Words and Pictures (2013) Script


Oh, hey. Sorry, I'm late.

No. Are you ready?


How you feeling? Are you nervous?


I've brought three casseroles, and I put them in the fridge.


I can do this one.

Okay, here's your purse.

Your lunch is inside.

Um, there's a...

There's a ramp around the side if...

I'm fine.

Let's go, let's go.

Four minutes late, Mr. Marc.

Did you bring a note?

Stanhope, read aloud where we left off.

"Richard and I went across the road to the stubbly field, "and I let him climb in the tractor saddle, "and I showed him..."

Stanhope, you're a sleeping pill.

It's not me, it's...

It is you. Of course it's you.

You've already been accepted at MIT, and you're wondering why you should care.

Why should Stanhope care about John Updike?

Who can answer this?

Who are you droids?

Where is my class that you've kidnapped and replaced?

He should care because Updike wrote...

"The lesson over, "he went to the garden patch and joined his mother.

"He punched her stomach, "and I watched them pretend to box.

"Above them, on a single strand of wire

"strung to bring our house electricity, "grackles and starlings neatly punctuated an invisible sentence."

You ever heard that before?

Updike has handed you an image that was never described before.

What do you think of his gift?


Fine. You know?

While I take a nap, your assignment is to write a never-before created image, one that will shake me and cause me to put your work in the next issue of the Croyden Lion.

Yes, Tammy?

You haven't graded our last three assignments, and I don't know where I stand in this class, and I need an "A" because I'm not accepted to Princeton yet, and they'll take this quarter's grade into account.

What a dull, plodding sentence.

Of all the words you had to choose from, all the possibilities of rhythm and sequence, you gave me oatmeal when you could have served me a New York steak.

Just write the assignment now, everyone.

Just one sentence that elevates humankind with one image fresh-baked from the ovens of your computer-deadened, shopping mall-suffocated minds.

Shaftner, wake up!

Write, you droids.


Good morning, Jack. Will.

You were late again.

Car trouble.

Who's the bastard that turned me in?

I am.

Why are you always late this year?

I don't know.

Why are you always dressed monochromatically?

I guess I do tend toward the look of a uniform.

Past life maybe.

You were an usher?

Come and see me in my office, first period after lunch.

What, because I was late?

More. There's more.



Ellen? Not playing.

Not playing.

Walt? Antihistamine.

Uh, bifurcation.

Only four syllables. My point.

Don't encourage him.

Okay, bifurcational.

I'll accept.

So we're getting three of them today, the teachers from that failed Croyden school.


We're getting art honors.

Do you know who's teaching art honors?

No. And what they call her?

Coextensively. Will you stop?

Will you stop interrupting? It's Walt's turn.

Uh, diabolical, and I quit.

Who is this?

Dina Delsanto.

She's a very successful painter.

You couldn't afford to collect her.

The only thing Walt collects is lint.

So what do they call her?

The Icicle.

They say she caned a student.

She caned a kid?

That's nonsense.

They would have put her in prison.

Well, let's check for a tattoo.

Good morning.

I would like to introduce our new teachers...

Miss Elliot, Latin, Mr. Chow, Math, and Miss Delsanto, Art Honors.

Please make them feel welcome.

Any questions, we'll defer to Walt, 'cause he's been teaching here since, uh, when was it, 1842?


This way. I will show you to your classes.

Miss Delsanto, make yourself at home, please.

Excuse me.

Mr. Chow, I will see you later today.

Thank you.


My name's Jack Marcus.

Kids call me Mr. Marc.

And now you say your name.

Uh, we were introduced.

Oh, I never listen to the headmaster.

So what do you teach?

Art Honors.

Hence the scarf.

And you?

Honors English.

Hence the hence.

Feel like a warm-up game?

Uh, no.

I say a five-syllable word that starts with you say a five-syllable word that starts with and we go on until someone is stumped.



Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

All right, I'll allow that.


Now, you can challenge my word if you think it's wrong, but if you lose the challenge, it's an extra point for me.



Italian, not allowed.

Oh, you didn't stipulate English.

Of course the game's in English.


Five English syllables, please.


All right, I'll allow that.

Examination. "F" to you.


This is the lounge, isn't it?

Would you please allow me to lounge?

Certamente, Signorina.

Thank you.

There's just one thing.

Did you really hit a student with that cane?

No. It was a teacher.


Hey, don't. Just...

Come on! Shh!




Miss Delsanto, we'd hoped you'd bring in some of your paintings.

My favorites are the ones that you did when you lived in, um, New York.

Personally, I'm a fan of your more figurative work.


And we're so glad that you chose our little town.

I didn't choose.

Well, but moving from New York to the country, I...


So you want to know why I moved out of the city, hmm?


And odd, because I have no curiosity at all about your private lives.

I don't need to get to know you.

I don't need anyone's life story.

We're not going to become good friends, and I'm not the kind of teacher you're going to come back to visit when you're all grown up, bringing a box of chocolates and a Hallmark card.


Whose work is this?

Oh, uh, that's mine, Gloria Belser.

This is skill.

We all appreciate skill.

The dictionary says "art is human creative skill."

So if you accept that definition, this is art, correct?

What's your definition, Miss?


Yes. Yes.

Thank you. And this one?

Uh, um... that's mine.

This has skill, too, and something else.

I feel the presence of something else here.

I feel.

Maybe that's the key.

This one registers in my brain.

This one registers in my brain and in my chest, or I could say... Chest.


Heart, or I could say...


Shut up.


Is that the key, emotion?

Oh, be careful, 'cause if your doggy just died and you look at that, you might become very emotional and call that art.

But that's not the art we're interested in.

In this class, we're interested in what we might call fine art.

Fine art, whatever that means.

The trouble is in the words.

Don't trust the words.

The words are lies.

The words are traps.

We're going to look, we're going to feel, we're going to see, we're going to learn, until you can show me what fine art is, all right?

You can start.

Greetings, my Captain.

Lieutenant Swint, all secure?

Yes, sir.

Any duties for me?

Flood the moat, keep the rabble from the gates.

Hey, Mr. Marc?

Why do you always eat lunch in your car?

So that for half an hour nobody can ask me an inane question.

