Return to Montauk (2017) Movie Script

My father...
During his last days, demanded
that some philosophy books
be placed on the locker beside his bed.
My father's taught philosophy
as a profession
and read philosophy for pleasure
and I wrote only novels.
He had a right to think that I inhabited
a space filled with banality,
filled with gross inventions,
foolish plot lines.
The next day I went
to my fathers old apartment
and rummaged through the books
in his study.
I found his old copy
of the Critique of Pure Reason
with many notes in the margin
and his thumb-nailed edition
of Platos Symposium.
I found a fat volume of Hegel
and an untouched edition
of Derek Parfits On What Matters.
Put them in a pile on the locker
while he was sleeping.
Once when my father opened his eyes

I showed him the Parfit

which was at the top of the pile
and I pronounced the title in
the best English accent I could manage.
On What Matters.
It would be nice to say that he smiled

but he did not smile.
Instead he spoke:

Heinrich there are only two things

that matter he said

there is the thing you did
that you regret

the thing that cannot be undone

and then there is the thing
that you did not do
that you should have done
that you regret too

but its too late now.
Its easy to say that these things
do not matter because theyre over

but they do.
They are in fact what matters.

The things in between
do not matter at all.
Is that a quote from a book?
I asked him.
Suddenly his voice became almost gentle

his tone filled with regret as he said

and then repeated the word

on a sigh.
It would be nice to say that
he then turned over died and that No

was his last word but it wasn't.

He lived for 6 or 7 weeks more.
Is that thunder?
In those last weeks my fathers words

about what matters hit home.
I almost asked the doctor
if he too indeed if all of us

if the nurses and the other patients

if the porters and the other visitors

if the night cleaners
and the taxi drivers outside

if we all had done
one thing in our lives
that we knew was wrong

and if we all had one thing
we did not do in our lives

which we regretted.
And if these two things became
the story of our lives

the story of what matter what matters

more than anything else matter

or ever will matter.
When my father spoke about what matters

an image came to me
and remains with me.
Its an image of two women

one whom I caused harm
and the other whom I failed.
Whom I should not have failed

who I should be with now
if Id been wiser then.
Whom I wonder about still.
Thank you so much Max for giving us

despite your jetlag

a taste of The Hunter and the Hunted.
- Thank you!
There will be a longer reading
at the public library tomorrow.
Our publicist has all the details.
It was so great.
So this is my friend Julia.
- Hi Julia. - Hello Max!

I really really enjoyed your reading.

- Thank you.
So youre Claras guy.
You left her alone all winter
in New York and you werent worried?
We cant wait.
- The performance was profound.
- The performance was profound.
Can we go home?
I cant believe it.
Oh! So nice to see you again.
It said in the papers
that you've come to make a presentation.
Yeah tomorrow at the public library.

Your mom would be proud of you.
Who is this charming creature?
This is my wife Clara. This is Walter.

- Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
Will you come to the reading?
- No no no... tomorrow Im sorry...

I've a friend holding a preview
and I promised to go.
Would you care to come with me?
No but I... I have the reading.

Yes I know I know.

I'm not deaf

despite my years. So...
Another book of yours?
Yes a novel.

Another fiction?
Its so good to see you

its been too long.
Im sure it will be a big success.
Is this the first time you've been back
after so long?
Yes it is

or I would have been in touch.
I would love to arrange a dinner for you
and a few friends.
Thank you.
- You call me?
I will.
YouIl call me?
- I will.
How do you know that guy?
Hes an old friend.
He financed my studied.
He financed a lot of other things too.
Hes the one
who made the big donation to the Met.
There was a dinner for him
and he didnt turn up.
Someone told me he collected
unbelievable things.
He looks like the kind of guy
who collects dead bodies.
Goodnight. - Bye.
- Goodnight. - Bye.
So this was Walter.
I knew it the minute I saw him.
Every bit the way you described him.
Was he in the room when I read?
Not that I saw.
Maybe somewhere in the back.
He gives me the creeps.
Hes a very gifted man.
It was strange seeing him.
Im so happy youre finally here.
Sometimes on the phone
I just couldnt say that all I wanted
was to get home to you.
I missed you so much
I started to hate you.
I was worried too.
I panicked a few times.
But I knew where you were
and that was the main thing.
How do you know all those people?
Thats part of my job:
marketing advertising...

it's all got to do with them.
And even little interns from Germany
get to meet writers.
You looked fantastic.
Did I?
- Yes you did.

I love you. You know that.
Twice as much as last time.
So we got you a phone
and I programmed some numbers in it

as you'll see...
Thank you.
- Yeah. Hello?
OK... so...
A lot of demands for interviews...
After a short press release.
Keep it to a minimum.
You being here
will make a lot of a difference.
IIl do my best.
Dont give my number to anyone.
What about personal calls?
Friends and family?
No I dont have any.

