Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006) Movie Script

Englewood. Englewood.
Anyone for Englewood.
Mrs. Arbus?
That's right.
I'm Jack Henry.
Welcome to Camp Venus.
It's terrific to be here.
- Come on in. - Thank you.
I don't wanna be any bother.
Oh, no, not at all. We're delighted to
have a photographer here.
It's simply...
I n order to get permission, you must
take them off.
No one ever mentioned that.
And there are two rules.
- Yes? - The first one is:
No erections.
And no staring.
I'm sorry.
Please, go ahead and disrobe, Ms.
- We're used to it. Aren't we, Jack?
- Hm.
To tell you the truth, I need a moment
to myself, if that's all right.
- I understand. - We'll leave you alone.
How pretty.
Belonged to a friend.
Okay, boys, let's move them in.
- Jimmy, get in the back. - Okay, boss.
Grandma and Grandpa are here.
Thank you, Gracie.
Welcome to the Allan Arbus Family Photo
...run by my son-in-law, Allan... My
talented son-in-law, Allan.
- And his number one assistant, my
daughter Diane.
This also happens to be their home.
So it's a real family business.
We hope you'll all become part of our
Look! Mommy, look!
- Macy's, Bergdorf's and all the other
great stores across town.
Hello, Diane.
There must be someone moving in
There was no way for me to know this
would happen tonight, Mother.
Diane, we're holding the show here this
year to help you and your family out.
I know. We're grateful.
Where did you get that dress?
...you gave it to me, Mother.
I gave it to you last year.
- I n the living room, please, Merta.
- Yes, Mrs. Arbus.
Easy, Jim.
There we go. Hang on.
Hang on, hang on. Set it down.
You got it?
- You okay? - All right.
Keep going, boys, all the way to the
- Not now. - Come on.
Here, let me help you with that, Rose.
Your father's already driving me nuts.
I know, Allan.
- He wanted to trim it with monkey. - A
I said no.
To all the greatest fur buyers in
My wife, Gertrude, and I welcome you to
my daughter's home.
Thank you all for coming.
She's really something.
Thank you all for taking the time to
join us this evening.
As you know, for the past 30 years...
...Russeks has been the biggest
buyer of pelts...
...and producers of fur garments in
the world.
And like us, you all don't want to let
only New York ladies...
...have the luxury of world-class
furs. - I need gloves. Like this?
- Now, do we? - Of course not.
- So without further ado... - Finally!
...ladies and gentlemen, observe the
Stealthy, luxurious, the colors of
Each individual coat truly a thing of
Lustrous, dark-hued, naturally
Crafted with the distinctive flair and
elegant styling...
...women of discriminating taste have
come to expect from Russeks furs.
And the leopard.
The spotted and graceful dancer of the
Notice the matching hat, purse, mirror
and cosmetic case.
This prestigious ensemble will be the
...of our fall advertising campaign,
to be photographed, of course...
...by the Allan Arbus Family Photo
Studio which later...
There really isn't an occasion when you
can't wear leopard.
Friends, prepare yourselves...
...for the unbearably soft appeal of
The silkiest and most sensual fur that
money can buy.
This one's jammed. Get me the
Hasselblad with the wide-angle.
- This delicate fur... - Excuse me.
- And certainly.
- All set, Charlie. - Got everything?
That's it.
Good luck to you.
Diane? You got it?
- What? - The Hasselblad.
Yes, yes. I'm sorry.
Come on.
Let's go upstairs for the studio tour.
...take a look at the wonderful work
my son-in-law's doing.
Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Seventeen.
My husband has... Has shot campaigns
...Chock full of Nuts, Sunbeam and
many more.
But his main focus for the past 10 years
has been the daily new Russeks ads...
...for my father's world-renowned
store that run in The New York Times.
May I ask, uh, what do you photograph,
Me? Um, oh, no, I'm... I'm not the
No, my husband is.
But, uh, what do you do?
Well, I...
I take light readings and I, uh... I...
