Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Dinner scene

June 15th, 2013 by

For a week, we’ve been exploring All Is Lost movie moments, courtesy of a suggestion by Turambar.

Next week’s theme: Dinner scene offered up by Liri Nàvon.

“Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go fuck himself,
and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.”

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDB Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway re screenwriting?

Here is the lineup for upcoming Daily Dialogue themes:

June 24-June 30: Interrogations [Def Earz]

July 1-July 7: Profanity [JasperLamarCrab]

July 8-July 14: Begging for one’s life [Despina]

July 15-July 21: Horror scene [@JaimePrimak]

See you in comments for your suggestions featuring this week’s theme: Dinner scene.

10 thoughts on “Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Dinner scene

  1. Dean Scott says:

    Hannibal (2001) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0212985/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nb6hxh1G4o

    Clarice Starling: Your profile at the border stations has five features. I’ll trade you…

    Hannibal Lecter: “Trade”?

    Clarice Starling: Stop now and I’ll tell you what they are.

    Hannibal Lecter: How does that word taste to you, Clarice? Hmm? Cheap and metallic, like sucking on a greasy coin?

  2. Debbie Moon says:

    My favourite dinner scene is the very final scene of A History Of Violence – but there’s no dialogue! Oh well…

  3. blknwite says:

    http://youtu.be/F-bsf2x-aeE

    When Harry Met Sally by Nora Ephron

    (Harry and Sally at a diner)
    Sally: So what do you do with these women, you just get
    up out of bed and leave?
    Harry: Sure.
    Sally: Well explain to me how you do it. What do you say?
    Harry: You’d say you have an early meeting, early haircut
    or a squash game.
    Sally: You don’t play squash.
    Harry: They don’t know that they just met me.
    Sally: That’s disgusting.
    Harry: I know, I feel terrible.
    Sally: You know I’m so glad I never got involved with you.
    I just would’ve ended up being some woman you had to get up out of bed
    and leave at three o’clock in the morning and clean your andirons,
    and you don’t even have a fireplace. Not that I would noticed.
    Harry: Why are you getting so upset? This is not about
    you.
    Sally: Yes it is. You are a human affront to all women
    and I am a woman.
    Harry: Hey I don’t feel great about this but I don’t hear
    anyone complaining.
    Sally: Of course not you’re out of the door too fast.
    Harry: I think they have an OK time.
    Sally: How do you know?
    Harry: What do you mean how do I know? I know.
    Sally: Because they…
    Harry: Yes, because they…
    Sally: And how do you know that they really…
    Harry: What are you saying, that they fake orgasm?
    Sally: It’s possible.
    Harry: Get outta here!
    Sally: Why? Most women at one time or another have faked it.
    Harry: Well they haven’t faked it with me.
    Sally: How do you know?
    Harry: Because I know.
    Sally: Oh, right, that’s right, I forgot, you’re a man.
    Harry: What is that supposed to mean?
    Sally: Nothing. It’s just that all men are sure it
    never happened to them and that most women at one time or another have
    done it so you do the math.
    Harry: You don’t think that I could tell the difference?
    Sally: No.
    Harry: Get outta here.
    Sally: Ooo…Oh…Ooo…
    Harry: Are you OK?
    Sally: Oh…Oh god…Ooo Oh God…Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh God…
    Oh yeah right there Oh! Oh…Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes…Oh…Oh…
    Yes Yes Yes….Oh…Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes…Oh…Oh… Oh…
    Oh God Oh… Oh… Huh…

    (Sally finishes, looks at Harry and smiles. Harry looks back,
    looking a little uneasy)
    Lady from another table: I’ll have what she’s having.

  4. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, 1989. Written & directed by Peter Greenaway.

    Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) is the titular Thief, a coarse, vicious man who fancies himself a gourmand as he is part owner of a restaurant called La Hollandais. His long-suffering, abused Wife is Georgina (Helen Mirren) who takes another restaurant patron, bookshop Michael, as her Lover.

    When Albert learns of the affair, he has Michael killed in a particularly horrible way. Georgina asks her only remaining friend, Richard (the Cook) to cook Michael’s body.

    At gunpoint, she forces her husband to eat (echoing a threat Spica had made earlier) with the line:

    “Try the cock, Albert. It’s a delicacy, and you know where it’s been.”

