by Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella
Based on the Broadway Musical "NINE" Book by Arthur Kopit Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston Adaption from the Italian by Mario Fratti Director: Rob Marshall
Final Script November 11, 2009
INT. PRESS CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY The flicker of film. Footage from a press conference.
GUIDO You kill your film several times, mostly by talking about it. A film is a dream. You kill it writing it down, you kill it with a camera; the film might come to life for a moment or two when your actors breathe life back into it - but then it dies again, buried in film cans. Mysteriously, sometimes, in the editing room, a miracle happens when you place one image next to another so that when, finally, an audience sits in the dark, if you’re lucky -- very lucky - and sometimes I’ve been lucky - the dream flickers back to life again. That’s why I’m secretive. REPORTER (O.S.) So what’s your favorite pasta? GUIDO Finally, a serious question. Laughter. A word:
INT. STAGE 5, CINECITTA - NIGHT A huge soundstage. The STUDIO SUPERINTENDENT lets a man into the stage, turns on a working light. SUPERTITLE: Cinecitta film studios, Rome, 1965 STUDIO SUPERINTENDENT Good luck, Maestro. Departing, he closes the soundstage door. As the man crosses the shadowy stage, a dim shaft of light catches his face, weary, handsome, haggard. GUIDO CONTINI, the most famous film director in the world. In front of him: AN ENORMOUS, DUSTY, MULTI-LEVEL FILM SET under construction. A complex maze of scaffolding, its unfinished, chaotic elements suggesting ancient ruins. Cracked stone facades, broken columns, open platforming, the skeleton of a grand staircase. A lighting grid, not yet hung, and a camera crane surrounded by a forest of studio lights on stands.
NINE (11/11/09) p. 2
Guido sits at the table, lights up a cigarette and puts on his glasses. He looks at the plans, looks up at the stage, puts his glasses down and stands up, stepping over to the crane. Guido, alone, cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, contemplates the studio, its turbulent set, in every sense a jumble of ideas. Guido looks at the set in despair. He sits in the bucket seat of the crane, buries his head in his hands, overwhelmed. THE FIRST OF NINE LOUD CHURCH BELLS CHIMES GUIDO (V.O.) Maestro, Maestro, Maestro Contini... How do you begin? How do you begin this thing? Page 1... Page 1... Page 1... Page nothing... In the distance, a figure approaches out of the darkness, the darkness of Guido’s imagination. An escape from his tortured reality. The figure emerges gradually, like a goddess. She is gorgeous, imposing, and seductive. She is CLAUDIA, his film star, his muse. When Claudia reaches Guido, she stops in front of him, takes his hands from his face, and kisses him. And with that gesture, the music swells, the lighting grid rises majestically into the air, the gritty soundstage transforms into something beautiful, transforms into the interior world of GUIDO’S FANTASY. As Claudia moves away, more and more women slowly appear. They emerge from everywhere. These are the women from Guido’s life, past and present. Women from his films, women he has loved, the sources of his inspiration and creative genius. A grand OVERTURE unfolds. The most significant women in Guido’s life are revealed, each with their own powerful entrance: LUISA, his wife CARLA, his mistress LILLI, his costume designer and accomplice GUIDO’S MAMMA, her spirit STEPHANIE, a fashion journalist SARAGHINA, a whore
jolting Guido who is slumped in the crane seat. Too bright. morning. My God. How are you? GUIDO Bene. better go to makeup. Signor Contini. One of the figures is a wellfed.NINE (11/11/09) p. He blinks. Guido looks back at Fausto. forget you’ve got a press conference? FAUSTO (discreetly. 3
A dark and glamourous dream. INT. as the studio’s truck doors are yanked open.
. bene. He takes Guido’s arm and they head towards daylight. you look terrible. Dante. more ascetic figure accompanies him. amiable character.DAY The fantasy ends abruptly with A VIOLENT GRATING NOISE. Dante speaks quickly and without obvious punctuation: DANTE (walking) Guido! You’re here. STAGE 5. They kiss on both cheeks. DANTE I’ve been looking for you all over the place. A younger. DANTE Bene. CINECITTA . The women surround Guido and he loses himself and his anxiety in their collective embrace. I’m Fausto. who follows and with a look and a gesture asks Dante who is he? FAUSTO (overlapping Dante) Signor Contini. as a group of silhouetted figures approach with purpose. to Dante) He has no tie. DANTE Yes. discombobulated. Harsh daylight penetrates the gloom. He is Guido’s longtime associate and Producer. GUIDO Buongiorno. grazie. makeup and wardrobe. an accountant. This is FAUSTO. Guido stands to greet him. DANTE. sharp and birdlike. The set’s coming along.
.DAY Guido. I think it’s customary for there to be an approved script and budget before filming commences. FAUSTO Okay.. I have some questions for Signor Contini.. Guido nods. and there are several. The trio heads down it. Dante and Fausto hurry through the studio en route to the Production Offices. Fausto flounders. I consider it a great honour for me to be here now. If a pretty girl goes by. I need a script and a budget. but please. Behind them is a large poster of CLAUDIA.
. you know. starring in Guido’s last movie. I am a huge admirer of Maestro Contini’s movies. 4
DANTE (interrupts) He’s counting costs. offer a Maestro. The Bank wants him here. Neither Dante nor Guido respond. They head outside... both Guido and Dante turn to look but without missing a beat of their solemn conversation. Maestro. EXT. They make their way to the Production Offices. please.everybody loves them and. INT. or Dottore. GUIDO Is he going to follow us? FAUSTO It’s not my intention to be difficult. I speak to him. As Guido passes he causes a mild stir. and many people nod deferentially. GUIDO We all have questions for Signor Contini.DAY A long corridor. bustling with activity.NINE (11/11/09) p. PRODUCTION OFFICES.. ITALIA. none the less. Everywhere signs for the movie. CINECITTA . a failure. CINECITTA . FAUSTO Yes. your early films are.. LA DONNA MODERNA (The Modern Woman).. (to Fausto) Don’t speak to him.
Nobody stops moving. JACONELLI (confidentially) We will never be ready to shoot in ten days. swelling the procession. through a partitioned office PIERPAOLO Where do you want your messages? On my desk. There are set models everywhere. many of the crew look up and cluster around. Guido’s young PA. Guido’s production designer. they all turn to look. Jaconelli GUIDO
FAUSTO (at the same time) Not ready?! GUIDO (continues) Ascolta me. has caught up with the procession. PIERPAOLO (waving them at him) Some of these are urgent! GUIDO (to Pierpaolo) Get me a cigarette. (MORE)
. or painted. trying to get Guido’s attention.NINE (11/11/09) p. 5
As they progress into and through the open plan office. as he walks alongside Guido. He has dozens of phone messages. JACONELLI. looks up from a model. sorting through them. GUIDO
PIERPAOLO There’s no room on your desk. Non lo so. As a pretty girl passes between them. . In the trash.into the main office GUIDO Under my desk. hurries over. interjecting with their urgent requests. PIERPAOLO. in the process of being constructed.
You have actors waiting for you in your office. DANTE He’s not exactly from the bank. where she is cutting some fabric. swinging it shut. You should see what I’ve found. CINECITTA . for Guido. I found two sisters. as they all besiege him with questions.. Guido turns through another partition. part Coco Chanel. indomitable. sharp as a tack. they’re right.NINE (11/11/09) p. He’s a spy from the bank. Look. Benito despairs. blows hard from the barrage.. Dante comes in. moves towards Guido. and a haven. Guido heads straight towards her desk. Part Edith Head. Guido. Guido carries on moving through the office. Auditions all morning. BENITO Dottore. Guido’s Casting Director. INT. this way. Guido heads towards Wardrobe. goes straight through the door. cranky. always. Now BENITO. They’re in Lilli’s domain here. Lilli is Guido’s Costume Designer. Guido tries to duck away from him as they head towards Guido’s office. no longer young. She adores Guido without any sentiment.. Dottore.DAY Guido comes through the door.
. closing the door behind him. BENITO (CONT'D) Dottore. 6 GUIDO (CONT'D) (he kisses Jaconelli on the cheek) Careful what you say.. Maestro! BENITO (CONT'D)
DANTE Not now. GUIDO I need a cigarette. He’s got the Press Conference. She’s incapable of sentiment. Dante blocks Benito. WARDROBE. leaving the chaos behind him.
I’ll give you a cigarette. Yes. LILLI (turns to Guido and lights a cigarette) Calm down. And it doesn’t seem to make a blind bit of difference. Guido. no. I’ll give you a coffee. Directing a movie is a very overrated job. GUIDO Actually and an aspirin. And so on. DANTE (in the background.NINE (11/11/09) p.. do you want any costumes in this film? Yes. GUIDO
. Dante stands at Lilli’s desk and looks at some drawings.. Maestro . What else do you do? Nothing. Guido sits up on Lilli’s table.. LILLI So please. Lilli hands Guido the lit cigarette. yes. finally. More extras? Yes. yes or no. LILLI (unimpressed) Answer a question. He lies down. as Dante heads to Lilli’s desk and picks up the phone to make a call. we all know it. no . on the phone) We’re running late. no. 7
DANTE He needs a shirt and tie. You just have to say yes or no. More lipstick? No.Should this be Red? Yes. GUIDO That’s right: that’s directing. Green? No. what the answer is.that’s directing. Lilli.. GUIDO I need a coffee and a cigarette. Answer another question. yes.
Lilli is the only person who intimidates Dante. DANTE Alright. LILLI Is Luisa going with you to the Press Conference? GUIDO No.
. You look terrible. Guido pulls out his own tie from his pocket. yes. Two minutes Guido. he looks at the costumes. And his spy. Lilli glares at Dante. Have you written a word of the script? No. ushering him away. Guido sits up. LILLI He’s gone. ROBERTA) Might I know what period the movie’s in? Lilli glances at Dante who has edged closer to the table. (downs the espresso) Soon. GUIDO
She ties Guido’s tie for him.simple! (handing him an espresso fetched by her assistant. Lilli walks round and takes the tie off him. Dante. Nobody. 8
LILLI You see . GUIDO Yes. LILLI You know I don’t allow producers in here. Lilli puts the tie round his neck. He leaves. LILLI You need to shave. GUIDO
LILLI Are you in a panic? Yes.NINE (11/11/09) p.
DAY This is the Rome of La Dolce Vita. the Rome of Vespas. Am I dying. MAMMA (with kindly patience) Oh. GUIDO’S CAR . My heart is racing. Guido. I have nothing to say. LILLI You’ll be fine. An Italian pop song of radio as he speeds around the front of him in the convoy is INT. He’s not remotely surprised. I could visit you every week. he turns to see his MAMMA in the passenger seat. ROME . Mamma? I owe you flowers. Mamma. EXT. I know. I’ll come to the cemetery at the weekend. go out there and lie for Italy. I can’t breathe. cool sunglasses. STREETS OF ROME / INT. 9
GUIDO (looking around. GUIDO What the hell’s wrong with me? I can’t sleep.NINE (11/11/09) p. Guido.
. A magnificent fall day. I can’t think. You should have let me bury you in Roma. darling. Don’t look at me like that. GUIDO’S CAR . impossibly cool young people. He stops at a busy intersection. EXT. desperate) Why is there no fire escape in here? What if somebody needed to escape? I can’t face these reporters. In Dante with Fausto. skinny ties. lie for Italia. and the cafes are stuffed with the beautiful and chic. I can’t write. You’re a world class liar. Mamma is extraordinary.DAY Guido is driving his Roadster Rome.DAY As Guido drives. She appears the way he remembers her. through the streets of the day is playing on the Piazza del Poppolo.
MAMMA This is your Rome. patting shoulders. grabbing a glass of champagne. too.. and Fausto tackles
And Guido comes into the room. HOTEL EXCELSIOR. Guido is in his own world. Beautiful women look at him.Could this film put the Maestro back on top? A few news cameras are filming. GUIDO (buoyed by her encouragement) I miss you.DAY A big suite.. shaking hands. a bartender. Guido looks across as he drives. alone in the car. EXT. Guido moves quickly by them.any moment now . and an array of microphones are on a coffee table next to a long couch. There's a buffet. RADIO REPORTER (CONT'D) And here he is. Guido. Your films did that. Excited chaos. men and women.DAY The convoy comes to a quick stop in front of the Hotel Excelsior on the Via Veneto. MAMMA I miss you. RADIO REPORTER And we’re just waiting for the arrival of Contini. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE . And they hurry after Guido. are in the room. The world sees Rome the way you invented it. As soon as Guido gets out of the car. The policeman raps on the bonnet of the car. VIA VENETO . Mamma has gone. About fifty reporters.!
. Dante and the team hurry after him. A RADIO REPORTER narrates in the background. Dante and the team follow him in. Guido startles and pulls off. INT.NINE (11/11/09) p. the waiting paparazzi snap his picture..
thank you very much. (to Guido. your new film is called Italia.. handing over) Thank you. All the reporters fire their questions at once. Claudia Jenssen. DANTE (CONT’D) .. egging Dinardo on . big title. He returns to the couch. Maestro Contini.we start shooting in ten days time in Cinecitta.. he heads towards the exit and kisses Dante on the cheek. Italia... Another journalist... 11
DANTE Silenzio.NINE (11/11/09) p. ITALIA. The questions come on top of each other.. Maestro Contini. UN FILM DI GUIDO CONTINI... He takes his sunglasses off and signals to DINARDO. the international film star.
. Maestro. Pretending to leave. Yes. GUIDO Thanks for coming. a harsh-looking woman. GUIDO
DINARDO Grazie. I am humbled and thrilled to be able to announce that I am producing Guido Contini's next film. DINARDO Maestro Contini. DANTE I want to say a few words from my heart. Excitement.. Guido Contini's long time producer. vile .Thank you. Leopardi.almost sniggers with contempt. Guido Contini. and Guido covers his despair with an inflated energy. everybody. per favore. RADIO REPORTER Dante. This is our ninth film together.Claudia Jenssen emerging from the Colosseum: CLAUDIA JENSSEN.. That makes it one week from Monday. Flashes. is about to speak. thank you.sitting next to her. which will star once again Contini’s longtime inspiration. A stunning film poster is revealed -.
