MUSIC: “3 AM, I’m awakened by a sweet summer rain
Distant howling of a passing southbound coal train…”
OPEN on ROGER PARKER FOR NEW JERSEY STATE SENATE HEADQUARTERS. MUSIC continues.
It is very late at night. It is raining, mildly, not enough to make a statement. The headquarters is in a strip mall plaza, with a big plate glass window opening onto the nearly empty parking lot. Inside, lights are going out one by one.
MUSIC: “Was I dreaming or was there someone just lying here beside me in this bed?
Am I hearing things? Or in the next room, did a long forgotten music box just start playing?”
The camera starts high and swoops down gracefully, focusing in on a television set through the front window. A perky newscaster is giving us the election results for the benefit of those who can’t read them as they scroll up the right side of the screen. Roger Parker lost.
Alvin Wassermann (William Macy) turns away from the screen. One of his co-workers mouths inaudible words of sympathy, gestures that next time it’ll be different. Alvin shrugs and leaves by the front door, gets into his Honda Civic, sits for a moment before driving off.
MUSIC: “And I know it’s a sin putting words in the mouths of the dead.
And I know it’s a crime to weave your wishes into what they said.”
Flashback to a montage of political advertisements for candidates we’ve never heard of. Voiceovers from the advertisements: “In the tradition of John F. Kennedy…” “As the great Franklin Delano Roosevelt said…” “If we do not recall the course charted by Jimmy Carter…”
MUSIC: “And I know only fools venture where them spirits tread.
‘Cause I know every word, every sound bouncing ‘round my head.
Is just static on the radio.
Everything I think I know is just static on the radio.”
Alvin arrives at his apartment: small, cramped, suburban. The walls are papered with political signs and flyers. He settles down at his kitchen table and opens his briefcase: pulls out his folders and starts trying to figure out where it all went wrong this time. There’s no answer there.
MUSIC: “Everything I think I know is just static on the radio.”
At the bottom of the briefcase is a dice bag. He hefts it in his hand once, then sighs, and picks up the phone.
ALVIN: “Hey… no. No, it’s Alvin. No, I know, it’s late… you were up watching? That’s really kind of you. Well, thank you… no, no. Just — well, if I’d paid more attention to the game. It’s all in there.”
MUSIC: “Just static on the radio…”
ALVIN: “So we’re playing this week, right?”
MUSIC: “Static on the radio.”
BLACK. Dungeon Majesty logo fades in.
My pal Rob is running a P. T. Anderson/Spike Jonz/Wes Anderson/David Russell kind of a game.
Other character writeups here and here.