebox.
Tinner hesitates before going over to the men's room, closely passing the crouching Katya.
Tinner exits the men's room.
Katya now sits in Tinner's seat.
As Tinner returns, Katya gets up.
She replaces a pin-like ring through her lips and moves away from the slot.
The bartender lingers with Tinner's drink.
The jukebox plays Van Morrison's 'Crazy Love.'
Tinner puts down a pool cue next to Katya and sets up his doll on the table's edge.
I know what you're thinking.
Katya runs her leg along his pool cue.
Tinner sinks his shot.
Seductively, Katya misaligns another and then examines his doll.
Tinner misses the shot.
She pulls off his jacket.
English Tweed. Sweaty, prone to mold, but as my father told me, never out a place.
Tinner tries to hail the bartender to refill his chaser.
Looking for someone?
Katya speaks with a thick Russian accent.
She checks out Tinner with her strange insignaied compact.
Red dog in front. . . Second round coming.
Good time with me?
Be an idea.
You have money?
A little money, ma'am?
Katya pushes on Tinner's tie - come hither.
Tinner polishes off the round and picks up his doll.
After my heart.
They exit the building and bump a backlane fire-escape.
Katya winks at Tinner.
A section of escape rail, burnt and soldered, creaks and rises a few feet upwards
Tilt to the stars.
EXT. RUSSIAN TEA ROOM - NIGHT
Tilt down from the stars to the Russian Tea Room street exit.
Kropotkin misses hailing a taxi.
Shakespeare said 'star crossed'. . .
Could I interest you?
I was hoping.
EXT. UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
Marina and Kropotkin exit a taxi and enter the building.
You live well?
When a man is lonely, how well?
Kropotkin tries not to notice Marina's ring.
I am widowed.
EXT/INT. KATYA'S EAST VILLAGE PENTHOUSE LOFT
The room is a young Russian club kid's fantasy den of sexual innuendo and subtle Communist era markers.
In a corner a bed and mirror collapse next to a candle-lit voodoo type shrine with all manner of Hans Belmer type-dolls, shiny bottles and objects.
A large window and balcony looks out on downtown Manhattan.
Katya has trouble figuring out how to unbuckle Tinner's pants.
Ma'am, you are not one to waste time.
INT. KROPOTKIN'S UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT - NIGHT
The apartment is decorated with various art pieces from the Soviet
avantgarde (i.e. Malevich, Larionov, Chagall) intermixed with the
artists from Haitian modernism and
A gracious Russian gentleman.
Kropotkin takes off a broken LP of the Veryovka Choir from an old high-fi.
I have my albums, an exhibit, the embassy.
Marina examines an older Byzantine icon of the virgin which uncannily resembles both herself and Tinner's previous 'Erzulie Frieda' veve flag.
Not as in the old days. You see, I was major general. Times have changed.
Marina admires a New York Burliuk and Archipenko statuette.
Vadko, Boorko, we're home.
Two large, none too friendly, GERMAN SHEPHERDS.
They purr with intuitive dog sense at Marina.
Kropotkin gets down on his haunches.
He braces one of the dogs.
You never told me how you wound up here?
Kropotkin walks away from the liquor cabinet.
Marina turns to a Kandinsky.
Our country, it's a shambles.
He begins to pour.
With my son.
Kropotkin slightly overfills a glass.
INT. EAST VILLAGE PENTHOUSE LOFT APARTMENT - DAY
Half-dressed, Katya takes Tinner's doll from his pocket and then turns away from Tinner.
She loads a gun.
You're not the type.
Ma'am, your friend. . .
Surprised, Tinner goes for the gun from Katya.
The doll drops.
The gun clicks without going off.
Tinner now has the upper hand.
She said you'd understand.
Katya entraps herself.
She runs out of the room.
You'd be surprised what a guy has to go through to hold a woman with a Russian accent.
Tinner picks up his doll.
EXT. APARTMENT HALLWAY - DAY
Katya scrambles down the hallway.
Tinner chases her down it.
You're under arrest.
She squeezes out a window, up the fire escape.
EXT. APARTMENT ROOF - DAY
Tinner trails Katya onto the roof holding the doll.
