Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Siege at Oasis del Sol

I often find that it is easy to give too much away about the films I honour in this blog. I suppose I should assume that you have seen the films in question - you wouldn't read the scene knowing it would inherently involve spoilers, right?

So, why is this relevant? Because for this post I have chosen the opening scene from George Surname's post apocalyptic romp Siege at Oasis del Sol. It is equal parts Road Warrior and Stand By Me, and is one of my favourite openings to a movie ever. Everything seems so normal - clich├ęd even, I mean the damned film opens with a ringing alarm clock being shut off - but then.... ahhh, I love it! And that is why I'm featuring it.



EXT. GATED COMMUNITY - DAY
The sun rises over the entrance to a gated community. 
Desert plants surround the sign "Oasis del Sol."
INT. TEEN BEDROOM - DAY
A mechanical alarm-clock breaks the peace of dawn.
From beneath covers emblazoned with a novelty graphic of the heroes and title of a Hollywood tent-pole flick, a hand appears and thumps the clock into silence.
MOM (O.S.)
Geoff! Get-up. You'll be late for class.
The covers fall open revealing GEOFF, a wiry 15 year-old, wiping the sleep from his eyes.
He shuffles across the floor, strewn with a predictable assortment of adolescent trappings - a skateboard, a hockey-stick, a remote-control plane, laundry discards and other teen detritus.
INT. BATHROOM - DAY
Geoff turns on the tap and splashes some water on his face. He recoils from it's brace.
GEOFF
Is it cloudy out?
MOM (O.S.)
Rather. Why?
GEOFF
Water's kind of cold.
MOM (O.S.)
You wouldn't know cold if you felt it.
GEOFF
Sure isn't hot.
MOM (O.S.)
Then don't use much. I still have to wash the baby.
Geoff petulantly tosses a hand towel in a heap.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
MOM sits at a dining table with CLARA, age four. 
Morning light shines through the kitchen windows.
CLARA
Not a baby.
MOM
Then finish your cereal like a big girl.
Clara sighs with exaggeration and rolls her eyes.
MOM
Come on Geoff! Time to get to school.
CLARA
I want to get school too.
Geoff enters pulling a t-shirt over his head.
GEOFF
You aren't old enough.
CLARA
Am too.
Mom pops a spoon of oatmeal into Clara's open mouth.
MOM
Next year.
Geoff cuts a slice of homemade bread and spreads jam from a canning jar on it.
GEOFF
Don't get too excited about it Clara. Once you start, you just want out.
MOM
Geoff -
GEOFF
It's true.
MOM
Well you still have to go.
GEOFF
Danny's Dad let him drop out.
MOM
His Dad needed help with Daniel's mother.
GEOFF
So what's the excuse now?
MOM
That's enough. We'll talk about this when time isn't an issue.
GEOFF
There's plenty of time.
MOM
I need you to drop your father's lunch to him.
GEOFF
Son of a…
MOM
Geoff!
GEOFF
Why is it always me who…
MOM
We're all doing the best we can. Your father's a busy man, and I've got my share of work around here. It's not far out of your way.
GEOFF
Fine.
MOM
It's in the fridge. On your way.
Geoff turns to the fridge.
There is a thick plastic sheet in lieu of a door. The light is off.
He takes a metal lunch pail from amongst several paper-wrapped packages.
MOM
He's on the wall this morning.
He kisses Mom and Clara and heads out the French doors.
EXT. BACK YARD - DAY
Geoff walks across the small yard. 
A rusty swing set and an empty hot tub are squeezed around the edges of a pragmatic vegetable garden which dominates the space.
He squeaks open a gate and enters the alley.
It is stacked with rundown trappings of middle America. 
A pyramid of televisions.
Car after car without wheels - many missing other details - not broken, but removed with deliberation.
A fifty-ish woman with a carpet knife hacks into an old sofa.
CARPET WOMAN
Early today Geoff.
GEOFF
Delivering Dad's lunch.
CARPET WOMAN
Would you tell him the aqueduct is leaking into our yard?
GEOFF
Told him last time you asked, Ma'am.
CARPET WOMAN
Would you remind him, please?
Geoff turns as he passes her, back-pedaling.
GEOFF
He's a busy man....
CARPET WOMAN
But he's my neighbor.
He continues down the alley, calling over his shoulder.
GEOFF
Aren't we all?
Geoff enters onto the cross-street.
The street itself is rough, untended pavement, dotted with more abandoned cars.
The lines of houses all have substantial gardens instead of front lawns.
A duct runs above the street on hand-built wooden supports.  Water can be heard coursing through it. 
Geoff picks up pace as he hurries down the street.
EXT.  OUTER WALL - DAY
Geoff rounds a corner that runs along the outer wall of the community. The original masonry has been reinforced with angled timber, stacks of old car-tires, and adhoc barb-wire running along the top.
Further down the wall, a makeshift tower stands above the wire.
Geoff lowers his head and heads past the tower.
A boy, KEVIN, Geoff's age is atop. He carries a crossbow. 
He sees Geoff.
KEVIN
Hey! It's the biggest kid in town!
GEOFF
Shut-up Kevin.

Naturally the kids save themselves from McGavin's Raiders, 'cause that's the kind of  film it is.
....I just spoiled it again didn't I?


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