Graveyard, fire, University of Kansas, 1969, Noble Chaos, Brent Green, novel

NOBLE CHAOS: The Movie

First Script Pages

FADE IN:

EXT. MONTAGE OF RURAL KANSAS — DAY

SERIES OF SHOTS: The Great Plains and foothills of Kansas: farms, wheat fields, silos, rural towns, dust blowing across empty fields, dust devils, sunflowers, Meadowlarks, and sunsets. Music plays: “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MONTAGE OF HIPPIE CULTURE — DAY

SERIES OF SHOTS: Hippies dancing in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; scenes from Woodstock Rock Festival; iconic images such as a VW microbus, hitchhikers, commune life, Hippies sharing a bong. All images are dreamlike and in tempo with “Dust in the Wind.”

RYAN (V.O.)

The sixties. We’ve heard about that revolution for
45 years. Peace activists, protest marches,
Hippies, communes, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MONTAGE OF VIETNAM WAR — DAY

SERIES OF SHOTS: American soldiers marching through jungles, Vietnamese villages, napalm firebombs, machine gun nests, helicopters landing, injured GI’s being transported.

RYAN (V.O.)

We’ve also seen a lot about the Vietnam War.
58,000 dead. Hundreds of thousands injured.

EXT. MONTAGE OF STUDENT PROTESTS — DAY

SERIES OF SHOTS: Mass protest marches and angry confrontations between citizens and National Guard; Democratic National Convention, 1968; women’s protest marches; racial riots in U.S. cities.

RYAN (V.O.)

And we know about a nation ripping apart.
Blacks against whites. Young against old. Gays
against straights. Women against men.
Liberals against conservatives.

SERIES OF SHOTS: Kent State massacre, protest marches on campuses, students in confrontations with university authorities, building occupations, etc.

RYAN (V.O.) (CONT’D)

But there’s another story: the other war in America…

(beat)

The battles on college campuses…

CUT TO:

EXT. AERIAL VIEW OF UNIVERSITY CAMPUS — AFTERNOON

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS — AFTERNOON

Students walk along tree-lined campus streets in the fall, chattering, carrying books. They’re dressed in clothes appropriate for 1969. Someone is handing out leaflets; some are gathering in groups…a busy time between classes.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS — AFTERNOON

A gothic building with Kansas Union sign; students rush in and out of the building.

SUPERIMPOSE: “UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS. 1969.”

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. INTERIOR OF STUDENT UNION AUDITORIUM — AFTERNOON

Overhead camera reveals interior of an empty auditorium with bleachers surrounding a wood surface. Two men run across the polished floor, their faces disguised by baseball caps, handkerchiefs and sunglasses.

CUT TO:

INT. STUDENT UNION BUILDING — AFTERNOON

They sneak behind the bleachers. One intruder takes off a backpack and removes bottles filled with amber liquid. The second intruder places a satchel next to the bottles. They run from behind the bleachers and out an exit door on the opposite side of the auditorium. Close up of bomb, ticking sound audible.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. A COUNTRY GRAVEYARD NEAR THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS — AFTERNOON

A late afternoon sun illuminates a small, pastoral graveyard. Crickets chirp and a gentle breeze animates trees bright with fall colors. On a mound covered by buffalo grass, we see a young couple sitting on a blanket. RYAN STERLING is 19, medium build, handsome, with long hair covering the back of his neck and forehead. LETTY LEAH is 18, shoulder-length blonde hair, extremely attractive, but her features are hardened, a maturity beyond her years.

RYAN

(arguing)

Not an option.

LETTY

It’s all we have.

RYAN

No way.

Letty moves closer to Ryan, placing a light hand on his face.

LETTY

Someday we’ll have kids. I need their father to be alive.

RYAN

When?

LETTY

Someday.

RYAN

Delighted to be your sperm donor.

(shakes head, serious)

They kill officers first.

LETTY

Who told you that?

RYAN

Rodney Suthers, my best friend from high school,
a lance corporal. They blew his fucking head off…

Letty removes her hand from his face.

RYAN (CONT’D)

He was 19.

LETTY

It’s better in the infantry?

RYAN

Rodney had just seven days in country!

(beat, irritated)

Besides, this is not about chicks.

LETTY

(air quotes)

We’ve talked about “chick.”

RYAN

We’re talking about Nam. Men, not girls, get drafted and die.

LETTY

(air quotes)

We’ve talked about “girls”

Ryan produces a marijuana joint, lights it, and takes a toke. Leveling her gaze, Letty accepts the joint, takes a drag, and returns it to Ryan.

LETTY (CONT’D)

(exhaling)

The nation is committed.

RYAN

Committed? Like half-a-million war protesters marching in Washington last week?

LETTY

Your dad agrees about ROTC.

RYAN

Dad doesn’t get this war.

LETTY

He gets sacrifice.

RYAN

Letty! Why are you taking his side?

Letty gazes away from Ryan toward the gravestone nearby.

LETTY

(pointing to gravestone)

She’s why we come here?

RYAN

She never argues. She doesn’t push back about ROTC.

LETTY

You need a lady who stands up to you.

RYAN

(referring to gravestone)

I need a lady who’s got my back.

Rack focus on the gravestone: “LETTY LEAH, Died 1909.”

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. STUDENT UNION AUDITORIUM — LATE AFTERNOON

A student janitor, long hair tied in a ponytail, walks evenly by the bleachers pushing a giant dust mop. He hesitates as something catches his eye.

Rack focus on the satchel: ticking sound stops. The satchel explodes, forming a giant fireball, blowing apart the bleachers. The auditorium becomes engulfed in an inferno. The janitor stumbles and falls, overcome by flames.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. COUNTRY GRAVEYARD — LATE AFTERNOON

The sun hangs lower, enhancing the redness of their skin. Letty takes another toke of the joint and hands it to Ryan.

RYAN

Why not?

LETTY

You want me to give up family, my scholarship,
a law career…and split to Europe?

Ryan takes a toke from the remaining roach.

RYAN

Just a few years and then we can…

LETTY

(interrupting)

Can what? Start over? Raise two Europeans instead of Americans?

RYAN

When did we decide on two kids?

Ryan tosses the roach over a gravestone next to them.

LETTY

Sometimes we have to fight for freedom.

RYAN

Nixon’s wrong.

LETTY

But the majority agrees with his doctrine: ‘peace with honor.’

Letty tilts her head to the sky, feeling the drug’s effect.

LETTY (CONT’D)

Peace. Honor. Honor, peace. Peace of shit honor…

Letty giggles, then chuckles, then laughs, falling back on the blanket. Ryan begins laughing uncontrollably.

RYAN

(laughing)

An honorable piece!

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. VIETNAM JUNGLE — LATE AFTERNOON

SERIES OF SHOTS: American soldiers are in a furious battle. One steps on a Bouncing Betty, blowing away his legs. Another steps on camouflaged ground cover and falls into a pit. Napalm. Machine gun fire. War chaos.

CUT TO:

EXT. COUNTRY GRAVEYARD — LATE AFTERNOON

Letty and Ryan are laughing out of control. We fly above them, then the graveyard, and then the surrounding farmlands bathed in sunset light, their laughter echoing across surrounding valleys.

Fire, bomb, University of Kansas, student union, 1969, Noble Chaos, novel, Brent Green

Noble Chaos: A Novel, Brent Green, 1969, University of Kansas, protest march, counter-culture, student activists,

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