I... iron clothes.
I, um...
I provide straws for the models so that
their lipstick doesn't smudge, and I, uh...
...I accessorize their clothes. I
rearrange their hair.
L... It's not that much.
Diane, uh, do you have any fashion tips
for a friend?
Um, as a matter of fact, yes, yes, I
One's, um...
One's nails should, um... Should only be
slightly longer than the pads of...
Of one's...
One's fingertips, and...
For chrissake, what now?
Excuse me.
- Are you all right? - I'm sorry.
Everyone, dessert is served downstairs
in the living room.
I'm okay, Allan. I'm sorry.
Just need a moment. Okay?
Are you sure?
Thank you.
Maybe you should take some time off.
- Allan. - I could hire an assistant.
I bought you that square-format camera
10 years ago...
...you haven't even used it, Diane.
Maybe you could take a class.
Is that your secret?
My answer is no. I'm not gonna leave
you during the day.
What's yours?
Come on, tell me. What's your secret?
I unbuttoned my dress on the porch
Allan, I...
I don't wanna be like that.
Like what?
I'm your wife, I shouldn't do that.
You know I think you're brilliant.
- No, you think I'm strange... - No.
...that I can't be normal.
I never said that.
Even our own children think I'm
I love you.
I love you.
Good night, sweetheart.
Good night.
What do you think?
I don't know.
I don't know. It's all so predictable.
You know we have the golf course in
about 20 minutes.
With swimsuits and puppies.
The client's gonna love it.
- Go ahead, take it. - Okay.
What is it, Grace?
There's something wrong with the
I need you to turn off the main water
valve, the big one...
...and bring me Daddy's tool kit and
a bucket.
- You're a good girl. - Okay, Mom.
Uh, Grace, tissue.
Oh, yuck.
What was that?
It's nothing.
Okay, Gracie, let's go.
Are you washing a dog?
Excuse me?
Do you have a large dog?
A dog?
Your dog's hair is in my pipes. It's
causing problems with the plumbing.
Perhaps you should check the basement.
Are you a new neighbor?
- I'm a friend of Lionel's. - Lionel?
The man who lives upstairs?
Oh, I'm sorry. I'll, uh, get out of
your way.
Time to sleep now, Gracie.
Okay, Mom.
Christ, what is that?!
I fixed my drain for you.
Thank you.
You still think I have a dog?
I have 10 dogs.
I don't think you have a dog.
I haven't seen any dogs going up the
I'm not feeling very well right now. I
can't find my rabbit.
Oh, okay. Then I'll, uh... I'll...
I'll come back later.
You saw me the night I moved in,
I definitely saw you.
You trying to seduce me, Diane?
- No. - No?
God, no.
Is that why you came up here in the
middle of the night?
I, um...
Well, I would like to, uh...
I'd like to take a portrait of you and
your... Your wife.
I don't have a wife.
Well, then I would like to take a
portrait of you, just you.
It's not a good time for me.
Come back tomorrow night at 9.
Do you have trouble sleeping, Diane?
Actually, it's "Diane. "
Why would you want to take a portrait
of someone you've never seen, Diane?
Most nights I have trouble sleeping.
Did you get the key?
The key?
Diane, come back tomorrow night at 9.
Hey, watch it, Vern.
I forgot something.
Looks like gin rummy.
Foo-Foo, don't you bother Donald, now,
you keep still for Mummy.
They're adorable, aren't they?
And such beautiful coats.
I'll be to bed soon, darling.
I thought I'd go for a walk.
Be careful.
Do not go near him, ladies and
He has taken lives already.
In captivity, we have the upper hand.
But isn't Lionel a good doggie?
Drink a cup.
Turn around.
Don't look at me.
Turn around.
Take off your camera.
Just put it on the table.
Please close your eyes now.
I only wanna take your portrait.
...please close your eyes.
Step back from the window.
Are your eyes closed?
Don't turn around. Keep your eyes
- And please disrobe. - What?