♪ I'm the moment between the striking and the fire ♪

♪ Hey, read my lips ♪

♪ 'Cause all they say is kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss ♪

♪ No, it'll never stop ♪

♪ My hands are in the air ♪

♪ Yes, I'm in love ♪

♪ My heart is beating like a jungle drum ♪

♪ Like a dunk-a-dunka dunka-dunka dun dun ♪

♪ My heart is beating like a jungle drum ♪

♪ Like a ducka-ducka-ga-ga ducka-ducka-ducka dun ♪

♪ My heart is beating like a jungle drum ♪ Oh, Mr. Marc, there are sixty new girls in school today.

One of them is going to break your heart, Finetti.

I hope so.

You're going to turn an award- winning magazine into a what?

An online blog?

They don't even give those awards anymore.

There hasn't been a lit mag competition in years.

They are too expensive, and frankly I don't...

Elspeth, um...

Jack, you know Miss Croyden from our board.

Miss Croyden, yes.

Imagine a low bow here.

Will was just about to get frank.

Yeah. Uh, Jack, we have found the magazine to be disappointing lately, uninspired, I'm afraid.

And, Jack, you started the magazine with such a bang, with some of your own work.

Your students were motivated.

You were a published author.

I'm still a published author.

It doesn't go away like the mumps.

Six years... What the hell is this?

Publish or perish? Are you kidding?

This is friggin' high school.

Who else has had anything published here? You?

You were our literary star.

What difference does my publishing make?

It made a difference.

It made it easier to forgive your faults.


You were banned from The Huntsman.

Oh, for God's sake.

A Croyden teacher banned from the town's oldest and best restaurant?

I had an argument with that pompous maître-d.

You were drinking, Jack.

You have drinks with dinner, for Christ's sake!

Jack, you were drunk!

We got the calls.

You told us last year there would be no more incidents.

What the hell is going on here?

You have surveillance on me in case I stumble and fall on my ass?

You know, the work in the magazine goes up and down according to the talent of the current students, and the classes, the honors classes, yes.

Uninspired, yes.

The whole friggin' school.

You know, we're teaching in the era of the undead.

We're all trying to inspire.

You know, I then have words with some smug waiter, and suddenly, I'm surrounded and stoned.

You know, what else? Who else has a complaint?

Anybody else here got any bad news for Jack Marcus?

Hey! Come on out!

Let's have it all!

We're putting together a really good issue, The Lion.

You know, there's some new work planned for it, my own work, beyond the essay that I do.

There's a new poem.

The magazine is important to Croyden. It is.

As for The Huntsman, that was nothing, you know.

I already apologized.

It was nothing.

What else?

That's it, Jack.

It's good news that you're writing again.

It really is.


Is my job in jeopardy?

You'll meet with the board next month.

Jesus Christ.

What happened to you, Jack?

You came here full of literary awards and full of promise.

You turned the classes on their heads.

Yeah, I remember. I got laid a lot then.

You going to punish me with that?

Do you know me that well? It was just one slip.

Forget it. Elspeth, I need this job.

Then show us something.

With your students' work, with the magazine, with your new poem.

Be who you were.

Nobody can do that.



Hey, why are you painting in your pretty blouse?

I'm retiring this blouse.

I'm giving it to you.

No, we'll just have it re-sewn with a Velcro strip like the others.

Do you want it or not?


At least put this on, huh?

I can do it.


So how was your first day at Croyden Prep?

Not one of them has any fire in the belly.

Well, there's one very gifted girl and an English teacher who's a, pfft, madman.

Barry sent these back?

Oh, he doesn't understand them.

He said that critics will filet me if he shows them.

Well, does he know about...

What's the point?


I know what it needs, but...

You should rest.


Go home and feed your family.

Mom wants a call.

After I work.

Thanks, Sabine.



In the beginning, there was the word.

And the word was indefatigability.

That's eight.



It's R.A., isn't it?

You can tell.

Well, my wife suffers from it for years now.

I noticed the...

But she's doing much better on the new drugs.

So far my body hasn't found a drug it can tolerate.

The doctor says that he'll make me just the right cocktail in time, but... interdenominational.

Is he insane?


No, it means he likes you, Dina.

God help you.

Antiegalitarianism. Oh, please.

No, it's a ten. I've been saving it.

It's yours.

Your generation has the most agile thumbs in human history.

Look at you.

Twittering your friends in no more than 140 characters and saying what?

Showered, you watched some shitty reality TV show, you ate a yogurt.

You know, what if you had to say something meaningful in just three lines and about 17 syllables?

"Morning and evening, "someone waits at Montsushima.

One-way love."

What is that about?

That's about 400 years old, Freidman.

It's a Haiku, an early Tweet.

It tells us that somebody's waiting, waiting all day, but no one is coming because this is a...?


Oh, a one-way love?

One-way love.

Okay, okay, okay, pass the assignments forward.

All business today, sir.

What was the assignment, Swint?

Three paragraphs on the ant?


Three compelling paragraphs on the ant.


Oh, we have to use the actual encyclopedias, not the computers.

Which is really archaic.

Is it?

Who can tell me who Baron Anson is?

Baron Anson for an immediate "A" grade.

Come on.

Come on, come on!

He was a British naval commander.

He sailed around the world.

And he brought the first British warship into China and started the Marines.

Beautiful, just beautiful.

Where is the town of Ansonia?

Who the hell is Christopher Anstey?

Swint, put your phone away.

British poet. Had a big hit in 1766.



You see, you use a computer, you click on the word "ant," you get the data. Fine.

You pick up a book and leaf through the pages to find the ant, you're going to bump into a saint, an admiral, a poet, a town in Connecticut.

You're going to learn something outside of the assignment just because of your own undeniable and most valuable curiosity.

You're going to see a word, and you're going to jump on it, or it's going to jump on you.

Then you have it forever.

You know, Mr. Marc, I can type in "ant" in the drop-down and get a whole bunch of words like antonym, Antarctica, Antigua, uh... anthropology, and even Anthony Hopkins.

Anyway, Miss Delsanto said words are lies.

Yeah, they're traps, she says.



She said that?

What about truth, power?

I think a pictures is a lot more powerful than a word.

Really? Mm-hmm.

How many think that?

Don't you?



"We hold these truths to be self-evident

"that all men are created equal."

Self-evident, created equal.

Shocking words in their time.


"And endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."


