MIA

EXT. HILL – NIGHT

A girl stands on a hill, which looks over the suburbs and streets below.

The street lights illuminate giving a beautiful orangey glow to the view.

ALEX, 15, wears a big coat wrapped around her petite body and a blue beanie with strands of mousy brown hair peaking out.

She hops from one foot to the other as she anxiously glances around for someone.

Another girl appears as she walks up the hill.

It is MIA, 15, she wears ripped black jeans and a tight black crop top, totally unfazed by the cold.

Alex is relieved to see her.

ALEX: You came!

Mia takes a pack of Winfield Blue cigarettes out of her backpack and brushes her platinum blonde hair out of her face.

ALEX: I bet there are a lot of rumours about why you are back. And why you left…

Mia lights her cigarette and sits on a large rock.

ALEX: Why are you back?

Mia smokes her cigarette, looking out at the view.

Alex continues to rub her arms from the cold.

ALEX: You smoke now?

Mia holds the cigarette out to Alex, offering a drag. The filter is smudged with her red lipstick.

ALEX: No thanks, Mum hates smoking.

Mia smiles.

She takes a long drag, and exhales a cloud of smoke.

A beat.

MIA: You haven’t changed a bit.

ALEX: Neither have you.

Mia ignores the comment and stands up.

She begins walking back down the hill.

She doesn’t look behind her.

MIA: Come on.

Alex hesitates for a second and then jogs to catch up.

ALEX: Aren’t you freezing in that? It’s like minus thirty degrees!

Mia laughs. Alex smiles at the sound of it.

They reach the bottom of the hill and Mia stops suddenly.

She hands her cigarette to Alex and reaches inside of her backpack.

She rustles through her bag and produces a tube of red lipstick.

She carefully smears the lipstick onto Alex’s lips, the shade matching her own lips.

Mia smiles, content with her application and Alex blushes slightly before composing herself.

ALEX (CONT’D): Now can we go? Not sure if I’ve mentioned, but I’m freezing!

The girls walk off into the darkness.

FADE TO:

INT. KITCHEN. – THE NEXT DAY

Alex sits at her kitchen table, rubbing her tired eyes.

Across from her, her FATHER reads the paper and finishes his morning cup of coffee.

Her MOTHER, emerges into the room in gardening gear and a bunch of red roses clutched in a glove covered hand.

She places the roses in a vase.

MOTHER: I heard Mia is back.

ALEX: Yes, she’s been back at school for a week.

MOTHER: I don’t want you hanging out with her. She was awful to you.

ALEX: She was just playing around.

Her Mother places the vase on the table.

MOTHER: She really hurt you, Alexandra!

ALEX: (raising her voice) I told you it was an accident!

A beat.

Her Father puts down the paper.

FATHER: Listen to your mother, Alexandra.

Alex’s phone buzzes.

The text message appears on screen.

MIA: Same place, same time tonight X

She locks the phone and looks back at her Father, smiling sweetly.

ALEX: Of course, Dad.

INT. ALEX’S BEDROOM. – EVENING

Alex’s alarm clock reads “23:45” and it dimly lights up the dark room.

Alex is dressed in her big coat.

She peers at her reflection in the mirror.

She has drawn a badly done eyeliner – an attempt of copying Mia’s cat eye makeup from last night.

Alex grabs pillows and jumpers from under her bed, and stuffs them under her Doona. Attempting to create an unconvincing human like lump in her bed.

She takes a deep breath, before opening her window.

~

MIA is a short screenplay.

Mr Bobo

Mr Bobo has no real name.

I call him Mr Bobo when referring to him to friends or when I’m needing to name him. He was so full of life, character, and quirkiness, but he could not be labelled.

“Do you mind me asking your name?” I asked politely, one quiet Sunday morning.

“I do not wish for a name”

“But what do I call you?”

“Just call me a friend.”

Mr Bobo seems to be a carefully constructed character who constantly whipped out lines like that one. He seemed to have adapted the persona from a badly written book.