An old, traditionally-dressed Chinese man and young boy tangle a line from a Chinese kite.
Both dress reminiscent of the worker uniforms from Mao's Cultural Revolution.
Katya bumps past them.
Katya is about to attempt a jump from one roof to the other.
Katya fails to cut through kite line.
SLOW MOTION - Katya jumps.
The kite flies heavenwards.
Katya hangs by the opposite ledge.
Tinner runs to the ledge.
His height fear makes him delay.
(in a low tone)
Katya flies downwards.
OLD CHINESE MAN
(nudging little boy)
Tinner stands at the edge of the building refusing to stare at what used to be Katya.
A crowd gathers below.
The Chinese kid runs past Tinner.
He bangs his small fist against Tinner.
While he picks up broken kite line, the old Chinese wiseman nods sadly at Tinner.
The distant kite sails up and away.
Kid, kite, old man, sky that day - simply because she was a woman?
The old Chinese man on the roof looks half-curiously, half fearfully at Tinner who still holds his doll.
Tinner pulls out his special identification.
I'm a cop.
The two look down at the arriving police cars, developing crowd, ambulance and sprawled body.
EXT. STREET DEATH SCENE - DUSK
Tinner pushes from the scene of Katya's white-sheeted body.
Harriman faces away from him.
Goddamn, Tinner. Gotta bring half the East Village?
Shot of Harriman's crotch.
You know how much extra paperwork? Quietly. Who taught you at the academy?
They don' come quietly.
Tinner starts to walk.
Tinner? Another woman might be tied to this. Ring any bells?
Harriman looks at him - calmly looking over the small strange female voodoo doll that he holds in hand.
EXT./INT. TAXI - NIGHT
Tinner falls into the cab exhausted.
The cabbie falters before beginning to drive.
Svetlana Fedenko sits across from him.
She trains her gun on his head.
You don't like Communists?
Special agent Fedenko?
Never gave it much. . .
The October Revolution occurred how long ago?
Svetlana cocks her gun.
The taxi pulls into a back alley.
Years older than you'll live.
Svetlana pulls the. . .
The cap-wearing cabbie turns, levels a luger at Svetlana's cranium and FIRES.
Releasing the cap, long hair falls.
INT. TINNER'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Nadiya stands on Tinner's futon stretching into space.
Tinner sits on a fruit crate away from her looking at his 'Erzulie Frieda' flag.
He is on the phone.
Harriman please (He waits a moment). Tell 'em more paperwork. Lafayette and Fifth. A taxi. Tell 'em I need a couple days.
Tinner lingers with the phone.
After a couple days?
Tinner has trouble lighting a cigarette.
He pours himself and Nadiya drinks.
Not with my name attached.
Tinner? You know about me?
Tinner's glance passes his small picture of Gail Ann.
The resemblance between the women is uncanny.
Term memory is not my asset.
Scampering around, Tinner's cat aligns a few books on the shelf.
In the distance, sirens of NY's mean streets.
Nadiya goes to the books.
Tinner's high school yearbook opens.
Nadiya notices previous pictures of Tinner next to Gail Ann.
Nadiya opens the book's spine wider.
She looks out the window.
A homeless man awakens from a stairway.
A couple immigrant women garment workers struggle home.
Does that have to be? Tinner?
Tinner sleeps on the couch futon.
Nadiya takes off his shoes and covers him.
She lights a candle next to the dolls.
She strips and then touches his sleeping lips.
INT. KROPOTKIN'S APARTMENT - MORNING
Beginning paperwork, Kropotkin stands in his study and looks over
one of his Haitian paintings.
Marina enters, sleepy-eyed with two cups of coffee.
She undoes a nightgown.
She has stayed the night.
Bon matin, monsieur. I called my son and told him where his mother's run. You don't mind?
Of course not. We all meet for brunch later.
Marina places coffee to Kropotkin's lips.
She comes behind Kropotkin putting a fake choke hold on him
Kropotkin returns to his work, suspicious but content.
He'll meet us here. What's that?
For the embassy.
Are you angry?
That you stayed?