Unable to be given or taken away.

What a word.

"So that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom

"and that government of the people, "by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

"And the sons of former slaves

"and the sons of former slave-owners

"shall sit down together at the table of brotherhood."


What was that?

Who did you hear in that collage? Anyone?




Words that began a country, a whole country, then protected it in a time of war, and then dreamed it better, made it better.

Words did that, not pictures.


Wow. This is war.


So words are lies? Traps?

Yes. Even mine.

And pictures are?

Do I have to actually say it?

Say it. All right.

A picture is worth... Don't you dare say that.

That is bullshit, and you know it. ...is worth a thousand words.

Good-bye, I'm tired.

You know, if words are lies, then what's the truth?

A picture? Something you painted?

Here's a word for you.


And here's a picture.


I am going to crush you.

Hey, Dad, so we're at The Grill just finishing up drinks.

Hang on, hang on, hang on.


Are you still at The Grill?


I hope that you're still coming.

Uh, I don't want to hold you up.

No, no, it's fine.

I really want you to meet Catherine.

God, we're beat.

We did every hill in the county.

They're all flat now.

There you go, you see? That's a good image.

That's a damn good image.

No, you flattened the hills by riding over them like ironing wrinkles.

No, that's good, Tony.

Are... Are you writing?

You haven't sent me any of your writing for ages.

You all right, Dad?

They're trying to take the magazine away, fucking bastards.

You know, they're downsizing.


So you're there with your girl?

Yeah, with Catherine.


You wearing your funny clothes?

Yeah, yeah.

Why can't you people wear normal clothes?

You know, I mean, wear the helmet, fine, but drop the weird clothing unless you're actually racing.

I mean, what if all car drivers dressed like NASCAR racers?

Be fucking silly, you know?

But you guys, you know?

You guys...

You know what?

I'm going to come.

I'll be like 20 minutes, and we'll have dessert.

Dessert's on Dad.

No, Dad, don't.

Another time, okay?

What? Why?

Because you shouldn't drive, right?



Well, you want to come here and stop by?

I can meet her.


Okay, thanks, but, you know, we're beat, so another time.

You be well, all right?

You be well.

Sorry, guys.

Is your dad coming? No.

He'll get you.

Princess, get in.

Come on, I'll drive you to the door.

Leave her alone, Swint.

I can't. I'm sorry, I wish I could.

I honestly wish I could, but I can't.

I think it's that geisha walk.

Just keep walking.

Your friend Emily here is such an exotic beauty, which is very rare to these parts.

Come on, I'll drive you right to your desk. Come on, come on.

You dare me? Huh?

You dare me? Come on, Emily.

You are my Madame Butterfly.

Come fly with me.

Swint! What are you up to?

You know what, I'm sorry, Mr. Cowan.

It's the hunt. You know, it's eternal.

Park your car in the street and get to class.

Okay, stop for a moment and hold up your work so I can see it.

Are you satisfied?

Is that good enough?

Doesn't anybody want to change the world?

Too late.

Ah, so then you strive to be what?


Not in this class.

Cole, if violent fantasy is as far as you want to go, at least make it your own.

I've seen that before.

Emily, start over, correct the proportion.

Start over?

Yes, look at the neck.

You can elongate the neck, but you still have to have some balance.

Hey, Emily, Emily.

Study Modigliani. Shh!

It's good. Shut up.

Swint? Miss?

Do you think a cartoon cliché will get you through my art honors?

It won't.

Okay, go back to work.

Come on.

All right, Miss, I'll change it, but...

Calling this a cliché is kind of ironic, because Mr. Marc said that you teach cliches.

We weren't supposed to say anything.

Mr. Marc's declared war on you, so what are you going to do?

I don't know or care what you're talking about.

Keep your focus on improving your work.


Imagine this is the best drawing of a human brain you have ever seen.

Now listen.


"The brain's fundamental secret will be laid open one day.

"But even when it has, the wonder will remain

"that mere wet stuff

"can make this bright inward cinema of thought, "of sight and sound and touch.

"Could it ever be explained

"how matter becomes conscious?"

Not a thousand words.

Only roughly 50 by Ian McEwan in his novel Saturday.

Now, are you telling me that this picture is worth more than these words?

Are you kidding?

Doesn't that cliché piss you off?

You are students of honors English, students of a language, students of a literature.

Words are your gods, and somebody is insulting your religion.

And we're going to prove her wrong.


Hey, come and look at this!

This is crazy!

Mr. Marc!

Marc's got his stuff out.


It's better than I thought.

We're not going to just lay down for this, are we?

Aren't you in honors English?

Yeah, but it shouldn't be all one-sided, you know?

Hey, Tony, it's me.

Listen, I'm really sorry about last week, you know.

I was so tired, I could hardly talk,

but I really want to meet Catherine.

So let's arrange it, you know, Friday, whenever.

Okay? So give me a call.

Hey, Kristen! Wait up, guys.

What do you have in the afternoon?

She got you, Mr. Marc.

Check that out.

You can't draw that well.

Yeah, that does look like you.


Brava, Signorina.

You throw a good punch.

I'm rocked.

My knees are wobbly.

I'm cut.

Beyond the boxing imagery, um, is there a point?

Oh, I get it. You're being aloof.

No, that's fine. We need loofs.

Do you know where the word "aloof" comes from?

No. Dutch.

Sailing into the wind, like a big ship.

You know what I have here?

I have a preview of the coming issue of the Croyden Lion just for you.

Read it and weep.

The next punch is mine.

Oh, and here's a seven. Internationality.

Sorry? I didn't hear your response?


It's a ten.

You had that ready.

Would you mind sailing off now?

You had that ready.

Come on. You've been studying.

The title is "Who Are You?" by Jack Marcus.

"I am a small poem on a page with room for another.

"Share with me this white field, "wide as an acre of snow, "clear but for these tiny markings like the steps of birds.

"Come now.

"This is the trough of the wave, "the seconds after lightning.

"Thin slice of silence as music ends, "the freeze before melting.

"Lie down beside me.

"Make angels.

"Make devils.

"Make who you are."

So you see? This poem is an invitation to the reader...

To lie down in the snow.

To reveal himself or herself, and that's what you'll do, not with words, but with a drawing or a painting that shows us what you feel, what you see as you read this poem, okay?