You can keep your undergarments on if
you like. The bath is getting cold.
I don't want to.
I think I should go.
I'm sorry.
Take anything in your tea?
Now, tell me something.
Tell me something about yourself.
Are you rich?
You look rich.
My parents are.
So you were a spoiled child?
Did you eat caviar? Did you have
What were their names?
Scott was my chauffeur...
...Gisela was my German nanny, and
Catherine was my French nanny.
Did you ever show your nanny your tits?
Now, when you were a teenager...
...there must have been a doorman you
made love to in the basement...
...or a chauffeur, a gardener, an
elevator man?
Did you ever give him a blowjob on the
way down to the lobby?
- No. - No?
Did he want you to?
Well, did he?
How could you tell?
He used to stop the elevator between
And stare at me.
Did you like that?
It terrified me.
Of course, but...
But did you like it?
One time I showed him my underwear.
So? Then I'm right.
Chauffeured girls don't expose
They don't show their tits.
- Don't they? - I don't know. Do they?
You tell me.
Where have you been hiding?
I suppose I did. I exposed myself.
Till my father caught me.
Where did this occur?
- I n the bathroom. - To whom?
To the neighbors.
I would touch myself in front of the
Did you ever see anyone watching?
I saw you...
...through my window.
And right away I wanted to come into
your home.
And when you were young, did anyone
like me ever come to your house?
There was a little boy. He had...
He had a purple birthmark across his
I saw him in the park and I...
I followed him all the way to his front
door in the Bronx.
But he disappeared before I could...
Shortly after that, I dropped doing
that sort of thing.
And I planned on going so many places.
All sorts of places, everywhere.
Where? Tell me.
A doll hospital...
...the city morgue...
...the insane asylum...
...dumps, flophouses, everywhere, I.
And instead, I was my husband's
Join me?
Would you like to take off your
Wanna step in?
My condition is called hypertrichosis.
When I was a teenager, I woke up every
morning at 5 a. M...
...to shave every part of me that
stuck out from my clothing.
Grew back so quickly it was hardly
worth the effort.
Besides, it made me prickly.
Would you please close your eyes again?
Can I trust you to keep them closed?
Well, just in case, put this on.
Do you like to go swimming?
Did you get the key?
That little boy...
...was so beautiful.
Have a cookie.
I must be brave.
I must be brave. I must be brave.
I must be brave.
Twenty, 19.
- Oh, my God! - Good morning.
I'd better go.
Sleep all right?
Lint brush.
Thank you.
Will you come back?
Do you want me to?
You still need to take my portrait.
Tell me a secret.
I wanna live in a big house someday.
Out of the city.
With a big back yard and a dog.
Leaving Manhattan gives me hives.
Tell me another secret.
I actually had a dream we were gonna
have another baby.
A baby?
Now it's your turn. What's your secret?
I think I'm ready to take some time off
from the business.
What are you gonna do instead?
I'd like to take some photographs...
...of my own.
Of what?
I don't know.
Our neighbors.
Good. Yeah.
I think that sounds great.
Is it okay?
Sweetheart, it's wonderful.
Thanks, sweetheart.
Where you going?
Just up to the neighbors. I...
I thought I'd try Mrs. Rebushong first.
Eat your broccoli, Sophie.
Who is she?
She is, uh, Althea.
Uh, she's, uh...
...an admirer.
- An admirer? - Yes.
Who does she admire?
At me, I guess.
Why isn't she your girlfriend?
She doesn't touch me.
Goddamn it.
I'm here.
I'm here for the picture.
I'll be right there.
Take off your camera.
- We're going out. - Now?
Come on.
Ready or not, here I come.
Come out, come out, wherever you are.
Okay, let's play again.
- Scarlett. - Lionel.
Great to see you.
Brought a wig and a friend.
Come on.
That's a good boy.
You're a good boy.
That's it.
You're doing really, really good.
Would you like to get a bite to eat?
Now? I don't wanna go anywhere now.
This is terrific.
Look at his socks.
