Callas Forever (2002) Movie Script

Mr Kelly...
- Where are they?
- Who?
Where are "Bad Dreams"?
"Bad Dreams" are
probably still in bed.
- We thought you'd be together.
- I said we wouldn't.
- We thought that meant you were!
- We fooled you.
- Why bring this group to Paris?
- Because Paris adores stars!
Mistinguette, Piaf, Chevalier...
- Piaf didn't urinate on her audience.
- That's not what I heard.
Chevalier didn't flash his arse.
Please! Thank God.
- Are "Bad Dreams" a comedown?
- What do you mean?
You've presented Nureyev
and Fonteyn...
Menuhin, Callas...
Don't forget Bob Dylan
and the Stones.
But, don't be boring. It's 1977.
Kids want groups like "Bad Dreams".
Will you be seeing Mme Callas
while you're in Paris?
You produced her last tour, to Japan,
didn't you?
It was a disaster.
The Titanic was a disaster.
Have a sense of proportion.
We're not here to talk about
Maria Callas, but "Bad Dreams".
I hope you're all going
to cover their concert.
See you tomorrow
at the Gare du Nord.
The Boat Train?
Yes, they're coming on the Boat Train
because the airlines won't take them.
Thank you.
Do you ever get tired of all that?
- All what?
- All that bullshit.
Publicity is never bullshit.
- You're buzzing.
- Am I?
It's this.
I've never seen a good-looking guy
with one of those.
Sorry. I can't hear you flirting.
Larry Kelly.
Oh, I know.
- Really sorry I'm late.
- Don't worry, we're early.
No problems, we've dealt
with the press.
How was the flight?
The flight was fine.
- How are the tickets doing?
- Sold out.
- Good! What are the problems?
- Faulty wiring at the stadium.
Cancel dinner with Rocco tomorrow.
The wiring?
Get Annie to call Philip Pope
in London.
When Wembley blew
he fixed it in 10 minutes.
- I can hear you from over here.
- What?
Your thing. I can hear it.
Don't you hate big cars?
Depends what happens in them.
Fancy a lift?
Why not?
When I offered to carry your bags
you didn't mention the 6 flights.
Didn't I?
- Is this your work?
- Yes.
I'm part of a group show
in the Place des Vosges next week.
And then, I think I have a show...
My own, only me...
coming up in Tel Aviv.
And then, maybe Capetown
where I was born.
Are you impressed?
Give me time.
I need her voice...
whenever I come home.
Oh, God.
You're not one of those
ghastly Callas queens, are you?
I'm too young to have seen her
perform, unfortunately.
When I had my operation...
to try to restore my hearing...
my mother...
sneaked a cassette player
into the hospital room...
so that the first sound...
I would hear...
would be...
I don't know...
Beauty not of this earth.
Will you do more concerts with her?
Her voice is shot.
I do have plans though.
Look, I've got to go.
- Can I give you my card?
- I don't want your card.
- Oh, okay.
- Let's have dinner tomorrow night.
- You mean a date?
- Are you too modern for that?
I'll pick you up at nine.
Alright, eight.
But, I'll be late.
Nothing! There's nothing coming out
of number nine, it's dead!
- What number?
- Nine is dead. It's crackling.
- Get me a coffee.
- OK.
- Your shot, Larry.
- Just a minute.
- How will they hear the click track?
- On the earphones, as usual.
- Is the backing track alright?
- Yes.
- Cheating, are we?
- Sarah!
Vocals on the soundtrack?
It was supposed to be live.
Don't wind me up.
Every group does it.
What are you doing here?
I've been asked to do
an article on "Wet Dreams".
- "Bad Dreams". Did I OK this?
- You did.
I'm surprised your rag
is interested.
We're not interested in their music,
it's appalling...
but their arrest record
is fantastic.
The kids love them,
and they earn a fortune.
Aren't you a bit long in the tooth
to cover a punk band?
You're not exactly
a teenybopper yourself.
- Are they for me?
- She wouldn't take them.
Her maid saw they were from you
and sent them back.
- This is your friend.
- Anyway...
she said Mme Callas
is in the Greek islands.
Bullshit. She hasn't been
since Onassis died.
She does the same to me.
She's cancelled 4 lunches.
I haven't seen her in months.
Friendship isn't in her repertoire.
- Do you have a light?
- Give her a light.
- Why get so upset about a has been?
- Don't dare call her that!
- I need your arm. Your arm.
- Oh, right.
Good God! I thought
only musicians did that.
- Did what?
