The first part here.
“To like and dislike the same things, that is indeed true friendship” - Sallust
We’d been finished for about 10 minutes but because they didn’t have anything else for us to do, we were all just sitting there. I’d run out of things to talk to David or Julian about, and now I was watching him being chatted up by two girls at the same time.
“I have the soundtracks to the two Kills Bills, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction,” the spoilt brat with the glasses was saying to her friend. When her friend said, “How sad!” she says, “Yeah, I know, I’m so ashamed!”
“I can play Surf Rider from Pulp Fiction on the guitar,” I say to the bossy girl. She frowns at me.
“You know, the one which goes,” and I start humming it.
“Oh, that one,” she says. “Cool.” There’s a pause, then, “I play the guitar!”
“Do you?” I’m actually mildly interested. I didn’t have her down as the guitar type, more a violin/piano/flute brat.
“Yeah. I got it about 5 days ago, and I’m sort of just seeing it as a large violin. It’s cool. I’m teaching myself. How long have you been playing?”
“Well, I got mine at Christmas and I’ve been teaching myself.” I wonder if she would be interested to know that, “I’m in a band.”
“Hmm,” she says, not looking interested at all, and going back to tracing words with her finger. Determined not to lose a topic of conversation, I ask, “So, what sort of music are you into?”
Her face lights up. “Gorillaz!” she practically shouts. “They’re definitely my favourite band of all time. I adore them.”
“They have a good second album.”
“Yeah!” Her comments are noticeably more enthusiastic than mine. But that’s okay. I’ve never been one to get over-excited about anything.
“I really like All Alone.” I start humming the electric guitar intro part to that, and she smiles at me.
“My favourite song on there is November Has Come! It’s utterly sublime!”
That one I do not like. Too slow and nostalgic for me. But I’m not going to anger her, I distinctly remember her spending the last 90 minutes getting pissed off at me.
"Expect the unexpected. Then you'll never be surprised." - Scrubs
Robbie and I discussed other music for a while. He practically retched when I said that I liked Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, so I thought I’d leave him to brag about his band for a while. It was odd, he kept asking me if I planned on joining a band, which is a thought that has never crossed my mind. My friends are going to form a band, About Them, and I plan on being the band manager and writing the songs, but if there were a band that I wanted to join, it would be the one with the most caliente trumpettist/pianist. One member of the male species that I still haven’t entirely forgotten about.
After another while of Robbie ranting on about how easily he picked up chords, I realised that I hadn’t asked him a very important question.
“What’s your favourite film?”
“I have lots of favourites,” he begins, and I roll my eyes, thinking I’ve got another indecisive film watcher on my hands. “… But my favourite would have to be The Shawshank Redemption.”
I let out a long, sharp gasp, not dissimilar to the ones that Bung gives when she sings. “That’s… my favourite film,” I say. I can’t Bunging believe this. Robbie, the idiot, who, just a few minutes ago, was telling me my jokes weren’t funny and that my ideas were all useless.
Robbie doesn’t seem to find it that surprising. “Yeah, Shawshank’s a good film,” he says, nonplussed at my amazement. “I like The Godfathers I and II too. You seen them?”
Robbie was asking me, the cinephile, if I had seen the Godfather movies? My mouth suddenly felt over-dehydrated. “Indeed I have,” I manage. “And I enjoyed all three immensely. That’s right, even the third.”
Robbie just nods. I try to think of something to say, but I think I have it all covered - my three main passions in life - films, playing music, and listening to music. And we’ve covered them all. If what we had just spoken about were a test, Robbie would have passed with flying colours. And he would have been the only person so far in my life to have done so.
"The only question I ask any woman is, “What time does your husband get home?”" - Hud
I had to stop talking to Clare because Suraj said it was time to show everyone’s.
“Any volunteers?” he asked. Practically everyone groaned, theirs must’ve been as crap as ours. Only Robbie and the Chinese girl sitting opposite him put their hands up.
“Okay, let’s see yours,” he says, and everyone in the room gets out of their seats to look at their editing work. I’m secretly hoping it’ll be bad - that’ll shut Robbie up for once.
But it isn’t. It’s actually really good. The music changes halfway through and there are not repeat shots/movements. All thanks to Robbie’s pain-in-the-arse instructions, no doubt.
