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Faulkner's "a Rose for Emily"

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Written by Matt Wavrin

Based on the story by William Faulkner



A MAN and two WOMEN walk up dusty, decrepit stairs. They creak and groan with each successive step. The three are followed at a LOW-ANGLE as they slowly walk up to a lonely room on the right hand side. Pale light streams through a window at the top of the stairs, highlighting the various particles floating eerily in the air.

TIGHT C.U. of the man's leathery hand, reaching out to open the door. The door is cracked and worn, with a knob that is well past its rust point. The room is locked. The man FORCES open the door, which throws up a bevy of dust. The man takes a moment to soak in the contents of the room, which aren't visible to us. The women are out of focus in the background, directly behind him. The man, clearly in shock, slowly raises a hand to his lips and takes out a HANDKERCHIEF, which he uses to cover his nose and mouth. He removes it and his lips quiver with terror.


(barely able to utter the


I'll be.



RUFUS WHEATLEY, a member of the Board of Alderman, sits awkwardly in a high black leather chair in the Jefferson newsroom, talking to a REPORTER. His plump body fills out the chair completely, the fat on his figure spilling over the chair like extra bits of bread dough. In his meaty right hand, a cigar is clenched between his index and middle finger. The reporter is well dressed with slick-backed black hair and intellectual glasses. He listens intently to Wheatley as he scribbles down notes on a notepad in a messy fashion.


(holding the cigar tightly

in his mouth)

Nothing like a good cigar

to start the day. I couldn't

even tell you the half of it,

'cept what I done seen.

Course, Col. Sartoris, his

name got brung up, which

got a good laugh out us.

Damn fool been dead 10

years when she said his


A beat as Rufus takes a long puff on his cigar, exhaling an obscene cloud of smoke.


First of the month, she

gets a tax notice, then

over a month goes by and

the goddamn mayor sends

her somethin'. Get a note

back sayin' she don't go

out no more. Peculiar as

all hell.


Could you talk a little

about the specifics of

the meeting that went on?

Wheatley looks uncomfortable as he slouches a bit in the chair, taking the time to put out his cigar. He pulls out another one, sniffs it, and licks the tip.


MEDIUM C.U. of Wheatley, as he continues the story.


Yeah, I's just a getting

her there. So a meeting

was called, the Board of

Alderman, and we go over

to that house uh hers.

Nothin' to look at, kinda-

kinda like Ms. Emily

herself. Shabby, run-down

and out of date, if I may

say so. Negro opened the

door, feller by the name

Tobe. The only thing I

felt was the passage of

time. Like entering a

place that been stuck

and didn't want to get

with the rest of the

world. You could just

see all the years things

been cumulatin' round




As Wheatley's words trail off, three members of the BOARD OF ALDERMEN, including Wheatley, stand in Emily's parlor, waiting for her to come in. The two men are tall southern gentlemen with thick moustaches, which stands in contrast to Wheatley's smaller, pudgy figure, situated between them. They each observe the surroundings, which includes heavy, leather-covered furniture. The light from the open blinds highlights the cracks in the leather. A crayon PORTRAIT of Emily's father rests on the fireplace, courtesy of a sullied gilt easel.


WIDE SHOT- EMILY arriving.

EMILY walks slowly into the room, a small, rotund figure dressed in black, almost like she's ready for her own funeral. A dour presence--the room is quiet as a conversation is waiting to be had. A gold chain descends to her waist and vanishes



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