- Shot up backstage!
It's vitamins, Sarah.
Get her on the phone again.
Don't throw the flowers away,
we'll throw them on stage.
- Is that Bruna?
- It's the maid.
Bruna, it's Larry.
Just put me through to Mme Callas.
Bruna, I just want...
A has been?
- Did you ever hear her?
- Before my time.
I'm surrounded by children.
Why do I always hire children?
That question has been asked.
- This only proves my point.
- What point?
- The point of my idea.
- What idea?
I'm not going to tell you.
A has been! The world's
greatest opera singer!
I could fire you.
I will. You're fired.
Of course, you're right.
Forget the flowers,
I've got to see her.
- Did I say that?
- You were thinking it. Get the car.
- Signor Larry!
- Bruna.Tell Madame I'm here.
- No, she isn't home.
- No, she is at home. I know.
- Liar.
- I'm not a liar. She's not...
- Maria!
- Bruna, who is it?
Signor Larry...
Bruna, I'm not here for anyone!
Who do you think you are?
How dare you push your way
into my house?
I've been trying to contact you.
see this gentleman out, please.
- I want to speak to you.
- Would you leave?
- I just want to talk.
- Madame doesn't want...
Ferruccio, just leave me alone...
Let go of him.
Sorry, Ferruccio.
You're alright, you'll live.
Well, well, violence.
When a lady says she's not at home,
she's not at home.
- But, Maria, you are at home.
- That is a manner of speaking.
Well, in a manner of speaking,
I was just passing by.
Nobody passes by Maria Callas.
Either they come to see me
or they don't.
- What do you want?
- I just wanted to say hello.
OK. Hello.
Now goodbye.
I've got something
I want to talk to you about.
Another proposal?
After Japan?
Japan wasn't my idea.
Whose idea was it then?
Yes, as a matter of fact.
The genesis, so to speak,
of an idea, is immaterial.
It happened.
Japan, happened.
That's enough.
I keep it to remind me.
Of what?
Never to set foot on a stage again.
No matter what you thought
of your voice that night...
the audience still loved you.
People wouldn't notice
if I barked...
which I almost did that night.
So, have you come to suggest...
another way for me
to make a fool of myself?
Do you want me to join a Chinese
circus or show my derriere...
in public?
- I do read the papers.
- That's just show business.
What I am suggesting here
is serious...
it's revolutionary.
Don't, it's too late.
I am no longer on the market.
Let's talk about something else.
Tell me about yourself.
- When did you become a hippy?
- Don't play around!
- You look tired.
- I'm fine.
- Do you eat enough?
- Yes.
- Doesn't anyone take care of you?
- I don't need anyone.
- You need a proper boyfriend.
- Well...
- Have you met someone?
- Maybe.
Thank God. Gossip!
I'd like details, please. Bruna!
- You wanted me to leave.
- I do. Later.
Bruna, tea for Mr. Kelly.
Yes, straight away.
It turned out he was an artist,
a painter.
What's his name?
I don't know.
- But he's hearing impaired.
- What do you mean?
He doesn't hear very well...
he's a little deaf.
He doesn't have to
listen to you.
He listens to you.
He's got all your records.
- Can he hear them?
- Yes, he wears a thing.
- You mean...?
- No.
A little thing that, you know,
sits in there. You can't see it.
He'd better be attractive.
Is he?
What are they doing up there?
- Are you practising?
- Practising for what?
Singing. It's out of tune.
You're an opera singer.
I said I don't want to sing.
Are you deaf, like your friend?
Maria, what are you going to do?
A whole new generation
have never seen you.
Well, they missed their chance.
Give them a second chance.
Please. Don't speak to me
about a second chance!
- Did Icarus have a second chance?
- No...
No, he flew too close to the sun
and fell in the water.
- What if Icarus had artificial wings?
- What do you mean?
The world is changing.
We have to change with it.
There are new technologies.
"Callas Forever".
What a title!
The plan is to film you singing
your most famous roles...
and match it to the sound track...
you made when your voice
was in its prime.
Technically it's possible.
I've laid it all out in here.
Do me a favour.
Take it to bed tonight and read it
and tell me what you think.
I know what it is.
I know why you look different.
- Come on...
- You dye your hair.
- Maria, don't change...
- Callas Forever! Don't humiliate me!
- There is no Callas.
- Jesus Christ!
I denounce Maria Callas!
Please, let me alone...
I have so many things to do.
I am supposed to be on holiday.
I'm leaving for Sicily
and the Greek Islands.