Ooh! Sorry, Mr. Marc!

All right. Bring it.

Tackle him, guys.

Get him!

Dribble all the way!

Nice one!

He's holding!

Come on, Mr. Marc, get up!

Get up, old man!

He's really cute.

I mean, like, look at him.

We love you, Mr. Marc!


Hey, Roy, you know where "mayonnaise" comes from?

The word.

The French army, after conquering the city of Mahón, had their cook create a new sauce in honor of the victory.


By the way, you got some on your lip.

And, Ellen, the word avocado is actually an Aztec word.


It means testicle.

True story.

Are you having another war?

He's, uh, Iago.

He's after my job, and she's his Lady Macbeth, and I know I'm mixing up my Shakespeare, but I'm tired.

You actually spoke to me.

I want to talk to you about your magazine.

I'm having my students draw their reactions to your poem, and some are already finished.

The work is very good.

And is the poem good?


And did you draw one?

I'm talking about my class.

You did one, too, didn't you?

I want you to include the three best works in your magazine.


You'll have to put them in the art magazine.

There is no art magazine.


Why not include artwork?

Because a poem doesn't need a picture.

If you could capture a poem with a picture, there'd be no need for the poem.

Need? Oh.


You're being awfully precious about the poem.

Do we need your poetry?

All we need is food and shelter and air and sex.

The rest is optional.

Words are optional.

Yes, but you're using them now, aren't you?

Because you need to communicate.

Even the most basic cave societies needed to communicate.

Yes, hence the cave paintings.

Paintings before the words.

And you know where you can put your stuffy, drab, pictureless magazine.

And the round goes to Delsanto!

Delsanto? Ding, ding, ding.

What are you talking about? She left the ring.

She quit.

It was hit and run.


All right, all right, I have a challenge for you.

Look, forget the poem.

You pick a subject, paint a picture, we print it in the issue.

I write a thousand words on the same subject.

We have an assembly.

Words versus pictures, which is worth more?

Why should I bother?

This is your inane war.

Because then I will print the best of your students' work.

You can choose them.

Come on.

It'll give them something to shoot for.

This inane war is energizing these kids.

No, I'm not painting.

I will choose the best work of my students, and you write your thousand words off that.

No, it's not allowed.

I want you, Delsanto.

You're always sailing off against the wind.


I like that.

Come on.

Then, Shaftner, let me know you're hungry.

Finetti, let Tammy know you're attracted to her.

Tammy, let him know you don't want him.

Okay, Stanhope, tell us you want to gather the tribe together at noon.

You want to talk about making arrows and finding a better place to dig for roots.

See, grunting is fine, but it only goes so far, and so are gestures and cave paintings.

And so people out of necessity invented words, one by one, then codified them by usage, by mutual agreement, tribe by tribe, nation by nation.

We went from "root," "dig," "fire," "arrow," to "multitask,"

"irreverence," and what is supposedly the most beautiful-sounding phrase in the English language, "cellar door."

You see, your language is a living, growing thing that sheds old words and absorbs new ones every day.

And that's what I want you to do, each of you, invent a new word.

Tell us what it means, where it comes from, and why you think it might stay and live in the language for a while.

The ten best new words will appear in the coming issue of the Lion and just maybe spread from there into usage around the school.

Then the country, then who knows?

The entire world.

Is this for Marc's?

Oh, would you look at that?

I'm going to faint.

Give it up.

What? Give up Dim Sum?

He's so disgusting.

Why should I, man?

She's the one I want.

I really feel bad for you.

Lots of guys want her.

You know, I bet you want her, too.

Yeah. Hey.

Hey, why ignore me, Princess, when I could show you a very good time?

Yeah? You showed Carol Garson a good time, and then you bragged it all over the school.

Give me a break. She bragged, too.

Why won't you give me a break, Your Highness?

Leave me alone!

Oh, my Princess, why?

Because you're slimy and you're mean!

Ohh! Rejected.

What are you laughing at?

BOY 2; on, hey!

Hey, get up!

What the hell are you doing?

Nothing, man! I just touched the little shit's shoulder!

Yeah, like that?

Go, Cole!



I can't undress.

The flare is killing me.

Okay, Dina?

Dina, I'm going to come over right now.

Take some ibuprofen, okay?

Yes, thank you.

Thanks for seeing me.

I just wanted to apologize face to face for what happened.

I was having some personal problems that night.

It won't happen again.

People want to feel safe and relaxed in here, Mr. Marcus.

It's... it's a haven.

It is.

It is a haven, I know.

I swear an oath, Mr. Franks, may God strike me not necessarily dead, but seriously injured if I fail.

No, no, I really am serious.

Very well.

Thank you.

Hey, you're early.

Good boy.

Hey, have you seen Delsanto's work?

Yeah, yeah, I looked her up, too.

It's incredible.


Why the hell doesn't she just stay at home and paint?

You think that cane is from a football injury?

She has rheumatoid arthritis.

You know, there was a time when my Edie couldn't even brush her teeth.

Good morning. Good poem, Jack.

Oh, so you saw it?

Yes, honors art class made copies, and I saw one.

I'm eager for the magazine to come out.

Yeah, but it's not coming out for weeks, and I've got my review coming up, so you'll tell them?

Certainly, I will show them the poem, but...

But what?

What are my chances?

Looking better.

Some of your colleagues will be interviewed.

We will see.

You know I'm back in good graces at The Huntsman.


And the work in my class, you should see some of the essays.

Bring me the essays.

Hey, you all right?

I mean, you were out for a while, so...

So you missed me?

And yet you greet me so antienthusiastically.

That's a nine.


Welcome back, Delsanto.

That's not your best.

It is my best. It's not.

I can judge that better than you, and I can show you what to do and how to do it.

But every time I'm trying to do what you say, it's never good enough for you.

It shouldn't be good enough for you.

But I like it.

I'm proud of this, and I'd like to finish it, and you don't let me.

You will finish it, and it will appear in the magazine.

In the Croyden Lion, next issue.

Mr. Marcus will write an essay on it.

Not now!


What if I don't want that?

How could you not want that?

Because it's a part of the war, isn't it?

The picture worth a thousand words, I thought you were painting that.

No, it'll be your painting.

This painting.

But I want to feel you.

I want to see you.