    When he finally takes a bite, she shoots him dead and her (and the film’s) final word is “Cannibal.”

    When this film came out, I was working at an “art house” theater in Tucson, AZ. No other film caused such a stir – every showing resulted in at least a half dozen customers walking out and demanding refunds (usually by the fish guts scene, definitely by the time Michael is murdered in his bookshop).

    I myself had to walk out at one point – not out of offense but because I found the film emotionally draining.

  5. blknwite says:

    The Lost Boys (1987)
    by Jeffrey Boam.

    http://youtu.be/0A80j2BuMaU

    Marko suddenly arrives bearing cartons of take-out food.

    MARKO
    Chow time!

    David takes the cartons from his hand.

    DAVID
    Chinese! Good choice.

    He pops the lid on one of the cartons and approaches
    Michael with it.

    DAVID
    Guests first.

    Michael hesitates.

    DAVID
    It’s only rice. Don’t you like
    rice? 300 million Chinese people
    can’t be wrong.

    Michael takes the carton warily and David immediately
    turns his back on him, passing out food to the others.

    Michael takes a mouthful of rice using the plastic spoon
    provided. The others begin to eat as well.

    DAVID
    So how do you like those maggots,
    Michael?

    MICHAEL
    What?…

    DAVID
    You’re eating maggots. How do
    they taste?

    Michael looks at his food.

    56 CLOSE ON THE CARTON 56

    A thousand wiggling maggots, squirming and sliding over
    each other.

    57 MICHAEL 57

    spits out his mouthful in horror and revulsion and throws
    the carton to the ground.

    But as the carton spills out, we see that it is just rice
    after all.

    The boys LAUGH UPROARIOUSLY. Michael looks mortified.
    Star gets to her feet.

    STAR
    Leave him alone.

    DAVID
    Sorry, Michael. No hard feelings,
    huh?
    (offers a new
    carton of food)
    Here. Try these noodles.

    Michael looks at the noodles and his expression turns to
    one of disgust.

    MICHAEL
    Worms!

    58 CLOSE ON THE CARTON 58

    A hundred squirming bloodsuckers!

    59 BACK TO SCENE 59

    DAVID
    Worms?…

    David tilts back his head and pours the contents of the
    carton into his mouth. The slimy bundle of worms slides
    slowly across his lips.

    Michael looks on with a sick expression. He grabs
    David’s arm.

    MICHAEL
    Don’t! Stop!

    DAVID
    Why?
    (beat)
    They’re only noodles.

    David shows Michael the carton again. And sure enough,
    they are only noodles. Michael is baffled. The boys
    have a good, long laugh at his expense.

    STAR
    That’s enough!

    The laughter dies down as a NEW SONG comes on the radio.
    It’s apparently a favorite of the Lost Boys because the
    MUSIC is immediately TURNED UP LOUD and all thoughts of
    Michael seem to be forgotten.

    Everyone begins to move to the music. Star encourages
    Michael to dance with her. He’s feeling the effects of
    the joint he smoked and his balance is a little off. His
    head is spinning.

    During all this, David has located a bottle of wine. He
    pours some into a paper cup and offers it to Michael.
    Michael is about to drink when Star holds his arm.

    STAR
    (softly)
    Don’t Michael. You don’t have
    to. It’s blood!

    Michael examines the contents of the cup and smiles know-
    ingly. He’s not falling for any more tricks.

    MICHAEL
    Good joke, blood.

    Michael brings the cup to his lips and drinks. The Lost
    Boys watch him carefully. Wine drips from the corner of
    his mouth. But it looks more like blood than anything
    else.

    Michael lowers the cup. The room is spinning around him.
    Suddenly: SLOW-MOTION. DREAMY MUSIC.

