Dancing In The Wind Movie: First Scene

As you know, I’ve been writing a film script for a while, Dancing In The Wind, based on the strange love triangle between based on the true story of the love triangle between the illustrious Irish poet, WB (WILLIE) YEATS, his longtime inamorata and muse MAUD GONNE, and Maud’s “illegitimate” daughter ISEULT, whom Yeats also loved, and to whom he also proposed marriage.

This story is also the topic of the second book in my Yeats Trilogy.

Set between 1916 and 1918 in Normandy and London, this story of a mother obsessed with national freedom and a daughter looking for love takes place against the background against the background of World War One and Ireland’s Easter Rising.

It also features the love poetry inspired by these two remarkable women: MAUD GONNE: an impassioned activist, obsessed with Irish independence; ISEULT GONNE: a deeply spiritual writer, amaneusis and muse, not just to Yeats but also to Yeats’s secretary, Ezra Pound, who also features in the film.

As the tension grows between the two women and their paramour, the poet is revealed to be endlessly indecisive.

Can MAUD countenance the idea of her daughter and her old lover together?

Can WILLIE ever make up his mind?

But most of all, can ISEULT find the strength to make her own bid for independence?

Dancing In The Wind Movie: First Scene Challenges

I’ve just got the notes back from my editor. There’s lots to fix but he, and others, have said the first scene can be left as it is.

I thought you guys might like to see it.

Dancing In The Wind Movie: First Scene

EXT. COLLEVILLE BEACH, NORMANDY. SUNRISE. [FRANCE MAY 1916]

Brilliant sunrise on water, white light through mist. Waves take shape, breaking and retreating. Sea-foam fades into wisps of french lace. A sheer, white night gown half-reveals  ISEULT GONNE’s body. Six feet tall, 23 years old, lithe, hair loose, ISEULT dances Martha Graham style, lost in reverie.

WILLIE (V.O.)

(portentously reciting his own poem)

Dance there by the shore

What need have you to care

For wind or water’s roar…

ISEULT’S POV: THE BEACH, HAZY AND ILLUMINATED

ISEULT’s black cat, MINNALOUCHE, watches, a silhouette against her white-lit vision of the clouds, the seabirds, the splashes that kick up from her feet.

From offside comes a shout, breaking the spell.

MAUD (O.S)

(shouting, anxious)

Iseult! Iseult! Come in now.

EXT. KILMAINHAM JAIL, SUNRISE [ISEULT’S POV: IMAGINED]

JOHN MACBRIDE stands soldierly, puff-chested, in prisoner garb, as he is roughly blindfolded by a British soldier.

MACBRIDE

You can leave off the blindfold. Haven’t I been looking down the barrels of English guns all m’life?

BACK TO COLLEVILLE BEACH.

MAUD

Iseult!

MAUD GONNE (50), six-foot tall like her daughter, striding across the tidal pools and shallows, barefoot, sleeves rolled up. ISEULT turns away, squeezes her eyes shut

MAUD (CONT’D)

Iseult! Come and dress, NOW!

EXT. KILMAINHAM JAIL, SUNRISE [ISEULT’S POV IMAGINED]

Her mother’s voice brings on the image again: SOLDIER ONE placing a square of white paper on the blindfolded MACBRIDE’s chest; a PRIEST whispering a last prayer in his ear.

PRIEST

… Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who..

BACK TO COLLEVILLE BEACH.

ISEULT tries to focus on the waves, the seabirds above.

MAUD

(exasperated)

Are you actually trying to miss the train? You wouldn’t do that to us Iseult?

EXT. KILMAINHAM JAIL, SUNRISE [ISEULT’S POV IMAGINED]

The priest walks backwards away keeping his eyes on MACBRIDE as if making eye contact through the blindfold.

FATHER AUGUSTINE

…but deliver us from evil. Amen.

SOLDIER 2

Ready!

Twelve rifles rise.

SOLDIER 2 (CONT’D)

Take aim!

MACBRIDE

(shouting)

Forgive me. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

FATHER AUGUSTINE

(aloud across the yard)

We’re all sinners, John. Keep asking God’s forgiveness, John, keep asking.

SOLDIER 2

Fire!

EXT. COLLEVILLE BEACH, NORMANDY. DAWN.

The sound of big guns booming across the Normandy morning. MAUD hears them, as she stands before ISEULT, oozing fury.

ISEULT has stopped her dance, is holding her mother’s stare, breath heaving.

WILLIE (V.O.)

…What need have you to dread/The monstrous crying of wind.

After a long wait, ISEULT collapses gracefully, with perfectly pitched drama, into the crash of an incoming wave.

EXT. KILMAINHAM JAIL, SUNRISE [ISEULT’S POV IMAGINED]

The executed MACBRIDE falls, dead.