THE VISION AND PLAN FOR MAKING THIS FILM:
Imagine the beauty of the vast landscapes and the marvelous cities of Europe and America...the endless collection of still photographs and a huge trunk of archival film set to the words of great writers and historians...and music...classical and jazz and blues and rock and roll... the best music that has ever come out of both Europe and America....And of course, plenty of talking heads...the many talking heads of not just the well informed academics, but of THE PEOPLE, full of passion and life and ideas.... IMAGINE....this sweeping historical soap opera all leading to where we are right now...IN THE PRESENT...The very scary and new....PRESENT....
It is the intention of this film to approach the rather large subject by interviewing academics and writers who are very well informed and quite capable of breaking down complex issues and history and mixing the facts with the feelings and thoughts and opinions of "The People" who attempt to grasp the ungraspable as huge changes transpire beneath their feet without their awareness, without their consent...as governments and corporations and individuals in positions of power
reshape the world we all live in and affect the lives and destinies of mankind.....
"MANKIND HAS NO GOALS, ONLY INDIVIDUALS HAVE GOALS"
We go to ten cities in the U.S. and ten cities in Europe and ask some questions and let the "Greek Chorus" fill in the story from a very personal and idiosyncratic point of view.
U.S. - New York, Washington D.C. , Atlanta, Las Vegas, Orlando, Dallas, Indianapolis, Seattle, L.A. San Francisco and along the road hit small town USA.
Europe - Rome, Berlin, Paris, London, Madrid, Geneva, Prague, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Brussels, the countryside and a few small cities along the way.
ANCIENT HISTORY - THE LASTING INFLUENCE OF GREECE AND ROME
OUR COMMON HERITAGE
A. THE EUROPEAN DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST OF AMERICA
B. AMERICA'S DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST OF EUROPE
MODERN HISTORY - THE 20th CENTURY - 1945 - EUROPE IS IN SHAMBLES, THE U.S. PICKS UP WHERE EUROPE LEFT OFF AND BECOMES THE DOMINANT POWER IN THE WORLD
PRESENT - SIZING UP PRESENT DAY AMERICA AND EUROPE: BY COMPARISON
ECONOMIC PICTURE (work week and work year/benefits/vacation)
THE USE OF AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN MEDIA AS PROPAGANDA
It seems to me that the average European is more interested in the world in general than the average American. Are Americans victims of the system they live in? Are the Europeans? Does the European world view have a certain smugness to it that is engendered by their own need to feel good about themselves? What is the current generation of Europe contributing to the world? Does Europe, having collectively been THE DOMINANT RULING FORCE IN THE WORLD for more than 25 centuries dislike being subordinate to the U.S.?
How similar is the basic population of Both entities?
I have personally spent a considerable amount of time with a wide cross section of U.S. and European citizens and been exposed to people from all walks of life and I find the elites of Europe are very similar to the elites of the U.S. Working class people from the less hip places in Europe are quite similar to their U.S. counterparts and of course, in the U.S. the working class in a city such as Detroit may in fact be first generation immigrants from Europe, in a city where it is difficult for even an American to get a job.
3 pages of sample screenplay
(this has been copied from a screenwriting program, so the format has been compromised by copying it into a word processing format, but you should still be able to "get the picture")
Note: The script itself is a work in progress that will eventually incorporate much of the really good text and ideas that are presented as prose in the outline you are in the process of reading.
A montage of shot after shot of U.S. icons, citiscapes, landscapes, landmarks.
"AMERICA" comes up in bold print.
A montage of shot after shot of European icons, cityscapes, landscapes, landmarks.
"EUROPE" comes up in bold print.
Europe and the U.S. are Western Civilization...How is that we are now pitted against one another as China and India and Russia and Terrorism in the Middle East threaten to engulf us both...It would not be too hard to make the case that Western Civilization is in Decline...and the fall is not too far away...Look at the falling birth rate in Europe...Did Fellini's great film La Dolce Vita not prophesy the future of the west? That is a vacuous culture of self indulgent children running around in automobiles taking pictures of celebrities?
Keith Richards is walking through Heathrow Airport, London with his girlfriend Anita in the sixties:
Anita Pallenberg: "There for about five minutes we had it all...looks, money, security"
Gandhi when asked what he thought of Western Civilization said "They should try it sometime"
Has not the west been one long bloody battle after another, one conquest after another, in search of dominance and security and a putting forth the idea of moral and cultural superiority? Of taking from and exploiting others for personal and national gain...imposing our beliefs...strip mining the planet...The materialistic impulse starting in Europe and turned into an art form in the U.S.
THE CHESSBOARD OF BRUTAL RETALIATIONS:
While the Nazis were incinerating the Jews and invading all of Europe, with initially the Russians and the lovely Josef Stalin as partners, the English were bombing Dresden and taking out 130,000 German civilians, We drop a nuclear bomb on two cities in Japan. Hitler offs himself and the Americans and the Russians move into Berlin and start fighting over the carcass of the destroyed animal known as Nazi Germany...