Well theres Mr. Walter.

Yeah. Hes the exception.
Could you call him
and invite him to the reading.
I know he wont come
but ask him for Rebeccas number.
Yeah heIl know.

Its an old friend I want to invite.
Is Clara coming down?
There she is.
Good morning Lindsey.

- Good morning. - Good morning.
How are you?
- Good! How are you? - Thank you.
He loves your work.
...after this message,
we'll be talking with
the Scandinavian author Max Zorn.
Mr. Zorn.
How did you know?
Well I was told to look for a gentleman

with the distinction
of a European antique dealer.
Right this way.
Now might be a good moment
to call Walter.
Mr. Zorn as an intellectual

a poet a playwright

a novelist living in Berlin

let me ask you

do you believe that Europe will collapse
as soon as many commentators
are suggesting?
Europe is a is a culture

before its an economy
and thats something the Americans
have problems understanding.
Maybe because its a complex culture.
Our stories are anti-heroic.
If we see someone in power
or a political leader we laugh

because self-deprecation
is our first gear.
Our stories are filled
with idiots and fools
and chancers and losers.
Pinocchios and Don Quixotes.
The Emperor without clothes
or Hamlet or Don Juan...
and that is... that is the bedrock
upon which our house is built.
No matter what happens
in the short term

Europe will keep its spirit.
For years you were on the radical side

then you campaigned for the Chancellor
and now you support the Greens
and want the borders open even more.
What exactly is your position?
Well Im not a tree.

Excuse me?
A tree has roots it stands

in one place it has a position.

Im an animal.
Im wild I move I change positions

Im flexible.
So what did he say? - It was awkward.
He had me spell your name.
Thats Walter.
Then he confirmed he would not
be attending your event tonight
and finally...
he laughed out loud
when I asked for Rebeccas number.
Miss Epstein Esquire Attorney at law

he said
and asked why you didnt call yourself.
Mrs. Epstein?
Miss Epstein please.

For Mr. Max Zorn.
Hes an author.
She knows him. Its personal.
Thank you.
Ah Miss Epstein hi.

This is Mr. Zorns publicist
and hes in town for his last book
and hes just wondering
if he could see you?
Hes right here in front of me
if youd like to talk to him?
Well hes in town until Tuesday night...
Yes... I understand... Of course.
Whats going on? Why did you do that?
She was about to say no wasnt she?

Its better the battery went dead.
Do you have her address?
Its a law firm yeah.

Great. Lets go there.
Its all the way downtown.
- Yes weIl take the subway.

To do what?
- Pay her a visit.
Well shes there now isnt she?

Well you cant do that.
You wont get past security.
I cannot let you through
without a proper appointment.
I know her shes an old friend!

- OK listen just let me handle it OK?

Could I talk to her on the phone

please? Thank you.
Hi... No yeah... we were just trying

to phone about 15 minutes ago
and you know the battery went dead...

well you know

we were in the neighborhood so...
OK. All right thank you...

She said she may come down.
- Fine.
How did she sound?
- Brisk?
Yeah she sounded pretty upset.

She wanted me to know she went to Yale.
She said that?
- No she said almost nothing.

She did go to Yale.
On a Fulbright scholarship
right after the wall came down.
Straight out of East Berlin
to Manhattan via Yale.
There you have it in a nutshell.
So shes German?

Yeah but I met her in New York.

- And you never saw her again?
No. But I looked for her.
You looked for her?
Yes but I didnt even know

if she was still living in New York.
How could I find her

her name having changed and everything.
Then I saw Walter.
He knew us when we were together.
Being in the city

every street corner reminds me of her.
Its important.
We didnt show up well in the end

neither one of us.
So shes the one from the book?
No the book is a novel.

Surprise surprise!

- Hi.
You look exactly as I imagined.
How did you find me?
- Walter gave me your number.
Walter? So you still see him?
Last night I...
one of those coincidences.
I havent seen him
for at least 10 years. How is he?
You havent?
How come he has your number?
You know how he is.
Mrs. Epstein.
Youre married.
Its the perfect name for a lawyer

especially in New York.
So you really didnt change.
Still the same old racist.
I... I...I was never racist!
Lets not argue.
We wanted to invite you to the tonight

at the Public.
YouIl be on the guest list.
Your old place Max.

Will you come?
Can we meet?
Would be a mistake if we didnt.
We would regret it.
I have to check my schedule.
Im working on a very difficult case
right now. I have to work late.
If it were any other time...
this is all a bit sudden.
did you have another copy of the book?
Yeah...This is my card.
And I wrote Mr. Zorns number on it.
Its her address.
Mr. Walter wanted you to have it.
He said he was breaking
all of his rules whatever they are.

It was just for you he said.

Is Clara your first wife?
Oh no no no no... were not married.