  6. Illimani says:

    Annie Hall! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8TSvMx2wPI

    INT. DINING ROOM.
    Alvy and the Halls are eating Easter dinner. The sun is
    pouring through a big picture window, shining on a large,
    elegantly laid out table. Alvy sits, at one end,- rubbing
    his nose and chewing, the Halls flanking him on either side:
    Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Grammy, and Annie’s brother, Duane.
    MOM HALL
    (Holding her wine
    glass)
    It’s a nice ham this year, Mom.
    Grammy Hall takes a sip of her wine and nods.
    ANNIE
    (Smiling at Duane)
    Oh, yeah. Grammy always does such a
    good job.
    DAD HALL
    (Chewing)
    A great sauce.
    ALVY
    It is.
    (Smacking his lips)
    It’s dynamite ham.78.
    Grammy Hall stares down the table at Alvy; a look of utter
    dislike. Alvy tries not to notice.
    MOM HALL
    (To Dad Hall, smoothing
    her hair)
    We went over to the swap meet. Annie,
    Gram and I. Got some nice picture
    frames.
    ANNIE
    We really had a good time.
    Grammy continues to stare at Alvy; he is now dressed in the
    long black coat and hat of the Orthodox Jew, complete with
    mustache and heard.
    MOM HALL
    (Lighting a cigarette
    and turning to Alvy)
    Ann tells us that you’ve been seeing
    a psychiatrist for fifteen years.
    ALVY
    (Setting down his
    glass and coughing)
    Yes. I’m making excellent progress.
    Pretty soon when I lie down on his
    couch, I won’t have to wear the
    lobster bib.
    Mom Hall reacts by sipping from her glass and frowning.
    Grammy continues to stare.
    DAD HALL
    Duane and I went out to the boat
    basin.
    DUANE
    We were caulkin’ holes all day.
    DAD HALL
    Yeah.
    (Laughing)
    Randolph Hunt was drunk, as usual.
    MOM HALL
    Oh, that Randolph Hunt. You remember
    Randy Hunt, Annie. He was in the
    choir with you.
    ANNIE
    Oh, yes, yes.79.
    Alvy, leaning his elbow on the table, looks out toward the
    camera.
    ALVY
    (To the audience)
    I can’t believe this family.
    (Making chewing sounds)
    Annie’s mother. She really’s
    beautiful.
    And they’re talkin’ swap meets and
    boat basins, and the old lady at the
    end of the table-
    (Pointing to Grammy)
    -is a classic Jew hater. And, uh,
    they, they realty look American, you
    know, very healthy and… like they
    never get sick or anything. Nothing
    like my family. You know, the two
    are like oil and water.
    The screen splits in half – on the right is Alvy’s family –
    his mother, father, aunt and uncle-busily eating at the
    crowded kitchen table. They eat quickly and interrupt one
    another loudly. On the left the Halls in their dining room.
    Both dialogues overlap, juxtaposed.
    ALVY’S FATHER
    Let ‘im drop dead! Who needs his
    business?!
    ALVY’S MOTHER
    His wife has diabetes!
    ALVY’S FATHER
    Di-diabetes? Is that any excuse?
    Diabetes?
    ALVY’S UNCLE
    The man is fifty years old and doesn’t
    have a substantial job.
    ALVY’S AUNT
    (Putting more meat on
    her husband’s plate)
    Is that a reason to steal from his
    father?
    ALVY’S UNCLE
    Whatta you talkin’ about? You don’t
    know what you’re talking about.
    ALVY’S AUNT
    Yes, I know what I’m talking about.80.
    ALVY’S MOTHER
    (Interrupting)
    George, defend him!
    ALVY’S UNCLE
    (Over Alvy’s father’s
    muttering)
    No Moskowitz he had a coronary.
    ALVY’S AUNT
    You don’t say.
    ALVY’S MOTHER
    We fast.
    MOM HALL
    Stupid Thelma Poindexter… to the
    Veterans Hospital.
    DAD HALL
    My God, he’s the new president of
    the El Regis. Let me tell you, the
    man is somethin’ else.
    MOM HALL
    That’s Jack’s wife. We used to make
    that outta raisins.
    ANNIE
    Oh, yes, that’s right. Did you see
    the new play?
    MOM HALL
    Oh, you remember her, Annie.
    ANNIE
    Yes, I do.
    The two families start talking back and forth to one another.
    The screen is still split.
    MOM HALL
    How do you plan to spend the holidays,
    Mrs. Singer?
    DAD HALL
    Fast?
    ALVY’S FATHER
    Yeah, no food. You know, we have to
    atone for our sins.
    MOM HALL
    What sins? I don’t understand.81.
    ALVY’S FATHER
    Tell you the truth, neither do we

  7. Butch Maier says:

    Jaws (1975). Dinner scene with the Brodys and Hooper in three parts:

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/an-3XcwJb7umhbJmm/jaws_1975_dinner_with_hooper/

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/an-3XcwJ2mumhYYJ/jaws_1975_dinner_with_hooper_part_2/

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/an-3XcwJ4m4bhYY2/jaws_1975_dinner_with_hooper_part_3/

    BRODY
    Come here.
    Give us a kiss.