I don't want everyone looking at it like it's a part of the war, like it's a part of that.

What's the difference why they're looking at it?

Because they're going to... I don't want...

You don't want what? What?


I don't want everyone looking at me!

Oh, for God's sake, Emily, to hell with them.

I can't say that! You can!

I'm not like you. No, say it right now.

To hell with them. Go ahead.

Hear yourself say it. To hell with them.

Say it because they don't matter!

They don't. None of them!

The work matters!

It matters to get the work right and to get it right now, and that's all that matters, because that's what lasts, and you think you have all the time you need to learn and grow and create?

You think you have all that time?

You don't! Nobody does!


If I do, if I paint it for the magazine, can you please, please tell Dale Swint to leave me alone?

Oh, to hell with Swint.

I'm telling you what's important.

I'm telling you.

I have something to give you, something of value, and it's not the coaching of your love life.

It's not all... Come on!

Emily, don't!





Delsanto, it's me.

I've been wondering, a man is worth more than his words, isn't he?

And a woman more than her pictures?

Maybe we're less than that.

Maybe our work is the best of us.

I hope not.

But there it is.

You're hard, Delsanto.

Am I?

Are you?

Is it... too late for a visit?

Uh, yes, it's too late.


I'll make other plans.

Do you have other plans?

Uh, yes, other plans.

Good night then, Delsanto.

Good night.

♪ Stars are never sleeping ♪

♪ Dead ones and the living ♪

♪ We live closer to the earth ♪ Oh!

♪ Never to the heavens ♪

♪ The stars are never far away ♪

♪ The stars are out tonight ♪

♪ They watch us ♪

♪ From behind their shades ♪

♪ Waiting for the last move ♪

♪ Soaking up our primitive world ♪

♪ Stars are never sleeping ♪

♪ Dead ones and the living ♪

♪ Their jealousy's spilling down ♪

♪ The stars must stick together ♪ Oh! ♪ We will never be rid ♪

♪ The stars are out tonight ♪


That's fine.

Ugh! It's Swint.

Let me see.

Oh, my God.

"Date me or else?"


Good one. Yeah.

There she is.

Yeah, there she is!

What's going on?

So, Emily, who knows you that well?

Did you pose for this?

Em. Shut up.

Em, I'm so sorry. It's everywhere.

It's all over the net. Nobody knows who did it.

Stop laughing! Go to your classrooms!

Go now! Go!

I'm sorry.

We removed it from the website, and I think we have the boy who did it.

Look at me when I am talking to you!

Do not... I said look at me!

I have to make this phone call now to you parents.

Emily! Emily.

It wasn't me.

It wasn't me, Emily.

It was Swint!

It was Swint!

Let's go in the office.

They're after me, my Captain.

I think they want to hang me.

He says he didn't do it.

Of course he did.

And that you would vouch for him.

I like Emily, sir.

I tease her, but that's because I like her, and that picture, that's not my style.

I can't draw that graphic novel stuff.

Miss, you know that.

He's a smart ass, but I've never seen him be malicious.

This has to be killing Emily.

I'm a cartoonist.

Everyone knows that. I'm a cartoonist.

Wait outside.

Emily says she is sure it's Swint's, but she has no proof.

This is Swint's book, and these two, they look the same.

No, they're not.

Cole has very short strokes.

Look at all the shading.

There's no shading at all in this picture of Emily, none.

I don't think that either of these boys would want to hurt Emily.

Oh, well, you don't know Swint very well, and you don't know art at all, and I'm happy to give you a lesson.

I don't need a lesson in understanding my students.

You're accusing Swint because you don't like him.

And you like him why?

Because he calls you "my Captain"?

It's from a poem. Yes, I know.

The Whitman poem, "O, Captain! My Captain! Our fearful..."

The military talk is just some silliness between us.

He's a clown, but he's smart.

He's harmless.

How sure of that are you?

At least as sure as you.

Miss Delsanto, this is very serious.

Criminal charges could be made.

I have to suspend Cole while we look into this.


I see.


Well, then, um...

I better get out of your way.

You're going to be very busy suspending Cole Patterson and looking for a replacement teacher for your art honors class all on the same day.

Miss Delsanto?

Miss Delsanto!

I'd hold back on that suspension.

She's resolute.

It's from the Latin resolutus.

She has resolved.

So why would Swint want to hurt Emily?

Because she refused him.

So? We males are used to that.

You know, we accept it.

We eat it for breakfast.

And by the way, would you have breakfast with me this weekend?

Sunday brunch?

Brunch is a benign invitation.

No. Thank you.

See what I mean?

My point.

Is everything a game to you?

Hardly anything.

Someone struck out at a fellow student today, and it concerns this class because they used art as the weapon.

We're going to fight back with the same weapon, but we're not interested in naming this attacker, but in defining what sort of person would do this.

So I want you all to think of someone you've met who is like this and draw them.

Wonder who that could be?

He's a shit.

Could be a she. Could be a teacher.

This person enjoys someone else's pain, someone else's fear, someone else's humiliation.

You've seen this person smile or even laugh when someone's hurt, especially when they've done the hurting.

They enjoy it.

So draw as close a likeness as you can.

Hey, Dad.

We have to cancel Friday. I'm sorry.

School has been crazy, and Catherine is assistant-teaching, and we just have no time.

But, you know, we'll figure it out when things calm down and make sure we get together, okay?


Lieutenant Swint. How you doing?

As well as can be expected, sir.

You sure? Because I know what it feels like to be surrounded and outnumbered, people sitting in judgment.

I know, sir.

It's shit, sir!

What do I do, sir?

You stand tall, soldier.

Yes, sir.

What are you doing? You can't just take my book!

You can't just physically take something from a student, okay?

There are rules!

You're not allowed to do this!

Ow! Sir, you're hurting a student!

So are you.

This is stealing!

I'm going to charge you for stealing.

Confiscation, four syllables, from the Latin confiscare... to appropriate for the treasury.

We now have evidence that Dale Swint drew the Emily picture.

You were right, I was wrong.

What a surprise.

It's from Swint's sketch book.

Jack confiscated it.

You did? I did.

And, well, it's of you, so I'm not sure if you want to see it.

Fry the son of a bitch.

He will be expelled immediately.

Doesn't mean the war is over.

Last week, Emily used words against Swint.

