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Baroque - Scene 5

INT. JASON’S APARTMENT - MORNING

Jason and Sarah are together in bed. Sarah is hogging the covers, and Jason is snoring. Sarah wakes up and looks at the alarm clock.

SARAH
Oh my God.

She jumps out of bed.
SARAH
Jason, wake up. You're late.

Jason crawls out of bed and throws on some clothes.

SARAH
I Love you!

JASON
(walking out the door)
Love you too!
CUT TO:

EXT. JASON’S APARTMENT - MOMENTS LATER

Jason exits the apartment building and begins crossing the street. Prof. Williams is standing by his car, shaking his head. He hands Jason a cup of coffee. Jason takes a sip of it and spits it onto the street.

JASON
Shit!

Prof. Williams laughs a little. He and Jason enter the car then pull away.

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. HIGHWAY - MORNING

Prof. Williams and Jason are driving a short while out to Adolphe’s mansion.

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. ADOLPHE’S MANSION - MORNING

The car pulls off the street and through arched, wrought-iron gates onto the grounds of Adolphe’s mansion. Prof. Williams parks the car, then he and Jason get out.

JASON
Yeah baby. Check this place out.

PROF. WILLIAMS
Very nice.

JASON
How much is this guy worth?

PROF. WILLIAMS
I'm sure quite a bit.

A HANDYMAN can be seen digging a hole. He looks up, picks up the shovel in both hands, and stares at Prof. Williams and Jason, as they walk to the front door. As Jason is about to knock, the door opens.

ADOLPHE
Gentlemen, you’re late.
(looking at Jason)
I do hope this is not a habit of
yours.

JASON
Sorry about that. I overslept.

ADOLPHE
Ah. Please come in.

CUT TO:

INT. ADOLPHE’S MANSION - DAY

The walls of the mansion are covered in macabre art, interspersed with antique weapons.

PROF. WILLIAMS
What an amazing collection.

ADOLPHE
Nothing compared to what I am
asking you to restore, I assure
you.

All three proceed to the top of the stairs, leading to a long hallway running the length of the mansion. Near the center of the railing at the top of the stairs is a pedestal, with an antique dagger on top. It is the dagger from the first scene, and has the same unique heraldic symbol engraved into the blade as is on the painting.

JASON
Wow. Nice dagger.

ADOLPHE
You have a good eye, Mr.
Sutherland.
I dare say this dagger caused the
death of a great many people in its
time. Please don’t touch it. It
is very old, and I’d rather it not
be subjected to handling.

The three proceed down the hallway. Adolphe turns to a door on the left, removes an old key from his pocket, and unlocks the door.

They walk into a very long and dark room. It contains only a chair and the painting, still covered by the Crucifixion scene. They approach the Painting.

JASON
I don't understand... The painting
looks fine.

ADOLPHE
(dryly)
Why yes, it does, Mr. Sutherland,
but what lies underneath, however,
is a different story.

Adolphe climbs a small stepladder, grabs a top corner of the painting, and begins to tear away the Crucifixion scene covering. He walks slowly down the length of the painting,
removing the covering as he goes. The painting surface underneath is covered in what appears to be a hardened, ash-colored grime.

ADOLPHE
I purchased this painting at an
auction in Germany. The auctioneer
assured me that the painting had an
impressive pedigree and was painted
by a little-known German artist.
What the auctioneer did not know is
that what lay underneath Christ’s
suffering is of infinitely greater
value.

JASON
Really? What is it?
Prof. Williams and Jason inspect the painting closely, though
never touching it.

ADOLPHE
I have no idea. I have my
suspicions, of course, but none of
us will know until the two of you
have practiced your craft.

PROF. WILLIAMS
Very interesting.

JASON
What?

PROF. WILLIAMS
I’ve never seen anything like this.
Maybe it should wait until we can
work on it together.

ADOLPHE
Professor Williams, yesterday you
assured me that Mr. Sutherland
could begin right away.

