Ryno Swart's
Quadrille


Quadrille     


EXT. 1871. THE FARMLANDS OF MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

Under a full moon, a rider guides his horse down the narrow alleys and paths, among the vegetable gardens and shacks of Montmartre. His left arm is in a sling under his cloak. This is Captain Armand de CHALLEYER (30). Piano music drifts from one of the seven windmills on the skyline.

               CHALLEYER

Gently, old friend.

He rides up to the windmill and up the broad wooden stairs.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

Moonlight spills through the massive doors. The inside of the Quadrille de Montmartre is dark, the only light coming from two candles on the piano. The horse weaves through tables towards the pianist, Alexandre CARNEVALE (60), composer.

CARNEVALE

Go away.
(silence)

Sit down then.

As Carnevale plays, Challeyer remains motionless on his horse as the music unfolds, a dark version of a barcarolle, torn and damaged and wounded and powerful.

EXT. 1942. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY, MONTMARTRE. NIGHT.

(Black and white documentary style for WW2 sequences)

Headlights sweep across the grey sidewalks of German occupied Paris. A military vehicle with rotating aerial moves past. An old woman, MONIQUE (90), rummages among the rubbish. A cat runs off.

MONIQUE

Oohahaha. What a treasure! Style and elegance!

(puts on a cloche hat)

Made for each other, the two of us. Cloche for a clocharde. Hahahaha!

A German halftrack trundles past, soldiers on the back.

GERMAN GUNNER

Hey you! Old lady! Get off the streets!

MONIQUE

Vile species of pig, this is my home. You get off the streets!

The German soldiers laugh and move on.

Two men approach, in greatcoats. SERGE is about 30, tough, Didier tall and elegant (27).

SERGE

Bonsoir Madame.

MONIQUE

Bonsoir my ass. This is not evening, this is the middle of the night. Do you like my hat?

SERGE

Show her the poster, Comrade.

DIDIER

I am not your comrade.

Didier pulls out a poster and shows it to the old lady.

DIDIER

Is this you, Madame?

MONIQUE

O hahahahahahaha. Does that look like me?

The poster is old and worn, an Art Nouveau lithograph with hand-lettered script "Demonique au Quadrille de Montmartre".

MONIQUE

Where did you get this?

SERGE

Madame, is this you?

MONIQUE

Are you crazy? That poster is about sixty years old!

SERGE

Seventy years. Yes. Exactly seventy years. Dated 1871. Montmartre.

MONIQUE

Where did you get this?

DIDIER

I got it from my from my grandmother. She was a dancer. Is this you, Madame?

SERGE

Madame, are you Demonique? Is this you?

MONIQUE

Are you Gestapo?

DIDIER

Do we look like Gestapo?

MONIQUE

Now let me think... Long dark raincoats, hats, shifty eyes, ugly as sin. No, I suppose not.

In fact they do, in their long coats.

DIDIER

We are Maquis. Is this you, Madame?

The old woman pulls herself up. Clenches her fists.

MONIQUE

Yes.

Yes!

YES, I am DEMONIQUE!

INT.1872. QUADRILLE. NIGHT

The scene shifts to the brash colours and music of the Quadrille de Montmartre. A small orchestra pounds out a cancan as nine screaming dancers charge onto the floor, waved on by the choreographer, JEROME PANDY (30) and by TARTINE (42), a short flamboyant woman.

CHOREOGRAPHER

Break a leg, my beauties!

COLONEL REGNAULT (50) leans against the bar.

COLONEL REGNAULT

Allez les filles! Allez Tartine!

One of the dancers flings her skirts over his head.

MISS KITTY

Hello Colonel!



4.

CHOREOGRAPHER

Oh, you wicked girl!

TARTINE

A toast! A toast! To life and music and impossible beauty... To love...

L'amour fou, l'amour folle. The beautiful madness that is love! Here they are: Our Bad Girls! Les Filles Mechantes!

Welcome messieurs, welcome mesdames! Welcome to the Quadrille de Montmartre! Hold on to your glasses, hold on to your hats, hold on to your partners!

Who knows what our bad bad girls will steal tonight? Above all, hold on to your hearts!

Ah! They are killing me! But...

If I have to go, this is the way I want to go!

CHOREOGRAPHER

Anais! Leave that poor woman!

At the podium, Carnevale turns to watch the dance.

CARNEVALE

Chaos - yes! More chaos!

Four girls work the tables, flirting shamelessly.

DEMONIQUE

Watch your hat, General! Nice absinthe, your Honor! Oops, pardon my derriere, Mademoiselle!

Welcome to the Commune de Paris, Herr Kommandant. Kakakaa. Now go back to Germany!

GERMAN KOMMANDANT

Hahahahahahaah! More Champagne!

Champagne for everybody!

EXT. 1942. NIGHT. PARIS.

MONIQUE

What is it to you? Yes, I am

Demonique! Now leave me alone!

The two men merge into the shadows as a Germans radio direction finding vehicle drives past, the ring on its roof



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rotating slowly.

MONIQUE

Cochons!

DIDIER

Is there somewhere we can talk?

Because, if you are Demonique,

Madame, we need your help.

MONIQUE

Get lost, little boy, this is no place for children.

SERGE

We are fighters in the French Resistance, Madame, just as you were on the barricades of 1871. Come with us.

MONIQUE

Non. I do not go with strange men.

SERGE

Oh yeah? That is not what I've heard!

MONIQUE

Oh. I like you. Come with me, then.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

Demonique is in the spotlight on a little stage, surrounded by the troupe.

LES FILLES MECHANTES

When she was just a baby girl,

When she was just a doll,

Her mother used to dress her up,

To dress her up and say:

DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

She said,

I always looked good in red.

LES FILLES MECHANTES

When she was just in kiddie school,

When she was une petite fille,

Her teacher used to make her stand,

To make her stand and say:



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DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

She said,

I always looked good in red.

LES FILLES MECHANTES When she was just a 12 year old, When she was just a girl,

Her girl friends used to spin her round,

To spin her round and say:

DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

They said,

I always looked good in red.

LES FILLES MECHANTES

When she became a dancing girl,

When she kicked her skirts,

The men all used to look at her,

To look at her and say:

DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

They say,

I always looked good in red.

At a table on a platform, sitting in the dark, Challeyer makes notes in a large sketchbook.

Demonique. Study in red.

He looks up and their eyes meet.

ANGELIQUE

I think the captain fancies you.

DEMONIQUE

Don't be stupid.

COLONEL REGNAULT Barman, a Belgian blonde! A big one! What's that German doing here?

BARMAN

The war is over, Colonel. France has surrendered. It is our own French government that we have to worry about.

COLONEL REGNAULT Bastards! They will kill their own people to line their own pockets.



7.

BARMAN

It has always been so. What is happening, Colonel?

COLONEL REGNAULT

Paris remains free. We have set up our own government, the Commune of Paris. But we are expecting an attack within days...

French politicians, I piss on them.

The composer, Alexandre Carnevale comes over.

CARNEVALE

Paris shall be free, Colonel!

GERMAN KOMMANDANT

To the eternal friendship of France and Germany!

COLONEL REGNAULT

We are raising a citizen's army, all volunteers, to defend the Paris against the upper classes.