There have been others?
I mean youve been not married
a few times?
The nearly wives.
The ones that got away?
Was Mrs. Epstein one of them?
She might see it that way.
- A daughter not Claras.

Claras been checking
every detail with your publisher.
Shes putting her soul into this.
The cover the entire campaign...

she begged everybody for a blurb.
She went to the hotel to see
if it was OK

working like a dog on her internship

without pay.
I know. I cannot do without her.
I think my jacket is a mistake.
I know.
- So why did you bring it?
I dont look like a writer.
Nobody wants to look like a writer.
Do you want to look like one?
Yeah I do.

No no I dont. But...

Do I look like a European
antique dealer?
Well like a European antique dealer

on a bad day for European antiques.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
Oh wow! Look at you!

Think its all right?
- Absolutely.
We have a car tonight.
Its your big night.
How are you?
- Very good.
Its a packed house.
- Yeah!
Oh look whos here?

How is...?
- You are very welcome. Come in.
There are a lot of people here already.
Remember this is the smartest audience

youre ever going to get.
When my father spoke about what matters
and what does not matter

an image came to me

an image of two women.
One whom I caused harm...
The other who I should be with now
if Id been wiser then

whom I wonder about still

I met in New York.
It was a few years
after the wall had come down
and I was happy to get away
from all the agitation of Berlin.
My novel got me a fellowship
and I had a tiny office
at the Public Library.
Yes here upstairs on the 4th floor.

I first met her at an art opening

or rather outside an art opening
since there were too many people inside.
My friend from the library
with whom Id come was a smoker

so I was standing outside with him.
We watched her arrive

we studied her as she saw the crowds
and decided to step back

then she turned and smiled at my friend.
She barely looked at me
as she shook my hand.
The following Sunday

I watched her a second time
as she arrived at the Alice Tully Hall

for the 5 oclock concert.
I was alone too already in my seat.

As she took her seat

she looked at me for a brief second

but she did not say anything
and I believed
that she did not recognize me.
I liked her.
But before the concert began
she turned and said

You are at the library and smiled.
Its one of the great places

she added.
As the music played

I felt a loneliness that was new to me.
I did not want her to leave
at the end of the concert

but there was nothing
I could think to say to her

so I walked ahead of her
towards the exit
as though I had somewhere to go.
That is how it began.
We soon met again.
We spent many nights together
and whole weekends
and we went out to the country
where the sky was grey and low
and the wind was icy
and the roads deserted.
Maybe that was the best time we had

the closest we ever got to each other.
Im trying not to say
that I loved her more
than Ive ever loved anyone

or ever will.
Words are banal.
They belong to songs and sentimentality.
But what else can I say?
Are there other words that I can use?
Perhaps theres a need for me to add
that she was
beautiful and original
as well as distant
and intriguing.
Im not sure these words either
or any other words can help me now.
Now that the time has passed.
She was the great chance I had.
The chance I lost.
The one who mattered.
Over the years

she became one of my ghosts

until one day I started to think
that I might go to New York again
when a book of mine came out
from a publisher there

and see the city again
and maybe run into her
and pretend
that the past does not matter.
And here I am.
Thank you.
Maybe in his next book it will be you.
I hope not.
Could you please sign my book?
It makes a difference if the Hungarians
are actually from Hungary doesnt it?

Brought up there in that culture.
I mean those haircuts.

I liked the second violinist

but I like them all.
Dedicated. They are dedicated musicians.
My first boyfriend was Hungarian.
I mean not real brought up in Hungary

Hungarian. His parents came here in 56.
He got in touch with me recently.
He has this big Hungarian laugh.
I mean it beats...
So did you meet him?

- Wait. He looks really nice now.
Hes thoughtful and skinny now

like a Columbia professor.
So you met him.
- Yeah! I met him!
I mean we even...

You what?
- Yeah we did!

It was nice. It was sweet.
I mean thats what New York is for.
That is why my rent is so high.
In other places people fade away

but here they always come back.
Speaking of old friends coming back

I got a call from someone
I havent seen in ages.
Wheres he been hiding?
Last time I heard of him
he was in Berlin.
Oh no not German.

I dont do Germans. I never have.
Not that any opportunity
has ever come my way.
I dont blame you.
I meet him the first time...
no the second time

in that hall we were in tonight.
Hes a writer.
He has a reading
at the Public Library tonight.
Thats why we went to the concert.
He has a reading
and we went to the concert?
Is he the one...
It was a long time ago
and I never really got over it.
I know other people do. I didnt.

No one ever gets over anything.
Shall we get one?
- Yeah.
Hi Mr. Zorn. Please for Bill.

What a fabulous novel it is too sir.

Thank you sir very much.

- Hello.
Let me see.
I really loved the reading.
- Thank you.
All these guys
want to be David Foster Wallace.
Every one of them. Literally.
So you mean theyd prefer to be dead?
If it meant fame then sure of course.