. I can tell you everything. a gorgeous fashion reporter he recognizes from American Vogue. the music I want to use.. LEOPARDI Is this true? GUIDO It sounds fantastic. Flirtatious and charming. he points to STEPHANIE. DINARDO But hardly a modest one. steps in.I can tell you the story.. she wants him and he senses it.. DINARDO And might you tell the press what the film is about? GUIDO Why? I still don’t know what my last film was about. General laughter in the room. So they should have grand titles. Nobody else did. LEOPARDI (In a loud aside to Dinardo) That was the problem. Ignoring the question.. Italia.. They cost too much.Italy as myth. it’s my shortest title yet.. GUIDO Films are not modest. won't. 12
GUIDO Actually. but is clearly feeling the strain. they take too long.. DANTE Our next film will be exactly as it sounds.. I can’t wait to
He’s still winning. GUIDO Of course I can tell you what my film is about. see it. I can tell you who I am going to cast. Italy as a dream. It’s the very spirit of Italy .NINE (11/11/09) p. the word might get out to the Press. I. Italy as a woman. and they involve too many people. I'm afraid that if I say anything. Dante recognizes. He wins a round..
STEPHANIE Grazie. GUIDO I told Luisa that when we got married I would never again make love to my leading lady. REPORTER ONE Signor Contini! You’re a man of the world. 13
STEPHANIE Signor Contini. REPORTER FOUR But she hasn't worked at all since working with you.NINE (11/11/09) p. do you plan on casting her in this new film? Guido is spinning plates. Stephanie.S. Everyone starts firing questions at Guido again. Could you tell the fashionable women of America who your favorite designer is this year? GUIDO I’m less interested in the wrapping than what might be inside it. a home in Biarritz. What’s the big deal?
. With Italia is it fair to say that you’ve come home for good? REPORTER TWO (O. REPORTER FIVE But why are you being so tight-lipped about this film? It’s a serious question. yes? Educated in Britain. Another REPORTER asks a question.) (tries to interrupt) What do you think of the New Wave in the French Cinema? For good? GUIDO
REPORTER FOUR It's been a long time since you made a movie with your wife. Laughter.
A retreat into surreality. DAY GUIDO You want me to be serious? In a Press Conference? INT. they’re not. He slouches. Flops. INT. they were.. DAY GUIDO I thought I was the clown in this circus. arms folded. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. “SOUNDSTAGE” GUIDO I WOULD LIKE TO BE THERE INT. Flops. He sits on the same couch from the hotel suite. GUIDO I WOULD LIKE TO BE HERE. “SOUNDSTAGE” We discover Guido. INT.
. Now you’re famous.NINE (11/11/09) p. legs crossed. INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. “SOUNDSTAGE” GUIDO I WOULD LIKE TO BE EVERYWHERE AT ONCE I KNOW THAT'S A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS.. GUIDO
LEOPARDI Your word. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. Artists do their best work before they're famous. 14
FANTASY: INT. alone on the soundstage of his unfinished set. Without wishing to be negative . DAY LEOPARDI Signor Contini. with his hat pulled over his eyes.but your last two films.
IT'S OKAY EVEN IF IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. GUIDO I CAN HARDLY STAY UP AND I CAN'T GET TO SLEEP.. 15
INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” GUIDO AND IT'S A PROBLEM. AT THE BOTTOM OF SOME HEAP BUT WHY TAKE IT SO SERIOUSLY? AFTER ALL. Everyone waits. WHATEVER YOU PLEASE. We see a bead of sweat running down the back of Guido's neck. I WOULD LIKE TO BE WISE BEFORE MY TIME AND YET BE FOOLISH AND BRASH AND BOLD. He doesn't answer. AND I DON'T WANT TO WAKE TOMORROW MORNING.. DAY LEOPARDI I’m just asking if you’re nervous? You seem nervous. “SOUNDSTAGE” As the number progresses. AND I WANT TO BE OLD. INT. "GUIDO. This stops Guido.ONLY ME I WANT TO BE YOUNG." THAT'S ALL THAT I WANT. WE'LL ARRANGE IT. ESPECIALLY WHEN MY BODY'S NEARING FIFTY AS MY MIND IS NEARING TEN.
.NINE (11/11/09) p. Maestro. Guido gets up from his chair and begins to scale the enormous heights of his unfinished set. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE. I WOULD LIKE THE UNIVERSE TO GET DOWN ON ITS KNEES AND SAY. with great effort. is have you run out of things to say? INT. THERE'S NOTHING AT STAKE HERE . Excuse me? GUIDO
LEOPARDI What I'm asking.
We see two Guidos. GUIDO (V.
. SHOULD I SETTLE FOR LESS? I ASK YOU.O. EVERYWHERE (EVERYWHERE) EVERYWHERE. INT. He grabs a bottle of whiskey. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE . lighting his cigarette. I WOULD EVEN LIKE TO BE ABLE TO SING A DUET WITH MYSELF.DAY Guido turns to the mantle. WHAT'S A GOOD THING FOR IF NOT FOR TAKING IT TO EXCESS? ONE LIMITATION I DEARLY REGRET: THERE'S ONLY ONE OF ME I'VE EVER MET. INT. looks up into the large gilded mirror at his reflection...NINE (11/11/09) p. he smiles back. “SOUNDSTAGE” GUIDO I WOULD LIKE TO BE HERE (SING ALONG WITH MYSELF IN A SONG) TO BE THERE (WALKING DOWN A LANE NOW). “SOUNDSTAGE” GUIDO I AM LUSTING FOR MORE.) I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ANOTHER ME TO TRAVEL ALONG WITH MYSELF. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE . ME (ME) ME! I WANT TO BE PROUST. THAT'S A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS I WANT TO BE HERE (WITH A COUNTER-) HERE (MELODY IN THE) HERE (TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU GUIDO) GUIDO (GUIDO) GUIDO (GUIDO) GUIDO. GUIDO What would you like to see that I haven't already shown you? She smiles.DAY STEPHANIE I was wondering if you think there's a limit to what you can show in a movie. INT. 16
EXCELSIOR HOTEL . EXCELSIOR HOTEL . ARRANGE IT! WOMEN
GUIDO THAT’S ALL THAT I WANT!
. I WOULD LIKE TO BE CHRIST... Guido’s WOMEN appear on the different levels..DAY Amidst the chaos. down the grand lobby staircase. WHAT I WANT IS A TALE OF SOUND AND FURY THAT SOME IDIOT WENT AND TOLD. “SOUNDSTAGE” GUIDO SO ARRANGE IT! As Guido reaches the pinnacle of his Everest-like set.I WANT TO BE YOUNG.DAY Guido slips through the hallway. AND YOU KNOW I MEAN IT WITH ALL OF MY HEART IT'S THE END IF SOMETHING IMPORTANT DOESN'T START. "GUIDO. GUIDO . WE'LL ARRANGE IT.) . IT'S OKAY EVEN IF IT'S RIDICULOUS..." INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” Guido continues climbing higher and higher. BUT I HAVE TO BE OLD. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE/INT. INT.O.OR THE MARQUIS DE SADE. WHATEVER YOU PLEASE..NINE (11/11/09) p. 17
INT. GUIDO (V. INT... I WOULD LIKE THE UNIVERSE TO GET DOWN ON ITS KNEES AND SAY. As the waiter passes. Guido slyly opens the door and sneaks out. MOHAMMED. Guido notices a waiter with a tray of glasses entering the suite through a hidden door in the wall. BUDDHA BUT NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE IN GOD. and escapes.
. The car races over a hill. LOBBY.DAY GUIDO! WOMEN (V. THE WOMEN sing a musical flourish of praise to Guido. Italy INT. EXT. CONTINI.DAY Guido’s car passes by the remnants of an ancient aqueduct.. He approaches the Front Desk. CONTINI. where an immaculate Desk Clerk. EXT. GUIDO I need a room. and we see the blue Mediterranean sea. spilling out of his car. WOMEN (V. CONTINI. DE ROSSI
.DAY Guido enters like a thief. ROME ROAD . blurring the countryside.) CONTINI. COUNTRY ROAD . HOTEL BELLAVISTA . CONTINI. with women from his fantasy draped around him. WOMEN (V.)
The Alfa Spyder comes to a screeching stop in front of the gates of the entrance of an impressive looking Spa: GRAND HOTEL BELLAVISTA. Anzio. The hotel has a slightly faded glamour. HOTEL BELLAVISTA . Guido’s women are gone as the song ends. SUPERTITLE: Bellavista Spa Hotel. CONTINI. waits to greet him. EXT.O.AFTERNOON Now Guido and his women are in the countryside.. Of course. the urbane and wise DE ROSSI.. CONTINI. and the pretty spa town of ANZIO.O. He doesn’t want to be recognised. ROME .NINE (11/11/09) p.DAY Guido speeds away from Rome in his Roadster.O. something that lifts it a little out of time.) CONTINI. 18
Yes. DE ROSSI I understand. 19
A suite. Guilty pleasure. Those early films. GUIDO I’m a businessman.
. GUIDO I’ve come from Milano. let me just look for you. GUIDO
DE ROSSI (continuing to work) Needless to say. (anxious. Something with air... GUIDO Not the flops. DE ROSSI Consider it done. if possible. A balcony..
GUIDO DE ROSSI
GUIDO With a view of the sea. Please.. busy busy. confidential) I need to see a doctor.? I’d like to see him today. in my room. Do you know one who’s discreet. On business. now. I love your films. Busy
DE ROSSI (without looking up) Would Maestro Contini prefer to register under a pseudonym? GUIDO (doleful) Please. DE ROSSI (suggesting a name) Signor Milano? Why not.NINE (11/11/09) p. DE ROSSI All of our suites have air.
.DAY We intercut between the phone booth and LUISA in their apartment in Rome. GUIDO Don’t tease me. CONTINI HOME. GUIDO No. ROME / TELEPHONE BOOTH . I
GUIDO (takes the key) And I need to place a call. GUIDO Luisa.. You make a film. HOTEL BELLAVISTA . Dramatic.. dry and funny. GUIDO Is everybody mad at me? LUISA Well. INT. can’t breathe. Where are you?
GUIDO I had to escape from the Press Conference.DAY Guido heads into the elegant Art Deco booth. I’m mad at you. DE ROSSI You can take the call at the lobby phone over there. TELEPHONE KIOSK. LUISA There you are. It’s what happens. tesoro. Luisa knows every move of Guido’s.
Guido writes the number on a piece of paper on the desk. you get sick. I’m sick. The phone rings. LUISA I heard. INT..NINE (11/11/09) p. but this time I’m really sick. He picks up. pulls the glass door shut. Luisa. LUISA You’re making a film. wife. She manages him very well. calm.
GUIDO (suddenly claustrophobic) And. Marvellous. LUISA Then shall I come? GUIDO Yes. of course I’m by myself. LUISA (all too familiar ) Yes. GUIDO LUISA
. That would be wonderful.NINE (11/11/09) p. please come straight away. actually. Get better. then come back here and make a good movie. sleep. it’s hardly worth it. just kept driving. LUISA
GUIDO Great. Okay. I
LUISA Well I can’t come if I don’t know where you are. I love you. I’ll be home in a day or two. it’s hardly worth it. that’s why I’m calling. GUIDO But I do wish you were here. take the waters. GUIDO I don’t know. LUISA I don’t know where you are. 21
LUISA Are you by yourself? GUIDO Yes. some spa. Horrible. LUISA Get some rest. please come.
otherwise. INT. The doctor. What? Dottore.. pensive.if a woman answers you put it through to my room. They look at the blood pressure gauge. HOTEL BELLAVISTA . Guido is disturbed by their conspiracy. not answering Guido) Check again. GUIDO (carefully) This number . De Rossi understands. DE ROSSI Your doctor is on his way... sits on the bed beside Guido. 22
INT. Si? GUIDO NURSE DOCTOR RONDI
He walks round to her. The Doctor examines Guido’s eye while a heavy-set NURSE takes his blood pressure. LOBBY..NINE (11/11/09) p. DE ROSSI It’s a wrong number. being held open by a DOCTOR. The Doctor stands and turns to his case. GUIDO What is she whispering? Is it my blood pressure? Is it serious? Am I dying? DOCTOR (to the Nurse. and scribbles down another number. The doctor. Goes straight back to De Rossi at the Front Desk. GUIDO'S SUITE . He stubs it out. shirt open. The Nurse whispers to the Doctor. and takes his cigarette out of his mouth. Guido is on the bed.DAY He hangs up. takes a tongue depressor from his kit.DAY . interrupting him.CLOSE-UP on Guido’s eye.
THE PHONE RINGS. GUIDO (into the phone) Pronto. your kidneys.. and picks it up.. DOCTOR (CONT'D) But you've come to the right place. your heart. with the blood pressure cuff still on his arm. GUIDO. Guido opens wide. INT. Signore..DAY NOW WE CUT TO A SUGGESTIVE LOOK FROM A HEAVILY MADE UP EYE. He's trapped by the doctor and by the nurse holding his arm. Guido desperately makes an attempt to reach it and can't. as the phone continues ringing. at the perfect wrong time. CARLA
DOCTOR ..DAY WE CUT TO A PAIR OF FULL BEAUTIFUL LIPS SINGING HIS NAME. GUIDO'S SUITE . they're all very cross with you. Guido looks at the ringing phone. DOCTOR (CONT’D) Your liver. "SOUNDSTAGE"/INT..
. gagging. Guido lunges for the ringing phone. 23
Stress. And the phone continues ringing. but the nurse has his arm in her grip as she takes his blood pressure for the second time.. There are a dozen mineral springs around the town.. It is CARLA. INT.the Roman emperors came here for the waters. CARLA DOCTOR Open wide..
DOCTOR (CONT'D) Exhaustion. GUIDO'S SUITE . "SOUNDSTAGE"/INT. The doctor is in the way of the phone.NINE (11/11/09) p.. GUIDO.