Ah, Courbet! Here! Our new minister of Culture! Have a beer!

INT. 1942. THE OLD LADY'S ROOM. NIGHT

A garden shack, wooden, small but cosy.

MONIQUE

Show me your poster. Where did you get it?

DIDIER

I got it from my grandmother. It is signed.

MONIQUE

How it all comes back. What do you want from me?

SERGE

We want to interview you on Radio

Free Europe.

MONIQUE

You are crazy.

SERGE

You were crazy too, once, Madame.



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Be so again.

Silence. Monique lift a military ribbon from a nail and puts it around her neck, and hides it under her collar. A medal momentarily glints in the lamplight.

MONIQUE

I come with you.

EXT. 1942. PARIS ALLEYWAY. NIGHT

MONIQUE

So where are we going?

Three German soldiers approach in the dark.

GERMAN SERGEANT

You! Papers!

MONIQUE

Now what have you done!

The two men separate, one to the left, one to the right.

GERMAN SERGEANT

Monsieur, your papers.

Journalist. Le Monde. Very well.

And you, Monsieur?

SERGE

Journalist. Liberation.

GERMAN SERGEANT Liberation has been closed down. That makes you a communist! These documents are out of date.

And you Madame?

MONIQUE

I am also out of date! Hahahaha!

GERMAN SERGEANT

Come with us!

MONIQUE

Don't you touch me, Boche!

The German Sergeant lunges forward. The two men move as one, an arm around the throat of a soldier, and a knife plunging under their ribs.

The German Sergeant goes for his pistol, but he meets the handle of a knife in his throat, as the elegant man steps



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forward and stabs him in the heart. The old lady stands still. The two men drag the bodies into the alleyway and behind the garbage. They sling two machine guns over their shoulders and secrete them under their coats.

SERGE

Good work, Comrade. Madame?

DIDIER

Is she all right?

SERGE

Madame?

MONIQUE

Merde. You are maquis.

SERGE

Madame, are you all right to come with us?

DIDIER

We must move. Rue des Abbesses.

MONIQUE

No. This way. Follow me.

EXT/INT.1942. GARDENS OF MONTMARTRE. NIGHT.

She leads them up a side street, into an overgrown garden.

MONIQUE

This way.

She leads them into a church, enters. Didier crosses himself as they move down the apse.

MONIQUE

Eglise St Jean. Come. Move on.

They listen at the doors

SERGE

Madame. Is everything all right?

Whistles and shouts ring out from the distance. A platoon of soldiers runs past. As their footsteps recede the fugitives emerge from the dark and make their way across the road.

EXT. 1942. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY, MONTMARTRE. NIGHT.

A German Officer, an OBERJAEGER (28), stands over the three



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dead soldiers like a dark angel in his heavy leather coat, backlit by the torches of the platoon, a massive stillness. His men keep a respectful distance.

OBERJAEGER

Walther, Albrecht, cover their bodies and wait for the medics. The rest of you, with me. We shall hunt down the criminals who did this. These were good men. Good men and good friends.

EXT. 1871. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY. DAWN

At a barricade, a sign: Rue des Abbesses. Stacked muskets are guarded by three young women from the QUADRILLE.

ANAIS

Why are we doing this? The French army will never attack its own citizens.

RUBY

The moment we became the Commune of

Paris, we are no longer citizens of

France. We are rebels now.

Renegades.

DEMONIQUE

We are not rebels, we are France. Prussia invaded, and Paris alone refuses to surrender.

ANAIS

We are still one France, one blood. They are our uncles and cousins and brothers.

DEMONIQUE

But we are not one France... There are two nations, the rich, and the workers. We are their enemy, their true enemy, and they will not rest until they have annihilated every one who dares to stand up to them.

RUBY

You sound like the French

Revolution all over again.

DEMONIQUE

Hahahaha... So you noticed!

France has had at least five



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revolutions, and every time power went right back to the rich.

A gaunt man in a dark cloak moves up to them. ALEXANDRE CARNEVALE is the conductor at the Quadrille de Montmartre.

CARNEVALE

I have a new song, Monique, and I want you to sing it.

MONIQUE

I am a dancer, not a singer.

He laughs, and waves a sheaf of music as he leaves.

CARNEVALE

I shall leave it in your dressing room! Learn the words.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

As Angelique does a solo performance, the cavalry officer draws in the darkness. Demonique moves up behind him.

DEMONIQUE

Why do you draw in the dark?

(He tries to rise, trapped under the table)

What is your name?

CHALLEYER

My name is Challeyer, Mademoiselle.

My name is Captain Armand De

Challeyer, Mademoiselle.

DEMONIQUE

What are you drawing?

CHALLEYER

I am drawing the dancers...

DEMONIQUE

I don't want you to draw me.

CHALLEYER

I asked permission from the management if I could...

DEMONIQUE

Is this me?

CHALLEYER

Yes.



12.

DEMONIQUE

Why?

CHALLEYER

You are very beautiful.

DEMONIQUE

Well, don't draw me.

CHALLEYER

I find you very beautiful, Mademoiselle, and I would love to do a painting of you. May I do so? May I draw you in the dance?

DEMONIQUE

No.

INT. 1871. DRESSING ROOM. NIGHT

Rouge applied to pouting lips by fingertips. Angelique picks up a music sheet.

ANGELIQUE

So my cherie, what is this, then?

DEMONIQUE

Dunno, me. Alexandre wrote it for me. Calls it "FrouFrou."

ANGELIQUE

Grumpy old fart. We should do a duet, Demonique, you and I. "Angelique and Demonique". We'll be twins.

TARTINE

You're on, girls!

DEMONIQUE

Me with horns and you with a halo!

EXT. 1942. RUE DES ABBESSES. NIGHT

Five German soldiers move up the winding Rue des Abbesses. An old woman pokes about in the rubbish.

OBERJAEGER

Madame, you should be indoors. Have you seen anybody pass this way?



13.

MONIQUE

Germans. German soldiers, German halftracks, tarts, vagrants. The usual rubbish.

The Oberjaeger smiles and the soldiers move on. Two shapes stir behind the church fence.

SERGE

All good, Comrade?

DIDIER

I am not your comrade.

MONIQUE

This is the Rue des Abbesses? Where do we go now?

SERGE

This way. Look for the Hotel Fleur.

Be careful in case they return.

They hear jackboots returning on the cobblestones.

MONIQUE

O Dieu!

Serge pushes them into an hotel entrance.

SERGE

Move!

He slaps on the door with his flat hand. Three, then two. The door is opened by a middle aged man, the HOTELIER (50).

SERGE

Resistance. Fast. Let us in.

HOTELIER

Quick; move!

The room is dark. A Border Collie jumps up against Monique. The hotelier pushes the door shut and holds it on the latch.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

The Filles are performing a cancan sequence.

TARTINE

Your bad girls are particularly bad tonight, Cesar.



14.

CESAR MARTIN

Aren't they!

As they dance the girls squeal and scream and keep up a lively conversation.

DEMONIQUE

Look at all the horny bastards.

ANGELIQUE

Not so. They are here for beauty and romance. And music and dance.

DEMONIQUE

Don't fool yourself, my little tart, it's your titties that they are really here for. As am I!

ANGELIQUE

I am not a tart!

DEMONIQUE

We are all tarts; the only question is, can you dance?