Today Swint drew a picture.

Look what happened.

I'm still counting on your painting for the magazine, my thousand words, and then we'll see who wins.

What's it really all about, this artificial war?




They want to fire me.

I'm sure they'll interview you.

I'm being reviewed.

Can you think of one good thing to say about me?

I'm at a loss for words.

So that's a very exc...


Your Grace.

I'm not sure this is a very good idea for you to be here on the eve of your review.

You know, I thought about that and I said to myself, "Jack," which is what I call myself.

"Jack," I said, "it's time to show the colors

"and let the community know you are now accepted

"at the sacred Huntsman and in charge of all your faculties."

Then Jack reminded me that it's you, Elspeth, who are in charge of all the faculties around here.

So you would know what my chances are.

What are they?

There's quite a bit against you.

I can't lie.

But in your favor is the poem and the fact that you're writing again.

I don't want to talk about the poem.

You know, what... what about the student essays?

What about the school-wide interest in our debate, Words Versus Pictures?

That proves the value of the magazine.

The magazine is an economic issue.

As for your place at Croyden Prep, I don't know.

I need a promise from you.

I promise. I'll sign it in blood.

What is it?

I need to know that if the... if the decision goes against you, you won't punish me for it.

You're still worried that I'll spill our old secret?

I would just like your word on it.

I do think you're a good man.


I'm not.

But I am a good teacher, and I'll fight for that with any means I have.

And why should I promise you?

Maybe if I keep you in fear, you'll say some good things about me tomorrow.

Hey, Tom, give me the usual.

You got it, Jack.

Make it on the weak side.


Three, two, one.


I'm sorry, sorry.

That's okay.

Ladies, these are on Jack.

Thanks, Jack.

You know he's a real writer.

What do you write?

Oh, short stories, you know, some poetry.

And he's published, too, right?

You know I've been in the, uh... the Atlantic Monthly, and...

What he doesn't know though is I was, uh...

I was in Playboy, too.

Really? Yeah.



I was.

I was Miss January.

You want to see what I looked like?

Whoa! Whoa! Gently!

Sorry, sorry.

That's okay.

You have to leave.

What, you out of vodka?

I want you out of here.

Jesus. Nothing serious.

Ladies, Tom.

What'd I do? I fell off my chair.

It's not about the chair.

You're not funny, you're not charming.

You have a drinking problem.

It's not a problem.

It's a hobby.

You know, some people collect wooden ducks.

Call somebody.

Get a ride home.

You all right?

Okay, good night. Hey, what are you doing?

Come in for Christ sakes.

You don't have to just turn right around and go back.

You want some coffee?

You want me to make it or...

No, I got it. Sit down.

It's bullshit, you know?

The manager at the Huntsman's just got it in for me.

You know, I'm sorry to drag you away from Cathy.

It's Catherine.


What does she call you, Anthony?

By the way, what do you call Bill?

Do you call him Dad, too?

I call him Bill.

Does he drink?

Does ever get drunk, or am I the only one in your world that likes a drink?

Why is my poem on your board?

Because it's good.

It's your best.

When are you going to get your car?

I'll just take a cab in the morning.

You know, uh... they're trying to fire me, so, uh... desperate measures are called for.

What are you going to do?

Everything. I'm going to use everything.

Good luck.


'Cause I'm a good teacher, and that's worth saving, isn't it?

I don't really want any coffee, and I'll call you tomorrow.

Hey. Hey!

Give me a hug.

I hope you keep your job, Dad.


Oh, he has a large ego.

Well, we all know that.

I've never seen him drunk personally, but he's loud, and he can be annoying, obnoxious.

He reveres the language.

He knows more about it than most, even most English teachers, and he cares.

What more can you ask from a teacher?

He really cares.

He's scattered, disorganized, never has a lesson plan, or if he does, he never sticks to it.

Most of his assignments are not even graded.

It's all very cocky, seat-of-the-pants, you know, all that "I'm a writer" bullsh...

And the magazine?

Nothing but an ego rag for Jack Marcus.

Excuse me for being so blunt.

Thank you.

I hardly know him.

Just your impressions.

Well, I'm impressed by the fact that I've been studying multi-syllable words just to beat him at his own game.


I'm impressed at how the students have picked up on this war of his.

You've seen the installations.

They're ideas that the students came up with, and they're good.

They're good.

And, um... last night.

I painted my first workable painting in six months.

Something I thought I might never do again.

I did it to show him a picture he could not do justice to in words.

He's a pest, always challenging.

Thank God for that.

Oh, damn it.

"Come in," she said.

What do you want?

"Come in," she said, suddenly smiling a broad, welcoming grin.

Those are for me?

I don't answer inane questions.

They're beautiful.

Look at this.

Wow. This is good.

Don't touch it.

It won't be dry for...

This is really good.

Well, it's um... I'm still working on it.

It's very different from what I've done.

There are vases in the sink.

You paint to this? It's beautiful.

Why did you bring me flowers?

Because I heard what you said in the review, and I thank you.

I've kept my job, Delsanto.


I want to celebrate.

Are these from the poem?

Are these your drawings from the new poem?

It's nothing, it's just...

Well, you put them up.

Oh, my God, Delsanto.

You should see something.

You should see how you look in that light.

Oh, for God's sake.

I wish I was a painter.

Words fail.

Pictures, too.

I can't tell you how much I want us to put our mouths together.

Oh, really?

You're attracted to me?

Very much.


Same species, different sex.

Aren't you attracted to me?

Not in the least.

Did you think I would be?

Well, I had high hopes for this jacket.

I mean, it's old, but it's custom made, and yet you feel nothing?



For your tailor.

God, you're fantastic.

You're such an ass.

You have such an ass.

Oh, you know nothing about my ass.

Excuse me.

I've studied its dimensions for months.

Delsanto, I am going to walk over there where the light is falling on you, and I am going to kiss you, unless you speak a loud, resounding no.

There haven't been any men in my life for years...

by choice.


Mm, this is ridiculous.

No, this is great.

The tape on your hand is ridiculous.

Well, take it off then gently.

Listen to me.

You're covering my ears.


We can decide right now to take this afternoon to bed, no discussion, no debate, no words, no pictures, no angst, no past, no guilt...

Will you shut up.


You'd have to be careful.