    SEAN
    Why?

    BRODY
    Because I need it.
    Get out of here.

    HOOPER
    The door was open. Mind if I come in? I’m Matt Hooper.

    ELLEN
    Oh, hi. Ellen Brody.

    HOOPER
    Your husband’s home? I’d really like to talk to him.

    ELLEN
    Yes, so would I.
    Can I get you some coffee?
    Wine. How nice.

    HOOPER
    How was your day?

    BRODY
    Swell.

    HOOPER
    I got red and white. I didn’t know what you’d be serving.

    ELLEN
    That’s nice.

    HOOPER
    Is anyone eating this?

    ELLEN
    My husband tells me you’re in sharks.

    HOOPER
    Excuse me. Yes, I’ve never heard it quite put that way. But yes, I am.
    I love sharks.

    ELLEN
    You love sharks?

    HOOPER
    Yeah, I love them.
    When I was 12 years old, my father got me a boat, and I went fishing off of Cape Cod.
    I hooked a scup and as I was reeling it in I hooked a four and a half foot baby thresher shark who proceeded to eat my boat.
    He ate my oar, hooks. and my seat cushions.
    He turned an inboard into an outboard. Scared me to death and I swam back to shore.
    When I was on the beach I turned around and I saw my boat being taken apart.
    Ever since then, I have been studying sharks and that’s why I’m gonna go to the lnstitute tomorrow and tell them that you still have a shark problem here.

    BRODY
    Why do you have to tell them that?

    ELLEN
    I’m sorry, I thought that….
    You told me the shark was caught.
    I heard it on the news. I heard it on the Cape station.

    HOOPER
    They caught a shark, not the shark.
    Not the shark that killed Chrissy Watkins.
    And probably not the shark that killed the little boy.
    Which I wanted to prove by cutting the shark open….
    You may want to let that breathe…. Nothing. … Yeah, yeah. … You’ll be the only rational man left on this island after I leave tomorrow.

    ELLEN
    Where are you going?

    HOOPER
    I am going on the Aurora.

    ELLEN
    The Aurora? What is that?

    HOOPER
    It’s a floating asylum for shark addicts.
    Pure research. Eighteen months at sea.

    ELLEN
    Martin hates boats. Martin hates water.
    Martin sits in his car when we go on the ferry to the mainland.
    I guess it’s a childhood thing. There’s a clinical name for it, isn’t there?

    BRODY
    Drowning.
    Is it true that most people get attacked by sharks in three feet of water about 10 feet from the beach?

    HOOPER
    Yeah.

    BRODY
    And before people started to swim for recreation — I mean, before sharks knew what they were missing — that a lot of these attacks weren’t reported?

    HOOPER
    That’s right.

    BRODY
    Now this shark that swims alone, what’s it called?

    HOOPER
    Rogue.

    BRODY
    Rogue, yeah.
    Now, this guy he keeps swimmin’ around in a place where the feeding is good… until the food supply is gone. Right?

    HOOPER
    That’s called territoriality.
    It’s just a theory that I happen to agree with.

    BRODY
    Then why don’t we have one more drink and go down and cut that shark open?

    ELLEN
    Can you do that?

    BRODY
    I can do anything. I’m the Chief of Police.

  8. Butch Maier says:

    What to learn from the “Jaws” dinner scene:

    Much can be accomplished in a short amount of time in one location — even one as seemingly static as a table.

    The scene before this one, Brody gets slapped in the face by Mrs. Kintner, whose son had been eaten after the chief knew there was a killer shark in the water.

    So the dinner scene opens with Brody deep in thought at the table and a cute exchange — much needed as a relief from the tension after the slap — as young son Sean imitates his mannerisms. Ellen observes. Brody notices and they exchange scowls. That’s when the dad leans in to ask for a kiss because he needs it.

    The kid leaves, and there’s a knock at the door. Hooper, the shark scientist, says he’d like to talk to Ellen’s husband, to which the wife replies, “So would I.” Those three words say a ton.