Challeyer draws. His sword is on the table in front of him.

ANGELIQUE

There is your boyfriend, Demi.

DEMONIQUE

Not my boyfriend.

ANGELIQUE

He is craaazy about you. He so just wants to draw you!

DEMONIQUE

Well, bad luck for him!

ANGELIQUE

I know you like him.

DEMONIQUE

Fuck you.

ANGELIQUE

Come on, go to him.

DEMONIQUE

You go to him.

ANGELIQUE

Why are you so angry with him?



15.

DEMONIQUE

I'm not.

ANGELIQUE

I think you like him.

DEMONIQUE

You jealous?

ANGELIQUE

You're such a bitch.

DEMONIQUE

And you're such a fucking innocent.

ALEXANDRE CARNEVALE

(from the podium) Shut up you two.

INT. 1942. HOTEL FLEUR. NIGHT

The owner hustles his visitors to the back of the lobby.

HOTELIER

Good to see you, gentlemen. Best go upstairs, room 102, first floor.

As the two men move towards the stairs, Monique hugs the dog.

HOTELIER

Quiet! Don't move!

Footsteps ring on the cobbles. Voices passing outside.

OBERJAEGER

That old woman. She must have seen something.

MILITARY RADIO Find the woman. All roads are blocked. They cannot escape.

OBERJAEGER

We left Schultze and Braun to move up the Butte. Nobody will get past.

INT. 1942. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT.

A small bedroom, the floor tilting vertiginously towards the curtained French window. A radio is tuned to the BBC.



16.

BBC ANNOUNCER

In half an hour we shall have a direct broadcast from Paris.

SERGE

Hey. That'll be us.

(He turns off the radio.) Put out the light! Dieu. We got so lucky.

DIDIER

How did you know this is the right building?

SERGE

I didn't. But most people around here support us. I trust this building and the hotelier.

DIDIER

Then you are a fool, sir.

SERGE

This is Montmartre, Comrade, half the people people are rebels. Artists, writers, musicians, poets, Leninists, Trotskyites, Stalinists, anarchists. It is always worth a try.

DIDIER

Not all of the resistance are communists. Some are patriots who fight for honour.

SERGE

There is no honour in oppressing your own people.

INT. 1942. HOTEL LOBBY. NIGHT

MONIQUE

Merci, Monsieur. Thank you for letting us in.

HOTELIER

De rien. Who are your two friends?

MONIQUE

God knows. But they are serious.

Deadly serious. They killed three

German soldiers who were going to



17.

arrest me.

She moves behind the counter to rinse her glass.

GERMAN SOLDIER (outside the door)

Open up! Now!

HOTELIER

Madame, hide.

Then he opens the door. The border collie goes berserk, the hotelier holding him back. As he looks around, Monique has removed her hat and her scarf, and stands poised and tall behind the counter, calmly pouring two glasses of absinthe.

MONIQUE

Gentlemen, welcome. Cheri, offer the gentlemen a drink.

HOTELIER

Yes Maman.

OBERJAEGER

Have you seen or heard anything unusual in the street, Monsieur?

HOTELIER

Lots of commotion, and well after the curfew. People running and shouting. Mostly soldiers.

OBERJAEGER

I thank you for the offer of a drink, Madame, but I must decline. I am on duty, I am afraid.

Move on men. Next building!

INT. 1942. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT.

A soft knock. The hotelier enters, followed by Monique.

HOTELIER

The soldiers have gone, but there will be more. You need to go up to the radio room. 703 in the garrets.

MONIQUE

Let's go then.

To the garrets. Garrets! Now that is one thing I know. I know the garrets of Paris! Ha ha ha ha ha.



18.

Serge looks at Didier. Then they follow her up the impossibly narrow spiral staircase.

INT. 1942. HOTEL STAIRCASE . NIGHT

At each of the seven landings the group rests, then soon after every two steps.

MONIQUE

...

SERGE

Don't worry, Madame, save your breath.

MONIQUE

...

(she glares at him)

EXT. 1871. QUADRILLE. NIGHT

Golden light spills from the old windmill. The QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE is some distance up the hillside. Coaches and Spandaus await their owners. Men emerge in top hats and tails, women in extravagant gowns and hats.

The soldier leans against his horse, lights a cigarette. Two young women in grey dresses emerge from the mill. The captain leads his horse into the light.

CHALLEYER

Good evening, ladies.

ANGELIQUE

Ah, it is the handsome captain who likes the sexy ladies!

DEMONIQUE

Isn't it.

ANGELIQUE

Good morning, I'd say, Captain. Do you want to walk with us?

CHALLEYER

I would be honoured, Mademoiselle.

Which way are you going?

ANGELIQUE

We are going across the fields to the farmhouse over there.



19.

They follow a narrow garden path, fences overgrown with flowers on either side. The girls link arms, the soldier and his horse walking in the grassy verge.

CHALLEYER

This is the most beautiful moment. The moon, the stars, the perfume of the flowers...

ANGELIQUE

That is my perfume you are smelling, Captain.

DEMONIQUE

What are you doing here?

ANGELIQUE

Demi...

DEMONIQUE

No. What are you doing here, in

Montmartre? You do not belong here.

CHALLEYER

I live for beauty, Mademoiselle. I am enticed by it, besotted by it.

DEMONIQUE

Besotted, that is for sure.

CHALLEYER

Music is beauty. And dance. And colour. And the female form.

ANGELIQUE

I am shocked, Captain...

CHALLEYER

Shocked, Mademoiselle?

ANGELIQUE

Deeply shocked, Captain. How can you put the beauty of the female form last on your list?

Challeyer stops, as does Angelique. Demonique walks on.

CHALLEYER

Mademoiselle, I assure you...

Angelique laughs. She is beautiful in the moonlight.

ANGELIQUE

I am teasing you, Captain. Please



20.

call me Angelique.

CHALLEYER

And me Armand. Isn't Angelique a stage name? If you don't mind me asking...

ANGELIQUE

It is all you need, Captain. And I prefer to call you "Captain". My friend over there is Demonique.

CHALLEYER

I don't think she likes me...

ANGELIQUE

Whatever gives you that idea?

Demonique walks on, not happy. Then she stops, and turns.

DEMONIQUE

What happened to your arm?

Are you a soldier?

CHALLEYER

Yes Mademoiselle, I am a soldier.

DEMONIQUE

... or are you an artist?

CHALLEYER

I have been an artist all my life, and a soldier since France has been invaded by the Prussian army. One day I shall no longer be a soldier, but I shall always be an artist. Even if I lose both my arms.

EXT. 1871. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY. BARRICADES. DAY

Armed men and women stand around the barricades.

OFFICER

All is quiet. We shall not be attacked unless the government fears that it is faced with a full scale revolution.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. DAY.

Searching piano chords. Waiters sweep and others prepare flowers at the bar. Near the door, a group of men and one



21.

woman are in intense conversation. The woman is LOUISE MICHEL (35).

GEORGE CLEMENCEAU (29) is the mayor of Montmartre.

CLEMENCEAU

You are familiar with my revolutionary credentials. But I also represent Montmartre at the National Assembly. As such I believe that it is our duty to find a compromise with the Government.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI (60), Polish, is in his white uniform.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

It is the Central Committee of the National Guard that is now in command of Paris. Our armed forces. My soldiers are on their way to Montmartre with 200 artillery pieces, captured before the Germans could carry them off. The time for compromise has gone.