Bruna! Have you packed?
In a few months, I'll visit Egypt.
I want to see the Pyramids again.
- Yes?
- Don't forget anything, please!
Still here?
What are you waiting for?
Is there still money
to be made off me?
I don't entertain leeches.
I don't know why I am here.
I've got a band opening tomorrow.
They may eat chicken heads,
but they're professional.
They piss on the audience!
Come on, Maria!
It doesn't matter how long it's been,
you haven't changed.
You're still a stupid,
stubborn cow.
How dare you speak to me like that?
Get out!
- Alright.
- Don't set foot in my house again!
Don't worry!
Do you hear me?
I don't ever want to see you again!
- "Bad Dreams" want American ice cream.
- Get it.
Where do we send it?
They've been thrown out of the Ritz.
They've wrecked four suites!
Have they? Good for them!
Rock Stars are easy, believe me.
Compared with Divas,
they are comfuckingparatively easy!
- Some wine.
- Lovely.
- How's your omelette?
- It was fine.
Didn't expect to eat alone.
I thought we might be going out.
I don't go out.
Out is over-rated.
What about fresh air?
This is Paris, the most
beautiful city in the world!
What's a city?
Just a place.
It's not home.
Don't be ridiculous, this is home.
You've been here for 20 years!
I don't have a home.
I lived in Italy many years
as well.
And Greece and America.
Do you think I've ever been attached
to a place, a country?
I don't speak correctly
any language.
I don't know who I am.
I was born Maria Kalogeropoulou...
and now I'm Maria Callas.
I'm neither one.
I just float.
That's a very interesting rendition
of Chekhov, thank you.
Why don't you just float over here
and sit down and have some food.
I'm not interested in food.
What was that for?
Something or other,
does it matter?
There hasn't been a reason...
not a single reason...
to leave this house since he died.
I need a better frame for this!
He is beautiful, isn't he?
Beautiful? Onassis?
Were you wearing your glasses
when you looked at him?
I saw the beauty. She didn't.
Mrs. Kennedy.
She never understood him.
You never understood him either.
He was a shit and you know it.
Turned you into a slave
on that stupid boat.
Just lying in the sun,
no piano, no practising...
losing your voice
and losing all your friends...
Let's not argue.
I don't have the energy.
- I'm naked, for Christ's sake!
- I have to talk to you.
- Don't reporters knock?
- No, never.
- What do you want?
- Just five minutes.
Later. If you want to talk
about the concert.
- They were great.
- If you like self-mutilation.
- It's not them. This is serious.
- A massage is serious.
It's Maria I'm here about,
she needs your help.
this is private.
If you've something to say,
say it.
My feet, please.
You've got no idea how tense I get.
We have to get her
out of that apartment.
Hire a forklift.
Bruna tells me she's up all night,
every night...
listening to her recordings.
And taking pills. A lot of them.
God knows what they are.
Do you have a light anywhere?
Sarah, please!
Look, I saw what you sent.
I read your proposal.
- What?
- I think it's a marvellous idea!
It might work and
give her back her life.
Of course it would work.
Tell her that, not me.
Look, listen to me.
She doesn't eat,
she's wasting away.
She's in mourning for her voice,
for her career...
for Onassis.
It's like the last act
of one of her damned operas.
She's only 53.
You have to help her.
I'm not a good Samaritan.
- Don't you care what happens to her?
- Absolutely not.
Jesus, Sarah!
- What was that for?
- For lying.
If you can't sleep,
you should phone her.
- Hello?
- Sarah.
Is it? Two o'clock?
I'm sorry.
Where does she get pills?
Who gives them to her?
I'll talk to Bruna
when I get back from Hamburg.
I'm sorry.
I woke her up.
She was not pleased.
Signora, that's enough!
Come on, get some rest.
Come on.
An espresso, please.
There you are, sir.
Thank you.
Good morning!
- What are you doing here?
- I've made you some breakfast.
With a little bit of help
from Bruna.
Up a daisy...
Come on, it's two o'clock.
It's a beautiful day. The sun
is shining, the birds are singing.
You can't spend
all your time in bed.
Go on, drink your coffee.
Better now?
Maria, your friends
are very worried about you.
You do know you have friends,
don't you?
Have you ever really trusted
anybody else? Really trusted.
Well, if you have,
I want you to trust me today.
No, questions...
just trust me.
I beg you, Maria.
I actually beg you.
Think about it,
finish your breakfast.
I want to see Maria Callas again.
Afternoon, Madame Callas.