“That’s really good, Ellen!” Rosa says to the Chinese girl, giving her a half-hug. Ellen smiles, then whispers something to Rosa. Rosa and Clare look at Robbie. I wonder what she said.
“Yours now,” Suraj says to us, and I gnash my teeth as Clare presses “Play.” David is standing next to me, and I watch his expression. Then, remembering that David will pretend to like anything, I relax and watch our piece of editing. Then, getting bored of that, I watch Clare. Much easier on the eyes. Now Rosa’s whispering to her. Clare laughs, then turns and looks at me. Great. I’m a walking joke, am I?
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval” – Mark Twain
We had to walk back to the cinema screening room, for another talk, but we were told to stat in our groups. Rosa was not paying attention to these instructions. She’s skipping behind me. I’m walking with Vinnie, she, Julian.
“How did you get so tall?” she asks.
“Well, it probably doesn’t hurt that I do 600 stretches a day, does it?” Julian jokes. Rosa actually takes him seriously and says, “Really?!”
It’s just getting embarrassing now.
“Hey.” Ellen approaches me. “It’s really bunged.”
I overlook her derogatory usage of her hated girl's name for now. “Does Robbie really have everything in common with you?”
“Well, he’s self-taught on the guitar, he likes Gorillaz, and Oh My God, his favourite film is The Shawshank Redemption! I mean, Bung!”
“But you still think he’s a total bastard?”
“Oh yeah, definitely!” Ellen says convincingly. “An absolutely anal arse.” Pause. “Good usage of alliteration, jah?”
“I hope you’re not talking about me,” Julian says, looking at Ellen angrily.
“No, I wasn’t. I was talking about Ja-”
But she stops, because Robbie’s just walked straight up to Julian.
“Hey, Julian. Flash David.”
Julian smiles his boyish grin and lifts his jumper, revealing the woman with the bra to David. He smiles.
Ellen turns to me. “What is it with boys and pornography?”
“That’s not porn!” Julian says defensively. “Clare, tell her it isn’t porn.”
I turn to Ellen. “It’s not porn,” I say. She glares at me, starting to mouth the word “L'lee.” “It’s pornography.”
We smirk at Julian.
“All you need to start off an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.” – My Man Godfrey
We had to sit in our groups, but because I had been in the toilet, I had to sit on the end, next to Robbie. I figured that if I just kept quiet, he wouldn’t speak to me. He was, after all, sitting next to Ellen, who he seemed to love getting in arguments with, that or talk about things they both liked to do.
In fact, Robbie didn’t talk to Ellen. She was talking to the fat girl with the Holier than Thou attitude, Helen, and Robbie was talking to the boy in front of him.
“David, why did you show your one?” he asks. “It was just… absolutely… well… shit.”
David doesn’t appear to be too wounded by this. “Robbie. So rude!”
Ellen makes a snort of agreement.
“Do you go to Wallington?” she suddenly asks, looking down on the sheet which has all our names and schools on.
“Oh My God, do you know this kid called Paul?”
“I go to Wallington too,” Robbie says. “And I know Paul too.”
Ellen doesn’t seem to realise that Robbie actually exists, she’s talking to David in sort of an awe. Yeah. She fancies him.
"Misogynist - a man who hates women as much as women hate each other" - H. L. Mencken
I sat next to Clare, who sat next to Julian. The talk was on Hero’s Journey, and there was a clip from Indiana Jones, then Men in Black. When Will Smith comes onto the screen, there’s a loud cheers. This is understandable - at least 20 of the 50 people here are African-English.
When Will Smith jumps from the top of the crossing down onto the ground, Julian turns to Clare and whispers something. She laughs.
“What did he say?” I ask.
“Oh, just about how if he tried to do that he’d probably kill himself.”
I didn’t get it. “How is that funny?”
I really don’t get Clare. Julian is like, the cutest person here, and he’s totally flirting with Clare, and she’s just being rude back!
“I don’t think Julian dying is funny.”
“Yeah, neither do I!” he says, poking his head behind Clare. I get a good view of him, and smile.
“Clare can be a bit mean sometimes,” I say kindly, “But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you.”
“Rosa!” Clare judo punches my arm and I decide it’s probably best not to bring up the topic of Julian and Clare. At least not in front of her. Not until my arm has healed.