CLEMENCEAU

Well, I can tell you that 15,000 regular French soldiers are on their way to Paris with orders to retake those very cannons. They will enter Paris in two days. We need to negotiate now!

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI Thiers is the enemy of the working man. He cares only for money. We cannot negotiate with such a leader in the National Government; we have to meet his armies head-on, face to face, workers against bourgeois, and we have to defend our city to the death.

ALEXANDRE CARNEVALE Bring in the drums here. I want the girls entering from the ceiling.

CESAR MARTIN

This is a windmill, Darling. There is no ceiling!

ALEXANDRE CARNEVALE

Make it work.



22.

CLEMENCEAU

Paris is united. Our artists are with us. Degas fought in the National Guard, and Courbet is the minister of Culture of the Commune.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

And may God help us.

EXT. MONTMARTRE. AFTERNOON.

The village basks in the warm sun. Artists mingle with workers and delivery carts on rough muddy roads. Seven windmills line the horizon.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI (off )

Let them bring their 15,000, Doctor Clemenceau. We have set up defensive positions all over the city. Most with artillery.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. AFTERNOON.

CLEMENCEAU Gentlemen, if we are to set up an independent government for Montmartre it cannot be a military uprising. Let our own elected municipal council take power.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

Our first priority is to defend our city. Politics must come second.

A massive man sits at the far end of the tables. This is COURBET (56), artist and revolutionary.

COURBET

Negotiations are better when backed up by force. Let us face up to this military confrontation; then we shall be in a stronger position to state our position.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

Are you sure you are an artist, M.

Courbet, and not a politician?

COURBET

You shall not find a more political art than mine, General, nor that of



23.

Millet and Daumier. All our artists, even those who express their love for nature are making a political statement.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

There speaks our Minister of

Culture...

People enter, the sunlight from the doors painting grotesque patterns. Young women, kitchen staff, waiters, all talking.

WAITER

Did you see the barricades on Rue

Blance? Did you see the artillery?

ENGLISH ROSE

Oh stop it! I hate violence.

LOUISE MICHEL

We need to identify the leaders of our Commune. We need workers, activists, medics, and military.

CLEMENCEAU

Are you prepared to take a position in the Central Committee, Madame?

LOUISE MICHEL

I am not. I intend to form and to lead a Woman's Brigade to fight on the barricades and in the streets.

Angelique enters with Demonique. She rushes up to the group.

ANGELIQUE

Courbet! How nice to see you!

He gets up and hugs her, a bear of a man.

ANGELIQUE

I met an artist. Maybe you know him.

COURBET

Of course, my dear. All artists know each other, and they all despise each other...

ANGELIQUE

Uncle!

COURBET

What is his name?



24.

ANGELIQUE

He is Captain Challeyer. He paints figures and dancers. This is my friend, Demonique.

COURBET

Challeyer. The name does not ring a bell. Enchanté, Mademoiselle.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

I know Challeyer. A good soldier, but maybe given to an excess of loyalty. He is with the National Army. Not one of us.

COURBET

I'd like to see his work, my dear, if he likes to paint figures.

ANGELIQUE

That is wonderful, Uncle. He comes here in the evenings. Maybe I can ask him for a drawing to show you.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. NIGHT

Frilly white bloomers fail to hide naked crotches. Waiters in long white aprons and black waistcoats criss-cross the floor. One of them comes to Challeyer's table.

WAITER

Can I light a candle for you, Sir?

And another glass of water?

CHALLEYER

Yes please, I am drawing blind!

Thank you. I can see my sketchbook.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI Why haven't you brought me here before? We have nothing like this in Poland.

CLEMENCEAU

Oh, we like to keep it for ourselves. The secret Montmartre! Eat, drink and be merry!

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

For tomorrow we die...

TARTINE

Messieurs et Mesdames! The



25.

Quadrille de Montmartre presents...

WAITER

If you will excuse me...

TARTINE

La dance des chasseurs! The dance of the waiters!

Seven good-looking young men line up on the stage in their floor length aprons, smiling sheepishly. Then they break into into a simple dance routine. But they are dance professionals, and they have their audience on their feet.

The Filles Mechantes wander among the tables, teasing and flirting as they go. Demonique and Angelique move to the left and right of Challeyer's chair.

DEMONIQUE

You. Show me your drawings.

ANGELIQUE

What are you drawing, Capitaine?

CHALLEYER

Girls.

He holds out the sketchbook towards Angelique.

DEMONIQUE

No. Give it to me!

She leans over Challeyer to hold the drawings up to the candlelight. Her breast pushes up against his cheek.

ANGELIQUE

Are you all right, Capitaine?

DEMONIQUE

These are scandalous! Look at these! You should be ashamed of yourself!

ANGELIQUE

Can I see?

CHALLEYER

Umm

ANGELIQUE

These are good. Is there one of me?

CHALLEYER

This one. And this one. This one.



26.

The drawings are loose, firmly drawn studies. Skirts and bloomers are loosely sketched but the faces and hands are detailed with care and confidence. As are the open crotches.

ANGELIQUE

Oh Capitaine Challeyer! Who would have thought?

Now she also leans up against him, breast against his cheek. Challeyer sits transfixed, his face framed between two magnificent sets of bosoms.

ANGELIQUE

My titties don't look like that. Do you think you titties look like this, Capitaine?

CHALLEYER

...

ANGELIQUE

Where else?

CHALLEYER

This one.

DEMONIQUE

No no no. This is so rude!

Decadent!

CHALLEYER

It's the show..!

DEMONIQUE

Ooo! Rude! Look. Look how rude.

ANGELIQUE

I like it.

DEMONIQUE

Thought you would. Rude though.

Scandalous!

ANGELIQUE

No, they are sexy.

DEMONIQUE

Yummy.

CHALLEYER

You all move so fast! But that is what I love!



27.

ANGELIQUE

But these are good, Mon Capitaine!

These are very good drawings!

DEMONIQUE

No, they are not good... They are bad, very very bad!

ANGELIQUE

Watch the show, Captaine! This is so good!

The girls hold their intimate contact with the soldier as the waiters drain their glasses in one draft. Then they fling the glasses over their shoulders and break formation. Angelique moves away.

DEMONIQUE

You like girls.

CHALLEYER

Yes.

DEMONIQUE

So do we! You like her, don't you?

CHALLEYER

Yes, she is like a cat.

DEMONIQUE

The way she moves?

CHALLEYER

No, because she can purr.

DEMONIQUE

And you want to be the one that makes her purr.

(silence) And me?

CHALLEYER

You are more like a porcupine.

Dangerous, but soft within.

DEMONIQUE

Hahaha. And do you like me?

CHALLEYER

More than anybody. You are a wonderful dancer, that is why I want to draw you.



28.

DEMONIQUE

Well you can't. Do you want to kiss me?

CHALLEYER

Yes.

DEMONIQUE

Well you can't.

(She moves off) But you can draw me.

EXT. 1942. STREETS OF MONTMARTRE. NIGHT.

The Oberjaeger looks up and down the street.