You think less of me?
An old greying, overweight Russian?
How I like my men.
She goes to a bust of Lenin that is hidden in the bookcase.
You were Communist?
Was there choice?
But. . . now?
Kropotkin looks down to his work.
You've abandoned revolutionary ideals.
Were there any?
For some, yes.
For others, no.
EXT./INT. TINNER'S STUDIO APARTMENT - MORNING
The morning sunlight checkers Tinner's East Village studio's hardwood floor with the peaceful chaos only Sunday morning in New York possesses.
A lone black cat disassembles chess set, thread, dolls and CD's.
The cat loses balance along a precarious path on the apartment's outer ledge.
Revealed under a large quilt, Tinner sleeps fetal position on floor futon.
In the kitchen, eggs fry.
In subtle ways, Nadiya has turned bachelor's apartment to a home.
She has cooked breakfast, set the table with a cloth but curiously, is gone.
INT. KROPOTKIN'S HALLWAY - MORNING
The doorbell rings.
Marina is slow to answer.
The pair French kiss - distinctive, unmotherly.
He catches the tail end.
The son I was telling you about.
Kropotkin's dogs round Vladimir.
Instead of fearing suspicious growling dogs, Vladimir gets down on his haunches.
He braces the dogs sticking his muzzle to theirs.
Usually not so unfriendly.
Here is the man who will help us, Vladimir. J.F. Kropotkin.
Vladimir handles the historical Communist memorabilia of the room.
He walks over to a small Soviet era bust - Stalin.
After my heart. Party pays rent on this?
We don't call it the party anymore but, yes. (Pause) Excuse me to get dressed.
In exiting, Kropotkin lingers.
Marina and Vladimir are left alone.
Let me get you coffee.
INT. KROPOTKIN'S APARTMENT KITCHEN - DAY
The two delay in conferring.
There's only three of us.
We die together. . .
Or see it flower.
EXT./INT. TINNER'S STUDIO APARTMENT - MORNING
From her window, Tinner's neighboring Latina apartment dweller repairs and waters her fragile garden.
Morning sunlight dapples flowers with its rays.
Nadiya lingers on the street sidewalk wearing one of Tinner's CIA tee-shirts.
She steps out the apartment complex dropping two large paper bags.
We hear her walking upstairs, down the hallway and unlocking and opening Tinner's door.
She enters quietly.
Tinner begins to gently awake.
Years. Haven't slept like that.
Nadiya takes out the Sunday NY TIMES.
She hides it under the small clean kitchen table.
She spills juice into glasses.
She spills grounds in a filter.
Tinner puts the CD player on - Van Morrison's 'Crazy Love.'
I bought you a Times.
Tinner crouches and glances at The New York Times.
The cat jumps in from the balcony ledge, walks a circle around him toward Nadiya.
Nadiya spills cream and the juice that she has bought for the cat to a saucer.
Tinner follows the cat to Nadiya.
Nadiya reaffixes an apron.
As she turns, Tinner delays her with the bow.
He releases her from the back.
He roughly moves on the scent of her neck.
Since I left the Union...
Tinner makes subtle moves.
Falling in love again.
He prevents Natasha from turning around.
Step print KISS.
You know who I am.
I know this.
Tinner kisses her not quite subtly, not quite quietly, not quite unpassionately.
Her words refuse to mouth 'no'.
Her body refuses to speak abandon.
SLOW MOTION: The apron sails, a breeze blowing the sequins from the Erzulie Frieda flag and rocking the dolls.
INT. UPPER EAST SIDE BRUNCH RESTAURANT - DAY
A not exactly subdued black tie string quartet plays melancholy Russian classics interwoven with variations on 'Always on My Mind'.
Kropotkin, Vladimir and Marina pass on an ornate brunch.
In the distance, an overly elaborate buffet.
A Communist system doesn't work. We can never turn back.
Vladimir and Marina are silent.
Marina is unsuccessful in losing herself in the quartet.
Kropotkin stops eating looking curiously at a Haitian man eating
nearby (GEDE representation).
Why have you stopped, Kropotkin?
Both of you. You're old world Communists I once knew - idealists, utopians, dreamers.