GUIDO'S SUITE . CARLA I WAS LAZING AROUND MY BEDROOM WHEN YOU CALLED AND AN IDEA OCCURRED TO ME I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING ABOUT. SO YOU'LL GET IT LOUD AND CLEAR. “SOUNDSTAGE” An enormous swathe of pink satin rakes across the scaffolding of Guido’s unfinished set. Emerging from the highest point is a pair of long legs sliding down the lush fabric.. I’m sorry.DAY WE SEE ISOLATED IMAGES OF A SEDUCTIVE BODY: A LONG LEG IN SHEER BLACK STOCKINGS. still taking his blood pressure and listening to his pulse.. AND HERE. Doctor. Bathed in hot light. AND HERE..DAY The Nurse. I have to take it. is concerned about Guido's vital signs. She wears stockings. WHO'S AFRAID TO KISS YOUR TOES? I'M NOT! YOUR MAMA DEAR IS BLOWING INTO YOUR EAR.) Signor Contini. INT. Private call. MAGNIFICENT BREASTS.. 24
DE ROSSI (V.. FANTASY: INT. Carla reveals herself from inside the sumptuous folds of satin.NINE (11/11/09) p... DOCTOR
. I NEED YOU TO SQUEEZE ME HERE. GUIDO (coming back quickly to life) It’s a very an important call. GUIDO’S SUITE .O. CARLA WHO'S NOT WEARING ANY CLOTHES? I'M NOT! MY DARLING. As you wish. A SHAPELY ASS. INT. it’s the Signora.. GUIDO. "SOUNDSTAGE"/INT. heels and little else.
“SOUNDSTAGE” Carla slides from the lush fabric onto a mirrored platform.. GUIDO. AND SCREAM. 25
NURSE Doctor. yes. COOTCHIE COO.. COOTCHIE. “SOUNDSTAGE” Carla grabs onto two satin-covered ropes. CIAO. it's racing. WHO KNOWS A THERAPY TO BEAT WHAT YOU CAN GET FROM ME? I DON'T! BUT THIS WILL HAVE TO BE ENOUGH FOR NOW. she writhes and undulates in a seductive display of sexuality. GUIDO. This is Guido's ultimate fantasy. INT. It's from the Vatican. GUIDO’S SUITE . His pulse.. CARLA COOTCHIE. yes. She wraps herself in them. INT. DOCTOR (to Guido) Is something wrong? GUIDO What? Yes. It's about my film. swinging and gyrating. I’m listening. SO HOT YOU'RE GONNA STEAM. INT.DAY Guido trying to hide the effects of this phone sex from the Doctor and Nurse. suspended from the ceiling.NINE (11/11/09) p." AND I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO SHOW YOU HOW. CARLA WHO WON'T CARE IF YOU COME TO ME TIRED AND OVERWORKED? I WON'T! BAMBINO. As she sings. AND VIBRATE LIKE A STRING I'M PLUCKINGKISS YOUR FEVERED LITTLE BROW PINCH YOUR CHEEKS TILL YOU SAY "OW. Go ahead. (MORE)
.. Monsignore! Yes. I'VE GOT A PLAN FOR WHAT I'M GONNA DO TO YOU. of course.
which is not chic. EXT. Guido! CARLA Ciao! GUIDO (to himself. ANZIO. but it's what Guido likes. CARLA What’s wrong? You look very tired. a little too tight. a little flamboyant. Carlissima. covering his ambivalence)
Carla. 26 CARLA (CONT'D) (spoken) I love you. Carla is dressed in her own style. swinging her hips. Carla!
CARLA I’m so happy to see you. She wears it with pride. pulling five bags on a wagon. TRAIN STATION . CARLA I missed you so much. GUIDO
She gives him a hug and a kiss.
.NINE (11/11/09) p. remembering how much work she is) (and now to her. GUIDO
She sees something in his face that worries her.. both too much for him in public.. GUIDO
CARLA But very happy? Or just a little happy? Very happy. very tired. CARLA comes walking toward Guido. Carla disappears in a cloud of hot steam that becomes the steam from an arriving train. (they move off) Are you happy I'm here? Of course. Guido.DAY And out of the steam. with a PORTER behind her.
. What? They continue to whisper. Wrapped in a sheet. The light from the pensione’s neon sign spills in. Perfect. they found out who I am at the hotel-No. PENSIONE FERROVIA .. during the war. GUIDO Carla. PENSIONE BEDROOM . she is looking out the window of the dingy room. GUIDO (O. but obviously we don't want to be followed by the press. and it's really not at all what she was hoping for. Carla. but she doesn't say anything. it was full of Germans. so I found the most charming pensione for you. CARLA
GUIDO . Carla sizes it up. go into the corridor--CARLA
. I have to tell you.DAY Later. They whisper.) Close the curtains. yes. You know I stayed there with my parents.. horrible. in silhouette. and it’s right here. the Bellavista is a very fashionable place. looks at her bags) Carla. all those bags for the weekend? CARLA Yes. Carla closes the curtains.S. 27
GUIDO (avoiding this.. It’s charming. from behind....DAY A small pensione across the street from the station.
GUIDO (CONT'D) Now.. INT.NINE (11/11/09) p. it’s too light in here. CARLA Here at the station? EXT.
naked. remember? The same one your wife bought you-GUIDO (probably doesn't) Don’t move. and takes his time to make it exactly as he wants it. and we didn’t care. and pretend you’re in the wrong room.
CARLA What about it? GUIDO Get your makeup. where I bought you that scarf. Okay. Guido switches on the light. CARLA When you wear it. and I’m a complete stranger-Carla sits on the bed facing Guido. He is meticulous about this. Go.NINE (11/11/09) p. count to ten and come back in. 28
GUIDO Shhh! Yes. and precise. Carla. He begins to pencil in a beauty mark and darken her eyes. kissing. CARLA GUIDO Wait. Your face. on the ground. puts on his glasses. CARLA I love your games! She kisses him. go. and then my husband arrived and killed us both with a shovel! Poor Luigi! (MORE)
. GUIDO (not really listening) Uh-huh. I never know if it’s hers or mine. and tilts the lamp shade up. CARLA I had a nightmare last night. GUIDO I’m here on business. We were in that little alley behind Piazza Navona. CARLA So we were there.
Guido takes off his glasses and puts them on the side table. go. she puts on Guido’s glasses and turns back to him. Oh. GUIDO Beautiful. CARLA What if I really found the wrong room? Would you be jealous?
. Madonna! CARLA
GUIDO I’ll pretend to be asleep. CARLA Perhaps there’s a job for him in the movie-Why not? GUIDO
CARLA You could work well together. He speaks Latin! He knows all the Roman Emperors. Yes. Guido turns out the light and settles into his pillow. Carla turns back to the mirror. Carla looks at herself in the mirror.. please. Carla gets up and takes Guido’s glasses with her. for the game. 29 CARLA (CONT'D) He would never do that! He’s so sweet. Carla.NINE (11/11/09) p. GUIDO (still intent on his makeup job) Good for him. When you come in I want you to be my little savage. CARLA
GUIDO (gesturing towards the door) Go. CARLA You think I am one of your actresses? GUIDO Hurry.
GUIDO What happened? CARLA (still giggling) It was the woman from the hotel. What? GUIDO CARLA GUIDO
CARLA You are a stranger. She crosses the room and climbs onto the bed and opens the sheet slowly. She wanted to give me towels. whose arms enfold her. Okay. Come here. CARLA Excuse me! I’ve got the wrong room. signaling for Guido to keep quiet. “Why not?” CARLA (coyly) Hm! Who knows? Carla goes into the hall and closes the door behind her. giggling. I don’t know you. Now Carla comes back into the room. Show me. She throws herself on Guido. spreading her arms wide. And I don’t have the faintest idea who you are. GUIDO Yes. We HEAR the MATRON who runs the Pensione talking to her. (indicating her sheet) Be savage.NINE (11/11/09) p. 30
GUIDO Could you do such a thing? Carla teases him with a look that says. Guido removes a crucifix from the wall and puts it in the bedside drawer. just come here. While they talk. you have.
. GUIDO Carla.
She is Claudia. INT.. Walking away. He is sketching a voluptuous woman.
.. An empty sheet of paper sits in his typewriter on his desk. filled with confusion and guilt. GUIDO (CONT’D) Mother of God. Kissing him. alone. he’s suddenly inspired to write something..O.O. HALLWAY OUTSIDE PENSIONE BEDROOM .he draws in the nipples on the woman’s breasts. GUIDO (V.NIGHT Guido tip-toes out of Carla’s room. INT. GUIDO (V. Guido is surrounded by discarded bits of paper...) She takes the man’s face and kisses him.
GUIDO (V.. an outline of Italia..) (CONT'D) . At its heart is an impressive luxury car... HOTEL.. looks down as a motor calvacade draws up. He’s happily distracted by the sound of vehicles arriving outside his window.And with that gesture. quietly getting dressed.LATER Carla is asleep. profound. .DAY IMAGES OF CLAUDIA in his fantasy. shoes in his hand. GUIDO’S SUITE . He tosses off his glasses and runs his hands through his hair in frustration.. give me a sign. page one. He is not working on the outline. He opens a slat in the shutters.) Page one..O. page one... Guido becomes discouraged.. PENSIONE BEDROOM .NINE (11/11/09) p. He walks down the hallway. The figure emerges from the darkness like a goddess. 31
INT. Guido sits on the edge of the bed. his muse.. her bare back a thing of post-coital beauty.
hurries out of his hotel room.DAY As Guido hurries down the stairs.. Do you think he might grant me CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Is Claudia Jenssen with you? No. GUIDO
CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Pity.NINE (11/11/09) p. GUIDO I would very much like to speak to the Cardinal. some pointers. INT.DAY Hotel staff swarm around the vehicles which discharge a procession of religious. the Cardinal is being helped into the elevator. Priests follow as the Cardinal heads inside the hotel. 32
EXT. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY (turns) Buongiorno. POV FROM BALCONY . is he -? CARDINAL’S SECRETARY (recognising Guido) Signor Contini! (starstruck) I am a big fan. HOTEL BELLAVISTA LOBBY . Guido is intrigued. The CARDINAL’S SECRETARY is dealing with check-in formalities with De Rossi.. His excellency is a big admirer of Signorina Jenssen. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Do you think you could find a signed photograph of Signorina Jenssen?
. the Cardinal. including an ANCIENT CARDINAL in scarlet robes and the CARDINAL’S SECRETARY. father. HOTEL BELLAVISTA. GUIDO (explaining) I’m in need of some guidance. GUIDO His Excellency... GUIDO Excuse me. Guido calls to him.
GUIDO I’m not going to ask how you found me.even to know the pensione where his mistress is staying. Guido.. Maestro. Rome is absolutely unbearable. Guidino! DANTE
Guido hurries towards the elevator. Absolutely. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY
GUIDO I’m sure that would be possible.. Arrivederci.. The elevator doors close.
GUIDO You’re not going to drag me back? DANTE No. HOTEL BELLAVISTA . Guido watches him go. A producer needs to know where his director is at all times... Oh God. INT. DANTE Please . He heads towards the elevator. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Truly? What a pleasure.it’s my job. You’re a genius and genius must be served.NINE (11/11/09) p.. It’s no good.GUIDO! Guido can’t turn round. 33
GUIDO For His Excellency? Si.. Guido is trapped. The pressure. He knows that voice.DAY DANTE Of course I understand. then a voice calls out his name. Really? GUIDO You understand?
He takes Guido by the arm and leads him to a stairwell.STAIRCASE ..
DANTE I understand.
. my old friend.. DONATELLA GUIDO (he doesn’t.you remember Donatella. ART DEPARTMENT. she’s new)
. DONATELLA I was very nervous.. COSTUME DEPARTMENT. 34
GUIDO Thank you. As he does so. DANTE (CONT’D) It’s a fantastic place for you to focus. GRAND BALLROOM. with the flower and the glass and the arches of the Roman Empire. Guido is staggered.. Guido. Dante makes his way over to Guido with a magnificent girl on his arm. JACONELLI (explaining his designs) Yes. (Dante is guiding him) Where are we going? DANTE You can’t be in Rome. Ciao. Okay. (heading towards the ballroom) INT.NINE (11/11/09) p. I was quite nervous. HOTEL BELLAVISTA . you tested her. CASTING OFFICE. Guido moves through the room avoiding specific questions from everyone. DANTE Guido.
DANTE Donatella. An absolute beehive of activity. He stands watching Guido with genuine admiration as he sets to work with his team. headshots.DAY DANTE Rome will come to you! Dante opens the door of the Ballroom to reveal a full PRODUCTION OFFICE. The models. Everyone is here to help the movie. Everyone is here because they love you. He probably doesn’t remember. everything all in place or being put into place. costumes.
. I’m sorry. listens) Yes. GUIDO Cretino! (back to Lombardo.NINE (11/11/09) p. so to speak. He hands the phone to Dante. Send her two! PIERPAOLO (playing along) Yes. taking it all in) No. For Chrissake. Then takes the phone. Guido’s assistant. Ciao.. yes. people just don’t realise .she’s an actress as well as a star . we all enjoyed you.. Maestro.. who’s delighted to see Guido back on good directing mode. DANTE
. I remember you. and then without missing a beat starts barking at Pierpaolo.
He attacks the
GUIDO (listens to a stream of invective) Did she like the script? (gestures for Pierpaolo to light him a cigarette) No no no no . PIERPAOLO (CONT’D) Claudia’s agent.are you telling me she didn’t get the script? (shouting at Pierpaolo) Pierpaolo! He takes the cigarette with a smile. You were. Lombardo. PIERPAOLO Guido
Pierpaolo. Guido grimaces.. 35
GUIDO (distracted. A dolpo. phone call with gusto. GUIDO (CONT'D) Claudia didn’t get the script! Send her another one.I know Dante’s dying to talk to you. holds a telephone. wants to know who it is. that’s what I say.impossibile .. Right now.
leaving them alone. yap. 36
As Dante takes over. GUIDO What? No. I spoke with her yesterday. yap. yap. INT. A red feathered boa is draped on the figure. Italian women don’t wear those things. Lilli is working at a mannequin. Roberta puts down her work and clears the room quietly. yap. GUIDO (CONT'D) What are we doing here? LILLI I’m happy.NINE (11/11/09) p. hand-sewing some sequins on a costume. She didn’t even mention it. GUIDO For which scene? LILLI Well I don’t know which scene until I‘ve seen the script. Guido walks away. Oh please God. It’s wrong.DAY GUIDO Yap. LILLI’S TEMPORARY OFFICE. Performance mode off. Lilli points to the one in Guido’s hand. What’s that? Guido sees the costume. What’s that? GUIDO LILLI
LILLI It’s for Claudia. heads towards Lilli and her domain. yap. GUIDO Looks like the Folies Bergere.