OBERJAEGER

Hold it. We saw them. Back there, in that hotel! The old crone is with them.

You four, with me, back to the hotel with the dog. Arrest the owner. Search every room. The old woman is in there. We saw her. She fooled us, but it was her.

1871. INT. QUADRILLE. AFTER MIDNIGHT.

The interior is dark, two candles on the upright piano. Alexandre Carnevale hunches over the piano, playing a distorted version of the Quadrille; discords and broken rhythms. Behind him, a dark figure on a horse.

CHALLEYER

What happened to your lovely cancan melodies?

The composer scrawls on his music sheet. Challeyer turns to leave.

ALEXANDRE CARNEVALE This is not loveliness I seek, it is beauty. The deep beauty of the night, the sound of a broken bell. It is not happiness l seek; it is joy. I sense it here. It haunts this place. It just lies deeper.

CHALLEYER

Like Beethoven... The ode to joy..?



29.

ALEXANDRE CARNEVALE

Deeper. Darker.

CHALLEYER

Pam pam pa ta ta ta ta. The ode to joy is a cancan!

ALEXANDRE CARNEVALE

Go away. Go charge a windmill.

CHALLEYER

Like this one?

The rider turns to leave the music hall.

CHALLEYER

Maestro.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. NIGHT

Music and light and laughter. A folio of drawings slams down on a white tablecloth.

ANGELIQUE

Look, Courbet! The Captain's drawings.

COURBET

Ah, a man who draws with his balls! Where is he? No, no, wait, let me look at them.

(He turns the pages) Fascinating... General, shall we ask this artist over to our table?

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

I should not meet with government loyalists...

Ah, why not? Please call your friend over, Mademoiselle.

(To Louise Michel)

Strong stuff, Madame. I had no idea that Challeyer was such a good artist. He is a very good soldier, certainly. But as I say, he is a career officer and a nobleman and I believe his loyalty will lie with the national army.

INT. 1971. QUADRILLE. NIGHT.

Demonique is on a swing. Angelique hurries up to the



30.

Captain.

ANGELIQUE

Come with me, now!

CHALLEYER

Not now! I want to draw this!

ANGELIQUE

Now.

(She slaps the back of his head.)

Eh! Do you know Courbet? Do you know who he is?

CHALLEYER

Of course.

ANGELIQUE

He wants to see you.

She holds out his sheaf of drawings.

CHALLEYER

Is he here? Courbet?

ANGELIQUE

Yes. He wants to see you.

CHALLEYER

If he is here, he'll be watching this show. In a moment!

As Angelique looks to heaven, Demonique swings low overhead and uses her legs to shove her friend into Challeyer's lap.

ANGELIQUE

Petite conne!

CHALLEYER

I beg your pardon, Mademoiselle!

She looks up into his face, furious. Then she relaxes.

ANGELIQUE

I like it here.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. NIGHT

Angelique drags Challeyer by the arm.

ANGELIQUE

Messieurs, Madame, may I present my



31.

friend, Captain Challeyer.

General Dombrowski and Courbet rise. Louise Michel nods.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

Challeyer.

CHALLEYER

Mon General.

COURBET

Won't you join us, Captain Challeyer? And you my dear, unless you are needed on the floor?

ANGELIQUE

I shall leave you all, if you'll excuse me.

COURBET

Captain, I present Mme Louise Michel. Madame, Captain Challeyer of the National Cavalry. Please sit down, sir.

These are not the drawings of an amateur, Captain. I presume you have had art training before you became a soldier? What caused you to become a military man?

CHALLEYER

What caused you to become a revolutionary, Sir?

COURBET

Hahaha. Good question!

Art is in the blood, I suppose, but we need to have a life. Art is celebration, but life is what she celebrates! Look at this. This is remarkable, the line is alive with energy and suppleness, but it is always under control, in full celebration of the anatomy.

CHALLEYER

Merci Monsieur. I am familiar with your work, of course, and I believe we see in the same way. It is the eye that creates the line, while the hand simply obeys it.

COURBET

Ha! I knew it! There is no freedom.



32.

Not in life, not in art, not in society.

CHALLEYER

We can only choose our masters if we choose to be the master of ourself.

COURBET

It is the nobility of the worker and of the earth that I celebrate. For you it is the beauty of the female form and the rhythms of music. But what do you draw when there are no dancers around?

CHALLEYER

There is music in everything, sir; and dance, and even sexuality.

General Dombrowski looks towards Louise Michel. He raises his eyebrows and she salutes him with her absinthe.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

Demonique sits on Challeyer's table.

DEMONIQUE

So you like to draw women?

CHALLEYER

Yes.

DEMONIQUE

Why?

CHALLEYER

Why what?

DEMONIQUE

Why do you like to draw women?

CHALLEYER

Because of the way they move.

DEMONIQUE

Is it because they are sexy?

CHALLEYER

No, it is because they are animals. If I could not draw women I would draw horses of tigers or birds...

Yes. And because they are sexy.



33.

DEMONIQUE

Kakaka. Do you think I am sexy?

CHALLEYER

Yes. Very.

After the show, I shall ask your friend to model for me.

DEMONIQUE

Mmm.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE QUADRILLE. NIGHT

The massive sails of the windmill glow against the stars. Challeyer walks out with Demonique on his elbow while Angelique has her arms around his neck.

ANGELIQUE

I knew you were a great artist! Courbet says so too! And he is the greatest artist of the people!

DEMONIQUE

Not bad for a soldier...

ANGELIQUE

Mon Capitaine is more than not bad, Demonique, and anyway, Courbet says he draws like a master!

CHALLEYER

Drawing, yes, Mademoiselle Angelique, I do draw well. But if I want to be a great artist I need to do great painting. At least one.

DEMONIQUE

That is true.

CHALLEYER

And for that I need a model.

ANGELIQUE

I will model for you.

CHALLEYER

You will? When can we start? Where can we work? How will we find time? And canvas? Where can I get canvas?

They walk down the hillside. His horse follows them, grumpy.



34.

ANGELIQUE

Captain, will you come inside?

Demonique disengages her arm and walks along in silence.

EXT. 1871. THE BOULEVARDS. DAY

Government troops are on the move. Cavalry, then infantry and horse-drawn gun carriages. The MAJOR in charge of the Government forces (50) raises his hand.

In front of them, at the barricades, Colonel Regnault, in the new uniform of the Paris National Guard, waits.

URCHIN

Get lost, pigs! Go back to your German masters! This is Free Paris, the Commune of Paris.

YOUNG WOMAN

No place here for weaklings and collaborators!

A group of women walk out from behind the barricades.

GOVERNMENT MAJOR

Halt!

MOTHER WITH CHILD

What are you going to do? Shoot us?

GOVERNMENT MAJOR All units. Stand easy. Hold formation.

The women move in among the cavalry soldiers and grasp the horses by their reins. The animals move around nervously.

RED-HAIRED MATRON

What is your name, boy? Why are you here? Why do you not go back to your family? Do you really want to kill French women and children? Do you want to kill us? Because that is why you have been sent here.

A young cavalryman looks straight ahead. His horse backs up, nervous, until it bumps into the next one.

RED-HAIRED MATRON

Look at me boy! Would you kill your mother? Your sister? Your aunt? Would you kill your brother, or



35.

your best friend? Our fight is with the ruling cabal, not with you.