(The images are obvious...Bombed out
cities...concentration camps...frozen corpses on the Russian
tundra...crying babies, the iconic photograph of the U.S. flag going up
on Iwo Jima, French citizens kissing American soldiers, on and on and
Is there not some sort of Karma
involved here? The collective Karma of the past actions of Both Europe
and the U.S. ? Is the sun setting fast for Western Civilization? Are
our fantastic lifestyles coming to an end? (Again, keep in mind the fantastic images synchronized to the voice over text, Time Lapse Sunset, Slow motion footage of free, affluent western mankind walking down famous streets and grand boulevards.)
Joseph Campbell said that we are we here to eat and be eaten.
He also referred to life as "God's rough play"
Visual sequence synchronized with the text below is A Greek Soldier, turning into A Roman Soldier, turning into a Hun, turning into one generation after another of dominant ruling countries soldiers, an actor on horseback playing Napolean: "This Old Europe Bores me" Followed by The British Navy, followed by the Nazis goose stepping, followed by Donald Rumsfeld and his quip about "Old Europe" and finally an American Soldier in Iraq.
"Western Civilization began in Europe 25 centuries ago...The imperialist impulse started with the Roman empire...Came to roost in the United States 2000 years later...America discovered by a man reputed to be an Italian in 1492... Obviously someone was already here...The indigents had walked here from China 10,000 years ago...Christopher Columbus cut off their hands if they failed to bring him enough treasure. We have a nice statue of him in the middle of New York City.
What is the United States but a land inhabited by Europeans?
Well, we were once Europeans but now we are undeniably Americans...
Now we are separate peoples living on continents separated by a very large body of water.
But now, how is it that even the world war two generation has become disillusioned with a great country? A country they were total patriots of just a couple of decades ago? Prompting Kurt Vonnegut to write a book entitled "A man without a country" Has America lost it's greatness?
And Europe now with it's single currency, and each country in Europe becoming populated with people that are not German, not English, not French, not Italian...but outsiders....and even the insiders are moving freely about...Accountants from Berlin working and residing in London?
Such a short period of time ago...the only thing a Man from Berlin would be doing in London would be flying over it in an airplane and dropping bombs from on high.....
Amazing, isn't it?
America changed and Europe changed...the way the world changes...
Shot of Tony Bennett walking along 52nd Street and saying... "I didn't know the world could change so fast"
Harold Pinter: (accepting the Nobel prize for literature) "The
United States is guilty of systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless
crimes...You have to hand it to America, it has exercised a quite
clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force
for universal good." -
Donald Trump: "Everybody hates us"
A map of both continents comes into view and the continents collide as the title:
AMERICA versus EUROPE comes up.
V.O. under visual presentation:
"The twentieth century is often referred to as "the American century" a triumphant century for the U.S. Putting in place the most powerful economic and military force in the history of mankind. The American dream the gold standard for the rest of the world. America, land of hope and prosperity and freedom from oppression of any sort. Freeing itself and others from tyranny and winning the hearts of the world. Instrumental in the defeat of Germany in 1945, America follows up with financial aid and a humanitarian approach to the liberation and rebuilding of a shattered Europe. While Europe rebuilds and searches for a new identity and new way of dealing with conflict, America carries on...proud and determined and enabled by a long winning streak of progress on every front. In time, the behemoth emerges. Once thought of as the liberators, it is now seen as the diabolical monster...The lifestyle once coveted is now only frowned upon...The excess of success...The American people scarcely aware of the outside world...so long as there is an excessive amount of food on the table, gas in the tank, equity in the house and another credit card coming in the mail...what could be wrong in the world or with Americas place in it? At the dawn of the 21st century came 9/11 shattering Americas feeling of safety and ushering in a new world, wherein America's image of itself is called into question and American activity in the world is scrutinized severely. Europe is starting to come into it's own with a new world view and a new sense of itself and it's own greatness. The formation of the European Union forever changes what was once a continent of Independent nations living and fighting side by side.
A sequence of shots with the following quotes:
is only one immediate danger for Europe, and that is American
French political scientist Maurice Duverger - 1964
"For the U.S. to continue it's strength I think it's almost necessary for our education system to be a lot better"
"I hate America, but I've never met an American I didn't like" - Re-quoted by Charlie Rose
"The illegal we do immediately, the
unconstitutional takes a little longer"
Henry Kissinger - (during the
"They say that in Europe, the government
is afraid of the people, whereas in the U.S. the people are afraid of
the government." - Re-quoted by Michael Moore
"I would much rather have America's problems than Europe's" - German Investment Banker - June, 2008
does not know it, but we are at war with America. Yes, a permanent war;
a vital war; an economic war; a war without death." - French President
Francois Mitterand - 1996
PIE CHART SEQUENCES BEGIN
Chuck Berry playing "Roll over Beethoven" as the Berlin Philharmonic plays Beethoven's 9th
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHART OF RESOURCES CONSUMED BY THE U.S. AND EUROPE AND THE REST OF THE WORLD.
A brief overview of what American foreign policy is and why it is a source of so much scorn to the rest of the world.
American debt ridden consumer society and the overworked American/ contrast with European work week/year and the Europeans relationship to debt.
ETC, ETC, ETC.