Why not?
Maybe theyd prefer to be Don DeLillo.
- Hey! What are you guys drinking?
This is Sex on the Beach
with an extra twist.
Of what?
- Of moaning.
Are you happy?
- Hey yes.

Please join me in raising my glass
to someone
whom I not only consider to be a genius

but also my friend.
To Max Zorn.
Thank you thank you...

Good job Max.

- Thank you.
Im not sure about your choices though.
- Yeah.
Maybe a bit more tact.
Tact is boring.
Hey up there! Up there! Look!
Theres nothing up there!
- Look over there...
Somebody try this one here.
Thats all it is...
Is it the right street?
Follow the perfume.
Henry James once said

it is time to start living
the life you imagine

but I say it is time
we started living the life we deserve!
Roderick whats his name

what hes doing?
He does what you all do

he makes up stories
and thinks about girls.
Is he good?
- He thinks his stories are good.
Hes probably wrong about that.
Hes not wrong
about the girls.
Have you known him for long?
Ive done publicity
for a few of his books.
I like him and hes respected.
- Oh yeah?
Stop it! Hes working with Clara.
Hes doing a great job.
Yeah theyre both doing a great job.

Hey stop it. Address further inquiries

to Shakespeare and Shakespeare.
This call may be monitored
for quality and training purposes.
Is that him? Your philosopher?
Hes not a philosopher.
Its 11.45.
Its 15 minutes past my bedtime.
Let me inspect him.
Dont be nervous.
I dont know who he is anymore.
- Were about to find out.
What for? I dont know...
I know this makes no sense.
I really dont want him
calling round like this.
I can guess who gave him the address.
To hell with it. Let me check him out.
You had a reading. How did it go?
This is Rachel my best friend

and cat keeper.
She does other things too.
I mean in fact she runs the country.

Rachel stop staring!

Would you like a drink?
- Yeah

or maybe I shouldnt... just coffee

thats fine.
I can make you coffee.
I can also help you
to stop gaping at everything.
How are you going to do that?
By calling for help against a stalker.
I can make some coffee.
You show him around Becky.

Is this your place?
No I just come here

to do the cleaning at night.
You were never serious when I knew you.
Deep inside Im serious.
Im glad I never knew that side of you

the one thats deep inside.
Im glad you kept that to yourself.
Did you buy this place?
Yes. How did you think I got it?
With money you made?
- Money I made.
What sort of law do you do?
I worked for the District Attorney
as a prosecutor.
And then I got hired by a law firm
and moved over to the other side.
Then I got hired by another law firm

bigger and better.
If you want to stay out of jail
and have a lot of money

at some stage of the game
you spend time in my office.
O.J. Strauss-Kahn cases like that?

I didnt do them.
- But you could have?
Its more about finance mergers

insider trading stuff like that.

I dont discuss clients with strangers.
But you understand all that?
No if I were in trouble Id hire you.

You couldnt afford me.
You put on weight.
I told the cats youd be thinner.
Is that why theyre staring so at me?
They dont like me having
unannounced gentlemen callers at night
Now I get you.
I would go to Syracuse with him
or Boulder Colorado.
I would go to the armpit
of the universe.
I mean he is...
- Sweet and smart. Yeah. - Yeah.
But the nerve to come here at night.
Now dont stare at him.
- I dont stare...
What are you two talking about?
I was expecting a big piece
of Wiener Schnitzel to appear
and I am merely expressing my surprise.
- No thanks.
We should all go home and go to bed now.
Im sure the jetlag caused him to feel
he could come round here this late.
No Im the one splitting.

Nightie night.
Max is staying at the Algonquin.
Would you offer him a ride?
- The pleasure is all mine.
Let me ask you something.
Is Rebecca alone?
I mean how does she live?
Is there someone she...
Maybe you should ask her.
Im asking you.
And what about you?
Im sure she was happy to see you.
Does that answer your question?
Thanks John.

- Youre welcome madam.

I hope you dont mind
but I think Id rather walk.
Do I scare you that much?
I dont scare that easy
but I really need it.
The walk the air you know.

Jet lag.
Rebeccas always right.
Good morning!
- Morning.
We almost called the FBI.
Why do you always vanish?
I took a walk I got lost and then

finally I took a cab back to the hotel.
We were there until 4 dancing.
Then we went to that other place which
was full of Bulgarians crazy dancing

polka and vodka.
What are you thinking?
I am not thinking.
Yes you are. I can hear it.

Im thinking that my wife thinks that
some undereducated American proof-reader
is a fucking guru
and I can smell his idiocy from her
when she comes into the room.
And I missed you
when I got back last night.
Im here now.
Youre here. Thats what matters.
Listen to this.
Lindsey, this is Rebecca Epstein
with a message for Mr. Zorn.
I have time on Saturday. If he wants
to come, I have to drive somewhere
on the far end of Long Island.
Departure from my place at 11 a.m.
We'll be back late afternoon.
If it's OK, no need to call back.
He knows the address.
She picked Montauk.
The place at the far end.
You are free this weekend.
Shall I pencil in?
Why not?
So whats up next?