I keep waiting for the act to drop. Or for the routine to finally reveal itself. But the cracks never did appear.

I wonder if Mr Bobo has created himself from the pages of different books and attempted to sew a life and personality together from the fragmented chronology .

But Mr Bobo is anything, but predictable.

One day, he would be stating that life is black and white. Another, that it’s all shades of grey.

“Big picture” he’d tell me as he only focused on the details.

I’m still not too sure what to make of Mr Bobo. I think he liked that.

After every interaction with him, I would scribble all that was done and said in order to make sense of it. I’m hopeful that all the various scenes will eventually form a crystal clear picture of who this man is. A narrative will be created and Mr Bobo will finally be understood.

He would recount what must be fabricated tales of his life. They were confusing, intriguing, sometimes ridiculous. But it all seemed a little too strange to be fiction.

Every visit from Mr Bobo was a surprise. And I began to wonder what would come from all our interactions.

He’s a committed a terrible crime, he told me one day when the store was empty.

“A murder?” I whispered back

“There are much worse crimes than murder,” his tone has darken. I held my breath

“I have taken someone’s soul and I do not intend to return it.”

I tried to stifle a laugh, but Mr Bobo was not having it.

“Have you ever had anyone try to steal your soul?”

“I have not,” I began to feel a little uncomfortable.

“Well, I can guarantee it is not a pleasant nor laughable experience”

I nodded my head slowly.

Mr Bobo then cheerfully paid for his things and left the shop.

A few days after the exchange, the police came in, asking about someone who matched Mr Bobo’s description. I could only offer them what little I knew. I was desperate for information.

“Has he done something really bad? Did he kill someone? Or steal something? And can you tell me his real name?”

But I was firmly told that it was none of my business.

I thought I’d never see Mr Bobo again.

And then I received a letter from him.

~

Mr Bobo is a short fiction piece.

The Discography of Lana Del Rey

I’ve been an avid fan of Lana Del Rey (or LDR as I call her) since 2012, and I remain as deeply obsessed with her now as I did when I was fourteen. I feel like we have almost evolved together. I was and remain heavily influenced by her work.

Her albums capture particular periods in my life. Listening back always makes me nostalgic. I adore her unreleased songs just as much. I use to boast about my collection of sixty plus unreleased tunes, recorded under her many aliases such as Sparkle Jump Rope Queen, Lizzy Grant and Lana Del Ray. But, unfortunately these have been lost when my phone disappeared into the abyss of the movie theatre seats so now I’m re listening to her albums and new tracks on Spotify. I’m slowly rediscovering her unreleased songs through Youtube, amongst a community of LDR lovers.

My family and close friends were subjected to my borderline obsession with Lana (still are). I was continually playing her music so they too began to develop an appreciate for it. My parents weren’t too concerned with the constant references to drinking, drugs, suicide or ‘daddy’ blasting from our speakers. I think they were just pleased that I had found something which made me so happy.

When creating this post, I was originally thinking of ranking the albums and songs, but that seems almost blasphemous. Born to Die would easily sit at the bottom of my list of best to worst – but when I first listened to it, I thought it was utter perfection. These albums might not sound quite revolutionary to me as they once did, but they undoubtedly each left a mark on my life.

So, I am working through the albums chronically.

Born to Die (2012)

Born to Die was LDR’s proper debut and is easily defined by Lana’s own words about being a “gangster Nancy Sinatra”. It’s sweet, sugary pop with a slight darker side through Lana’s melancholy lyrics.

Born to Die was released when I was completely obsessed with blogging site ‘Tumblr’ and was at my most insecure. I immediately fell in love with LDR and Born to Die, and started to forge a sense of an identity inspired by the work. Lana was ‘indie’ (back when it wasn’t a dirty word), she felt sophisticated, complex and misunderstood – something I thought I was at fourteen.

Lana really captured this essence of tragic old Hollywood glamour in Born to Die and I was completely seduced by it.