. LILLI (CONT’D) It was Luisa’s birthday yesterday. but she always likes something like this. Lilli nods to Roberta to leave. BALLROOM . yap! Guido leaps over the balcony and lies down on a table. Give me a cigarette. or you do. I brought my swimsuit. No.
Lilli tosses the boa over her shoulder as she continues pinning the costume. Puts it on his head playfully. LILLI You won’t find it with your head jammed halfway up your ass. LILLI (CONT’D) .. GUIDO I’m trying to find it... That’s where I learned my art.. all those feathers. Why not dream up something entertaining.. I don’t know. Guido looks into the faded ballroom mirror behind her and sees.with dancing. LILLI Oh Guido.. GUIDO Why did people love that film? Guido picks up a straw hat. (Still working) And. All those sequins.. time we have to start again.it brings back happy memories. 37
LILLI Don’t knock the Folies Bergere. we could use a little joie de vivre around here. She produces one. God knows.NINE (11/11/09) p. Guido? Something with music. you put Claudia in one of these for that nightclub scene in Natura Morta. LILLI Halfway. You were saying . GUIDO (CONT'D) Thanks.my head is jammed up my ass.. That’s death... don’t.. GUIDO Every
. you’re wrong. Ashtray..
”SOUNDSTAGE” . A spotlight finds Guido watching from the scaffolding of his unfinished set. ghostly images come to life. COSTUME." A STRING. LOVE CANNOT BE LOVE WITHOUT "LE SINGING.NINE (11/11/09) p. FOLIES BERGERE. NOT A SOUL IN THE WORLD COULD BE IN DESPAIR WHEN HE IS GLANCING AT THE FABULOUS STAGE DES FOLIES BERGERE The showgirls disappear. LILLI (singing and performing in a french accent) LE CINEMA TODAY IS IN A CRISIS DIRECTORS ARE SO EXISTENTIALISTES. They descend the grand staircase. Lilli comes down from the piano and crosses onto the stage. The scrim rises. From every corner. with Lilli as its French Star. and feathers.. the red feathered boa hangs from her shoulders. AND DANCING! NOT A MOMENT IN LIFE COULD BE MORE ENTRANCING THAN AN EVENING YOU SPEND AUX FOLIES BERGERE. The soundstage has been transformed into an impressionistic version of the Folies Bergere of the 1930’s. The din of the theater audience fills the smoky atmosphere. She places the same straw hat on her head. LILLI (CONT’D) FOLIES BERGEREWHAT A SHOWING OF COLOR. A SAXOPHONE TAKE A LESSON FROM THIS OLD PARISIENNE AND THE FINEST ENTERTAINMENT SHE HAS KNOWN. 38
FANTASY: INT. Apparitions that reveal themselves as exotic SHOWGIRLS barely covered in beads. draped atop an upright piano. A CLARINET. Behind a black scrim. more showgirls begin to enter.Lilli.. THE MOVIES ARE NOT WORTH THEIR ENTRANCE PRICES IF NO ONE SINGS A LOVE SONG WHEN HE'S KISSED. sequins.
Guido? (to the audience) We must explain something to our young Guido.' Lilli singles out guests at the lip of the stage: LILLI (CONT’D) Let me tell you. Je suis la vedette des Folies Bergere. LILLI (CONT’D) Ahh. LA DANSE.NINE (11/11/09) p. Guido. mon cher -. bon soir. and speaks directly to the audience. Would you like to join me on stage? Yes. come. mon Dieu! Guido? Guido Contini? What are you doing here at the Folies Bergere? You naughty boy! You’re only nine years old! But I’m glad you’ve come. she sees Young Guido in the audience.to entertain. and what did I see? A priest! And next to him? Suddenly. come. LILLI (CONT’D) Feeling better? There’s no room for hopelessness in here. 39
LILY FOLIES BERGERELA MUSIQUE. Vedette. Last night I looked down at this table in the chairs you are sitting in now. And she brings him onto the stage. PAS DE MYSTERELE SPECTACLE EST TOUT A FAIT DECOUVERT. Come.
. bon soir. it means 'star. Come. LE SON. She addresses him as though he is Older Guido. "ET PAS TROP CHER" VIENS CE SOIR AVEC MOI AUX FOLIES BERGERE. Bon soir.That’s our privilege . LILLI (CONT'D) Ah. LA LUMIERE! LES PETITS JOLIES SEINS DES BELLES BOUQUETIERES SUR LA BELLE PASSARELLE DES FOLIES BEREGERE. The audience applauds. What do we want? Laughter! What do we want? Love! What do we want? Dreams! Let us not forget. is there.
OOH LA LA OOH LA LA OOH LA LA OOH LA LA OOH LA LA
Lilli crosses onto the passerelle.
AND THE LAUGHTER. AND THE LAUGHTER OF THE FOLIES BERGERE! INT. 40
The number kicks into full gear with a rousing can-can. THE MUSIC. He places a figure on the top of the staircase. He is transported and inspired. He and Lilli are lifted onto an art deco swing. Young Guido finds himself swept into Lilli's intoxicating world.. FOLIES BERGERE LILLI BY THE HEAVENS ABOVE. LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS FOLIES BERGERE THE MUSIC. that rises into the air. Her boa grows and grows until it stretches the length of the stage. LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS (CONT'D) THE ANSWER TO WHAT YOU ARE AFTER. GUIDO’S SUITE . YOU WILL SWEAR THERE’S NOTHING RARER! LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS THAN THE FOLIES BERGERE Lilli crosses the proscenium.
..NINE (11/11/09) p. LILLI TO YOUR MODERN IDEAS I COMPARE ONE DERRIERE! LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS AT THE FOLIES BERGERE! Lilli wraps her long boa around Young Guido. LILLI AND SHOWGIRLS (CONT'D) FOLIES BERGERE THE STAGE OVERFLOWING. But suddenly a HUGE HEAD dips into the shot and it’s Guido contemplating a model of the set. THE LIGHTS.NIGHT We seem to be looking at the SET ON STAGE 5. THE LIGHTS. flanked by two showgirls. AND GIVING A MUSICAL REASON FOR LIVING EACH NIGHT AT THE FOLIES BERGERE. FOLIES BERGERE. THE ANSWER TO WHAT YOU ARE AFTER EACH NIGHT AT THE FOLIES BERGERE.
The Cardinal’s Secretary leads Guido to a private area. The Cardinal looks hard at Guido and then makes his first pronouncement.DAY Grottos and tunnels are thick with steam. INT. no. CARDINAL I like Charlie Chaplin. 41
He moves round to the front of the model and places another figure on the top of the scaffold tower. Guido gets in the water. GUIDO
CARDINAL A genius. please. He finds the one of Claudia. where the Cardinal is already soaking in a large tub of hot water. He knocks it over.. Claudia laughs. it's an honest question. he sits down on the sofa. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Signor Contini. ANCIENT BATHS .. Guido
CARDINAL’S SECRETARY The Cardinal is right this way. Guido looks at it.NINE (11/11/09) p. Unconvinced. What can I do for you? GUIDO Do you believe in God? The Cardinal’s Secretary is shocked. Me too.
. Yes. The Cardinal’s Secretary makes a gesture to Guido to get into the tub with the Cardinal.. He starts to sign . follows the Cardinal’s Secretary.“TO HIS EXCELLENCY. The coffee table is covered in head-shots. Signor Contini is here. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY (CONT’D) Your Eminence. I believe in God. She hands him a lipstick. “ then paints his lips and kisses the photo himself. smiles and strokes his hair. He lies back to write and finds himself in CLAUDIA’S LAP. CARDINAL No.
my films are what I imagine. 42
So do I. the Cardinal's voice trails away. the good ones.. I will. Not the flops. very much so. Teach our Italian women to be wives. Guido's head disappears under the water. Not as much as I would like to be. We can all imagine.. Your Eminence. Try harder. not as much as you would like me to be. don’t let the Devil play in it. I'm trying. not whores. But you think people need to see so much sex? It’s not necessary. but certainly yes.NINE (11/11/09) p. yes. I feel a sense of misery. I will.. don’t make us look at filth and debauchery. GUIDO (laughing) Excuse me . GUIDO (nonplussed) How do you train the imagination? CARDINAL The imagination is God’s garden. I am not happy. Make us proud to be Italian. I’m searching for something.. CARDINAL
CARDINAL Are you a Catholic? GUIDO Oh yes. of despair and -CARDINAL (interrupting) I saw your films. The sound of
. CARDINAL Then your imagination has no moral training. I'm sure. the others.
Young Guido stands his ground.
. earthy woman.. but the boys are taking three steps back. but she's not an animal.Young Guido takes a step forward toward the bunker. She looks at the boys.NINE (11/11/09) p.. SARAGHINA’S BUNKER . hand it to Young Guido. And then she comes out. They reach into pockets and extract small change. with a powerful. She may be a crazy whore.. She takes a deliberate step. a leftover from the war. runs fast across the rough dunes with five boys from the village. She has darkened eyes and a beauty mark: she is clearly the model for the whore makeup on Carla. 1926
Young Guido. dressed in his school uniform. 43
MEMORY: EXT. BEACH .DAY SUPERTITLE: Pesaro. SARAGHINA is a gritty. EXT. Now even Young Guido takes a step back. She takes another step and holds out her hand.. YOUNG GUIDO (not loud enough) Saraghina. They crawl through a small opening in the wall and approach an abandoned bunker. and they don't quite understand that she's having her own fun with them.DAY . she's just playing one for the boys. already the ring leader. Saraghina! BOYS Saraghina!
YOUNG GUIDO (loudest) Saraghina! Sa-ra-ghina! A shadow moves inside the bunker. Italy. The boys head for a graffiti-covered defensive wall with barbed wire along the top. Now all the boys join in. as the other boys fearfully take a step back. (louder) Saraghina. voluptuous energy.
.and if you want to make a woman happy. you rely on what you were born with. She returns dragging an old broken chair. Because it is in your blood. surrounded by other WHORES in provocative positions on beaten-up chairs. AND TRY TO STEAL A FIERY KISS. 44
Young Guido opens his hand with the coins. places it in front of the boys and sits. “SOUNDSTAGE” SARAGHINA (sings) BE ITALIAN. INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” Curtains of falling sand fill the soundstage. BE ITALIAN. and then takes the coins. She speaks. you little Italian devils. she pulls her dress off her shoulders.NINE (11/11/09) p. and holds it. BE ITALIAN. She stuffs the money in her ample bosom and heads back to her bunker. TAKE A CHANCE.” Saraghina scoops up the soft white sand in her hands and pours it over her body. EXT. Is it enough?
But she grabs his wrist. BE ITALIAN. She looks at the money. DON'T JUST HOLD ME BUT HOLD THIS! She grabs her breasts. FANTASY: INT.. Through the sand. we see Saraghina seated on the same chair from the beach.DAY With a smile. ready for the “show. you want to know about love? Saraghina will tell you..
. BEACH .. WHEN YOU HOLD ME. A dark vamp begins. SARAGHINA So.
TRY TO PINCH ME WHERE THERE'S FAT. lifts her skirt. The boys WHORES BE A SINGER. INT. BE ITALIAN. The boys watch and cheer. “SOUNDSTAGE” SARAGHINA BE A SINGER. BE A LOVER PICK THE FLOWER NOW BEFORE THE CHANCE IS PAST. We furiously intercut between the musical fantasy and the memory of the boys romping on the beach with Saraghina. follow. BE ITALIAN. They begin a slow.
. INT. BE A LOVER. “SOUNDSTAGE” SARAGHINA PLEASE BE GENTLE. BEFORE IT’S PAST. WHEN YOU PINCH ME. across the sand and through the water. BEACH . “SOUNDSTAGE” Saraghina and The Whores brandish tambourines. rhythmic and sensual dance that builds into a wild and raucous tarantella. The boys are transfixed. 45
EXT. PICK THE FLOWER NOW BEFORE THE CHANCE IS PAST.DAY She undulates her body. BUT BE DARING AND UNCARING. running.DAY Saraghina gets up on the chair. BEFORE IT’S PAST.DAY Saraghina drops to the ground and playfully writhes in the sand. BE A LOVER. EXT. SENTIMENTAL. BEACH . BE ITALIAN BE ITALIAN LIVE TODAY AS IF IT MAY BECOME YOUR LAST! EXT.NINE (11/11/09) p. BEACH . BE A LOVER. and begins to move her hips. SARAGHINA BE A SINGER. She gets up and heads towards the water. GO AHEAD AND TRY TO GIVE MY CHEEK A PAT. WHORES BE A SINGER. INT.
recovers slowly. past a tortured Christ hanging above the ornate altar. MAMMA I am ashamed of you. The Principal produces a cane and starts to whip the boy remorselessly. That savage is the devil. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE ... He rolls over. INT. on top of Carla in the spasm of sex. cassocks flapping.and the cry is now in Guido’s mouth. now and forever... BE ITALIAN. The number ends. Carla is suddenly aware that he’s not in ecstasy.DAY Off-screen. PENSIONE BEDROOM ...DAY .NINE (11/11/09) p. BEACH . SEBASTIAN CHAPEL . The priests drag Young Guido through the school’s chapel... BE ITALIAN. into the Principal’s office. LIVE TODAY AS IF IT MAY BECOME YOUR LAST! The whores dance. As always.
Two PRIESTS are running down the beach.DAY Guido’s mother is there with the PRINCIPAL (again. what did I do. God will punish you for your sins. INT. Guido. ST. Young Guido cries out as they punish him. They catch him and carry him away from the beach. EXT. The boys run. PRINCIPAL Bring him here.
. immediately wanting to leave after the sex. Mamma looks away. He suddenly can’t breathe. 46
SARAGHINA BE ITALIAN.. Young Guido tries to run away from the priests. a boys choir sings KYRIE. YOUNG GUIDO But Mamma. INT.. she appears the way he remembers her).DAY
WHORES BE ITALIAN.