What revolution spawned your son, madam?
The next one.
Kropotkin is offended but also sees his own youthful revolutionary idealism.
There's some of me in you, young man.
To get desert, the troupe rises from the table.
The academic papers you're writing.
Marina piles her plate with desserts.
A couple of brunching East Side women notice the faux pas.
I'm not an academic Marxist, I'm a living revolutionary, Comrade Kropotkin.
Marina goes over to the restaurant's second floor French doors.
She has trouble with their locks.
We take the Manifesto as call to action.
Marina throws open the restaurant's French doors.
Very good, mother.
The Sunday morning light - a harsh yellow angled block illuminates a section of Upper East Side restaurant brunchers.
The summer breeze blows, violating the diners.
The view opened from the restaurant window contrasts breakfast.
Against the black metal grating of Central Park, homeless go about lives with various shopping carts, bags and cans.
Marina places her heaping plate on the balcony.
She said: let them eat cake.
The MAITRE DE shoos off pigeons.
We keep these doors closed, madam.
Closing the French doors, he picks up the plate and gives Marina a nasty look.
The restaurant atmosphere is restored.
The quartet pauses and plays.
EXT. BROADWAY SIDEWALK - DAY
Dressed for his Sunday walk, Old Chief Harold Harriman stumbles down the street.
He sticks a cassette into a walkman in the wrong direction.
Attracting a couple of young club kids' chuckles, he methodically misplaces two stereo headphones into his ears as only an old man from a pre-walkman generation can.
He listens to the previous conversation between Svetlana and Stamley.
Hypothetical, Stamley, or am I to describe what happened?
Harriman walks past park panhandlers, homeless, slumming middle class kids, dealers, winos and the GEDE man who now sits on a park bench smiling and lifting his ivory walking stick as Harriman passes.
The deal begins to go down but, you see, there's a problem. The money exchange isn't happening. Things aren't falling into place.
I don't understand.
What's going on? Where's the money, Svetlana?
Here's your money.
Sound of gunshots.
Harriman adjusts his crotch.
Everyone on the street seems suspect.
Harriman listens to his thumping heart.
A couple of lovers tumble into him.
Harriman fast forwards.
He takes out the paper he had previously put in his pocket.
He reads '-FIFTH POSSIBILITY-' on the paper's inside.
EXT. UPPER WEST SIDE STREET - DAY
As they walk up the street, Vladimir, Marina and Kropotkin falter in their discussion.
My mother's right. Do more than remember.
That is possible?
The consulate is simply an archive?
It is harder for Kropotkin to play the flusterable genteel old world New Yorker.
I'm a diplomat. I'm afraid I don't know revolutionary action, Vladimir.
My mother needs documents if she is to stay.
On this account, I like you. You are very direct.
When the Union was a threat during the Cold War. . .I've got a friend at the American Central Intelligence Agency, Harold Harriman.
Would he help?
We are old friends.
In the distant park, Marina notices an old Chinese man making peace with his young grandson in how to go about launching a brightly colored Chinese kite.
Workers of the world unite.
This afternoon we walk in the Park. He checks for me at the embassy. I'm putting a historical museum of the Soviet era.
A spectre is haunting Europe.
My son and I need you, Kropotkin. You're our friend.
Behind Kropotkin's back, Marina reaches to clasp Vladimir's hand.
INT. TINNER'S STUDIO APT. - MONTAGE
Tinner and Nadiya make love.
Peaceful rays of the morning sun, birds' cries, gentle sounds of children squealing and the flapping of The New York Times surround them.
The 'Erzulie Frieda' veve flag smiles down upon them.
Pancakes fizzle and Van Morrison's 'Crazy Love' fills the background.
Later details of Natasha messing breakfast and Tinner getting dressed and nicking himself shaving are cut with their lovemaking.
They are dressing in each other, eating each other, cleansing each other.
Details montaged in:
Tinner gathers and smells Nadiya's clothing.
Nadiya slightly chips the bowl in preparing a batter.
Tinner drops his gallery program - 'The Art of Glastnost and Perestroika.'
Morning birds pause in their cries.