YOUNG CAVALRYMAN

We are soldiers, Madame.

RED-HAIRED MATRON

No! You think you are soldiers. But you are the slaves of the rich, servants of the bourgeoisie.

(She grasps his arm.)

Join us. Be a soldier once more!

There is a commotion in the back. A Cavalryman has dismounted and holds his horse by the reins.

REBEL CAVALRYMAN To hell with it! I'll die for France! But not for this. These people are the real France. Shoot me if you must!

He leads his horse out of the formation and towards the barricade, tearing the insignia from his uniform.

GOVERNMENT MAJOR

Arrest that man!

There is no reaction from his troops. The Major pulls his pistol from its holster and rides up to the deserter. He aims his pistol at his head.

GOVERNMENT MAJOR

Get back into formation! Or by God,

I'll shoot you where you stand!

There is a ghostly silence. Then two more horsemen move up.

HORSEMAN

Then you'll have to shoot us too.

More cavalrymen move forward, as well as some infantrymen. The situation is out of hand and extremely volatile. A young Captain of the Cavalry rides up next to the Major.

CHALLEYER

Everybody stand down! Major, we are facing a full mutiny here. May I suggest you let these men go, but that they leave their weapons and their horses. The rest of the battalion can form an orderly retreat to the next crossroad.



36.

GOVERNMENT MAJOR (still ready to fire)

Get back into formation, now! This is a direct order!

REBEL CAVALRYMAN Fire if you have to, Sir, but I promise you you will be dead before my body touches the ground.

The pistol echoes around the buildings, mingling with a disjointed volley of shots from the cavalrymen.

Before the rebel cavalryman hits the ground, the Major is cut down from is horse, who jumps sideways. The Captain catches him by the reins. The Captain is unarmed, looking at a group of muskets aimed at him.

CHALLEYER

Well, we seem to have a problem. Listen carefully. Those who want to join the rebels, do so now, but leave your weapons and leave your horses.

(To the Army)

Let these the men go. We shall not have a bloodbath here.

REBEL CAVALRYMAN

You take them back, Captain.

Those who want to, come with us.

The rest, go with the Captain.

Women and the children stand in shock as the soldiers form into two numb groups. The rebels leave their weapons and horses and walk toward the barricade.

As the Captain leads the loyalist soldiers back into the government lines, the women of Montmartre start chattering, some crying, and embracing the rebels.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. DAY.

Workers prepare for the evening show.

CLEMENCEAU

This is completely insane! Madness! Lunacy! The last thing we want is a civil war and now the Army has started it with a mutiny! All by itself! This is the end!



37.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

Let them come. We are prepared!

CLEMENCEAU

You are prepared? Prepared? With respect sir, what you are prepared to do is to kill French soldiers, and you are prepared to have the people of Montmartre die for your delusion! This is insane! Do you believe that a single French city can hold out against the French National Army?

COURBET

We are not looking for a war, Georges, but we refuse to bend down to the forces of greed and commercial interest. It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

CLEMENCEAU

To die for an ideal is romantic. It is also stupid.

I believe in the ideals of the Paris Commune as much as you do, but we have to negotiate our rights and our freedoms within the French Republic. It is the only sane way.

COURBET

Sanity is lost, my friend, all that we have left is our integrity. That, and our honor. Where will you stand, my friend, when the guns roar out?

CLEMENCEAU

Do not question my courage! I do not question yours. It is your sanity that I question!

COURBET

That is M. Le Ministre to you,

Clemenceau. I am a minister in the

Commune of Paris!

CLEMENCEAU

And as mayor of Montmartre I outrank you, sir!

The room has gone silent. Waiters, musicians, stand frozen.



38.

CLEMENCEAU

I shall request a conference with the government in Versailles to ward off military intervention.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI Do so. In the meantime we shall prepare our defenses. I shall order a full mobilization and conscription of all the men of fighting age in Paris with immediate effect. The command structures are already in place.

LOUISE MICHEL

The woman's brigade is ready to stand by our men. I shall accept volunteers at the Town Hall from tomorrow.

MONIQUE (at the bar)

I am going to join.

ANGELIQUE

Demonique, no!

EXT. 1871. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY. NIGHC

The barricade is a dark mass against the gaslights of Boulevard de Clichy. A horse-drawn carriage pulls up. Clemenceau gets out, striding towards the barricade.

CLEMENCEAU

(in an intense whisper)

It is over! The damned fools! They will not even talk. Troops are being mustered and a plan of assault is under way. I expect an attack by dawn!

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI There was nothing we could do, Georges. It was their own soldiers who mutinied.

CLEMENCEAU

Whatever. Tomorrow the streets of Paris runs with blood. The blood of our people!



39.

INT. QUADRILLE. NIGHT. 1871.

Smoke fill the air. Chinese lanterns create a muted glow.

DEMONIQUE

I have decided, asshole.

Tonight you can draw me.

CHALLEYER

Good, you are my favorite subject.

MONIQUE

Yes, sure.

CHALLEYER

There is something tough about you, like a young tree. You move in the wind, bend and twist but never break.

MONIQUE

And my friend?

CHALLEYER

She too, more like a willow tree.

MONIQUE

But me, not...

CHALLEYER

A lemon tree, maybe. So, can I kiss you now?

INT. QUADRILLE. NIGHT. 1871

TARTINE

Keep your hands above the table, my darlings. I give you the latest composition of M Carnevale. Demonique and "Froufrou.

So, Demonique! Sing!

DEMONIQUE

I am a dancer, not a singer!

TARTINE

Shut up and sing!

DEMONIQUE

Come have a little look. Come have a little peep. We have lace for you, and silk for you.



40.

And frills and folds and fans.

Come have a little look,

Come have a little glance.

It's what is underneath all this

That's what we call romance.

It's what is underneath all this

That brings them all to France.

Froufrou. Froufrou.

ANGELIQUE

Take me home, mon Capitaine!

INT. 1871. ANGELIQUE'S ROOM. NIGHT

Demonique clambers over Challeyer' scarred body and shattered left arm to get at Angelique. Pale skin and dark, and white linen sheets.

DEMONIQUE

What is this? What is this medal?

ANGELIQUE

It is beautiful!

CHALLEYER

It is the 1870 Military Medal.

DEMONIQUE

What is it for?

CHALLEYER

It is for courage and discipline.

My unit did a cavalry charge on a

Prussian Artillery position.

ANGELIQUE

Did you win the day?

CHALLEYER

No, we were decimated.

DEMONIQUE

Like the Light Brigade...

ANGELIQUE

And why...

CHALLEYER

Why am I alive? I was lucky, or unlucky. I was hit early, and left for dead.



41.

ANGELIQUE

You were a hero!

CHALLEYER

No. I failed. I was willing to die for France. The dead alone have the glory.

Demonique breaks the silence.

DEMONIQUE

Give it to me! Haha, I deserve it!

She jumps out of the bed, naked, and holds the medal to her throat.

DEMONIQUE

I love it. It looks so much better on me!

CHALLEYER

Keep it.

Angelique covers him with her body, protective.

EXT. 1871. BARRICADES. EVENING

Down the street, the Army regroups.

A group of women arrive under the command of Louise Michel. Among them are a number of dancers from various dance-halls.