Times. A brunch.
And whats this about Saturday?
- Montauk.
Yeah theres this place

its an arts center
with people
he needs to meet.
Oh come on Max please.

Julias doing a party for us.
IIl be back in time.
I dont think Ive told a lie
for an author or for anyone else
since I started in my job.
Im sure she noticed.
Thats the last lie Im telling OK?

And what will happen in Montauk?
I dont know.
And Clara doesnt even know she exists.
No she doesnt. At least I hope so.
Because I love Clara.
I dont want to hurt her.
I mean it makes no sense.
Why do you want to see Rebecca
now that you have Clara?
I cant explain it.
I dont want to have lost her

even though it was long ago.
I do not want to have lost her.
Even when I was in high school

if a guy did that...
coming all the way from Europe
and then seeing someone else...
You know what I would do?
- What would you do?
Id cut his balls off.
Dont you have
any firm positions anymore?
Yes I do. But Im...
Im not a tree. It has roots. It stands
in one place it has a position.

Im an animal.
I'm wild I move I change position.

Im flexible.
...still dont change their way
of treating economy.
Because the power is...
Financial power...
Walter! Are you following me?
No it's pure coincidence.

I lunch here almost every day.
I really want you to come to my home.
Bring your wife!
- OK.
Im very lonely you know.

You live alone?
- Yes.
New York is a city
that's conducive to solitude.
At least that's how I conceived it.
You designed the city?
Yes why not!

So it's a promise? See you soon.
- OK.
I have the painting for you.
The Paul Klee?
Im seeing Walter for lunch on Monday.
IIl put it in the schedule.
He wants you to come along as well

and Clara.
Great. I cant wait
to see his collection... of dead bodies.
This jacket is completely wrong.
You know its special.

No Walter he introduced me to art

and to literature.
As a student
I admired him beyond reason.
I was intimidated.
I needed someone to watch over me.
Thats Walter for you.
- Here we are.
When I began to write
and publish my first things
in newspapers
and even my first novel

he dismissed it.
He said Anybody could do that!

But in French.
Its not that shes neglecting her kids

its more that shes so stressed
and in pain
that she cant really let them
into her life.
The book is about his mother.
You know I could put this up for you.

Oh I dont know.

I was never the right shape for clothes.
- But you are...
your shoulders are perfect! Look at you!
Thank you. Well OK.

May I?
Walter had a house in Tuscany and
at the end of summer a woman came.
Since Walter didnt sleep with her
it seemed natural that I would

even though she was older than I.
They break in all the time.
They stole my flat screen.
You have to put on the pants.
How much rent do you pay for this?
- Out of...?
You dont want to know.
After lunch one day Walter fell asleep.

He looked like a lizard
in repose with his mouth open
and his eyes closed.
She looked at him
and then she looked at me like a child

moving towards something sweet
and forbidden.
I believe even when she removed
his wallet from his inside pocket

and looked at me again

her face full of mischief

she had no idea what we would be doing

and smiled at me again
as if shed done something brave
as she handed me the credit cards.
Then she put her finger to her lips
We stole out of that house with nothing.
No luggage no guilt either.

Only at the railway station as I

had to queue for an overnight sleeper

did I worry about getting caught.
But the thought of fucking her as
the train crossed the Apennine mountains
and then fucking her again in daylight
on the way to Venice
with the blinds open
and the peasants working outside
and then fucking her again in Venice
with the water lapping outside

it removed all thoughts
of guilt or fear.
You could have gone to jail.

this may just be a story I made up.
Never believe anything writers tell you.
Fucking her on the train with the blinds
open you couldnt have made that up.

Its a nice place in Brooklyn
and we planned it so you would be there.
When are you coming back?
- In time for the party I hope.

Its just a panel... talk talk talk...

When are you leaving?
- I dont know.
I have to call Lindsey.
Shes a busy girl Lindsey.

I dont know
how she puts up with all you guys.
Just dont be too late.
- Ciao.
They know Im going

I told them earlier.
I snuck my bag down to the car but they

spotted me and suspected something.
So I came clean and I told them.
What are they called?
Crosby Stills and Nash.

Oh the band?

Wasnt there a 4th member?
Whos a clever boy?
What happens if one of them dies?
It wont be the same.
One of them wont die.
I forgot

its America!
Well they do look like

a bad rock band all right.
This scent your perfume

I cant trace it.
I dont wear perfume.
It must be the soap.
What soap is it?
It has no name.
I have it specially made.
Yeah you heard me.

Its a little lesbian lady and another
little lesbian lady in Connecticut.
You talk to them
and they tell you what soap you are.
You are?
Yeah you are.