The Russian dolls are put together one into the other.
The cat wtaches.
Vague resemblances of the bedsheet pulled tight to the American
Tinner's highschool yearbook pages are held back by summer's breeze.
EXT. UPPER EAST SIDE - LATE AFTERNOON
Harriman is blocked by a pretty young Latina woman dressed for mass with two mischievous young boys in tow.
Harriman chuckles at the young boys.
They are availing themselves of mischief pretending to be zombies.
EXT./INT. RUSSIAN EMBASSY - LATE AFTERNOON
Harriman trips up embassy steps to the security buzzer.
He tries not to checks his watch.
No sign of Kropotkin.
A security guard is having trouble fixing one of the desk legs.
Tell Consulate Kropotkin, it's two. Mr. Harriman is waiting.
The security guard buzzes up on his telephone.
He speaks for a moment in Russian.
He wishes you to come up.
The security guard goes back to the phone.
There are new artifacts.
Tell him in a minute.
The security guard buzzes Harriman through a door.
Harriman begins up a stairway.
INT. EMBASSY - SOVIET HISTORICAL MUSEUM - DAY
The museum is almost ornate, filled with all matter of haphazardly placed Soviet historic paraphernalia: uniforms, discarded astronaut suits, Soviet heroic era reconstructions.
It is a throwback to the glory of a bygone era of history and though still under construction, intricate in preservation of a forgotten Soviet past.
Vladimir and Marina lounge in one of the Soviet era reconstructions of revolutionary headquarters complete with wax Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky.
They are uncannily finding a place.
Kropotkin lingers about placing books, pamphlets and tiny army figures into a large wooden glass display.
He looks for a pamphlet from a pile for the case.
He hesitates to label it.
He would have rather met in the park.
We love it here.
Slightly ridiculous, but I understand.
EXT. SOVIET EMBASSY STAIRCASE
Harriman falters in ascending the staircase.
Old man lost in Cold War.
The stairs balance him.
INT. TINNER'S CAR - DAY
Tinner and Nadiya drive down Broadway.
The back of the car is full of precariously balanced suitcases.
I need to stop at the embassy.
Then the airport.
Nadiya covers the insignia ring on her hand.
EXT./INT. EMBASSY - SOVIET MUSEUM ROOM
Puffing away, Harald Harriman opens the large oak doors to the museum.
Harald Harriman, let me introduce a couple comrades.
Harriman's recognition is not exactly instantaneous.
I'm not entirely sure. . .
Over the years, Harriman has been. . .
What are you looking for?
Something that belongs to us.
A couple lives, a stack of microfiche,
Well. . .
The continuing revolution.
The agenda of the Communist cause is closed here.
Who hired Tinner to kill us?
Could you even think you could begin a struggle?
How many idealistic young former Communists emigrated?
Escaping a thug-infested black market.
Is the market different here?
Your cause is dead.
You and Marina were given salaries.
Exploited. . .
INT./EXT. TINNER'S CAR - DAY
Tinner pulls up in front of the Soviet embassy.
Nadiya doesn't hesitate.
No one's here.
She kisses him less passionately than necessary.
Don't be long.
Tinner watches Nadiya ascend stairs.
Nadiya lingers before entering.
Tinner drops airplane tickets.
He checks his watch - missing.
Looks away from the back seat luggage.
EXT./INT. EMBASSY - SOVIET MUSEUM ROOM
The discussion has become heated.
Look at yourselves, Vladimir. Nothing to complain about. . Well dressed, (to Vladimir) able to support a wife, children. What more can a man ask?
Why he must step over people.
Exploit protective system.
An extraordinary system.
Only in its blindness.
EXT./INT. MUSEUM DOORWAY
As Nadiya tries to stick her key in and turn the museum door
latch, she hears the sounds of a scuffle.
Marina moves away from the door.
Vladimir brings Harriman against the reconstruction of Lenin's desk.
EXT. TINNER'S CAR - DAY
Waving his hand, the security guard refuses to walk out of the embassy.
He does not approach the car.
You aren't with the embassy?
This is for diplomats.
He slowly drives off.
