Footbridge over the Seine (Cont.)

La Passerelle des Arts

Stefan-on-bridge

EXT. PONT DES ARTS – MORNING

Stefan is painting as before, this time it is the original canvas with the model in it. Josette arrives with pastries. She sits down on the bench.

JOSETTE I brought something.

She shows pastries. Stefan covers over the painting.

JOSETTE I didn’t bring any coffee.
STEFAN It’s all right, I’ve got some.

He sits down and pours coffee from a thermos. He has brought two plastic cups.

JOSETTE I saw you yesterday at the Canal Saint-Martin.
STEFAN That’s possible.
JOSETTE That how you spend your days, just walking around ?
STEFAN Yes.
JOSETTE All day?

Stefan nods. Background music based on the overture to “Attila” by Verdi in the background, very quiet at first.

JOSETTE Which parts of Paris?

Stefan shrugs.

STEFAN Anywhere.
JOSETTE Just drifting?
STEFAN Yes.
JOSETTE Like a leaf?

Stefan nods. Josette looks down at the water flowing under the bridge.

STEFAN Or a piece of paper.

Josette tears off a piece of paper  from the wrapping of the pastries, screws it up a little and throws it into the air.  We watch it being taken up by a gust of wind, eventually falling into the water on the right side of the bridge and then taken rapidly  downstream. Josette rushes to the other side to see if it has re-appeared and leans over the side of the bridge.  The current takes it away and we watch it going down through other bridges, past Les Invalides and onward.

JOSETTE It’s gone for ever. We’ll never see it again.

She sits down on the bench again. Music stops.

JOSETTE (Inquisitorial) You looking for someone or something when you’re wandering around?
STEFAN  (Decisive) No. Sometimes I do get in conversation with odd people I come across but that’s not the point.
JOSETTE What is the point ?

Stefan shrugs.
STEFAN Just to feel the pulse of life in the great city. That is enough.

 

La Passerelle des Arts

A very beautiful Parisian woman, stylishly dressed, crosses the Pont des Arts. Josette follows her with her eyes and looks at Stefan quizzically to see how he is reacting. We see the woman moving away very slowly with a special grace until she is eventually lost in the crowds in front of the Louvre. The camera switches to the water and we see various twigs and bits of paper taken away by the current.

Suddenly, a young North African rushes onto the bridge hotly pursued by two policemen. He is about to knock over Stefan’s easel in his flight and Stefan hastily moves it to one side of the bridge. Other police appear from nowhere at the other end of the bridge barring the way. The North African  looks desperately over the side of the bridge but then allows himself to be seized. Stefan watches with a pained expression as the man is bundled into a police van.

JOSETTE Bastards!

We hear the main theme bursting out but this time it is much more sombre. It trails away into nothingness and the scene on the bridge fades into jumbled shots of police vans circulating around the streets of Paris, angry demonstrators, disconsolate young French conscripts getting on a train taking them to Algeria, French soldiers patrolling an Algerian casbah and a victim of a shoot-out lying on the pavement.

Conscripts going to Algeria

Conscripts going to Algeria

 

Victim on pavement

 

Casbah

Casbah


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