CARLA No. CARLA But why is it impossible? Look at your producer! He’s married. CARLA Guido. kissing his back. No. Guido. Why? Why won’t you let me near you? GUIDO For the very same reason you don’t want me to die on top of you. GUIDO It’s impossible. GUIDO (finding her ridiculous) If I die it would kill your husband? Guido shrugs the sheet off and sits up slowly. It’s not fair to my wife.
. Carla kneels up and hugs him... Guido stands up and picks up his shirt. CARLA Let me come with you. Carla. It’s not fair to your husband. 47
GUIDO I can’t breathe. poor Luigi! It would kill him. Where are you going? GUIDO I have to go to work.NINE (11/11/09) p. I can’t breathe. don’t die on me! Can you imagine. Everybody knows about me. I can’t breathe. he brings his girlfriend to work and nobody cares. He puts it on whilst they argue. Why? CARLA
GUIDO Because it’s impossible. Guidino. Please. that’s not what I meant.
DANTE (defending his director) The screenplay is first of all a map. struggling to make sense of Italia GUIDO Let’s say there were ten sequences.NINE (11/11/09) p. A pop band and a dance floor. Guido is at the end of the table. You’re twisting everything. FAUSTO (hissing at Dante) Dante. INT. BENITO It sounds like a masterpiece.
. like Figaro. TERRACE RESTAURANT. still dressing. spilling ideas. he hasn’t written a word.NIGHT Glittering lights on the terrace. (pours himself a glass of wine) Something light and hectic . That’s a map. CARLA I’ll be here waiting for you with my legs open. A slick Italian MALE SINGER performs QUANDO QUANDO QUANDO. DANTE Claudia is going to be amazing. GUIDO
Guido heads towards the door. struggling. each one set in a different period. but played by the same cast.. a man and a woman. you see. People dance. 48
CARLA See. you’re playing with me.. a woman and a man. No. (to Lilli) Like the circus. A view of the sea. HOTEL BELLAVISTA .. he leaves.like Mozart would do it... Disgusted with himself. The whole PRODUCTION TEAM is at a working dinner.... Please let me come with you.
holding her back from the dinner table. start to dance. in the desert. with shovels. ON THE DANCE FLOOR: . Luisa! GUIDO
He jumps up from the table and hurries towards the dance floor. GUIDO I was dying. the house will be full of flowers..
. LUISA Am I already going home? GUIDO I hope not.. LUISA The jungle drums said it was an emergency. LUISA Not entirely.NINE (11/11/09) p. GUIDO The jungle drums exaggerated just a tiny bit. LILLI
She nudges him. GUIDO (CONT'D) And don’t think I forgot your birthday.as Guido is protective of Luisa. 49
GUIDO Let’s try to dig for something else.. They
He pulls her into the middle of the dance floor. genuinely happy.. Maybe a group of people digging. When you get home.. my darling.. Come. He looks across the restaurant to see his wife at the entrance looking for him. until just now. GUIDO (CONT'D) I can’t believe you came. Happy Birthday. Guido. (with concern) You haven’t been sleeping.
the Cardinal’s Secretary appears. for God’s sake.NINE (11/11/09) p. him. AT THE TABLE: DANTE (Seeing Luisa) Here she is. goes to grab a bottle of champagne. Just then. Luisa says hello to the rest of the gang. He sits Luisa down. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Heads
. enjoying each other. there are kisses. 50
They move together. towards the table. LUISA (negating it) It was Monday. etc. GUIDO Let’s drink a toast to Luisa’s birthday. GUIDO Happy Birthday. They walk towards the table. as Guido returns and pops open the bottle of champagne. LUISA
Magnificent. LILLI (confidentially) You’re saving the movie. Give him a good idea. DANTE Happy Birthday! LUISA (not quite able to forgive him) Thank you. You know Donatella? I do now. LUISA (CONT'D) (to Lilli) Thank you for calling.
She leans across to kiss Lilli. At last. Maestro.
This is my wife. you know the Church condemns them . LILLI She was the best thing in the movie. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY LUISA
CARDINAL’S SECRETARY I was telling your husband how much I admire his movies. GUIDO Luisa was in that film. GUIDO It was your first part. Signora. It’s true. Excuse me.we have to but we all love them.NINE (11/11/09) p.you’re Luisa Acari! Oh my Lord! I was. Luisa. (To Guido) Last year we did our own version of your Il Vicolo at the Christmas Party. darling. Don Mario? Oh no. won’t you. 51
GUIDO (standing up to greet him. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY You can’t stop being somebody. LUISA Sit down. then turning to Luisa) Ah. Please. Can’t you? LUISA LUISA
. LILLI That I would pay to see. this is Don Mario. Music begins. Don Mario. CARDINAL’S SECRETARY A pleasure. Publicly.
CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Of course! .
As the number progresses. that’s what they do sacrifice. SOME MEN RUN BANKS SOME RULE THE WORLD SOME EARN THEIR LIVING BAKING BREAD. it must be a very exciting life for you. Still. The other characters. Luisa climbs the staircase.. HE GOES A LITTLE CRAZY MAKING MOVIES INSTEAD.
. FANTASY: INT. Guido. 52
CARDINAL’S SECRETARY Well there’s a good catholic wife for you. Signora Contini. Luisa looks to Guido. MAKES UP STORIES IN HIS HEAD. distancing herself from the scene. SOME MEN SELL STOCKS SOME MEN PUNCH CLOCKS SOME LEAP WHERE OTHERS FEAR TO TREAD. MY HUSBAND.. LUISA (CONT’D) GUIDO CONTINI. standing lighting units.. AS AUTHOR AND DIRECTOR. the world around Luisa disappears into a black void. with the exception of Guido. “SOUNDSTAGE” The restaurant table as well as the production team are transplanted onto Guido’s unfinished set. Luisa contemplates her life with Guido..NINE (11/11/09) p.. etc. (MORE) Close up on Guido. Luisa rises from her chair. They are surrounded by camera equipment. MY HUSBAND SPINS FANTASIES. THEN GIVES THEM TO YOU ALL LIKE MICHELANGELO. MY HUSBAND. HE LIVES THEM. LUISA CONTINI: NUMBER ONE GENIUS AND NUMBER ONE FAN. HE PAINTS HIS PRIVATE DOME BUT CAN’T DISTINGUISH WHAT’S HIS WORK AND WHAT’S HIS HOME. leaving only herself. with Guido in the shadows. LUISA MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES TO MAKE THEM HE LIVES A KIND OF DREAM IN WHICH HIS ACTIONS AREN'T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEMHE MAY BE ON TO SOME UNIQUE ROMANTIC THEME. freeze in a dimly lit macabre tableau.
. GUIDO (O. as if it’s an outdoor cafe in Piazza Navona.SOMEONE ELSE AGO.. it’s Italian.. GUIDO (O. younger. Luisa enters. GUIDO (O. But.. A couple of tables and chairs.NINE (11/11/09) p.. Luisa Acari.) What have you done before? LUISA (eyes twinkling) Oh. mostly waited tables. Her
A small set.DAY Luisa’s screen test for Guido.) Your name. SINGING TOGETHER ALL NIGHT ON THE PHONE LONG AGO . CLAPPER LOADER (O. Luisa sits on the chair.MANY YEARS AGO. Provino numero uno. I’ve waited. of course. (they both laugh) And. LUISA CONTINI: PASSIONATE WOMAN IN LOVE WITH THIS MAN LONG AGO . The music continues. MEMORY: INT. she’s like Audrey Hepburn. LUISA My father’s Italian. The clapper board. 53 LUISA (CONT’D) GUIDO CONTINI. I studied theatre and mime in Paris.) Signorina Acari. THEN WE HAD NO END OF WORLDS TO DISCOVER. ONCE WE TWO WEREGUIDO CONTINI.. A work print in scratched black and white.S. LUISA HIS LOVER: ACTRESS WITH DREAMS AND A LIFE OF HER OWN. My mother’s French.) Waited? For this? LUISA Waited tables.. INSERT STAGE .S.S. TITLE: IL VICOLO (The Alley) name: LUISA ACARI.
He’s fascinated by her. 54
Guido enters. She hurries away. or look as if she’s come to the wrong place. They look at each other.Luisa gets up abruptly. TERRACE RESTAURANT . HOW HE NEEDS ME SO. SOME MEN READ BOOKS. MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES. He stands back to reappraise her. Guido senses something terrible is happening. MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES. LUISA LONG AGO . SOME RETIRE EARLY. INT. Carla tries to change direction.. For what I’m looking at. SOME STAY UP TO DREAM AND MUSE. For what? GUIDO LUISA
GUIDO Thank you. AND HE’LL BE THE LAST TO KNOW IT.. MY HUSBAND ONLY RARELY COMES TO BED MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES INSTEAD.. He gets up and goes after his wife. She looks at Guido from a greater distance and descends the stairs.NINE (11/11/09) p.. She’s taken aback that he’s in front of the camera and approaching her. It’s oddly intimate.
. He walks straight up to her and unties her hair. LUISA Excuse me.NIGHT In reality.SOMEONE ELSE AGO. INT. I suddenly feel very tired. HE WORKS FOR WEEKS ON END WITHOUT A BIT OF RESTNO OTHER WAY CAN HE ACHIEVE HIS LEVEL BEST. (walking away) Keep running. SOME SHINE THEIR SHOES. “SOUNDSTAGE” Luisa is now at the top of the staircase. . Luisa sees Carla enter the restaurant. TO MAKE THEM HE MAKES HIMSELF OBSESSED. Thank you.
NINE (11/11/09) p. HOTEL BELLAVISTA . What lie? GUIDO
LUISA Why am I surprised? .NIGHT Guido catches up to Luisa as she storms up the steps. INT.will you please just tell me what happened? LUISA You open your mouth and a lie comes out. HOTEL BELLAVISTA .it’s like breathing to you. could vomit. TERRACE RESTAURANT . Luisa! GUIDO
LUISA I’m staggered by my own stupidity. She sees him and calls for him. 55
EXT. Guido. INT.NIGHT Guido pulls Carla through the lobby.
Raging. LOBBY.. She’s humiliated. Guido can only guess at what’s happened. I’m tired of eating alone in that room. Carla is seated at a table. CARLA (trying to explain) I was hungry.
GUIDO Luisa . he grabs her and frogmarches her out the door. He heads back to the terrace restaurant. STEPS..NIGHT Guido comes back inside. She walks away up the steps. GUIDO There are plenty of restaurants.
I told you I came here with my parents when I was little.S A taxi. CARLA So why do I have to wait outside? GUIDO (shamed) I’ll find someone to escort you home. She just
CARLA Well. for the Signora. DE ROSSI O. Right away. GUIDO O. He walks over to the front desk. GUIDO Carla. De Rossi comes out from behind his desk. conscious of De Rossi. GUIDO The only privilege my wife has these days is not having to warn me. CARLA Will you wait with me? GUIDO I’m in the middle of a working dinner with my colleagues. approaches her. Carla walks towards the door. 56
CARLA I wanted to see the hotel. I didn’t come to disturb you.NINE (11/11/09) p. GUIDO Well you certainly managed to. He disappears. to the ubiquitous De Rossi. turned up. She’s humiliated. she could have warned you. you have to wait outside. CARLA Why didn’t you tell me Luisa was going to be here! GUIDO I didn’t know she was here. please.S.
Guido goes back to the suddenly vulnerable Carla.
Luisa doesn’t move.NIGHT Carla walks along the road in the dark. LUISA You told me it was finished. Luisa turns on her bedside lamp and sits up in bed. and hardly a mortal sin. Luisa is apparently asleep in hers. is stupid but not. EXT. GUIDO (CONT'D) Luisa. Glum. I didn’t even know you were coming.
. as far as I know. GUIDO’S SUITE . Look.NINE (11/11/09) p. she would be staying in the hotel. ROAD .NIGHT Guido enters. she was worried about me. GUIDO Because it’s true. stumbling along. she came to see if I was all right . GUIDO It is. disconcertingly. a crime. would you rather wait inside? CARLA I’m going to walk. LUISA (without opening her eyes) Very plausible. GUIDO Apparently she’s staying in some grotesque pensione next to the station. Guido sits on his bed. wouldn’t she? Think about it. INT. The two single beds. Luisa suddenly laughs. Please tell my friend I had to leave. if I’d invited her here.which yes. She walks away. 57
DE ROSSI (carefully) Signora.
HOTEL BELLAVISTA . You being here.S. the effort of having to hide and lie and cheat.NINE (11/11/09) p. Vodka. And
. remember me? GUIDO Yes. insecure) What? What are you laughing about? LUISA Nothing. Guido looks around. no wonder you’ve got no script. (raising herself up further) I couldn’t live with it . full of flirt. It’s finished. Stephanie grins at him. GUIDO It’s finished. Stephanina from Vogue. It’s exhausting. If you could see yourself. STEPHANIE (CONT'D) Hi. Guido gets up and hurries from the room. I remember very well. Luisa turns over. 58
GUIDO (CONT'D) (smiles.) I’ll have one of those. INT. goes up to the bartender. (and he is exhausted) If it wasn’t before. it’s the Vogue Journalist from the Press Conference. Guido Contini. Due. BAR. infectious. STEPHANIE (O. coincidence. LUISA (lying back on her bed) Blah blah blah blah blah. STEPHANIE So. Stephanie. reaches to the bedside lamp and turns it off. me being here.the absurdity of being you. GUIDO
A voice comes from behind him. it is now. from Vogue. you’re too busy inventing your own life.NIGHT Guido enters the bar.
NINE (11/11/09) p... Stephanie crosses her legs. Prego. GUIDO (paying) Please. STEPHANIE (CONT'D) No. May I take a cigarette? STEPHANIE That was quite a performance. produces some money. Sexual revolution.. Guido takes a cigarette. At the Press Conference. The drinks appear. The Vanishing Act. They’re the only movies that tell the truth about the modern world. GUIDO (lights their cigarettes) Really? STEPHANIE Like a million times. And what exactly is the sexual revolution? STEPHANIE That we can talk about later. my treat. 59
GUIDO (taking his glasses off) Amazing. GUIDO And what truth is that? STEPHANIE (thinks) Death of religion. Guido looks down and sees her grey patent leather boot moving in time to the beat..