INT. TINNER'S CRUISING CAR - DAY
A woman walks by whom Tinner mistakes for Nadiya.
He opens the door.
She walks past.
Tinner looks back.
A Haitian woman.
Among the luggage in his car's backseat a few books balance at the bottom, BERKELEY IN THE SIXTIES, HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK, SACRED ARTS OF HAITIAN VOODOO.
INT. TINNER PARKING CAR - DAY
Tinner cannot find an Upper East side parking space.
The only space far from the embassy has a fire hydrant next to it.
Tinner fiddles with the car radio.
Reprise: "Always on My Mind".
Tinner looks to his watch again - missing.
EXT. TINNER'S PARKING SPACE - DAY
Tinner gets out and walks to the embassy.
As his arm leaves the car, he experiences a confusion.
His foot falls to gutter.
EXT. UPPER EAST SIDE SIDEWALK - DAY
Tinner walks down the sidewalk.
People leash dogs.
Dogs follow scents.
Two small Latino children play 'you can't catch me' along a park ledge.
An old Chinese man pauses a Tai Chi class in the adjoining park.
As Tinner passes, the man frowns and nods his head.
A Haitian girl attempts to launch a kite.
INT. SOVIET EMBASSY HALLWAY
Tinner walks to the embassy hallway.
The earlier none-too-friendly security guard from Tinner's first visit to the embassy is still taking apart his desk.
Could you tell Ms. Natasha I had to move our car?
Reluctantly, the security guard dials.
They're all in the museum.
They are expecting you?
Could you open that?
I'll take you up.
INT. EMBASSY STAIRWAY - DAY
Tinner and the suspicious security guard make their way up.
Who else is up there?
The security guard hesitates.
He glares at Tinner three steps behind him.
The security guard turns the latch to the museum doorway.
BANG, BANG, BANG.
Three bullets miss the security guard.
In a back somersault, he tumbles down the stairway.
Whoever it is, likes you less than I do.
Tinner takes cover.
He pulls out a shot out watch from his breast coat pocket.
It holds a bullet.
Scanning one side, Tinner pushes a gun from his shoulder holster and assumes a position in back of the door.
His watch stops ticking.
INT. SOVIET EMBASSY MUSEUM ROOM - DAY
Tinner carelessly enters the half-constructed museum.
His anxiety moves from a Sputnik tinny mock-up to an October 1917 worker's revolutionary headquarters to another half-lit diorama - mannequins of Soviet farmworkers in understated dress.
The diorama placard reads 'SOVIET WORKERS' COLLECTIVE FARM'.
A few mannequins harvest wheat with long-handed sickle.
Other dolls pose next to wheat in bundles.
In another section a poster hangs from two long wires.
The poster advertises Vsevolod Pudovkin's Soviet heroic era film 'MOTHER'.
It shows a young woman hoisting the Soviet flag.
Tinner's inattention moves to this section's title heading 'FILM AND AVANT GARDE ART OF THE SOVIET HEROIC ERA 1919-1929.'
Here are other posters against the wall:
MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA
IVAN THE TERRIBLE
On a loop in a diorama which shows Soviet Agit trains of the revolutionary period bringing film culture to the masses an old projector finishes playing the black and white Odessa steppe sequence from "BATTLESHIP POTEMPKIN".
Next to this section, is a static model of Vladimir Tatlin's MONUMENT TO THE THIRD INTERNATIONALE.
Because of Tinner's previous art inclinations, he consciously tries not to linger.
Marina moves out of the section of Soviet farm workers.
She discards her sickle.
It lands inches from Tinner's head - a deadly boomerang.
Tinner withholds fire in the general direction.
He looks back.
The sickle has failed to plant itself in the wall behind him.
This time with the long harvest reaper scythe, Marina tries again.
She does not evade Tinner's gunfire.
A less than lethal baton, Marina whirls the long scythe..
The tip of the scythe vertically rips a line along Tinner's jacket.
A red dot of blood merges with his shirt.
He is grazed - not unseriously.
Tinner tries not to feel the blood.
Marina kicks him half force forwards.
Tinner just misses the projector.
A reel flies.