Look, it's Callas!
Madame Callas!
- Morning, sir.
- Good morning.
Good morning.
In here.
- Sarah!
- Oh, my God!
Maria! So beautiful!
I'm suspicious
if my record company is present.
- You look sublime.
- You're so charming.
- What is this?
- A conspiracy.
Come and sit down, Maria.
- We have a surprise.
- A surprise?
- Would you like a coffee?
- No, thank you.
- And you, Madame?
- Yes.
Roll the film.
- Is this a joke?
- Sorry, there's something wrong.
What's wrong?
Deal with the sound track.
You invaded my house,
virtually kidnapped me...
so you could bring me
to watch...
the most shameful performance
I've ever given. How could you?
If you wait till they fix the sound
you'll find you never sounded better.
- You're completely mad!
- It was a mistake.
Come and sit down.
Go again.
I told you so.
You've never been in better voice.
I was in terrible voice,
you know that!
What have you done?
What kind of trick is it?
The concert is, of course,
your Japanese concert...
but the sound comes from
a recording you made 22 years ago.
All we've done is marry
the sound to the picture.
It's simple.
But, it's dishonest.
It's not me singing!
Then who is it?
Renata Tebaldi?
No, Maria, it's your image,
it's your voice.
It has to be you.
I'm very confused.
Am I selling my soul to Satan?
This is 1977,
Satan is redundant.
Anyhow, in theory,
he can make you live forever.
Vampires live forever.
If anyone qualifies as a vampire,
it's me.
- Why do you say that?
- I'm a journalist, remember?
We suck blood.
Because, of course...
we can't sing, or dance,
or paint, or whatever.
I'd give anything
to be Maria Callas.
You are, and you don't want to be.
They came last night.
My phantoms.
Medea, Violetta, Norma...
But one in particular
is haunting me.
You know,
I never sang her on stage.
I only recorded her.
I never completed her.
And maybe...
- Maybe...
- No, I shouldn't say it, it's crazy.
Maybe Carmen
could be the exception.
It would be fresh...
I wouldn't be dredging up
the past.
- And perhaps it could work.
- Perhaps?
Yes, perhaps.
Maria, no more perhaps.
No more maybes,
I need a yes!
It's not a hard word to say.
Y-E-S, yes.
You know it, you can say it,
you can form the words. Please!
You're sure?
Well I...
I have your guarantee?
Then it's the most beautiful
"yes" in the world...
and you're the most beautiful
woman in the world.
The first film that we propose...
is a role Madame Callas
has never performed on stage.
It's also one of the most
popular operas in the world.
I've spoken to the distinguished
Spanish film maker, Esteban Gomez...
- who is very keen to direct.
- Callas is really committed?
"Carmen" is her idea.
- She's always reneging on contracts.
- Peter, come on.
I've worked with Maria Callas
for many years, as you know well.
She is a consummate artist.
In fact, in my experience...
her record of honouring
her commitments is better than many.
Nevertheless, we need guarantees.
I'm your guarantee.
She is my guarantee.
I've never before put money
into my own projects.
But, I am so convinced...
of the importance and good investment
of this particular project...
I am putting up 50%
of the initial capital.
So, we are offering involvement...
in what could be one of the greatest
cultural events of the 20th century.
Maria Callas on film. The greatest
opera star the world has seen...
singing her greatest roles.
These films could open up a whole
new generation to her work.
After "Carmen",
we will film her other great roles...
"Traviata", "Norma",
And with the new market
in video cassette players...
it won't only be record sales
that go through the roof...
but the sales of her videos.
The royalties from those,
will keep many of us warm
in our old age.
It'll be alright.
- There he is!
- Maria!
- You look wonderful.
- The press are here!
- Sorry, I tried to avoid this.
- They go, or I go!
I can't ask them to leave. You'll
have to speak to them sometime.
You can handle them.
Madame Callas has nothing to say.
- Mme Callas, is this your comeback?
- It could be.
- Why did you change your mind?
- Because I'm a woman.
Are you gonna make a movie,
or what?
Stop pushing, please!
Please, don't push!
When will you sing at the Scala?
When the people in Milan
learn some manners.
- How much money are you getting?
- Use your mind, if you have one.
- Have you signed a contract?
- I'm not doing interviews.
- Will you sing Isolda?
- I'm not fat enough.
Will you have
a percentage of the profits?
Frankly, my dear,
why would I tell you?
You haven't come to terms yet
about my percentage, have you?
I'm glad they reminded me. You
must always have the press around.
