Guy Noir, July 14, 2012

Hollywood Bowl

Los Angeles, CA


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Guy Noir

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TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME)

GK: It was mid-July, and I was on my way out to Los Angeles to help a down-on-his-luck Hollywood star get a movie produced. He'd called me the day before.

MS: Mr. Noir, it's Jack Fitzpatrick.

GK: You mean, THE Jack Fitzpatrick----

MS: Yes, sir. The one and only.

GK: The Jack Fitzpatrick, star of ---- of the----- your big movie----- it's on the tip of my tongue-----

MS: The Pincher.

GK: Right. The Pincher. When was that?

MS: Twenty years ago.

GK: Well, it's a classic.
MS: I know. That's my problem. Listen, Mr. Noir. I used to be a serious actor. And then I had that blockbuster and I've been playing the role of the twisted psychopath ever since. Anyway---- I've got a new project, a picture I'm trying to make, and I need your help. (BRIDGE)

GK: He sent me a round-trip first-class ticket to fly out on Celebrity Air. And it really was Celebrity Air---- I mean, the flight attendant was Jack Nicholson.

TR (NICHOLSON): Okay. I got hand-rolled sushi. Just point to what you want, but don't touch it for god's sake, just point, ya big dummy. I've got spicy tuna roll, dragon roll, yellowtail scallion, you name it. And I got some miso paste in my pocket. Just reach in there--It's all warmed up for you.

GK: And then the pilot came on the P.A. The voice was familiar.

TR (WOODY ALLEN): This is your pilot Woody speaking from up here in the cockpit ---- we're a little late and I'm sorry but I just needed to check a couple things in the operating manual because---- and I'm going to be honest with you here ---- this is a little new to me. This particular autopilot. It's giving me heartburn like you wouldn't believe. I'm feeling a little forklempt here. And the instructions are in German. Does anyone on board know what (GERMAN) means? Maybe I don't want to know. You know? Never mind, I'll be fine. Just forget I said anything. (BRIDGE)

GK: I met Mr. Fitzpatrick at his Laurel Canyon mansion, where his chef Antoine served us lemonade with mint, poolside. (TR FRENCH, SFX)

MS: Thanks for coming out, Mr. Noir. It means a lot.

GK: It's my pleasure. I'm a huge fan.

MS: You are? Really?

GK: No. I just said that.

MS: Oh. You're not a fan then?

GK: I guess not, No.

MS: Okay. Thanks for being honest.

GK: You're welcome.

(A BEAT)

MS: Why aren't you a big fan?

GK: Envy. Envy of your wealth and your burnished good looks and your beautiful wife and your success.

MS: Oh. In that case, good. Listen---- ever since I made "The Pincher" I've been playing jerks. And I don't want to be that guy anymore. I have grandkids. My granddaughter went to see my latest, "Mr. Wedgie," about a creepy guy who goes around yanking girls' pants up. She won't talk to me anymore.

GK: So how can I help?

MS: I wrote a screenplay for myself, called "The Wild Swans Of Innisfree" about a guy who drives to the Los Angeles airport and leaves his cellphone in his car and his computer and a note to his wife and he flies to Ireland and he lives in a cabin made of clay and wattles in a bee-loud glade and he looks at the swans. Nine-and-fifty swans. "Under the October twilight the water mirrors a still sky."

GK: Uh huh. So what happens?

MS: To him?

GK: Yeah. The guy.

MS: He watches the swans and he raises beans. Nine rows of beans. And a beehive.

GK: And what happens to the swans?

MS: One day in the fall they fly away.

GK: Fly away----

MS: They're magnificent birds ---- mysterious---- beautiful. Their hearts have not grown old; they're still passionate.

GK: The swans.

MS: Right. The nine and fifty swans.

GK: So he eats his beans with honey and he watches passionate swans.

MS: Until they suddenly mount in the sky and scatter, wheeling in great broken rings upon their clamorous wings.

GK: So what happens then?

MS: He sits looking at the water mirroring the still sky.

GK: Okay.

MS: What do you think?

GK: I think your fans are going to be very disappointed that you don't whip out an automatic rifle and shoot those swans as they circle.

MS: I am going to make this picture. And I want your help.

GK: I don't know----

MS: I want a testimonial banquet in my honor and I want some famous directors to come and speak and say what a great artist I am and that I am not understood in America.

GK: Who you have in mind?

MS: Akira Kawasaki and Jean-Luc Godard.

GK: Wow. Jean-Luc Godard the auteur genius of Nouvelle Vague, the director of Breathless. And Akira Kawasaki, director of Seventeen Samurai.

MS: And the Swedish director Lasse Halstrom.

GK: Quite a tall order. Have you worked with any of them?

MS: Not yet, no.

GK: Do they know who you are?

MS: I sincerely doubt it.

GK: Well, that gives us an advantage. I'll do my best.