LOUISE MICHEL

Form up. One line. One line I said!

One line! What is wrong with you?

One line!

DEMONIQUE

This is just like dancing!

LOUISE MICHEL

Silence! If you think this is going to be like dancing, you'd better leave right now.

Colonel, some new troops. Place them where they can do most good.

COLONEL REGNAULT Welcome Mesdemoiselles, Mesdames. Paris thanks you for your service. I'll need three of you to reload for the snipers up in the buildings. I'll get some men to



42.

show you the way.

LOUISE MICHEL

You three, go with these men, and

God be with you.

COLONEL REGNAULT

The rest of you will join the men on the barricades. You too will be on reloading duty. Be very careful to keep your heads down.

For the moment, we could do with some morale boosting. Because soon we all have to face death.

EXT. 1942. A STREET IN MONTMARTRE. NIGHT.

A radio direction finding truck moves silently down the Boulevard de Clichy, lights hooded, its aerial slowly rotating. The crackle of German radio communication.

KOMMANDANT (OFF)

Pay attention. There was an attack on one of our patrols in the area. Three dead. A search is under way.

TECHNICIAN

I have a direct signal from the

BBC, Herr Kommandant.

BBC ANNOUNCER (on air)

... the German advance has come to a stop on the outskirts of Stalingrad and Moscow. Fierce fighting is reported from Russia. Ici Londres. We shall be crossing to France shortly for an important broadcast, direct from the Paris.

An Art Nouveau Metro sign reads: ABBESSES

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT.

At the garret, Serge shines his torch up and down the staircase and listens. At number 703 he pulls a key from his pocket and opens the door.

The room is small, the dormer window curtained with red drapes. To the left is a table with a radio set, all tubes and lamps and wires. A narrow bed leans against the wall. There is a lamp next to the radio and another next to the



43.

bed. A piano accordion is placed on a chair below a colourful old poster, "Les Filles Mechantes au Quadrille".

SERGE

Come in and lock the door! Will you get that lamp?

The group casts demented shadows on the sloping walls.

MONIQUE

You look familiar.

DIDIER

Who?

MONIQUE

You. You look familiar. (grabs him by the face)

What is your father's name? No, what is your grandfather's name? Ah, the hell with it... What is your great-grandfather's name?

(she cackles insanely)

DIDIER

Plus she is crazy too.

MONIQUE

Show me your poster.

Didier pulls the poster from his coat, and unrolls it. She spreads it flat on the bed. Big bold letters splash "DEMONIQUE AT THE QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE" over a drawing of a dancer. Monique runs her fingers over the scrawled signature.

MONIQUE

Is it an original?

DIDIER

Yes. And signed.

MONIQUE

Ah... How it all comes back.

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

Didier retrieves a French MAS-38 submachine gun from behind the bed and moves over to the radio.

DIDIER

I'll set up the radio, sir. Can you make sure that we have on escape



44.

route through the window?

SERGE

No problem, comrade. There is always a walkway around a Mansard roof. We may need to find our way over the roofs to another building.

DIDIER

Ugh, I don't like heights.

SERGE

Better than being shot.

EXT. 1871. SKYLINE. NIGHT.

Red curtains part in a dormer window. Serge opens the windows and steps out.

SERGE

Whoow! This is high!

A workman's ladder is secured onto the side of the Mansard roof.

DIDIER

All right out there?

SERGE

I think so, but I'll need a hand out here.

DIDIER

Not me. I can't stand heights.

A DARK ANGEL, TEX 1871. ROOFTOPS OF PARIS. NIGHT.

The ground is far below, seven stories down. Didier joins Serge on the narrow walkway outside the window.

SERGE

Hold on, comrade. One hand for the work, one for safety.

DIDIER

What do you want to do?

SERGE

I want to lower this ladder over to that building, to make a bridge.



45.

DIDIER

You are crazy, sir.

SERGE

Hold on. We'll use this rope to cantilever it out. Run it around the window rail.

DIDIER

Like a pulley..?

SERGE

Right. Now lower away.

DIDIER

Was that a bat? Sweet Mary, was that a bat?

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

There is a banging on the door. Three slaps, then two. Monique goes to the door.

HOTELIER

Open up!

(Monique opens the door) Where are the others?

MONIQUE

Outside.

Didier enters the window, somewhat shaken.

HOTELIER

The German patrol is downstairs. Zan will hold them up, but it was a matter of time before they remember seeing Madame.

DIDIER

How many?

HOTELIER

Seven, I think.

DIDIER

Come inside.

MONIQUE

Bonsoir Monsieur!

HOTELIER

You forget how small these garrets



46.

are, don't you?

MONIQUE

Not me. Some of my best times have been in a garret!

INT. 1942. ROOM 703.

HOTELIER

Good evening Monsieur. Can I be of any assistance?

DIDIER

Would you keep an eye on the stairs for us, sir, and let us know of any movement.

HOTELIER

I can do better than just look out. (He holds up an old revolver)

Bonne chance, mes amis.

DIDIER

That cannon must come from the

Commune!

HOTELIER

I heard that!

INT. 1942. ROOM 703

Didier checks the cables and turns on the radio. He places his Schmeisser against the wall and pins his own poster to the wall. He lays the ugly MAS-38 on the table in front of the radio.

MONIQUE

What was your great-grandfather's name?

DIDIER

My great-grandfather was an officer during the Prussian war. And also an artist.

MONIQUE

He was?

DIDIER

Ready for your interview, Madame?



47.

MONIQUE

I'm always ready, M Challeyer.

DIDIER

You know my name..?

Monique runs her finger over the poster. It is signed with the letters AC.

MONIQUE

Armand de Challeyer. The signature of your grandfather. And you, young man, are his spitting image.

Serge steps back through the heavy red curtains.

SERGE

Did I interrupt something?

EXT. 1871. MONTMARTRE. BEFORE DAWN

Cannon fire tears down the narrow street, flame and noise echoing off the tall buildings. Cannonballs crash into the barricade. While soldiers crouch behind sandbags and cobblestones, the artillerymen of the Commune touch their torches to their cannons, unleashing a firestorm. Taking shelter, Demonique clutches a musket, bayonet fixed.

COLONEL REGNAULT Stay down! Keep you heads down!

(He lifts his sabre.) Snipers, fire at will!

Fire crackles from a dozen windows overhead. The government troops are cut down at their cannons. A second volley of cannon fire from the barricades smash into stone, steel and flesh. Men and horses scream in agony, and try to find shelter where they can.

GOVERNMENT MAJOR

Retreat! Retreat. Fire as you go.

Retreat!

Abandoning their cannons, the Government soldiers fight on the retreat. Rebels advance to take control of the government positions. They stand on top of the cannons, Demonique holding an enormous red flag. Thick blue smoke obscures the field of battle. The Captain of the Cavalry rides towards the rebels with a white flag.

CHALLEYER

We offer a ceasefire to take care of our wounded. What say you!



48.

COLONEL REGNAULT

We accept. Let it be a 72 hour ceasefire during which there shall be a meeting of leaders to negotiate a lasting peace.

CHALLEYER

You have my word.

Stretcher bearers move forward to attend to the wounded.

EXT. 1871. GOVERNMENT LINES. NIGHT

Torches move about. Challeyer watches over the street from his horse. Beyond the army forces, Demonique is singing.