Come on.
From the top of the Habanera.
- Is everything alright?
- Yes.
- Sorry.
- Hold it.
I need to know where
I took a breath.
- It's very simple.
- Show me.
OK, I'll try.
I'll do my best.
- Once more, please.
- Could you remove your necklace?
- Yes, of course.
- Thank you.
- I'm ready.
- Thank you.
Yes! It works!
Wonderful! Wonderful!
Actually, this is very difficult.
I have to really sing along...
- I can't just move my lips, right?
- Yes, although nobody will hear it.
So everything, the vocal cords,
the muscles of the neck...
the diaphragm,
everything is singing.
Which means also...
when we cast
Escamillo and Don Jose...
they must be able to sing even
if we will not hear them.
- Am I correct?
- Yes, yes.
But first we must find actors
who have the right look.
- Beautiful actors.
- When can we start seeing people?
- Tomorrow at noon, if you like.
- OK, I'll be there.
Beautiful voice.
And if he's able to match...
Eugene, there's no problem
with matching it?
- I think he'll be fine.
- OK.
Music and action!
- Studio.
- It's Michael. Is Larry there?
I'm sorry, he's not here yet.
Hang on, he's just arriving.
Hold on.
OK. Hey!
- Larry?
- Who is it?
It's the painter.
It's a madhouse. I just got in
from Florence. It's chaos.
Just post bail.
What? I can't hear you.
Forget bail, he's just the drummer.
Why don't you come over?
I didn't forget, I didn't
know how to contact you.
- Larry...
- Jump in a taxi.
I'll see you in a minute.
I can't hear a word...
I'll see you later, big kiss.
- This shawl is too small!
- Maria, what is going on?
What is going on?
I've no wig or costume!
- You don't need a wig.
- How can I rehearse?
Your costume looks wonderful.
You're just nervous.
- Nervous? I'm terrified!
- Why?
All the men of Sevilla
are waiting for Carmen!
- Well?
- Desiring her! Look at me!
- How can I fulfil that at my age?
- You're wonderful and you're ageless!
Ageless is a nice word for decrepit.
Are you saying a mature person
cannot attract a young man?
- The minister is waiting!
- Are you?
Maria, I've got
an extraordinary idea.
- In this scene I put Escamillo!
- What?
Yes, he is Spain's greatest matador,
and he wants Carmen!
A clever touch! Bizet didn't
think of that. Let's try.
Come on then!
- I'm looking for Larry.
- Well, he's not here, is he?
- Do you know where he is?
- In a meeting.
So what else is new?
And now comes the moment
of destiny...
when Carmen sees Don Jose
for the first time.
Where is he?
Where did you place him?
Oh, there! Mamma mia!
Even more handsome
in a soldier's uniform!
He is the only man in Sevilla
who ignores her.
- And she's attracted by that?
- Yes. The danger of it...
like in a bull fight,
the bravery of the matador...
is almost a dance with death.
Come on, Maria, let's rehearse.
Come on.
Right, remember it's very important
to keep your shoulders back.
Stick your chest out,
hold your stomach in.
Make everyone look at you.
Alright? OK.
Now, keep that position
and pick up your skirts.
No, remember,
don't bend down.
Like this.
Yes. That's right,
like that.
Good, like that.
Right foot. One, two.
And one...
and two, keep your head up!
Two, shoulders down.
Watch your arms!
Imagine you're looking
at the love of your life.
Win him over, conquer your man!
That's the way!
Move those skirts.
Go on, that's right.
Look at her eyes, she's loving it.
Stop. Stop.
It's not right. No.
Start again, please.
One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven...
No! No!
She's in good form.
I don't know when I can do that.
I've got the notes...
Wonderful! Fine.
Thanks, wonderful...
- but let's rest.
- Rest?
We have union rules,
we have to stop!
I don't care about the rules!
- I'll call back.
- I don't tolerate laziness!
If you want to work
with Maria Callas...
you must be ready to work
day and night! Understand?
I don't care about Maria Callas!
I can't be surrounded
by people with stopwatches!
Every move I make,
every gesture must be perfect!
If I can't be a perfect gypsy
I won't carry on.
- This is an amateur production!
- Don't say that.
- Go back to your "Bad Dreams"!
- Will you can it?
I knew this was
a third rate operation!
It's not third rate.
You ungrateful bitch!
- This is a...
- Shyster!
- Stop shouting! Shut up!
- Son of a bitch!
Oh, I've missed it!
I've missed it.