I've had a vasectomy, and I'm very clean.

With me, you idiot.

With my body.

You just have to tell me what hurts, where, and how much.

This is a terrible idea.

No, people do this all the time.

They just have a couple of dinners first.

Were you ever married?

No, why?

Long relationships?

Uh, I lived with a man in Barbados for six years.

I was married to a pediatrician. It ended badly.

I got a son in college.

I got a great aunt who's 107.

That could have taken us, you know, two dinners and a movie before we got to your Barbadosian... and my Aunt Nell, and yet here we are, ready, now.

I'm feeling better.

The meds seem to be...

But how can I trust it?

Not yet.

So I want you to know that if I say yes, it's partly because, uh... life keeps taking things away from me, and I'm never sure when it's the last chance I have to do something, and to do it fully, and if it is, I don't want to miss it.

Can we do that again?

Wait, for God's sake.

It's been... nine minutes.

I'm not ready.

Will you give me an ETA then?

You know, an experience like that should be savored.

I'll just read until you've recovered.

Give me my book.

Yeah, get a big, thick book.

I'm going to have to fill my dance card with other suitors.

Give me my book.

You Jezebel.

You Rip Van Winkle.

You know, I think the norm's like, uh, 20 minutes.

Mmm. Then I'll call Norm.

Norm, come here.

Norm, can you hear me?

Norm, I'm dying.

Please, Norm.

♪ You bring the sun out ♪

♪ To warm my life up ♪

♪ To make my love grow every day ♪ What?

For a man who saved his job today and got laid,

you're looking a little bit lost and forlorn.

Really? Mm-hmm.

Why is that?

Is it this?

Us? No, no, no, no.

Isn't that a beautiful word, forlorn?

You know, it comes from the Old English forleosan...

Don't change the subject.

Delsanto, I don't want to go home.

Can I stay?

Sleeping together, that's a major step.

Is it? Mm.

I think you have to start by calling me Dina.

Who's Dina?

Dina. Dina.

No, that's weird.



♪ I'll always know you're near ♪

♪ To bring the sun out ♪

♪ To warm my life up ♪

♪ To make my love grow ♪

♪ Every day ♪




You have to look, Dina, please.

Can you talk? Can you look?

I'm not feeling well. The medication.

Can you see this?

Are you drunk?

Look at this picture, it's perfect.

You, uh...

You remember this? You...

You remember the poem?

Yes, I remember it. Yeah, well, listen.


I never wrote it.

I stole it.

From my son.

I did.

I never wrote a poem that good.



I stole it. I said it was mine.

I saved my ass.

I saved my job.

How could you do that?

What if the fire just goes out?


I need a camera.

I just want to capture this look of disappointment and revulsion.

You're using the wrong words.

No, words are my business, Delsanto.

Pity is the one you're looking for.

Yeah, I don't want that.

You can't choose what I feel.

You want me to go?

You can't. You're too drunk.

I want you to stop drinking.

Go lie on the couch and pass out.

Go away.

Oh, shit.

I want you to walk out of my door.

I want you to exit my life.

I am so sorry, I...

I want you to go now without one... more... word.

Ah! Ah!

Are you saving these for your vodka museum?

Christ, Jack.

I see your culinary skills haven't improved.

You're still eating beer-battered chicken?

I'm Jack. Uh, I'm an English teacher at, uh...

I'm an alcoholic.

I've been sober for six days.

Just give it to Jesus, man.

Jesus, there's a good teacher.

You know, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mrs. Betty Hilliard, fifth grade, my own personal angel and role model, but, uh, I'm not aiming that high.

I just want to quit drinking.


Please get to the point, and if this is Jack Marcus, good-bye.

The point, Delsanto, is contrition.

I'm not asking for forgiveness.

I'm just hoping you're all right.

Are you in any way the least bit all right?

You know, good-bye is actually a shortened version of God be with you.

Anyway, thanks for the thought.

I'll keep trying.

For now, so long.

That, by the way, comes from salaam, which means peace be with you.

Which is all I'm really trying to say.

You didn't write the poem?

It's not yours?

I can't believe I'm hearing this.

Makes me sick.

This is my resignation.

I wrote it myself.

If it's possible, I would like to finish out the year.

Finish out the year then.

Thank you. No, it's not for you.

It's so no one asks why, so no one knows.

You can give us that.

What will you do?

I'll try to find a school that will take a chance on me.

I wish you well. Oh, God.

Oh, my God.

What about the assembly, Words Versus Pictures?

It's still on the schedule, but I don't think you will have Miss Delsanto.

She has asked for medical leave.


Medical leave?

What are you doing, you hiding?

Come on!

You're needed at the school.

You know, don't let me take that away from you.

You know, I'm not worth that.


Shut up! Just come outside. Take...

Take a swing at me.

You know, kick me in the balls.

Thank you. I might.

Her sister, Sabine.

Jack Marcus. No kidding.

Why are you speaking to that shit?


Look, tell her...

Don't say anything stupid, okay?

Tell her I want to buy that painting.

Whatever her price would have been, I want to buy it.

The painting is not for sale.

And she said to tell that arrogant, self-absorbed asshole that my medical leave has nothing to do with him.

She had a knee operation.

Tell her... Oh, make this good.

She's shutting down, and it scares me, so step up.

Tell her I want to tear out my heart, I want to hand it to her, and I want to watch her eat it.


This is my Dad. Catherine.

It's nice to finally meet you.

Oh, it's a pleasure, really.

And Hank. Hank.

Nice to meet you.

Maybe I'll let you two talk.

See you in a minute.


This is a surprise.

She's pretty.

Nice smile, good energy.

What's on your mind?

You remember that, uh, poem you wrote?


You know, the one I... the one I put on my board?


I actually told some people that I wrote it.

Kind of put my name on it for a while.

So now I'm telling people the truth.

I'm resigning from the school,

and I quit drinking.

Now, I know you've heard that before, but maybe after time goes by and you see your father always sober, never drunk,

maybe you'll begin to believe me.

And even though I'm awful,

please don't let me be dead to you, Tony.

I love you.

And I want to know her.


And that has nothing to do with God!

Oh, shit.




I thought it was the maniac.


Oh, wow.

I love this.

Oh, it's so damaged.

I gave up trying to fix it.

No, I can see what you wanted.

It's really good.