I thought you might enjoy it.
- Thank you for coming. - Jose, you know
it's my pleasure.
You know, the fire left her with no
Yes, well, you know, this is close to
her natural color.
Oh, you're a genius.
Let's give it a try, huh?
It's a wonderful thing. Extraordinary.
Anytime, sincerely.
My mother made me swear I'd go through
life without ever seeing a dead person.
I like it.
It's not catching.
I know.
Elliot Eldemeyer told all the kids in
my school it was.
It's genetic, of course.
Do you know what you look like without
- Without the hair? - Mm-hmm.
I have no idea.
Mrs. Arbus.
Oh, Allan.
I'm sorry, I...
Did you have fun?
That feels good.
- Does that feel good? - Yes.
What do you like about it?
It scares me.
I love you.
I love you.
What's that?
I'd like to meet your husband.
What kind of Scotch is this?
That is Macallan. Eighteen years, I
Good stuff. Like it.
Well, good.
It's actually a gift from Diane's
The fur man.
Do you like to watch television?
Had to take a lie-detector test, it was
You didn't have to take it. What'd you
tell them?
Nothing important.
Yeah, well, it's just as well.
Guess they would have got suspicious if
you had refused.
What'd they ask you?
- Lf I had a boyfriend. - Well?
- Told them I didn't. - Thattagirl,
I'd only do it for you, Frank.
It'll be all right, you'll see.
I love you.
And when we 're married, we 're going
to forget all this. Promise.
Yeah, sure.
Sophie Arbus...
Purple and pink.
This is another one for you.
Excellent work, Sophie. Thank you,
Yeah, but he likes me more.
"It's all very well to say, 'Drink
...but the wise little Alice was not
going to do that.
'No, I'll look first,' she said...
...'and see whether it's marked
"poison" or not. '
For she had read several stories about
children who had gotten burnt...
...and eaten by wild beasts. " -Hi.
Are you ready to go?
Are you coming back?
Of course.
Sleep tight.
- You're a flirt. - I like it, I like it,
I like it.
- I don't think this... - Yes!
That's good, that's good. Did you like
me in that show?
You are such a bad girl.
What is this?
- That's my tit, darling. - Oh.
Let me show you.
You like them?
Lionel is just the greatest, isn't he?
He is.
Sing it, Andy.
Take me!
No, it's true. I wrote about...
Cheers, baby.
If you don't mind me asking...
...why did you drop the key down?
You looked like you needed to come up
to my place.
Have you ever met a woman who was also
like you?
Sure, it was like white on rice.
More libations?
So you preferred other women?
I was... I was always...
Always looking.
What were you looking for?
A real freak.
- Medium, Shorty? - Medium, yeah.
When did you do these?
One of many exciting humiliations.
Were you the best performer at
That was the Albanian contortionist,
but I was the biggest attraction.
- Can I ask you a question? - Please.
Where is your favorite place to go?
The ocean.
Then why haven't we been?
We will.
Is that the tooth fairy?
It's Mommy.
My tooth came out. Daddy was here.
Oh, Sophie, I...
I'm sorry I missed it, I...
It hurt.
I'm sorry.
I studied photography in college at
Bryn Mawr.
But I also love fashion and
Great, um...
My wife used to be my assistant.
Oh, and, uh, what does she do now?
- Hello. - Hello.
This is Diane.
Are you the new assistant?
I hope so.
All the way up, doctor.
Come on.
Careful, careful.
- Hello. - Hi.
Just through here.
Lovely place.
Thank you for coming.
Careful there, Shorty.
Nice to see you again.
So good to have you.
Wonderful, yes.
- Lionel. - Allan.
Sophie, Grace, this is Hank.
- Hi. - Hello.
Gracie, I'm sure that Hank would like
to see your room.
You are so embarrassing.
Sophie, why don't you show Hank your
collection of dolls' eyes?
How are the portraits coming? I haven't
seen any yet.
Aren't they neat, Hank?
Slowly, but they're coming.