A good crisis, a good tantrum!
I've been so bored.
I'm exhausted.
No, I'm not.
I'd like to do something!
Let's go out!
We never go out...
What about a dinner?
- You're not free?
- Could I bring Michael?
- Michael?
- My friend.
Now you know his name!
My God, it must be serious.
- He's dying to meet you.
- I'd like to meet him.
- I'll be ready in five minutes.
- Fine. Put on something...
My God!
It's exactly like the first act
of "La Bohme".
Your paintings...
Wonderful red!
I adore red.
It's beautiful!
- It's you.
- What?
It's what I feel when I hear you.
Because I feel colours...
waves of sound,
woven into the air.
He's very good, this boy.
Very good.
I want to show you something
very special to me.
This is my favourite...
The splendour of the moon...
with that incredible music
of Casta Diva...
a feeling of...
peace and serenity.
You know, sometimes...
I have visions,
inside my head.
You've read my heart.
"Bad Dreams" don't want to go
to Korea because they eat dogs?
They're a rock band for fucksake,
not gourmets!
Jesus! Fuck them.
I can't be bothered anymore.
I'm editing a film,
with a very nervous leading lady.
- Hello.
- Have a seat.
- Good morning.
- Welcome.
I can't wait to see it!
It's very early stages,
it's just a rough cut.
We just finished it now.
- This morning?
- Yes.
- Right.
- Go on.
Esteban, it's spectacular,
it looks like something out of MGM.
A real gypsy atmosphere. That's why
I brought gypsies from Spain!
- Where is Carmen?
- Now she's coming.
Here she comes!
I love that red shall.
- Red's your favourite colour!
- Yes.
Very sexy.
Bravo, bravo, Esteban!
- It's wonderful!
- Thank you so much!
She dances like a Spanish one!
And you know,
Lucia told me...
gypsies dance to relieve
their tension.
- I know Carmen is very tense.
- Exactly.
Because she doesn't know
if Don Jose will come or not.
She asks the cards.
The cards never lie.
My God!
Perfect sync!
What's his real voice like?
Very good.
- Who's he studied with?
- Michelangelo.
- Shut up, please!
- Sorry.
Who is it?
It's Marco.
I just wanted to say thank you.
What on earth for?
Oh, they're beautiful!
Beautiful flowers!
My favourite colour.
- Please sit down.
- Thank you.
Bruna, could you bring a vase
for these lovely flowers?
Then, I'm at home to nobody.
I want to talk to Marco.
Please, sit down.
May I ask you a question,
Madame Callas?
Of course.
Do you think I will be able
to sing Jose one day...
with my own voice?
I mean, in an opera house?
Yes, it's very possible.
You know, your voice
has a beautiful quality.
And, if you study well,
and watch your breathing...
if you remember
what I showed you.
I will never forget.
Have a drink. Please.
I don't usually drink.
It helps the voice
if you relax every so often.
Thank you.
So, your parents were upset
when you left?
Ours is wine country. They've worked
in the vineyards for generations.
They expected you
to stamp on grapes?
I suppose.
But you are meant to stamp
on other things.
Come on!
You are a very handsome man.
You must have a string
of broken hearts behind you.
No, not that many.
But you are meant to break hearts.
That is your destiny.
Tell me a little bit more
about yourself.
Haven't you left something out?
I don't understand.
Isn't there someone
you haven't mentioned?
Let me guess.
A girl friend, perhaps.
Well, yes.
- I've known her since...
- You were children?
No, teenagers.
And I suppose...
you are faithful to her?
Because someday...
you plan to marry her?
Well, yes, that's the idea.
But that's a long way off.
I'm not ready to marry yet.
So many things have to happen
in my life...
so many things to experience.
So much to discover...
I don't know what I'm saying.
It's the brandy. I'm not used to it.
Where's Bruna?
We have to work together.
And at the end of the day...
work is the only thing
that counts.
But, Madame...
It's been a long day.
I'll see you tomorrow.
- Are you alright?
- It was a triumph, wasn't it?
It was magnificent.
- A triumph is worse than failure!
- What?
- If the price is too high!
- What are you on about now?
It is like Faust, isn't it?
You know Faust!
He won back his youth, so did I.
The sound of my youth!
Come on, Maria...
you only know Faust because
he's in an opera. He's fiction.
It was a fraud!
Carmen was a fraud!
Only in the way all performance art
is a fraud.
When you were giving
great performances before...
weren't you in front
of painted scenery?
- Yes, but...