Marina reluctantly pushes a gun from her thigh.
She is about to empty a round into Tinner.
Tinner heaves the moving reel at her.
Marina is tangled in film with part of the dishevelled reel untangling her.
In a wrestling type fight, the gun misses its intended.
Vladimir now uncrouches atop the Sputnik.
Harriman said you were supposed to bring us in. Not slaughter.
Previously hidden in a floor pile, Vladimir is now half dressed in one of the Soviet Army uniforms.
They didn't teach me to play that in the Soviet Union. . . .
Vladimir trains on Tinner.
The pair play a not quite deadly cat and mouse.
Vladimir sends Tinner quick enough to impact a glass display.
Vladimir tries to take up a machine gun from a section entitled 'Battle of Stalingrad'.
Real thing? Museum piece.
Tinner almost takes a bullet in the leg.
He manages to stand behind the bullet-ridden Sputnik.
Tinner moves to come into the open someplace else.
Come out, come out wherever you are.
Wasn't supposed to happen that way.
But it did, Mr. Tinner.
From his spot, Tinner fires on Vladimir, not quite injuring him in the shoulder.
Vladimir lingers in his position near Marina.
Marina's eyes fail to roll.
Vladimir tries to shed tears.
Marina . . .Baistrukh!
Vladimir refuses to close the eyes of Marina.
Tinner comes out of his hiding spot.
He lowers his gun from Vladimir.
Both of Vladimir's hands are occupied.
He lets go of his dead mother.
Like everyone else.
Ideologically, not of sound mind.
Vladimir lowers his head and blinks.
Tinner hesitates in firing.
CLICK. CLICK. CLICK.
His gun is empty.
Vladimir slows a psychotic half-laugh, half-cry.
Its my turn now, Mr. Tinner.
Vladimir pauses to sing subtly in Russian.
Volga, Volga Matrudnaya. Nasha Partiya, Nasha Partiya.
Tinner looks for another gun.
Vladimir is slow but picks one up nearby.
Better run. Penny pincher's coming, Mr. Tinner. (Pause) Collect dead mother.(Pause) Collector's coming, Time to collect. Mr. Tinner!. .
INT. EMBASSY HALLWAY - DAY
Vladimir lingers towards Tinner through embassy hallways firing unmethodically.
Vladimir manages to graze Tinner in the leg.
Tinner rolls to Kropotkin's office.
INT. KROPOTKIN'S OFFICE - DAY
Exhausted, Tinner pushes the door in front of him.
Kropotkin is seated at his window view - pins stuck all over him.
Vladimir whispers into the door.
Surprising how accommodating Kropotkin was, Mr. Tinner. An aristocrat.
The only way is the window ledge.
Tinner must make the choice to confront his fear of heights or be killed instantly.
Vladimir bangs psychotically destroying the large wooden door.
INT./EXT. EMBASSY LEDGE - DAY
Tinner jams open the window.
He attempts the balancing act walking along the embassy ledge.
Vladimir breaks in.
He delays his way to the window and sticks his head out.
Tinner looks downwards, terrified.
Cat on a hot tin roof, Jehovah, Mr. Tinner?.
(overcoming his terror)
I'll put my money on gravity.
Vladimir debates withholding fire.
Tinner's on the verge of blacking out.
Vladimir's gun has one more bullet.
He hesitates in reloading.
On the ledge Tinner gives up trying to increase his distance from Vladimir.
That's right, Mr. Tinner. The old college try.
Vladimir makes a reckless step out.
What do you Americans call it? Keeping with the Tinners. Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy, killed my friends and made them die.
Vladimir fires a bullet into Tinner's leg.
That last bullet. Unfair to be too far ahead. Wasn't it lucky.
Tinner does some poor balancing, holding on and climbing.
He attempts to enter another room through a window.
The window is unlocked.
Tinner finishes banging against the window to force it open before the realization.
He hangs by a bit more than a thread - but terrified.
SLOW MOTION: His smallest Russian doll falls from his coat to the ledge below his feet.
The window where the watch rests now opens.
Magic words, Mr. Tinner? Mother, may I. (pause) You fear having your life saved by a Communist? Give me your hand.