You're going down, Lionel.
Oh, Satch, what do you got?
I got you this time, pal.
Satch has not much. But a full house!
It's a cocktail party.
My mother says I'm supposed to be
brave, whatever that means.
All dead bodies are cold.
- Thank you. - Something to eat?
Little salmon, Scarlett?
- Is there anything else I can get you?
- No, I'm good.
Look, um...
...I'm sorry, but I can't stay.
Some of your father's clients are in
from Chicago, and...
I'd put them off, but I really should
meet up with them for a drink.
- I wanted you to be... - To what, Diane?
To be a part of all of this.
I need to keep the business going, you
I know, right.
Come with me.
Let them find their own drinks.
No, I can't do that.
I gotta go.
Are you coming?
- I don't know. - Oh, never mind.
Mother, Father...
...this is my friend, Mr. Lionel
What a pleasure it is to meet you both.
How do you do?
Excuse me, everyone. Shall we have a
Yes, do that.
- Come on, Allan. - Well...
I remember the first time I saw her.
She was dressed all in black...
...and her hair was so thick...
...and it went all the way past her
shoulders down to her waist.
She was only 15.
- Sixteen. - Fifteen.
You were the most...
...inexplicable creature I'd ever
It was August 12th...
...Sheep's Meadow.
She kept moving back and forth as if
she was dancing or something...
...but that was just the way she
moved back then.
I couldn't take my eyes off you.
I still can't take my eyes off you.
Happy birthday, Diane.
- Happy birthday. - Hear, hear.
- Thank you. - Yeah.
So, Lionel, you're Diane's first
project all on her own.
Allan tells us you're doing a little
extra art project...
...a photo study of your neighbors.
Yes, sort of.
Why don't you be a little portrait
You've already got the studio. People
could just drop by.
Well, Mother, maybe I will.
I mean, real art hangs in museums,
doesn't it?
You know, I'm on the board at the
- We know, Mother. - We'd love to see
what you've done.
Well, I'm not ready to show anything to
anybody yet.
It's true. She hasn't even shown me
Allan, I told you I will. When I'm
What is it?
Every month or so I'm...
...able to breathe about 5 percent
My lungs are disintegrating.
It's getting harder and harder for me
to breathe deeply.
I n a matter of months, I'll drown
without even swimming...
...because there'll be nothing left.
...of my lungs.
You're not dying.
Yes, I am.
No, you're not.
Come on.
You've kissed him.
No, Allan. No, I haven't.
It doesn't matter if you have or you
Allan, he's dying.
That makes it even more special.
What'll happen after he dies?
- You encouraged me to do this. - I
encouraged you...
...to take a few fucking pictures.
You want me to just watch my family
fall apart?
Am I supposed to do all the studio
work, run the business...
...buy the food, be the fucking tooth
Am I supposed to take care of the kids
all alone?
What's next? Are we gonna house the
circus when it comes through town?
I don't know.
I'm just a normal guy.
You know?
Now I got a hole in my ceiling and
fucking freaks coming through it.
He's going to die anyway, Diane.
Goddamn it.
I'll end it.
Close the door.
I need you to help me.
Lionel, I...
Take it off.
Go on.
Keep the brush away from that.
Let's go back to shaving.
You girls go on to bed.
- Daddy, come on. - No.
Why can't we see?
What are they?
Let's go make breakfast.
...blew this up for you.
Why did you want me to shave you?
So I could swim out further.
Swim out?
What are you saying?
And I want you with me.
- What? - Diane.
- Diane. - What are you talking about?
You want me to watch you die?
I want you with me.
That's all.
But is this what you did?
Made me fall in love with you to watch
I don't see it that way at all.
I love you.
I never took your portrait.
Thank you.
Lionel wanted you to have this.
I'll see you soon.
Thank you.
- See you later. - Okay.
You mind if I sit here?
Are you gonna take my picture?
Not yet.
Why don't you tell me a secret?
A secret?
How about you tell me one first?