How did that happen? How did they know
we were coming out now?
I guess they guessed. What do you think?
I think a lesbian little old lady
in Connecticut called them.
Very smart. You must be a writer.
Are you Max?

Yes I am.

- I thought so. Thank you John.

I just have to pick up a few things.
Thank you.
Id love to be your valet.
- That would be great.
I cant believe were doing this.
Look at what youre wearing!
Its OK? Its a bit wrinkled.
Very hip.
I wouldnt advise you
to wear it in court. - Why not?
The accused always has to wear
a good suit. - Even if hes innocent?
Theyre all innocent
until the law decides otherwise.
Any more errands?
- Nope.
Have you ever been there since?
- Where?
Well thats where were going isnt it?

Come on

you said the far end of the island.
Does the cat minder sleep
in the apartment when youre away? - No.
Im just trying to piece it all together
your... know how you live.

Relax put on music.

Where is the music?
- You used to know cars.
Well Im a poor writer. Less than poor.
I dont have a car anymore.
This I dont believe.
No its true.
Im broke. Broke for now.
I don't read much. When I am writing,
I find reading a distraction.
I lock myself in a room.
I don't need other authors. And then,
in the evening I listen to jazz maybe...
Might be better if he didnt talk.
- Yeah.
And in between writing your own books,
what do you read?...
I went to college with him.
- Really?
What was he like?
There were a lot of guys like him.
They bored me.
They took you out on dates
and talked about themselves
and then told you it was your turn

you could talk about yourself now.
They knew that if they didnt let you
talk some you might not sleep with them.
Did you sleep with them?
Did you sleep with that guy?
Did you sleep with the illiterate guy?
I think we fooled around a few times.
because it pays a very little attention
to the way the world really works...
I thought I was special
when you fooled around with me.
I never fooled around with you.
I was a very very angry
idealistic young person myself.
So I know whereof I speak.
At Budokan.
I want you,
I want you,
I want you, so bad...
I went through years
of needing to hear this song

and needing not to hear it.
We listened to it on the way
out there... and on the way back.
I have total recall.
Did you read what I wrote in the book

about our time together?
I only leafed through it.
Did you have a problem with it?
I was surprised.
Maybe more surprised about
the parts you invented.
I didnt invent much.
Were almost there.
This house I have to look at.
Its something I should have done
a few months ago.
One of my colleagues is selling a house
if someone offered him the right price.
I told him Id look at it at the end of
the summer and then I changed my mind.
Are you buying it for yourself?
My parents live in Dresden.
Theyre old

could come over and live here.
But I havent mentioned it to them

its just an idea I had.
I had a place once in Maine

but I got just a few good weekends
out of it so I sold it.
Its funny

I didnt use it when I had it
and then I missed it when I sold it.
Do you visit your parents?
I did a few times.
Then I decided never to go back there.
What happened?
Nothing special. I just
didnt want to be there anymore.
That was the part of you
I never understood.
You never understood anything.
Heres a sweater.
Thank you.
Lets wait a bit.
- Im not waiting.
They said theyd be here.
Dont trespass.
I really needed to look at it.
Thanks for coming along.
We can grab a bite on the way back.
We didnt have this before.
Your taste is deepening.
Stop it.
People are so unreliable you know.

I told him Id be here by noon.
Eighty miles for nothing.
Dont be angry.
- Why shouldnt I? - Its so American.
What does that mean?
All this efficiency!
Youre so relentless pedantic.

Is this East Germany
meeting its match in America?
Stop it or get out of the car.

Wheres your sense of humor?
Youre driving in the wrong direction.
It may be wrong

but thats where were going.
Thats good.... They cant get more.
IIl get some branches.
TheyIl send someone tomorrow
to open the house.
On the Sunday?
I think I have to stay
somewhere out here.
I can drive you back.
Or drop you off at a bus

or theres a train too.
Im not going anywhere.
Sure this is not a problem?
An enormous one

but one I can handle
if you stop shouting at me.
No I mean Lindsey said

you have to be back tonight.
Yeah and you said

you have to look at the house tomorrow.
Let me call the tow truck.
OK thank you.

Theres 21.
Heres twenty...
- OK.
See you in a bit.
Look at that!
If we dont go now
its going to start to mist or rain
or itIl get dark.
I need a walk.
I need to call Rachel for the cats.
we should get toothbrushes
and stuff. Maybe some boots.
Theres something different
about the hotel.
Time has passed thats all.

The hotel is the same.
Its more imposing though.
It hasnt changed?
- Have you changed?
Yes I have.
In what way?
- In ways I dont want to talk about.
I take it you think
youre still the same.
Well Im older Im balder...

I dont mean that.
- Il know what you mean...
Yeah a table for two please.

OK lovely thank you.