It's questionable whether Tinner is extending his hand.
Because of his phobia, he is blacking in and out.
Give me your hand.
Exhausted, Tinner's grip tightens a last time.
His balance is mostly lost.
Vladimir flips to the ledge.
The force of his body weight counteracts Tinner's descent.
Vladimir precariously hangs behind Tinner.
Both men now hardly balance outside the wind-blown ledge.
In the distance below, people sit in the park.
A distant kite plunges downwards.
Reminders of New York's homeless.
Vladimir pauses in his struggle so both are reflected in the window - together.
A future, Mr. Tinner. Men are equal. I have been to that mountain, Mr. Tinner. . .
With a last rally of strength, Vladimir heaves Tinner crashing at the reflection.
...We are brothers.
Vladimir falls to pavement far below.
EXT./INT. EMBASSY ROOM - DUSK
As the sound of people, wind and sirens increase, Tinner crumples among carpet, broken glass and the destroyed open window frame.
Last moments. My fault, his choice? Did he see a future they were trying to realize? What did it mean for us? What did Communism mean for them?
INT. EMBASSY ROOM - DUSK
Harriman crouches at the other end of the room, nursing a bloody head wound. He holds the doll previously on the ledge in one hand.
He curiously examining his reflection in a piece of broken glass in the other.
It is certain how long he has been there through the doll and his
burnt out cigarette.
Tinner tries to get up.
He does not makes his way near Harriman who frames the three of them together with his piece of reflecting glass.
You'll be back. Salary's too good. Funny, at the end, the dream crap.
Tinner wonders about leaving the room.
INT. EMBASSY SOVIET MUSEUM - DUSK
Tinner tries for some dignity through shattered remains of the Soviet Embassy Museum.
Like a Soviet heroic workers' angel, doll-like, Nadiya appears.
She is dressed in simple white embroidered peasant's blouse and clean worker's long skirt - an easy duplicate of Gail Ann from the film's beginning High School Drama Club picture.
Nadiya tenuously holds an embroidered wedding cloth almost subtly and quietly.
Over the cloth is a sheaf - wheat and salt - the traditional Slavic greeting - the staff of life.
Nadiya lingers in front of him: mannered, mannequin-like.
Gail Ann? (dream-like)
Tinner hesitates before the traditional Slavic wedding offering.
I thought you were dead.
A tear no longer lingers on her cheek.
Tinner undoes her kerchief.
SLOW MOTION: Hair falls.
Tinner almost pulls her back.
With the kerchief, he misses wiping the disappeared tear.
Love and cherish.
In the ghostly wind an old Soviet flag flaps and distant watch stops.
SLOW MOTION - The wedding cloth briefly quivers in the summer's
wind revealing Nadiya's insignia ring and Svetlana's raised and
EXT. SOVIET EMBASSY - DUSK
A screaming ambulance has trouble starting.
Tinner limps past the crowd gathered round a body.
A white, sail-like sheet held by two ambulance attendants is pulled down tight.
In the distance - garbage can.
Next to that, mailbox.
EXT. UPPER WEST SIDE STREET - DUSK
Tinner pushes a manila envelope from his less than clean breast
Falling from a Central Park wall, a Chinese boy dressed 'ala' Mao regains balance.
His mother, dressed workers' style, dusts him off.
The boy acquires something from her hand.
He runs to a fat Haitian woman street-seller exchanging for a click pen.
Two Latino boys are released by their young Latino artist mother.
A hat wearing black shoeshine artist spits on a well-heeled shoe.
In a loop, a Chinese kite flies dangerously from the ground.
Tinner places the microfiche stack to the envelope.
He seals the envelope.
He approaches mailbox and garbage can - equidistant.
Harriman. I wonder. He was one smart cookie.
Tinner whirls the envelope package, wipes his cheek. He wears a watch and ring.
A hand clutches but then releases one of the Russian dolls.
The Black shoeshine artist (Gede) looks up the pantleg to . . . - Harriman who sails his arm up. . .
The wind carries the package into the . . .
FADE TO BLACK:
BLAST 'Crazy Love'