- And...
when you played Medea...
when you were deciding
to murder your children...
weren't you looking at a man with
a stick in his hand, conducting?
What's real about that?
It's all a fake!
But you gave it its own truth.
- It's the same with Carmen.
- No!
What does it matter if it's
a young voice, if it works?
And it does work.
It's given you a second chance,
and you should take hold of it.
Stop all this bloody nonsense!
I don't want to worry about you
when I'm gone!
I've got to do my column
from New York for six months...
I leave on Wednesday.
Well then, goodbye.
All right!
I'll miss you.
I'll miss you!
- Oh, you...
- I'll miss you.
Oh, Maria!
I'm sure you're right.
And you don't have
to worry about me.
I'm back on...
What is it in English?
- On the trail?
- Track.
- What on earth?
- Traviata.
- I know it's Traviata!
- Our next project?
- It was going to be last night.
- What are you saying?
- You said he would.
- Get Rocco to deal with it.
He's got to sign.
Rocco's the man.
- Alright.
- Call Rocco, OK?
I'll be back later.
Well, you look good.
So, why do we have
to meet in the car?
No telephones,
no assistants running around.
- Sounds ominous.
- Why is she picking him up?
OK. What's the problem?
I can't do Traviata.
You changed your mind...
I never promised.
Do you have an explanation?
A reason?
Listen. You're a professional,
you understand.
I've said everything
I have to say about Violetta.
The same is true of Norma,
and Lucia, and Medea...
Carmen no.
Carmen was different.
But, forget the others.
Let's stop now.
What will you do
for the rest of your life?
Rot away in that
stinking apartment?
If I choose. It's my life.
And you've chosen.
Well, fine. Thank you.
Ferruccio, stop the car.
- Stop, I'm getting out.
- Where are you going?
To spend my time
with real live people.
- We are in traffic!
- I'd rather get run over than stay.
Larry, stop!
Stop Larry!
- Taxi!
- Larry!
There is Tosca!
I've never had a picnic before.
It's really very pleasant.
You can observe people!
Cut to the chase.
What do you mean?
You didn't bring me here
to listen to the birds.
Maria Callas doesn't arrange a picnic
in the Bois de Boulogne...
with hampers and sandwiches
unless she wants to soften me up.
So, what is it? Come on.
Are we going to do "Tosca"
or not?
You know, I have so many problems
with "Tosca".
I did it so many times
and perhaps...
Well, it was fun
while it lasted.
In production for 2 minutes.
Even for you, a record!
Don't waste a good sandwich!
So that's what
this charade's about?
To tell me you can't do "Traviata"
but you can do "Tosca"...
but actually you can't do "Tosca".
I could kill you.
Come on, sit down.
Please, please.
You know...
I've been thinking seriously...
- about singing "Tosca" again.
- Singing?
I'm only 53!
There are people giving concerts
who are almost 80!
"Carmen" was a great experience
for me.
I found the excitement again...
of making something,
of creating.
I rediscovered my soul!
I'd given it away...
long before...
in exchange for what?
I've wasted...
so many good years.
- But, Maria, I...
- Maybe, it's not too late!
Tosca may be the role
I'm still able to perform.
But this time
without your tricks.
I must be Callas again!
But, Callas as she is today!
- I understand...
- Of course...
I must work on my voice and
re-explore the character!
Maybe I should do some
sort of a work-shop.
I've changed so much
since I played Tosca...
we will see if I have the voice.
I want to try.
Do you think I'm crazy?
Not crazy.
It just turns my idea on its head.
But, you must be prepared
for people to say...
This time,
I'm asking you...
to trust me.
No, just a small group.
Students, you know.
Just some people she can
bounce off new ideas.
She's played "Tosca" a hundred times,
she wants to find something new.
No, it won't cost anything,
it's a rehearsal.
When she's discovered something,
we'll shoot.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Yes, bye!
It's me!
- I'd kill for a Scotch!
- It's on the side of the bed.
The ice has probably melted by now.
I'm sorry I'm so late.
I spent the day trying
to persuade Philistines...
that art is a good investment,
and I succeeded.
This is so good.
- What are you doing?
- Packing.
- My show in Tel Aviv's next week.
- Next week?
- I told you four times.
- Yes, but...
It's always the people who
can hear that don't listen.
When are you gonna be back?
I don't know.
I have shows in Amsterdam
and Capetown as well.
- Places.
- Yes, but that...
- I'm gonna see you again, aren't I?
- Who knows?
Did I fuck up?
What you must bear in mind...
is that at the end
of the second act...