. Grazie. A RHYTHM BEGINS. please. GUIDO I don’t think religion is dead. STEPHANIE GUIDO Guido
STEPHANIE (eyeing Guido) I’ve seen all your movies.
FLASH: A SUDDEN IMAGE OF A WOMAN’S HIP THRUST. GUIDO I hate that man.
. They want to undress like Claudia Jenssen. Stephanie makes her entrance on the catwalk. At the center of the stage. undresses you with his eyes. STEPHANIE (CONT’D) It’s the Italian man in you: pays for your drinks. GUIDO (appalled)
FLASH: A SUDDEN HEAD TURN OF A MAN IN SHADES. FLASH: A SUDDEN IMAGE OF MEN IN STYLISH SUITS. They want to dress like Claudia Jenssen.
STEPHANIE It’s great: you care as much about the suit as the man wearing it.. 60
STEPHANIE (CONT’D) You have such style. “SOUNDSTAGE” The tiered levels of the unfinished set are covered with go-go girls in silver miniskirts. That’s the other thing I love about your movies. STEPHANIE Every frame is like a postcard. They want to ride on a Vespa down the Via Veneto. GUIDO (appalled)
Okay. Italian male models in stylish suits and Ray Bans strut down a fashion runway. FANTASY: INT. They want to live in an Italian movie.. STEPHANIE No! Style is the new content! It’s what my readers love.NINE (11/11/09) p. I always think that.
NINE (11/11/09) p.NIGHT Stephanie rubs her leg against Guido’s. 61
STEPHANIE I LOVE THE BLACK AND WHITE! I LOVE THE PLAY OF LIGHT! THE WAY CONTINI PUTS HIS IMAGE THROUGH A PRISM. HOTEL BAR . I LOVE THE GLAMOROUSLY LATIN WORLD THAT ONLY GUIDO CAN PORTRAY!!! CONTINI’S CINEMA ITALIANO! I LOVE HIS CINEMA ITALIANO! HE MAKES ME FEEL WITH CINEMA ITALIANO (MORE)
.NIGHT Guido lights Stephanie’s cigarette. INT. HOTEL BAR .NIGHT Guido and Stephanie share a laugh as she steals a sip from Guido’s glass. rhythmic moves. IT MAKES ME SMILE HE IS THE ESSENCE OF ITALIAN STYLE. LOOKIN’ OUTTA SIGHT! I LOVE TO WATCH ‘EM AS THEY CRUISE WITH THEIR POINTY LEATHER SHOES WEARIN’ SHADES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. “SOUNDSTAGE” STEPHANIE I FEEL MY BODY CHILL GIVES ME A SPECIAL THRILL EACH TIME I SEE THAT GUIDO NEO-REALISM INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” STEPHANIE WHATEVER GUIDO DOES. INT. INT. INT. HOTEL BAR . INT. STEPHANIE I LOVE THE DARK AND HANDSOME GUYS WITH THEIR SKINNY LITTLE TIES DRESSIN’ MOD. “SOUNDSTAGE” Stephanie leads the men in a series of tight.
NINE (11/11/09) p. 62 STEPHANIE (CONT'D) MY LIFE IS REAL WITH CINEMA ITALIANO HE IS THE KING OF CINEMA ITALIANO! INT. HOTEL BAR - NIGHT Stephanie whispers into Guido’s ear, as she drops her room key into his pocket. He watches her hips swing as she walks out. Guido plays with her room key, deciding whether or not to follow. INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” A long line of chic women replace the men on the runway, joining Stephanie. STEPHANIE THOSE SCENES I LOVE TO SEE FROM GUIDO’S “P” “O” “V” THERE’S NO ONE ELSE WITH HIS UNIQUE DIRECTOR’S VISION. HIS ANGLES - WIDE AND TIGHT EACH MOMENT FEELS SO RIGHT... DEFINES ITALIAN STYLE BY ONLY HIS DECISION! I LOVE THE SPEEDY LITTLE CARS THE HIP COFFEE BARS THE SLEEK WOMEN IN POSITANO... GUIDO’S THE ULTIMATE UOMO ROMANO! STEPHANIE AND MEN CONTINI’S CINEMA ITALIANO! I LOVE HIS CINEMA ITALIANO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO GUIDO! DRUM BREAK. The number heats up.
INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - NIGHT Guido exits the elevator, weary and ripe with selfdisgust, and walks down the hallway to Stephanie’s door. Guido pushes open the door and drops her key in a bowl. He walks tentatively into the room and sits on her bed. The dressing room door is deliberately ajar. Guido catches a glimpse of Stephanie undressing in a mirror.
NINE (11/11/09) p. 63
INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” STEPHANIE DARK AND HANDSOME GUYS SKINNY LITTLE TIES SHADES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT SPEEDY LITTLE CARS HIP COFFEE BARS SLEEK WOMEN IN POSITANO... STEPHANIE AND WOMEN ECCO IL RE DEL CINEMA ITALIANO QUESTO O E IL CINEMA ITALIANO NELLA MIA ANIMA ALL NELLA MIA ANIMA NELLA MIA ANIMA CINEMA ITALIANO BIANCO-NERO BIANCO-NERO BIANCO-NERO NERO-NERO STEPHANIE CINEMA ITALIANO WOMEN BIANCO-NERO BIANCO-NERO BIANCO-NERO NERO-NERO MEN DARK AND HANDSOME GUYS SKINNY LITTLE TIES SHADES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT SPEEDY LITTLE CARS HIP COFFEE BARS MOD, LOOKIN’ OUTTA SIGHT MEN ECCO IL RE DEL CINEMA ITALIANO QUESTO O E IL CINEMA ITALIANO
ALL NELLA MIA ANIMA CINEMA ITALIANO NELLA MIA ANIMA CINEMA ITALIANO CONTINI’S CINEMA ITALIANO! Suddenly, the go-go adoration paparazzi Flowing. Guido is sharing the runway with Stephanie, dancers, and the male models, soaking up the as his idol-worshipping audience cheers and flash. It’s a party. Champagne Popping. Guido and Stephanie
Everyone is chanting Guido’s name. exit the runway, arm and arm...
NINE (11/11/09) p. 64
INT. STEPHANIE’S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Guido feels consumed with self-loathing. No. GUIDO
He gets up from the bed and bolts from the room... INT. GUIDO’S SUITE - NIGHT ...Guido enters his own suite. He sits down on Luisa’s bed, curls round her and kisses her neck. Determined to commit to Luisa. GUIDO I love you Luisa. After a moment she turns to him, her own hand seeks his. GUIDO (CONT'D) Can we please try to be close again. The PHONE RINGS, shockingly loud. He kisses Luisa, then grabs the phone to silence it. Pronto... GUIDO (CONT'D)
EXT. PENSIONE FERROVIA - NIGHT Guido arrives at the Pensione. at the door. Distressed. INT. PENSIONE FERROVIA - NIGHT As they walk down the hall GUIDO Is the doctor still with her? The Matron nods. MATRON Yes, he’s in there. He’s waiting for you. This way. The Matron is waiting
leaving Guido leaning against the wall. You movie people..NIGHT Guido and Doctor Rondi come out. picks up his bag. Doctor Rondi is brisk. He nods to Guido that they go
DOCTOR RONDI Signor Contini. DOCTOR RONDI She took five or six pills.. INT. MEMORY: EXT.NIGHT Guido goes in with the Matron to find her DAUGHTER pressing a cold compress onto Carla’s head as she lies.. runs fast across the rough dunes.NINE (11/11/09) p. Guido is concerned. BEACH . 65
INT. enough to make herself very sick. outside. As Guido makes to leave Come back. Rondi hands him the prescription. HALLWAY OUTSIDE PENSIONE BEDROOM .
. turns and walks away.. CARLA
Guido reassures her with a gesture. feverish in the bed. (Guido can’t answer) This is a sordid business. CARLA (distant) You came. I understand she’s your mistress. alone and dressed in his school uniform. Guido doesn’t fight. GUIDO (taking her hand) I’m here.DAY Young Guido. PENSIONE BEDROOM . DOCTOR RONDI is packing up his things. I suppose you don’t consider yourself bound by morality. Doctor Rondi writes out a prescription as he talks.
We’ll talk about everything in the morning. GUIDO What have you done to yourself? not worth dying for.NIGHT .
. PENSIONE BEDROOM . Knows what she’s saying is true.. Carla.) Guido? Dove corri? Where are you running to? INT. Grazie. This comes out with enormous tenderness. CARLA No. When you’re in your life. indicates to the Matron and her daughter that they should leave. GUIDO (CONT'D) Carla. I’m
CARLA Don’t be angry with me. She
GUIDO Ssshh. as if she suddenly understands herself. just call. andiamo. I just want you to love me. You should rest.S.I’m still here. the door knob turns. CARLA (CONT’D) When you’re not here with me. Guido comes back into the room. I’m still here. Everything I do. he’ll take me home. Thank you.NINE (11/11/09) p. 66
MAMMA (O. GUIDO I’m going to stay with her
MATRON If you need us for anything.. okay? Francesca. now... GUIDO
He sits on the side of the bed and puts his hand over hers. He stands and pulls a sheet up over her. dancing with your wife . Guido hears her. looks at him. making your movies. I should call your husband.
Rest.. as Mamma circles him from below.caro mio. MAMMA (CONT’D) GUARDA LA LUNA CHE BRILLA LASSU HOW THE MOON GLOWS AS IT SMILES OVER YOU WHEN YOU’RE DREAMING BLISSFULLY! DREAMING. DREAM OF YOUR YOUTH WHEN I’M STILL BY YOUR SIDE DREAM OF YOUR MANHOOD..Caro.S. she turns to face him. about where you are. well you know that. She sings playfully. that’s the strange thing.. what you are doing. I spend too much time in my little brain thinking about you.. CARLA My husband thinks I’m clever. “SOUNDSTAGE” MAMMA (O. Don’t leave me.NINE (11/11/09) p. because I’m not.Young Guido is scaling the unfinished set. “SOUNDSTAGE” Mamma guides Young Guido through an allée of candles. PRAY I’M THERE TO GUIDE YOU AND WHEN YOU GROW OLD (MORE) GUIDO Cara mia. 67
CARLA (Clutching at him) Don’t leave me. FLYING FREE! INT. rest. INT.NIGHT Guido attempts to comfort Carla.
. Mamma intercepts Young Guido as he jumps down from the spiral staircase and she swings him into her arms.. what you dream of. Guido lies down next to her. MAMMA OH. PENSIONE BEDROOM ..) . Hundreds of candles fill the darkness. . FANTASY: INT.
Don’t let me
. hears voices. goes out to investigate. He rests his
Older Guido walks past them up the staircase.. is talking with Matron on the landing.DAY Carla’s husband. as Mamma takes Young Guido up the grand staircase. He gets up. INT.he is replaced by Older Guido.
Older Guido watches. GUIDO Hold on to me. and . wake from this. MINE! She gently spins Young Guido. head in her lap. He disappears into darkness. Mamma sits on the steps with Young Guido. Him.as he completes the turn . PENSIONE BEDROOM . Mamma now waltzes with her adult son.. Guido pulls away. Mamma. MAMMA (CONT'D) GUARDA LA LUNA. He rubs his face.NINE (11/11/09) p.DAY Guido wakes. INT. SHE HANGS IN THE SKY BEAMING HER BLESSING TO MAKE YOU AND I KNOW THAT THIS ONE GOODNIGHT KISS WILL KEEP ALL YOUR LIFE PERFECT LIKE THIS. Carla looks very fragile as the first rays of sun touch the room. It’s morning. FIGLIOLO MIO. GUIDO DO YOU THINK THAT SO MANY WILL LOVE YOU AS I DO? Mamma caresses Guido’s face. MAMMA (CONT'D) GUIDO SAI CHE TI VOGLIO BENE. too. LUIGI. 68 MAMMA (CONT'D) HOW MY LOVE STILL WILL SHINE ALWAYS REMEMBER MY SON. HALLWAY OUTSIDE PENSIONE BEDROOM . YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MINE! YES.
don’t you. But then he sees a figure moving about in the dressing room. LUIGI GUIDO MATRON
LUIGI I’d like to take her home. He’s confused. 69
Guido straightens himself up. perhaps. (hapless) She loves you. Guido stands outside for a second. Is she okay? Yes. (MORE)
. as Matron retreats to leave them alone. You drag a whole crew up here and then you just disappear. dignified man. emptying a closet. Darling? GUIDO
Dante appears. INT. She’s had it with you. He and Guido can’t really look at each other. then turns to go. DANTE We’re going back to Rome. GUIDO Of course. Excuse me. (different tone) And quite frankly. LUIGI is a nice. you know that. LUIGI She’s my wife. GUIDO’S SUITE .DAY The door is open as Guido enters. worried that Luisa has gone. so have I. She leaves. GUIDO (anxious) Where’s Luisa? DANTE Luisa? She’s gone. stuffing Guido’s things into a suitcase. He walks into the room.NINE (11/11/09) p. approaches. I’m sorry. He’s very anxious.
70 DANTE (CONT'D) I can’t protect you anymore. Remember? (sits) I can’t.LATE AFTERNOON Guido’s Roadster approaches the gates. you’ve seen the priests. There are PAPARAZZI gathered for the arrival of Claudia. at the door) Guido! Andiamo! EXT.S. GUIDO
DANTE You can’t. DANTE (decisive. your star has landed. write with your camera. Fausto . solemn faced. GATES OF CINECITTA .NINE (11/11/09) p. A Bellboy and a luggage cart stand in the hall. I need help.) Forget the script. Dante walks over to the door with the suitcase.) I need more time. ignoring the press. no arguments) That’s enough! The movie calls. Don’t sit down. And Claudia is in Rome. DANTE (O. GUIDO (O. DANTE (CONT'D) (impatient. you’ve taken the cure.S. You must. Claudia’s here now. You’ve seen the doctors. GUIDO I’m not cured.