On Repeat: Off to the Races

Skip: Dark Paradise

Iconic lyric: She laughs like God, her mind is a diamond (Carmen)

Born to Die: Paradise Edition

Born to Die: Paradise Edition or simply Paradise was released ten months after Born to Die and included eight fresh tracks. The Paradise Edition felt a little more dreamy and elegant than the original Born to Die.

The Paradise Edition launched with Ride, a song which continually manages to capture my imagination and heart. Ride also came with a gorgeous extended music video and poetic monologue – which I can still recite off by heart. The music video of was then ripped off by Taylor Swift, a real indication of the success of Lana’s single.

Ride allowed me to experience a type of delicious freedom which I am yet to feel in reality.

The specific lyric of ‘I’ve got a war in my mind’ in Ride poetically encapsulated the chaotic conflict of anxiety, insecurity, and curiosity that I continue to endure. I desperately seemed that clarity and enlightenment the song spoke about.

Tropico, a short film / extended music video, was later released and signified that Lana was no longer just a singer, but an artist.

On Repeat: Ride

Skip: Bel Air

Iconic Lyric: My pussy tastes like Pepsi cola, my eyes are wide like Cherry pies (Cola)

Ultraviolence (2014)

Ultraviolence was released in a pivotal point in my life. My parents had recently divorced, and I began to confront my first existential crisis.

The release of Ultraviolence was also a pivotal point in Lana’s career. Ultraviolence was a different sound, it was moody with a darker edge – comparable to the same dreamy sadness I was experiencing. Her sound had matured with a film-noir melodramatic essence which cemented it (in my mind) as a distinct and unique. 

I remember singing Pretty When You Cry and Sad Girl over and over. Attempting to discover that same sense of beauty in the hurt and discomfort. I was hoping I’d forget whether life intimated art, or if art was intimating life.

On Repeat: Florida Kilos

Skip: Guns and Roses

Iconic Lyric: I’m a dragon and you’re a whore (Fucked My Way to the Top)

Honeymoon (2015)

Honeymoon was a ray of hope and felt like the light breaking through the clouds after a relentless storm. I was becoming more at peace with myself and with life itself. One chapter of my life was ending and another was beginning, and Honeymoon was the soundtrack for it.

The sound of Honeymoon was more similar to Born to Die. A dreamier, sweeter fresh breath of air after the heaviness of Ultraviolence. The tracks of Honeymoon blend into each other with little distinction – much like the days of Summer or the waves of the ocean. It doesn’t matter where one starts and the other ends, the smooth flow is enjoyable.

High by the Beach evokes a particular mood in me, where all I want is to ditch all of my responsibilities and problems, and head to the sunny coast to get high. I’ll play it after a terrible day at work or during a long, boring bus trip and imagine lying on the hot sand with a cool drink in my hand.

On Repeat: Music to Watch Boys to

Skip: Swan Song

Iconic Lyric: You could be a bad motherfucker, but that don’t make you a man (High By the Beach)

Lust for Life (2017)

Lust for Life was long awaited. Released two years after Honeymoon, the release of Lust for Life was led by the (in my opinion) disappointing single of the same name, and was a collaboration with The Weeknd.

Lust for Life followed the devastating election of Donald Trump to the White House, and attempted to understand and the ease the pain of an uncertain future. God Bless America, Coachella, and Get Free all projected a much needed sense of hope.

I personally was challenging my own ideas of identity as an artist and the very concept of ‘art’. I felt pressured to produce perfection and was experiencing how criticism can heavily influence your art and processes. I listened to Cherry a lot during that period, especially when aggressively scribbling in my journal.

Get Free was a fantastic ending to the album, and one of my favourites. Interestingly enough, Radiohead was attempting to sue LDR due similarities to their song ‘Creep’ – which they were sued for by the Hollies.

On Repeat: Cherry

Skip: Change

Iconic Lyric: I’m smoking while I’m runnin’ on my treadmill, but I’m cutting up roses (In My Feelings)

Lana’s next anticipated album is ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ which unfortunately has no confirmed release date. I’m excited to listen to the newest album and see what the next chapter brings for me.

~