Tosca kills another human being.
What brings her to this?
Every time I've played Tosca...
I have, in my mind...
plunged that knife
into a different person.
Someone that I hated
at that moment.
Finally mine!
- Damn you!
- That is Tosca's kiss!
Help! I'm dying!
Die, damn you!
He is dead.
And before him...
all Rome trembled!
she's still possessed by him.
When she sleeps...
she dreams of him.
When she's awake...
she feels his touch.
How can she break his spell?
Death can free her!
Only God can judge them both.
Are you saying that Callas
will only film "Tosca"...
- if she can sing in her own voice?
- Exactly.
Her voice is unusable.
It's sad, but true.
But the voice doesn't matter!
It's the performance that matters!
We should film "Tosca"
with Maria as she is today!
With the voice she has today!
The voice does matter, Larry.
There was a voice.
The audience expects
to hear that voice.
- Gerard!
- But, it's Opera.
Opera is voice.
Opera is music.
There's other kinds of music.
There's the music in the head.
There's the music
in the heart.
There is unnameable music.
You are all deaf.
Frankly, gentlemen...
I'm surprised she agreed to do any
of this project in the first place.
But, let's look at the bright side.
We have the "Carmen" special...
and the sales of her records
will go through the roof.
- Larry, your coat.
- Oh, yeah.
It doesn't matter that
they didn't understand.
There are other sources,
other backers.
We can take it somewhere else.
We've got to do it!
They are not wrong.
That is the first thing
you must say to yourself...
that they are not wrong.
No matter how much
I refine my knowledge...
the truth is...
there is no voice.
But does that matter?
Because once...
there was a voice.
There was such a voice.
- But you have other things...
- Larry...
Listen to me, you have...
I think we have to face the fact
that we are older.
Both of us.
Have you lost money?
Oh, that doesn't matter.
I'll make some of it back
on "Carmen".
What were you going to say?
Say it.
- I can't.
- Come on, say it!
- I have no right.
- Maria, be straight with me. Say it.
Destroy "Carmen".
No, you've got no right.
"Carmen" is beautiful!
I know.
"Carmen" is some of the best work
you've ever done. It's a legacy.
In a hundred years time
it will be there!
People will say, there!
That was Callas!
But, it's not honest.
It's a fake!
I'm willing to admit
a magnificent fake...
but still a fake.
And maybe no one watching it
will realise that, but I'll know.
I understand that technology
can create extraordinary illusions.
But, what I had...
was never an illusion.
If it was nothing else...
it was honest.
Even on a bad night,
on a really awful night...
when you wanted to close your ears
and hide your eyes...
it was honest.
And now, you are asking me
to end my career...
by announcing that...
Maria Callas was,
after all, a fraud.
You want my legacy to be...
the opposite of everything
I ever stood for!
I know why I hate integrity.
It's great for the person
who has it...
but it's pure hell
for those around it.
I mean, sure, it's admirable.
You know perfectly well
I own half of "Carmen".
Alright, I'll make sure
that it's never shown.
What do you want now?
My kidneys? My liver?
Thank you.
Will you take me to my car?
Michael sent this.
- Ah!
- Ah, indeed.
Why don't we walk?
I need to walk.
- God answers prayers, you know.
- Does He?
Yes! Contrary to popular belief.
The problem is we ask
for the wrong things.
I hated Maria Kalogeropulou.
I wanted to be Maria Callas instead.
And for a time, I was.
Perhaps I should have simply
asked to be a woman.
And maybe, my friend,
instead of juggling artists...
and performance dates,
and continents...
and an occasional
roll in the sack...
you should have simply asked
to be a man.
But then how happy
would we have been?
As just a woman, a man,
as nothing extraordinary.
As it is...
we both gave everything...
and received...
for a time, everything...
So it goes...
- What on earth are you doing?
- Sorry.
Wipe your eyes, please.
I'm sorry.
You used to dress better.
This is a very
expensive jacket.
This look costs a bloody fortune.
What will you do now?
Have I bankrupted you?
I'm alright.
I still have "Bad Dreams",
as it were.
I thought maybe...
having the Bolshoi Ballet dance
"Spartacus" at the Roman Coliseum.
Or whatever...
Maybe none of the above.
Perhaps I'll go to Tel Aviv...
or Cape Town,
and see an art show.
I don't know, maybe I'll just
stay home and read books.
I think...
I'll walk some more.
It's a beautiful day.
What will you do?
Don't ask questions...
that can't be answered.