. passing Fausto. GUIDO
DANTE (still packing) You’ve had help. She’ll inspire you to do what you do best. They drive through. for the beginning of filming. Makeup tests start today.take his things please.
LATE AFTERNOON The whole energy of this return to Cinecitta is hectic. and as they head towards the studio. Lilli peels off and joins her assistant Roberta at a rack of costumes. the screen tests are back from the lab.
LILLI She asked if she could read my script as she didn’t have one. CINECITTA ..
. DANTE PIERPAOLO
Dante marches Guido towards the stage. 71
EXT. equipment waiting to work. PIERPAOLO Maestro. Guido is trying not to panic. LILLI Claudia says where are you? She’s in fine form. I said I didn’t quite have mine. He drives fast and straight to Stage 4. We’ll watch everything tonight and make some decisions. Guido feels the pressure that the whole studio is gearing up for a movie that doesn’t exist. Guido drives towards the stages. Pierpaolo has a hundred requests for Guido. PIERPAOLO Design meeting? Production meeting? Tonight. they are immediately swamped. Lilli joins them. Feisty.. everybody and everything needing Guido’s attention. people wanting to work. Tonight.NINE (11/11/09) p. GUIDO (knows what that means)
Okay. He feels as if he’s just arrived in prison camp. Will you watch them now? DANTE Tonight.
INT. I just want you to come to the screen test tonight. needs him to start.NINE (11/11/09) p. INSERT STAGE/CONTINI HOME . then leaves the set quickly. Everything. I won’t know what I’m thinking.
. Not for me. but for the movie. you always do. (she doesn’t respond) I want you to be with me in the screening room tonight. I want to talk to you about the casting. GUIDO Otherwise I won’t be able to start. CLAUDIA JENSSEN. 72
INT. You always have. about the script. LUISA at home. Please don’t hang up. INSERT STAGE. Pierpaolo appears again. Guido says a brisk hello to the crew. PIERPAOLO
Guido nods. Luisa listens. Luisa puts down the phone. it’s me. He dials. LUISA
GUIDO Luisa. Guido waits. Finds the studio telephone behind the flats. The gang enters. CINECITTA .. HAIR AND MAKEUP TESTS. Pronto.LATE AFTERNOON INTERCUT.LATE AFTERNOON A couple of huge cameras are being prepared. LUISA
GUIDO I’m not asking you to let me come home.. Luisa picks up the phone. The Loader has created a slate: ITALIA. Maestro. some lights are being flown up into the grid. listening. waves him away. GUIDO Are you there? Luisa? Go on... inscrutable. the LOADER is preparing the Clapper Board. always the same.
She looks stunning and glamorous.
PIERPAOLO We’ve got it. Makeup artists and costume assistants immediately surround her. Next costume please. who is CLAUDIA. star. 73
Guido is in a mess. that’s the long and short of it. Guido gets up and approaches Claudia.EARLY EVENING Guido walks forward and sits by the camera. I can turn to my right. INSERT STAGE . Claudia. as suddenly there’s a commotion at the studio door. The epitome of a Sixties movie star. INT. And we are rolling. Se gira. GUIDO And can you turn to the left. CLAUDIA Yes. loosening her hair. Bellissima. Guido gets behind the camera and films Claudia’s test. I can turn to my left. one slow turn. the woman. GUIDO Could you turn to the right please. her home. GUIDO Now just one slow turn for us. simply walks into the light. followed by a tall figure. CLAUDIA (she turns around) Okay. GUIDO Brava. She’s a
. who demands the space around her. and stands there waiting for Guido. Cut. silhouettes only. Fausto is also mesmerised. and Lilli and some of her assistants come through.NINE (11/11/09) p. Pierpaolo acts as First Assistant Director. Dante is thrilled. and wigs and all manner of items. As the others walk towards a holding area with costumes. of course. CLAUDIA Yes. PIERPAOLO Silence please.
Guido adores her. handsome reward. That’s fair. 74
And she’s warming up for a fight with her director. Claudia! GUIDO DANTE
GUIDO (to Dante) That’s fair. title Italia. Lilli. CLAUDIA (CONT'D) So interesting to do hair and makeup for a part when you don’t know what the part is... (back to the guys. Lost. (calls over to Lilli) I love the costumes. I’ll read it and then we’ll take it from there. CLAUDIA (CONT'D) (shrugs off the coat) No! I’m going back to my hotel now. adjusts her hair. Fair? DANTE
GUIDO I’ll be back.
.. just a couple more costumes. and when I there is a script. Claudia. Lilli comes forward. sweetly) Ciao Bello. Can’t make a film without it. CLAUDIA Has anybody got a script? Script missing. Another litany of jibes. half-joking. my darling. PIERPAOLO (anxious) But please.NINE (11/11/09) p. They are beautiful. one script. puts a chinchilla fur coat on Claudia. her feistiness... CLAUDIA (to Guido) I’m going back to my hotel now. her spirit. but dangerous.
loves having her in the car. but as the road opens up. you’re seeing Lilli’s wigs and makeup. DANTE (calling to Guido) You’ve got dailies. Guido. just south of the Vatican. So do the posse. Guido’s a good driver and weaves in and out of the traffic. lots of remonstration from Guido.NINE (11/11/09) p. INT. flashbulbs popping. GUIDO I’ll be right back. and are immediately followed by a posse of photographers on their mopeds and Vespas and little cars. CAR. they can’t keep up with him and he manages to overtake a car. Opportunity for escape. taking the chinchilla coat from Lilli with him. The paparazzi are in waiting and swarm the car. CINECITTA . DANTE (shouting) You’ve got meetings. EXT. they speed after him. GUIDO You look ravishing. 75
Guido races after Claudia. men clambering onto the car for a picture of the Star driving away with her Director. They drive away. He’s driving fast but distracted by her. Guido glances at Claudia.
. CLAUDIA You’re not seeing me. He’s always inspired. which swing open. MEDIEVAL LANES.NIGHT Guido drives Claudia towards the gates. They watch the photographers hurtle past in search of them. TRASTEVERE . Lots of shouting and pleas. she’s such a class act.NIGHT Guido’s Roadster roars away.NIGHT Guido stops the car by some narrow streets in the Trastevere. They sit for a second. the papparazzi posse following. EXT. ROME OUTSKIRTS . I’m somewhere hidden underneath.
CLAUDIA So Lilli says I’m playing a million different parts GUIDO Not a million . Guido has no confidence in what he’s saying anymore. sighs) who even knows. GUIDO Why is everybody so suddenly obsessed with the script? Claudia listens. a country run by men who are themselves run by women.. They fall in love with each other in every movie. they’re not interested in my script! They’re interested in the way you turn your head. whether they know it or not. the incredible women who made Italy what it is today. his passion. the way you really do blush for the camera how?! (enough examples. 76
GUIDO It’s good to see you..NINE (11/11/09) p. the way you smile a little as you cry.you’re the muses. Guido lights a cigarette. GUIDO (CONT'D) Talk to the people who love you in our films.. Guido is exasperated.. the way the camera looks past you to the moon. CLAUDIA I’m assuming that’s code for there’s no script. (MORE) It’s
. almost deserted here. They get out of the car and begin to walk away. but whatever else it is. it’s not my script. She’s always seduced by the way he speaks. that’s the way of it. CLAUDIA (teasing him) So I’m the women behind the great men? GUIDO (trying hard to tell the truth) The great women.
. to devour everything. IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY. MAYBE IT LASTED AN HOUR.. GUIDO No. because he’s lost. he doesn’t want to. he’s bleeding to death.yes .
CLAUDIA (decisive) I’d rather be the man. MEDIEVAL LANES.you have this man in the story and he’s. He follows. What? GUIDO
CLAUDIA I’d rather be the man. She grabs his hat. you misunderstand. ONE TIME I NEEDED YOU.. he wants to take hold of everything. YOU WERE MY FRIEND. CLAUDIA (deflating) And these muses . or. TRASTEVERE . and he changes direction every day.they’re just fantasies. MAYBE IT LASTED A DAY. EXT. he can’t let anything go. BUT SOMEHOW IT WILL NEVER END. he’s dying. puts it on her head. “SOUNDSTAGE” CLAUDIA IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY. FANTASY: INT. the road.they fall in love with the man? Exactly! GUIDO They fall in love with him.NIGHT CLAUDIA These women who come off their pedestals for a kiss .. 77 GUIDO (CONT'D) In a way .NINE (11/11/09) p..
.S. CLAUDIA (O. Claudia steps up onto the fountain. I WANT TO CRY. The Piazza is empty except for a few cars parked where the entrances have been blocked off. CLAUDIA When there’s a camera between us. GUIDO
CLAUDIA It’s not a real person. PIAZZA WITH FOUNTAIN .NIGHT GUIDO She’s his inspiration. YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE.NIGHT Claudia heads towards a little Piazza with an ancient fountain in the centre of the square. YOU CAN'T TELL WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE ME LOOKING AT YOU.he doesn’t know how to love.) (CONT'D) IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY. TRASTEVERE .NINE (11/11/09) p. I THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU. I OWE WHAT I AM TO YOU. SOMETHING INSIDE ME GOES WEAK. MEDIEVAL LANES. YOU'RE THE REASON WHY. 78
INT. EXT. IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY. GUIDO I fall in love with you every time. Guido. AND YOU'RE THE REASON WHY. IT SCARES ME SO THAT I CAN HARDLY SPEAK. SOMETHING INSIDE ME SURRENDERS. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DO TO ME. (pointed) And this man you describe . EXT. CLAUDIA I can’t keep playing that part. No. “SOUNDSTAGE” CLAUDIA IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY.
.NINE (11/11/09) p. PIAZZA WITH FOUNTAIN .and. loves you. EXT. “SOUNDSTAGE” CLAUDIA SPECIAL TO ME IN MY LIFE. Guido sits down at the edge of the fountain.NIGHT Claudia leaves behind the hat on the fountain and moves closer to Guido. CLAUDIA And why didn’t you? GUIDO I don’t know. The music ends.. SINCE THE FIRST DAY THAT I MET YOU.
. She takes off her wig and diamond earrings. 79
GUIDO There was a time once... ONCE YOU HAD TOUCHED MY SOUL. GUIDO (CONT’D) . CLAUDIA Maybe you should have knocked. some terrible hotel . The music continues. HOW COULD I EVER FORGET YOU.and you were in the room directly above me and I could hear you walking about. him.
Claudia turns and walks away. I wanted to rush up the stairs and hammer on your door until you opened. maybe you should have knocked me right off the pedestal. I don’t know. I can’t do this anymore. Wrong girl. INT. CLAUDIA (CONT'D) I’ll miss you. we were on location. IN A VERY UNUSUAL WAY. This is me. CLAUDIA (CONT'D) And you have a wife who She kisses
She hands him the wig and the earrings. YOU'VE MADE ME WHOLE. all through the night.
but it’s Gianluca.NIGHT A screen.and the hair.... looking extraordinary from the hair and makeup test. he turns around as he sees someone come in the door. LILLI
DANTE . he looks at Lilli a row or two behind him. FAUSTO She’s a goddess. The lights come up.NINE (11/11/09) p.
The reel finishes. DANTE And the back isn’t too bad. Beautiful. 80
INT. People start to comment. all enthusiastically. makeup. Wonderful costume. Guido gets a cigarette off Pierpaolo and lights up. numbers counting down. Guido? Who’s next? Actresses. the leader of a film reel.
DANTE Let’s see the actresses. she shrugs sympathetically.. SCREENING ROOM. Okay. to excited chatter. Lilli. the synch pop on 3. BENITO Really nice. and Claudia appears on the screen. back to look at the screen. Thank you. the next reel begins. fantastic. sitting alone.. FAUSTO She came directly from Venus. CINECITTA . The room goes dark. Guido turns
. DANTE Fantastic. not Luisa. BENITO She has a beautiful profile. DANTE (to Lilli) Great work.. DANTE Two great profiles. Guido watches.
. DANTE Well they can keep her. Very striking. She’s a bit nervous here. one after the other. He turns back to the screen. DANTE She’s peculiar. DANTE Even better. Everybody wants her right now. but Guido interrupts her.NINE (11/11/09) p. the walks. the smile it provokes. But what he says and how he says it. Guido instructs her. As if you were angry. Guido gives them things to do. It’s Donatella. No. Very nervous.very angry on the phone: BENITO If we like her. say their names. goes like a dagger to Luisa. shouts out. a whisper. Approaches her. She says her name. Someone comes in the door. Make him want you. She
Luisa finds the gentle humor in this situation. Her hair is in a chignon. as the women appear. sitting next to Lilli. She’s beautiful and innocent. 81
During the reel. She begins her improv.. Pick up the phone and argue with your lover. She’s come. Guido? Donatella’s nice? Another girl: ALESSIA. You don’t like her Guido? Next actress: ILARIA. freeing her hair. ON ELEANORA . tries the phone. DANTE (CONT'D)
FAUSTO She’s very natural. and undoes the chignon. Guido turns and sees it’s Luisa. getting sotto voce instructions from Guido. They come on. Dante is very decisive. Another actress appears. A little smile. She’s nice. She looks at Guido. we have to call her agent right away. What do you say. Walk towards the camera as if you were frightened. She’s not a natural.
. make him laugh. He turns back to the screen. suddenly appears in front of the camera. Guido says something to her. BENITO She’s a very funny actress. He feels it like sunshine. Keeps looking out past the camera.
DANTE (CONT’D) I don’t know what Guido thinks. especially to Lilli. FAUSTO She’s not bad.
As the reel finishes. and a hug or a handshake from almost everybody for Luisa. very busy day tomorrow. leaves. well done. FAUSTO She’s too tall. blonde. DANTE Guido wants the
FAUSTO She’s beautiful. but we have to go home. For my tastes. The screening room empties. Thank you very much everybody. Anyway. I think we are happy with Donatella. jumps up) Great. husband and wife. GUIDO It meant so much to us all. and the lights come up. We have a very. but Shh. several rows apart in the empty screening room. Just the two of them now. DANTE It’s not the point. GUIDO
DANTE (delighted. 82
DANTE (CONT’D) Who’s this? I thought we were looking for a blonde. Lilli kisses her. came. Very tall. (MORE) That you
. fantastic day. DANTE She’s too beautiful. Thank you. Donatella’s better.NINE (11/11/09) p. DANTE
BENITO She’s very beautiful. isn’t she? Sure. a lot of mutual congratulations on good work. Okay...
trapped. it’s just you working to get what you want. The figure steps forward. Guido squirms. “SOUNDSTAGE” THE BEAT OF A STRIPPER’S DRUM.