(BRIDGE)

GK: So I got the directors lined up for the testimonial. They'd never heard of Jack Fitzpatrick but I told Mr. Kawasaki that Jean-Luc Godard would be there (TR JAPANESE EXCITEMENT----- "GODARD") and I told Jean-Luc Godard that Kawasaki would be there (TR FRENCH EXCITEMENT ---- "Kawasaki") and I told Lasse Halstrom that the other two would be there (TR SWEDISH EXCITEMENT---- "Kawasaki" and "Godard"). The three directors had never been to L.A. because of its strict no-smoking laws, so I assured them they could smoke wherever and whenever they liked (TR FRENCH PLEASURE, JAPANESE PLEASURE, SWEDISH PLEASURE) so that was all set. That was the same week that Mr. Fitzpatrick's newest movie came out, "Girl, You Better Get Out Of My Way."

(OMINOUS MUSIC)

SS: Stop poking me.

MS: I'll poke you all I want.

SS: Stop or I'll call the cops. Ouch!

MS: You're walking so slow. That's why I'm poking you.

SS: So go around me.

MS: It's illegal to walk this slow.

SS: Get away from me. Stop poking! (POKING)

MS: Make me.

SS: What is your problem?

MS: (HIGH MEAN VOICE) "What is your problem?" (POKING)

SS: Ow stop it!

MS: "Ow, stop it!"

SS: Stop copying me!

MS: "Stop copying me!"

GK: "Girl, You Better Get Out Of My Way" was a cult hit, and it was a lot like his early movie, "The Pincher." (MS EVIL LAUGHTER, FOOTSTEPS)

ER: No! Please, stop! (MS EVIL LAUGHTER) Help! No no no. Please. Please!

MS: I said I'd always be here in a pinch. And here I am.

ER: Aaaaaaaaaaa!

GK: Which led to "Pony Man"

(SNIPPING HAIR)

ER (GASP): My ponytail! (MS EVIL LAUGHTER)

GK: And "Night of the Noogie" (MS EVIL LAUGHTER, NOOGIE, SS SCREAMS: Ow ow ow stop it!) And then there was "Mr. Wedgie Returns." (MS FAST FOOTSTEPS, EVIL LAUGHTER, SS SURPRISE AND SHOCK), and Jack's screen persona was not a guy you'd expect to find sitting by still water and watching swans and eating beans. But I was ordering the grilled chicken for the testimonial when Mr. Fitzpatrick called the whole thing off.

MS: Mr. Noir, I want you to meet Leilani Getty, she's the widow of the late J.Pierpont Getty----

ER: Hi.

MS: This is her pet iguana, Fernando. (SFX) He's harmless. Listen----- Mrs. Getty is going to finance "The Wild Swans of Innisfree" so we're all set ------ no need for the banquet----- we start shooting in Ireland in two weeks.

ER: I read the script in, like, ten minutes and I kept thinking to myself, This is me! This is me! It just spoke to me. The man trying to get out of the ratrace city of the meetings and the false values and trying to find the way to something more beautiful and he finds it in Ireland, in the swans, and they're magnificent, and then they all rise up into the sky and that's it. It's so perfect. I loved it.

MS: She really got it, you know? And she had great ideas for ---- you know----- sort of opening the story up ----- making it more accessible. There's going to be a mermaid who rises nude from the water. And there's going to be singing. And dancing.

GK: A musical.

MS: Dancing swans. Fifty-nine ballerinas in little tiny swan costumes. My co-star, Nina Kovanchina.

ED (RUSSIAN): So pleased to make your acquaintance.

GK: My gosh, that is the smallest swan costume I have ever seen in my life.

ED (RUSSIAN): We believe the body is natural and not to be ashamed of.

GK: In your case, yes. (MUSIC) Oh gosh.

MS & ED (SING, TO "OKLAHOMA"):
Innnnnnnnnisfree
The home of William Butler Yeats
Where wild swans walk on the lawns
And bees sing loudly in the glades.
OOOOOOOOOO It's Ireland
And all the fields are emerald green.
And my cabin's made with Irish clay
And I have many rows of beans.
The swans they rise up to the sky
In beautiful circles they fly
And when they cry------ (HONK)
They're saying, we're happy as we can be
Here in Innisfree. (BIG ENDING)
(BRIDGE)

GK: "The Wild Swans of Innisfree" was made for $14 million and it grossed $656 million and the last time I saw Jack Fitzpatrick there was talk about a sequel.

MS: It's called "Byzantium" and it's about swans from another galaxy who fly to earth bringing a rare virus that enables you to see through clothing.

GK: I see. And is there singing and dancing.

MS: Of course. And it's in 3-D.

GK: Sounds wonderful.

MS: That's all I can say.

GK: That's enough. We got the picture. You shooting it in Ireland?

MS: Coole.

GK: Exactly.

MS: Coole. It's a place.

GK: Fabulous. (THEME)

TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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