"Boys don't make passes at female smartasses" - Letty Cottin Pogrebin
We moved onto the next talk - storyboarding and scripting. Did the teachers have us down for philistines? Christ, they were practically telling us what Close Up meant! I personally found it extremely irritating.
“Now, has anyone read the material P is for Psycho?” Dewey asked.
Several people, including Ellen, nodded. The silence in the room break into chatter, and Dewey allowed it.
“What was it about?” I ask her.
Ellen shrugs. “I didn’t really read it.”
Then… what was that?! I tap David.
“She just nodded, when he said, has anyone read it, but then I asked her what it was about. And she had no idea!”
David doesn’t seem to find this anywhere as riling as I do. Ellen seems to find me riling.
“Can you just shut up your twatting trap, please?”
I attempt to pierce her skin with my look. “What did you just say?”
David smirks at me, then turns to her. “So how do you know Paul Yam?”
“Oh, he was my friend’s ex.”
“Ah,” David says, in that agreeable voice of his, the one that makes him so much more popular than I.
“No, not really,” Ellen says. “He was scared of girls!” David laughs. “My friend had a Christmas party, and he spent the entire time hiding from us!”
David laughs some more, a little more heartily. “Yeah… he’s not that popular in our school.”
“I’ll say.” The Queen of Invective has spoken.
We have to shut up as Dewey goes on about scripting techniques, but Ellen is really pissing me off with her incessant rattling of whatever’s in her green box. Finally, not being able to take it any longer, I snatch it out of her hand and tip the contents into my hand. They are a collection of plectrums. I fiddle with them until she has enough; probably unable to bear the fact that another human’s prints are on her precious guitar picks.
Dewey and Suraj leave the room for a while, and Ian lets us talk. Ellen turns to Helen and David is lending his glasses to a girl next to him. No one is there to talk to me.
“Oh My God, Scarlett Johansson is such a promiscuous skank. Less pouting, more talent, puh-lease” come Ellen’s complacent voice, an irritating amalgamation of hauteur and American teen bitch, that you know, like, so, does not go.
Must she be forever bitching? I heard her when we walked to the workroom today, she was getting all vindictive about some boys from James’ school. And I had walked past her in the canteen, she was complaining about some idiot who kept bossing her about and thought they were all that. And now Scarlett? No.
“Ellen? Ellen. Could you please shut up? You’re doing my head in.”
Without warning, Ellen takes a green pen and stabs it in my upper thigh, dangerously close to something else. Pain is the first feeling. Embarrassment second - David saw the whole thing and is now laughing his arse off. Hatred is third.
How dare she. I will get her for this.
That thought wasn’t given long enough time to develop, because David, who I believed to be my best friend, turns against me!
“Robbie is so rude, isn’t he?” he asks her, in mock despair.
“Absolutely! I’ve only known him, what, 2 hours? And I swear, he is like, the rudest pillock I’ve ever met in my entire life!”
I would love, at this moment, to tell Ellen where she can go, but I would outnumbered. Safer to defend myself.
“I’m not rude. I’m actually charming.”
David can’t deny this, and neither, really, can Ellen.
“Prove it,” she says.
“I don’t want to prove it to you.”
This seems to get to her, because her smug grin changes into a nervous glare. David intercepts again. “No, Ellen, he only really turns it on for the lads. He’s er… homo, you see.” This is unfair, and entirely untrue.
She surveys me through her glasses. “Makes sense.”
Everyone laughs. At me. I have to remind myself that there are unwritten rules about punching a girl.
“Silence is golden.” – Popular library plaque
We went back to the workroom, and started discussing ideas for the script straight away. There would be a prize for the best one, and I didn’t know about the rest, but I wanted that prize.
“I think we should do anything but cop movie,” I say, adamant. “Everyone’s going to opt for that sort of thing.”
“No, but I reckon, if we did it, like noir, it would be, like, good.”
I blink at the Pleb. Did she just say “noir?” They know the meaning of the term “film noir”?
“I have an idea,” Clare says, “But it does sort of involve police.”
I try not to let out a defeated groan. If Clare’s had an idea, that idea’s the one that’s going to be used. I mean, look at Julian. He’s like three times my height. Not to mention popularity. Oh God.
“Okay, let’s hear it,” I say, wondering if I should have said I would have loved a cop movie storyboard.