It was the best I've done since my body stopped cooperating.

Sit down.

I've been trying so hard to paint what I see, Emily, and now I'm learning to see what I can paint.

Something that excites me.

Take it. If you like it, you can have it.

I can't look at it anymore.

Thank you. Um...

I want you to see what I'm painting now.

I miss your input.

Your not being satisfied.

Bring your work over.

I'd be glad to be dissatisfied with it.

Would you? Mm.

Would you teach me here?


I mean, on weekends or after school?

It's not just me, though.

Cole Patterson, he would like lessons, too, or maybe some of the others.

Class is just not the same anymore.

Nobody's pushing.

They just go, "That's good, Emily."

You are good.

You're good enough to please a lot of people, most people.

Well... to hell with them.


So here we go.

New words!


Never before seen.


Textulating... making love via texting.


Uh... slumba... a Latin dance in an impoverished neighborhood.

Say that again.

A Latin dance in an impoverished neighborhood.


Um, emblend.

To hold somebody close.

Aw, Isabella!

Mr. Marc?

Mr. Marc, this is cool and all, but we really want to talk about your war.

Yeah, um, how can you have a battle without Miss Delsanto?

She'll be here.

She's not coming.

She won't be here until next year.

That's not acceptable.

She has to.

She has to.




Oh, hello again.

I will just go check and then tell you when they're ready, okay?

Okay, that's good.

You want to sit down?

Can't sit in that one yet.

I, uh... I thought your leg was better.


I can even kick you in the balls if you try to help me.

You want something? A drink or...

No, thanks.

Irrepressibility. Oh, for God's sake.

Incorrigibility. They're both sevens.


Play with yourself.

Tell me.

Up to the part where I got disgustingly drunk,

it was good, right?

I don't remember.

I'm sober 36 days.


Well, then you'll probably want to celebrate with a 12-pack.

Yes, it was good.


That's why I'm so goddamn angry, because of what you're capable of and what you throw away, what you destroy.

I don't give a damn about this stupid war.

You'll do the Mr. Marc show, and the students will vote, and you'll win and be happy, and then you can leave me alone.

I'm only here for Emily.

It's great to see you, Delsanto.

Ladies, gentlemen, welcome to Words Versus Pictures.


Representing Pictures are the Arts Honors students, whose works you see surrounding us.

Whoo! Yeah!

Hold on.

And their teacher, the artist, Miss Dina Delsanto.

It's her art we see on the screens.


So which has more impact, more value, more worth?

The word or the picture?

Come on, pictures!

And words! Guys, come on!

Oh, just clap.


"A picture is worth a thousand words." Anonymous.

"There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away."

Emily Dickinson.

"A picture shows me at a glance

"what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound."

Ivan Turgenev.

Shakespeare's portrait appeared on his First Folio of plays with these words...

"Reader, look not at his picture, but his book."

"What is the use of a book, thought Alice, without pictures?"

Lewis Carroll.

"A picture is something that requires as much knavery, "trickery, and deceit as the perpetration of a crime."

Edgar Degas.

For evidence.

Speaking first, representing pictures, Miss Delsanto.

It was Mr. Marc's idea that I repair it.

I hope you don't mind.

It's great.

It's even better.

Why art?

If our senses and consciousness were entirely in tune with nature,

if we could communicate and understand each other, then there wouldn't be any need for art.

In fact, we would all be artists, because we would all be as one.

I have nothing else to say, except this?

I started it, and Emily finished it.

And this.

And, of course, all the student paintings you can see here.

Thank you.

Representing words, Mr. Jack Marcus.


Come on!

Wow, there's your pictures.

And here's my thousand words, except it's not a thousand.

It's roughly 400, but I think it's enough.

There's a problem, though.

If writers are called artists, too, then as a fellow artist, I'm not in the same league as Miss Delsanto, because Delsanto in her art takes us from here to somewhere else.

She takes what we look at every day, and she elevates it out of the ordinary.

As when John Updike looked at birds sitting randomly on a wire and called them "punctuation for an invisible sentence."

Or Jeanette Winterson describes

"tripping over slabs of sunshine the size of towns."

And Joyce Cary speaks of a cold morning with

"frost on the grass like condensed moonlight."

And James Agee speaks of men removing their stiff collars in the evening and their "newly bared necks seeming tall and shy."

Each artist makes the world his or her own, and in doing so elevates it.

And in doing that elevates us, gives us a larger view.

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism

"the world has ever known."

Oscar Wilde.

Proust said that only through art can we get outside of ourselves and know another's view of the universe.

And Agee and Updike and Winterson and Delsanto, they give us that view because they give us themselves through words, through pictures.

And all we can say is...

Because what we feel is indescribable.

And the value of artists like that, artists like Miss Delsanto, is that through their gifts, their agonies, their energies, and their vision, they make us feel our best.

They make us want to be our best.

And I thank her.

And I thank all of you for allowing us this opportunity to honor the artists and the arts, not through a battle, but through a... a coming together,

a mating

of words and pictures.

Emily, Cole, take it away.

Shakespeare said, "Shall I compare thee to a summers day?

"Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

"Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May."

I'll just go get the car, okay?

And meet you back here in a minute. Okay.

You all right?


The sun is awfully strong.

Afraid you'll melt?

Not a chance.

"I refuse to melt," said the icicle.

"Ha ha," said the sun and shined.

You know who wrote that?

Your son?

You ice cold bitch.

You drunken, art-wrecking bastard.

♪ I am a small poem ♪

♪ On a page with room for another ♪

♪ Share with me this white field ♪

♪ Wide as an acre of snow ♪

♪ Clear but for these tiny markings ♪

♪ Like the steps of birds ♪

♪ Come now ♪

♪ This is the trough of the wave ♪

♪ The seconds after lightning ♪

♪ Thin slice of silence as music ends ♪

♪ The freeze before melting ♪

♪ Hurry ♪

♪ Lie down beside me ♪

♪ Make angels ♪

♪ Make devils ♪

♪ Make who you are ♪

♪ This is the trough of the wave ♪

♪ The seconds after lightning ♪

♪ Thin slice of silence as music ends ♪

♪ The freeze before melting ♪

♪ Hurry ♪

♪ Lie down beside me ♪

♪ Make angels ♪

♪ Make devils ♪