See you later.
Last time we saw this restaurant
and thought it was too expensive
or else it was too full

do you remember?
I checked the name of it
and thought this time we would go there.
I cant remember
having any food at all last time.
We had bad chowder in some corner place
just down from here.
You hated it and I didnt finish it.
I dont remember that.
I said it was homemade.
And you said we were all homemade

and maybe that was
the worst thing about us.
What does that mean?
It was nice to be back at the library.
I couldnt make it.
Well the reading would have been
embarrassing with you in the room.
When I worked in the library
I loved the manuscripts
more than the books.
Kafka and Twain and Nabokov...
Werent you intimidated?
- No! - No?
No. On the contrary.
Seeing how everyone who wrote started
with ordinary things trying out

and when I saw those lines crossed out

whole pages...
No one was ever sure
of what they were writing

not when they started

not even the greatest.
They were not yet fully formed.
They had to work.
Once when I was a teenager
I learned an entire passage of Plato
to impress my father
only to be told that he knew it all
in the original Greek.
You never grow up.
For me it wasnt funny at all.
I know

I almost cried
when you told me for the first time.
I did?
- Yeah.
Thats how you got me.
I was so innocent.
Just give me a minute please.
When we drove out here
I wasnt sure how it feel.
I thought it was me who thought that.
In a way this could be

the next day after the last time.
Dont speak.
You used to say
that we were world champions.
At being happy.
The only thing that I promise myself
that if I buy it I cant sell it.
No more moving or regretting.
Its only two hours from the city.
I like the city.
It would mean giving up
going anywhere else.
This is where I would sit.
And I would never leave.
What does he do your friend?

How did he make the money to have this?
He writes essays.
He writes essays and makes money?
From essays?
No stupid hes a lawyer.

He sues people.
He gets up early in the morning
and he sues people.
Was that a joke about the essays?
I think I would have to spend
a night out here on my own
to see how it feels.
Maybe its too remote too beautiful

too frightening in the dark.
Could we change things now?
Change what?
- Change our lives?
Or decide that we should?
- No no.

Listen. Listen to me.
Im with someone

but I would leave her. - Dont say it.
- I would leave her this second.
And then what move in with me?

Take me to Berlin?
Cant we have a second chance?
We could live together like we did then.
We never lived together.
You were always elsewhere

always on the move.
Maybe we are wiser now.
I wont make that mistake again.
Youre not wise at all are you?

What do you mean?
Tell me about you.
Since we last met?
Whatever. Tell me about your life.
Leave me out of it.
But how? It will always be us.
Not your work or your writing?

No its you.

There will always be women.
Go on.
- Its of no importance.
Im happy now. Happy to be here.
After we split up

or however you would call it

I met someone.
Oh? Someone youre still seeing?
Please dont ask any questions.
Just let me talk.
Then I wont talk again.
I was just... - Ive been waiting
to see you so I could tell you this.
Maybe youre the only one
I needed to know this.
I moved very close to him

I mean I lived with him
and I thought that we would manage
our lives together but...
natural and easy too

Youre still seeing him?
He died.
Marcus died.
I can hardly say it still.
What age was he?
God he was young.

It was a heart attack.
He had it on the street.
He fell down dead.
That is what happened.
You know he died and I didnt know

or feel you know?

He was in the same city.
I didnt feel...
We lived on Bleecker Street.
He had found his habitat
and that was all he wanted me to

be there the chairs the desk the bed.

He was a lawyer too.
He loved loopholes

strange new ways
of looking at a contract like...

the same way as he liked chess
and minimalist art and some jazz and...
He had only one suit.
Always wore
the same type of white shirt.
I loved being with him
when he was asleep.
He had a way of waking up
and then looking at you

half apologizing.
Youre shivering.
I often feel in places like this

you know

the soft places the edge of things

when its like this in the winter

that he might be here

or come here.
Like he came across the room to me
in that bar.
and said nothing looked at me

and sipped his drink
and made clear to me
that he wasnt going to go.
Is that why we came here?
Its not why we came here but...

I mean I needed to tell you
what happened

I know you thought
something else might happen.
I could see when you were in that house
that you dont just dream in your books

you dream in your life.
But you cannot dream about me.
But last night

and this morning

I felt... You felt something too.
Oh dont tell me what I felt.
But youre free now.
Free is not the word. Youre alone.
- But... - But you...
I am not free.
Is there someone else?
- No.
I mean thats what Im...
Thats what Im saying.
I went straight back to work
after he died.
There was a case
and it couldnt have been postponed
and I was the only one briefed.
Then I took on more work

and then I got head hunted

which is a good way of putting it.
Finally when I found that I
hadnt stopped working for a year

I went to the therapist
who was so frightened at the state
I was in that she sent me to a shrink

like a real doctor.
We tried talking

but I make a living from talking.
I mean we tried medication.
I didnt take it.
In the end he used hypnosis on me.
Have you ever done it?
That is a shock.
That is the biggest shock Ive ever had

I mean Max...