. They start to whistle as if they were at some sleazy club. Guido sits in an audience of raucous men who have filled all the seats around him.NIGHT Thank you.. LUISA
GUIDO (encouraged) What for? LUISA Thank you for reminding me I’m not special. do you? Even the moments I think are ours. revealing the silhouette of a figure bathed in red light.. INT. INT.NINE (11/11/09) p. The curtain opens. tricked out like a seedy nightclub stripper. A gloved hand emerges from behind a beaded curtain. You don’t even see what you do. beckoning. CINECITTA . LUISA YOU WANT MY LOVE? TAKE IT ALL YOU WANT TO WATCH IT ALL COME OFF? TAKE IT ALL COME ON NOW SHOW ME HOW YOU TAKE IT ALL. 83 GUIDO (CONT'D) (nothing from Luisa) What did you think? Did you like anybody or -? (nothing) Luisa? FANTASY: INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” Luisa strips. It’s Luisa. SCREENING ROOM.
. INT. this is what I do. I direct. SO GO AHEAD TAKE IT ALL LUISA
YOU WANT MY SOUL? TAKE IT ALL! IT’S TIME TO LEAVE.NIGHT GUIDO (dawning on him) What are you talking about? He stands up. CINECITTA . Guido stands up straight. leans on the chair back. SCREENING ROOM. IF I’M TO LIVE. BECAUSE I HAVE NO MORE. Luisa charges into the audience: she is mauled and assaulted by the men. LUISA And this is our life. because I can’t ever. THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE.. GUIDO (CONT’D) The screen test? You have to understand. “SOUNDSTAGE” As the strip becomes more raw. Instrumental. Guido watches.. humiliated. it’s nothing.NINE (11/11/09) p. But don’t think I can forgive you in private. Luisa defiantly exposes her body and her contempt for Guido. You think to create is to forgive yourself in public. That’s my job. 84
LUISA YOU WANT MY GLOVE? ARE YOU ENTHRALLED? YOU WANT TO SEE IT SLIP AWAY AND WATCH IT FALL? OH WE KNOW IT’S YOUR SHOW SO TAKE IT ALL INT.
NINE (11/11/09) p. 85
LUISA (CONT’D) I WATCH YOU RISE! I WATCH YOU FALL! WHILE I AM STANDING WITH MY BACK AGAINST THE WALL NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO FINALLY LEARN YOU HAD THE WORLD YOU HAD YOUR FLING YOU WANTED MORE THAN EVERYTHING YOU GOT YOUR WISH YOU GOT YOUR PRIZE NOW TAKE IT RIGHT BETWEEN YOUR THIGHS YOU GRABBED FOR EVERYTHING MY FRIEND BUT DON’T YOU SEE THAT IN THE END THERE WILL BE NOTHING! INT. SCREENING ROOM, CINECITTA - NIGHT LUISA You’re just an appetite, and if you stopped being greedy you’d die. You take everything, and I’m empty. Luisa gets up from her chair, heads to the exit door. LUISA (CONT’D) You know, I’m glad I came. I can see now... it’s hopeless... Luisa leaves. Guido is left alone.
The room goes dark as the screen tests, on a loop, start up again. Guido walks into the flickering light of the projector... GUIDO What have I done? What have I done, Luisa? INT. “SOUNDSTAGE” ...He sits silhouetted by the harsh white beams. I CAN'T THERE'S I CAN'T PROBLEM THERE'S GUIDO MAKE THIS MOVIE, NO WAY THAT I'LL BEGIN IT. BEAR TO SEE THE CAMERAS ROLL. IS THE SUBJECT, NO PLEASANT WAY TO TREAT IT. (MORE)
NINE (11/11/09) p. 86 GUIDO (CONT'D) THE PROBLEM IS THE AUTHOR'S LOST CONTROL. HOW I WISH IT DIDN'T HAVE TO BE SO, BUT WE CUT THE LOSSES-STARTING NOW STRIKE THE SET AND KEEP IT FOR SOME SIDESHOW. TELL THE CAST AND CREW THAT THEY CAN ALL GO. Guido stands and walks towards the image on the screen. He violently rips the screen to the ground. GUIDO (CONT'D) FIND ANOTHER GENIUS, I CAN'T BE ONE OR BECOME ONE. I CAN'T EVEN TELL HOW I'D BEGIN. HELP LUISA, HELP ME, HELP ME MAMMA, HELP ME SOMEONE. HERE'S A PLACE WHERE I HAVE NEVER BEEN. GUIDO OUT IN SPACE WITH NO DIRECTION, GUIDO AT A LOSS FOR WHAT TO SAY, GUIDO WITH NO INTERVENING ACTORS, GUIDO AT THE MERCY OF DETRACTORS, GUIDO HERE, WITH NO ONE ELSE BUT... NOTHING HOLDS TOGETHER NOTHING MAKES A BIT OF SENSE NOW IMPOSSIBLE TO GRASP OR UNDERSTAND HOW CAN I GO ON TO WATCH THE WHOLE OF MY EXISTENCE END UP BEING NOTHING THAT I PLANNED HAVE I LOST MYSELF AND ALL I WISHED FOR HAS MY LIFE BECOME A MINDLESS GAME GUIDO, I CAN’T STAND THE NAME OF GUIDO GUIDO, FOR GODSAKE, WHO IS THIS GUIDO? GUIDO HERE, WITH NO ONE ELSE BUT GUIDO... Guido collapses to his knees. GUIDO (CONT'D) (honest) I destroyed everything, Mamma... Suddenly, his mother appears. GUIDO (CONT’D) ...I destroyed everything, I just... you make one wrong turn and then because of that, after it all the turns are wrong. And you are so far from where you wanted to be...and you’re lost and then you’re lost.
NINE (11/11/09) p. 87
MAMMA No one can help you find your way. (a beat) It’s up to you, Guido. Up to you. Nobody else. In Guido’s face, a soulful recognition that what she’s said is true. INT. CINECITTA, STAGE 5 - DAY A HUGE CRASH... ...A large piece of Guido’s set comes crashing down. Dante and Guido walk through the empty soundstage, leaving behind the set which is being dismantled by a group of construction workers. GUIDO (O.S.) Old friends, I have to come clean with you. INT. PRODUCTION OFFICES, CINECITTA - DAY REALITY. Guido faces his production team. hard for him. This is
GUIDO There is no movie. I can’t pretend anymore. We have to stop. (nothing more to say) I’m sorry. There is silence in the room. EXT. CINECITTA, STAGE 5 - DAY The metal soundstage door opens as Guido and Dante walk through and into the sunlight. Guido is defeated. He stops at his car and turns to Dante. Guido gets in his car. Guido drives away. Dante watches him go. EXT. BEACH - ANGUILLARA - AFTERNOON A cold wind blows. a deserted beach. SUPERTITLE: A lonely figure (GUIDO) walks along
Anguillara, Italy, 2 years later
Luisa exits the theatre with the company of actors.DAY Guido and Lilli walk along the waterfront. nervous. Only a few customers left in the cafe. BEACH CAFE. in a doorway across the street from a theatre that’s presenting the Pirandello play. Promise me you’re going to let me cut your hair and get rid of that awful beard. alone.NINE (11/11/09) p. I didn’t want to interfere. EXT. THEATER . folds it under his arm. bearded. DIANA E LA TUDA. Guido gets up at this moment. stacking tables.. all of them plaited together in post-performance bonhomie. as the waves crash to and fro. pulling down umbrellas. takes the paper.. ANGUILLARA STREETS . Guido’s changed. by occasionally. she’s my friend. as the waiters close up for the day.NIGHT Guido waits. and exits the restaurant. They talk People pass
LILLI I’m glad she’s acting again. Scribbles and heavy markings circle an ad for a theater production in Rome. Haggard. Luisa takes the arm of a handsome male. hair longer and unkempt. I’m not her mother. as they cross and head down the street. A newspaper sits open in front of him. He heads up the steps towards the promenade and we catch a glimpse of the profound regret in his eyes EXT.AFTERNOON It’s the end of the season.
. ANGUILLARA . starring LUISA ACARI. I expect so. She’s funny. ROME. hesitates. starts to leave. I don’t know. I made her costumes for the play. GUIDO She seemed so happy. Is she with anybody? LILLI Guido. Guido watches from a distance. He looks out to sea. 88
EXT. Nobody likes to be alone.
LILLI And where are you getting about? GUIDO Nowhere. Here. it sounds exciting. I’ve spent this time trying to learn something. Go to work. no. Just to be able to walk. GUIDO No.
. He sits. I should have IDIOT tattooed on my forehead. growing a beard. GUIDO Don’t tease me. LILLI Luisa certainly thinks so. Never. 89
GUIDO I like to get about without everybody pointing at me. LILLI My heart is -
GUIDO I just miss her. LILLI (teasing) Well. Make a movie. I might come up here and join you. LILLI Are you seeing anybody? GUIDO No.NINE (11/11/09) p. Lilli. Nobody. the person who never grew up. Come back to Rome. . GUIDO (grasping at this) Does she? Did she really say that? LILLI Stop! I’m not going to act as a postman between you both. I walk. Lilli. Walking around and not seeing anyone.I know. Lilli joins him. to not be the person who forgets about everybody else.
I don’t know.. For Chrissake. etc. YOUNG GUIDO We’re ready to begin! INT.there probably isn’t a single person passing by who hasn’t been touched in some way by one of your movies. models... the cast of Guido’s life. aren’t you? Making movies wasn’t your problem. would be about a man trying to win back his wife. The music of “Be Italian/Folies Bergere” plays and builds throughout. Showgirls are
. That’s what you’ve been given. FLASH: A man of the collar applies pancake makeup. That’s your gift. especially Luisa. whores. 9. priests. You’ll never make another movie! Nobody wants that. Use it. A glimpse of a female eye applying false eyelashes.. etc. Young Guido.. People run past with props. while a cigarette dangles from his lips. FANTASY DRESSING ROOMS A surreal backstage. LILLI Sounds perfect. Just use it with some grace. GUIDO (doubtful) The only movie I could make now would be. A show about to begin. (after a beat) The costumes might not be so bad too. hurrying. You were your problem. She indicates the people who pass. appears and whispers into Guido’s ear. lights. LILLI (CONT'D) Guido . A beautiful confusion.. Don’t stop being a child. FLASH: Lights from a makeup mirror.NINE (11/11/09) p. schoolboys. 90
LILLI You’re such a dope.
YOUNG GUIDO Presto! Presto! Take your places! Andiamo! Andiamo! The dressing rooms begin to empty. 91
EXT.NINE (11/11/09) p. Lilli adjusts her own. INT. But this scene is about reconciliation. and sits for a moment in silence. FANTASY DRESSING ROOMS Young Guido rushes by the dressing rooms. And within the scene I would like you to try and find your way to begin that journey back towards each other. The vast film Italia has clearly given way to something smaller. and perhaps truer: the tale of a man and a woman. and other men’s wardrobe. FILM SET. GUIDO I don’t want to say too much. FANTASY DRESSING ROOMS The camera moves through the backstage mayhem. INT. He seems to need and acknowledge his support. an actual script. locked in passionate discussion with an ACTOR and an ACTRESS. STAGE 5. a tiny bedroom with a single window and rumpled sheets. In his hand. Summoning his courage. CINECITTA . PIERPAOLO You’ll remember. He is helping with her corset.DAY Guido is in his element again. STAGE 5. The set surrounding them is modest. GUIDO I can’t remember how you do this. CINECITTA . The first way that we kill our film is by talking about it. Carla fixes her husband’s hair. He is greeted by Pierpaolo.DAY Guido pulls up in his car outside the soundstage. Carla and Luigi. Mamma is in her dressing room preparing. he gets out of the car. Pierpaolo is tender.
. He stops the engine. Claudia and Stephanie smoke and talk. INT. Saraghina is sharing a dressing room with a Priest.
. focused instead on the task that lies ahead. she watches her husband return to his gift. They watch him as he begins to work. (to camera) Gyriamo. He takes off his jacket and hangs his glasses off his sweater.NINE (11/11/09) p. Pierpaolo calls for silence. and don’t look to me for the answers.. GUIDO (Continuing to speak to his actors) Maybe it’s the most important building block that we have to begin again. He talks to his cameraman. Young Guido watches Older Guido at work. should I call final checks? Yes. okay? On cue. PIERPAOLO (CONT'D) Alora. A part of him now and forever. please! Final checks! A LONG WIDE PAN reveals a tableau vivant looming behind Guido like a glorious choir. his every inspiration. Tentatively. Silencio per favore. We start from the beginning each time and I feel today as if I’m starting from the beginning. and we see a small figure slip quietly onto the set. FILM SET. she steps through the shadows. STAGE 5. We’ll just keep asking each other questions. 92
INT. They enter with a sense of anticipation and excitement and arrange themselves on the staircases and scaffolding that loom behind Guido. Guido sits on the crane. The soundstage door opens. GUIDO
PIERPAOLO Makeup. Silence please.DAY From high above on the soundstage catwalk. stands contemplating the set in front of him. his every muse. It’s Luisa. Young Guido opens the door behind him and ushers in THE CAST OF GUIDO’S LIFE. They are all dressed in angelic white. From a discreet distance. E alora motore!
. But Guido is oblivious. PIERPAOLO Maestro. Puts down his script. CINECITTA .
ACTION. Slate. carrying Guido up and up. the crane soars higher. across the soundstage and jumps onto the crane with Guido as it begins to rise. CONTINI. As the last note plays. down the maze of steps. Luisa watches.NINE (11/11/09) p. Young Guido runs fast. G. 93
CLOSE UP ON THE CLAPBOARD. CUT TO BLACK.
WORKING TITLE: NINE. As the clapboard strikes. GUIDO
At the last moment.