    Brody is brooding and lets the others do most of the talking. But the focus still is on him.

    Hooper asks, “How was your day?” Brody responds, “Swell.” Hooper knew the real answer to the question. Ellen knew. The audience knew. Yet the downplayed one-word false answer helps connect everyone even more — because we share in knowing the real truth.

    Hooper brought two bottles of wine and helps himself to the leftovers, leading to him nearly choking as Ellen asks him, “So my husband tells me you’re in sharks.”

    We hear a story about Hooper’s experience with sharks and why he is so fascinated. We hear a story from Ellen about Brody’s experience with the water.

    There’s a good mix of hidden exposition and humor woven throughout. The audience learns about rogue sharks and the clinical name for Brody’s hatred of the water: “Drowning.”

    Hooper tries to tell Brody, “You might wanna let that breathe,” as he pours the wine, but he knows Brody’s state of mind and follows it up with a humorous, “Nothing.”

    When Hooper tells him they didn’t catch the right shark, Ellen is the one who debates him. Brody offers a plain-spoken question: “Why do you have to tell them that?” In other writers’ hands, Brody might have debated him. But the characters stay true to themselves. Ellen is the worrisome conversationalist. Brody is the steady man of few words.

    The scene ends on a terrific button. Brody says to Hooper: “Then why don’t we have one more drink and go down and cut that shark open?” Ellen sets up her husband with “Can you do that?” Brody says: “I can do anything. I’m the Chief of Police.”

    I have seen the movie countless times, including with my son when it was re-released in theaters for one day last August. To see it with an audience again was a special treat. Everyone in the theater was there because they enjoyed and respected the movie. There was neither talking nor texting. There was laughter in all the right places. And when the credits rolled, there was applause.

    I encourage everyone to see it again. It’s not just a summer blockbuster. It’s a well-written story with rich characters and Oscar-winning editing, sound and music. It was a best picture nominee and should have received a best director nomination and actor recognition. It’s a treasure and the reason I named my production company Sumbadhat.

  9. A lesson on Cartesian Philosophy disguised as a breakfast scene.

    The Matrix (1999): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oEnJfZ9joY

    INT. MESS HALL
    CLOSE ON breakfast, a substance with a consistency somewhere between yogurt and cellulite.

    TANK
    Here you go, buddy. Breakfast of champions.

    Tank slides it in front of Neo and takes a seat with the other crew members enjoying breakfast.

    APOC
    You mean the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions.

    MOUSE
    If you close your eyes, it almost
    feels like you’re eating runny eggs.

    APOC
    Or a bowl of snot.

    MOUSE
    But you know what it really reminds me of? Cream of Wheat. Did you ever eat Cream of Wheat?

    SWITCH
    No, but technically neither did you.

    MOUSE
    Exactly my point, because you have to wonder, how do the machines know what Cream of Wheat really tasted like? Maybe they got it wrong, maybe what I think Cream of Wheat tasted like actually tasted like oatmeal, or tuna fish. It makes you wonder about a lot of things. Take chicken for example. Maybe they couldn’t figure out what to make chicken taste like which is why chicken tastes like everything. And maybe —

    APOC
    Shut up, Mouse.

    Neo scoops up a spoonful.

    DOZER
    It’s a single-celled protein combined with synthetic aminos, vitamins, and minerals. Everything your body needs. We grow it in a vat.

    MOUSE
    Oh no, it doesn’t have everything the body needs.

    He sidles up to Neo.

    MOUSE
    So I understand you’ve run through the Agent training program? You know, I wrote that program.

    APOC
    Here it comes.

    MOUSE
    So what did you think of her?

    NEO
    Of who?

    MOUSE
    The woman in the red dress. I designed her. She doesn’t talk much but if you’d like to, you know, meet her, I could arrange a more personalized milieu.

    SWITCH
    The digital pimp hard at work.

    MOUSE
    Pay no attention to these hypocrites, Neo. To deny our impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.

  10. Ellen Musikant says:

    The Dinner Scene from 1935 Alice Adams is one of my all time favorites . You can find the script here http://www.scribd.com/doc/133198106/Alice-Adams-1935-Shooting-Script The disastrous and hilarious scene starts on page 105…it is very long, too long for Daily Dialogue post, but the dialogue and action brilliantly pay-off dozens of set-ups.

Leave a Reply