I went into Marcuss mind
as he lay dying.
You know...
It was as though I was with him

you know and not beside him

but in his mind too.
It was as though he had taken me
with him or part of me or...

and left the rest of me

what you see now you know? I mean...

I was with him.
I felt what he felt.
I died as he died.
You know the summer after you left

you sent me letters.
You said you were traveling.
I was really puzzled by that

I thought you were taken up
by the new Berlin

and then we had these talks
from your hotel rooms and...
I never knew why
you werent in New York.
You know

I wanted you to be in New York.
I didnt want you to be in Sienna
or in Florence or...
But you didnt care.
You were fooling around werent you?

It wasnt serious was it?
It was just a story
you could tell years later no?

Tell me that its true.
Please tell me.
tell me for once something thats true

you know.
Why didnt you come back to New York?
I was distracted.
There was so much going on.
I was poor...
I let the year go by and...
- And?
And there was someone on a book tour.
She got pregnant.
She wanted to keep the child

a girl.
Do you see her?
- Of course I see her.
I love her very much.
And shes how old?
Shes 16 now.
It happened
the first winter after I left.
Why didnt you ever tell me?
I didnt want to harm you.
You know that's
what I liked about you.
That you didnt mean any harm.
You never meant any harm.
Things just happened.
I never knew what you saw in me.
I wanted you to be
the father of my children.
Its been taken care of sir.

Oh thank you.
Hi, this is Clara
and if you love me, leave me a message.
Hi, this is Clara
and if you love me, leave me a message.
Hey Lindsey its Max...

Do you have Claras address?
How long have you been living here?
All the time.
Over a kebab shop.
Thats what Ive been smelling
all the time!
Max dont start.

Its in the pillows its all over the

bed. The sexy smell of cooking kebab.
I didnt want you to come here.
I should have come the first day.
I was careless.
Im sorry Clara.

What I loved about you was...
was that you knew so much.
I loved that you were older than me.
I still do.
I was happy when you suggested
that I go to New York
and got me this job.
But not once on the phone
did you ask me about my work.
What exactly Im doing here.
I learned a lot of stuff: that the city

if you are alone is a dump

your work everybody thinks you got it

because your guy said
you were to have it.
was grateful for Rodericks help.
We had a lot of fun.
He helped me survive the city.
Its fine in taxis moving from
one place to another

its fine in hotels

its fine in a Woody Allen movie

but try it on your own

on a Monday night in winter

when the cold
is getting into your bones.
And the man you love
is 1000 miles away and does not care.
Just try it once.
Try it once.
Im sorry.
I want you to tell me who you are
and what you want from me.
I want you to look at me.
I look at you! I see you Clara.

I was jealous.
So you eloped with fucking Lindsey.
I didnt go to Montauk
with fucking Lindsey!
You did not?
No! I didnt go to Montauk
with fucking Lindsey.
Were going home.
I want you to come with me.
Something really bad
must have happened to you.
But I dont want to know what it was.
Lets go tonight.
Clara repeat what Im saying

say after me:
Ive read all your books.
Ive read all your books.
No one except me will tolerate you.
Thats just plain silly.
Just say it.
No one else except me will tolerate you.
Youre not gonna change

but Im staying with you.
I dont know why.
No not this one.

Dont contradict him. He likes women
to be sweet and agreeable.
Sweet and agreeable?
Theres a drawing
he promised me years ago a Paul Klee.

It may get 300 000 at an auction.

Of course. Your pension fund.
Sweet and agreeable.
And theres Malevich Kandinsky

and somewhere we have Corot Klee

many things manuals and...

Some are from my family of course.

But now I wonder

if Im not tired of them.
Which is why I dont mind the light.
You see the light?
They fade

you know.
YouIl see they fade...

A little each year more in summer.

So why dont you protect them?

I could burn them. They are mine.
I let them fade.
They'll disappear when I do.
I find that comforting.
I think its disgusting.
No I dont think so.

They are mine you understand?

I own them.
- Bullshit! No one can own them.
My dear

I think this conversation will become...
extremely boring.
Why dont you occupy Wall Street?
Thank you.
Now for the real reason
I brought you here Max.

Open it.
I want you to have it.
You remember Rebecca
was with us when I bought it?
You still see her?
- No.
She works too much now.
Go on take it.

Let that be an end to it.
Take it Max.

Before it fades away here.
I hope to be back.
Next year. Maybe sooner.

your scarf.
Keep it.
Thank you. Bye.
I love you. You know that.
I did... I did something very wrong.
I feel I can tell you that.
What happened in Montauk?
I... I saw a ghost.
Did you fuck her?
It wasnt about sex.
Maybe it was.
You cant fuck a ghost.
alias film & sprachtransfer