PROF. WILLIAMS
I understand. But this varnish is
very strange.

ADOLPHE
Will Mr. Sutherland not be able to
come to you for advice?

PROF. WILLIAMS
Of course, but...

ADOLPHE
(interrupting)
Then I shall look forward to the
restoration beginning right away.
I am certain Mr. Sutherland will
prove more than capable.

PROF. WILLIAMS
I'm sure your right.

ADOLPHE
Unless, of course, you harbor some
reservation, Mr. Sutherland?

JASON
No. No, I’m good.

ADOLPHE
Splendid. I shall have the
painting shipped to the academy
straight away.

JASON
Actually, I’d be able to spend more
time on it at my apartment.

ADOLPHE
I'm sorry.
(turning to Professor Williams)
I was unaware of this.

JASON
No, really. I have a loft
apartment, so I can paint on large
canvasses. It’s secure, and close
to the school. Not to mention that
I can devote way more time to it.

ADOLPHE
(still looking at theProfessor)
And your thoughts on this?

PROFESSOR WILLIAMS
It is a great place to paint and
certainly is large enough.

ADOLPHE
Very well then. I shall have the
movers contact you for
arrangements.

They leave.

As Adolphe closes the door its sound echoes from within the
room. Adolphe takes a slight notice, but continues to lock the
door.

They make their way down the stairs, arriving at the main door which Adolphe opens.

ADOLPHE
Mr. Williams and Mr. Sutherland,
please forgive an old man his
eccentricities, but I can’t stress
to you how highly I value my
privacy. I’d ask that you both
refrain from mentioning the
painting and restoration to anyone.

PROF. WILLIAMS
Of course.

JASON
No problem.

ADOLPHE
Then I shall bid you gentlemen a
good day.

JASON
Thanks. You too.

PROF. WILLIAMS
Good bye, Mr. Starne.

CUT TO:

EXT. ADOLPHE’S MANSION - MORNING

Prof. Williams and Jason walk to Prof. Williams’s car. The Handyman looks up from his digging, throws down his shovel, and glares at them.

Prof. Williams and Jason look back to the door, which has since closed, then continue to the car. The Handyman continues to glare.

The car pulls out of the mansion grounds.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. PROF. WILLIAMS’s CAR - MIDDAY

Jason takes a thermos from the back seat and pours some coffee into his cup.

JASON
Is he always like that?

PROF. WILLIAMS
You’ll find that most people in the
business have their little
eccentricities.

JASON
(chuckling)
Yeah. Whatever. At least he
doesn’t mind me handling the
restoration.

PROF. WILLIAMS
True. He seemed to take to you
rather quickly. He was far more
reserved when we first met.

JASON
Well, I’m just such a likeable guy.
Besides, with you vouching for me
how scared can he be?

PROF. WILLIAMS
I suppose. Regardless, you need to
make sure to check in with me
regularly. I want to know what
you’re doing every step of the way.

JASON
Not a problem. You know I won't
screw it up.

PROF. WILLIAMS
I know.

They arrive at the Art Academy.

Jason exits Prof. Williams’s car.

JASON
See ya in class, professor.

PROF. WILLIAMS
Try to be on time today, Jason.

JASON
I will.
DISSOLVE TO:

INT. ART ACADEMY - NIGHT

Jason is rushing down the hallway.

He enters the classroom where 8 other students, and the instructor Alex are standing around, as if waiting for him. Alex looks up.

ALEX
Jason! Thanks for joining us.

Jason nods and begins setting up his supplies at his easel. Alex and the other students stare.

Jason places a painting, about 3/4 finished, on the easel. The painting, bright and airy, is done in a classical realism style. It is of a female model reclined on a couch.

ALEX
All set up? Good. Jason, could
you bring your work up to the front
of the class? Before we begin
today's painting I’d like to
dissect it for them...

Jason grimaces, takes the painting, and places it on an easel facing the rest of the students.

ALEX
(indicating the painting)
As you can see...
FADE OUT.