DEMONIQUE

You can have it if you dare.

Come take it if you dare.

Give me a light, soldier.

INT. 1942. RADIO TRUCK. NIGHT.

Inside a German Radio Detection truck, the space is cramped.

Two TECHNICIANS in military uniform watch a variety of dials, overseen by a KOMMANDANT(50), standing with his back to the driver's seat in am immaculate black uniform. He is a tall man, austere, with circular eyeglasses. A small circular magnet marks the position of the truck on a detailed map of Montmartre showing detailed floor plans of the area.

KOMMANDANT (into a handset)

Tracker One to Black Patrol. Nothing to report. All quiet, but we are expecting some local activity presently.

TECHNICIAN

I have something!

The driver leans over to look into the back.

DRIVER

Do we need to move?

KOMMANDANT

Not yet.

TECHNICIAN

It may be nothing. Just an open



49.

channel. Sounds like a drainpipe.

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

Serge leans his machine gun against the wall, sits down and straps on the piano accordion. Didier and Monique lean forward towards the radio set.

Shortwave static fills the air. Didier refines the tuning.

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN Calling Paris. Calling Paris. This is London. Are you receiving me?

DIDIER

London, this is Paris. We are receiving you loud and clear. Please confirm reception your end.

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN You are clear and crisp, Paris. Do you have our star?

DIDIER

She is right next to me.

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN Bonjour Madame. Would you say something so that we can read your levels?

MONIQUE

Is this good, Monsieur?

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN

Ah yes. It is an honor to meet you,

Madame Bonheur.

MONIQUE

Thank you, Monsieur. How does this sound?

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN Very good. I shall increase the gain a little. The sound color is perfect. You must have good mike.

DIDIER

Only the best.

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN

Now can we try the accordion?



50.

SERGE plays a bar from "We'll meet again".

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN Very funny. But yes, that sounds good.

INT. 1942. RADIO TRUCK. NIGHT

The direction finding vehicle crawls down the darkened streets of Montmartre.

TECHNICIAN

(off)

We are getting the BBC. I'll put it on speaker, Herr Kommandant.

Static gives way to a BBC broadcast.

BBC ANNOUNCER

(off)

Stand by for a direct broadcast from Paris. French agents have located one of the country's most renowned singers from the last Century, the famous Demonique, who shall be our guest from Radio Free France tonight.

KOMMANDANT Demonique? I adore Demonique! She was a dancer before the Great War! From the time of Toulouse Lautrec!

The two technicians look at each other.

EXT. 1942. RUE DES ABBESSES. NIGHT

The German platoon moves sharply down the Rue des Abbesses.

OBERJAEGER

Look for the Hotel Fleur. That is where we saw the old lady.

Their shortwave radio crackles.

RADIO OPERATOR

Herr Oberjaeger, the Abwehr has detected an illegal radio in the area. They want us to stand by.

OBERJAEGER

Tell them we are hunting down



51.

terrorist killers. We cannot wait.

RADIO OPERATOR

The Kommandant wants our position.

OBERJAEGER

Tell him we are on our way to the Hotel Fleur in the Rue des Abbesses. Down near the Metro station.

INT. THE RADIO TRUCK. NIGHT

TECHNICIAN

The clandestine radio is live, Herr

Kommandant. I can run a trace.

KOMMANDANT (into his field radio)

Black Patrol, hold your position. We are about to locate the resistance radio.

TECHNICIAN

We have a signal!

He pulls his earphones off and the voices of Didier and the technician in London fill the air with the strands of "We'll meet again" played on a piano accordion.

DIDIER

(off)

London, we are ready to go live.

BBC RADIO TECHNICIAN

(off)

I'll be patching you through to the studio in five four three two.

INT. 1942. A FRENCH FARMHOUSE. NIGHT

Dogs and cats lie in front of a fireplace while French men and women clean their weapons and rig explosive devices. A new, professional voice comes over the airwaves.

BBC ANNOUNCER

In the news. A German troop train has been blown up north of Rouen. German casualties are reported as high. There were no losses on the side of the French Resistance.



52.

EXT. 1942. PARIS CITYSCAPE WITH SEARCHLIGHTS. NIGHT

BBC ANNOUNCER

This is London. We begin our broadcast with some personal messages.

It is time to pick tomatoes. We repeat. It is time to pick tomatoes.

The blue horse walks on the horizon. The blue horse walks on the horizon.

Aunt Amelia cycles in shorts. Aunt Amelia cycles in shorts.

That ends our personal messages.

INT. 1942. GERMAN RADIO TRUCK. NIGHT

In the truck, the ASSISTANT RADIO OPERATOR is on his feet.

BBC ANNOUNCER

In London, General Charles de Gaulle, has praised the work of the Free French Forces.

Now, over to the French resistance agents, broadcasting at great personal risk from somewhere in German occupied Paris. Didier, are you there?

DIDIER

Thank you, Jeremy. Welcome to Radio Free Europe! My guest is Madame Monique Bonheur, better known to our listeners as Demonique, the great singer dancer fighter from the Commune of Paris in 1871.

ASSISTANT RADIO OPERATOR

We have a bearing Sir; this vector.

RADIO OPERATOR

Ah! Ja! It runs right through the middle of Montmartre!

DRIVER

The engine is running, Herr

Kommandant.

KOMMANDANT

Schnell! To the Metro des Abbesses.

Go go go!

(on portable radio)



53.

Tracker One to Black Patrol. We have an initial bearing on the clandestine radio, in your area.

EXT. 1942. RUE ABBESSES. NIGHT

The street patrol moves from building to building.

KOMMANDANT

(On the field radio)

Stand by for the position of the radio transmitter!

PLATOON RADIOMAN

The Maquis radio is in our area,

Herr Oberjaeger. Unit to stand by.

OBERJAEGER

I already know where they are! All units head for the Hotel Fleur. We are awaiting a precise location from the Abwehr.

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

Didier holds down the mute button on the shortwave radio.

DIDIER

We are ready and set up for your song, Madame, and you can use this microphone for your piano accordion, Serge.

The piano accordion clangs against Serge's machine pistol.

DIDIER

Put that down, I think.

Serge plays the opening bars of the "Liberte" song.

DIDIER

Very good. Now Madame Monique, let's try the opening lines.

MONIQUE

Liberty is alive and well, and

living in the people...

DIDIER

Fine. Good. Stand by.



54.

BBC ANNOUNCER (on air)

During the uprising of 1871, a young dancer from the Quadrille de Montmartre was fighting on the barricades of Montmartre. Her weapon was a musket, but even more dangerous was her voice and her beauty.

Among her best known songs were "Ma Liberte" and "1871". Tonight the great Demonique is with us, in a secret location in Paris, live, after nearly seventy years, to sing her famous song "Frou-frou."

Over to you, Didier...

DIDIER

Demonique was a mere 18 years old when she joined the Women's Brigade of the Paris Commune. Today she is 90 years old, and the fire in her burns brightly still.

MONIQUE

Hahahaha! You are a charmer, young man, just like your grandfather ...

Or was it your great grandfather?

DIDIER

I do not understand?

MONIQUE

Oh yes. The artist who created those famous posters for the Quadrille was a brave man who died much too young, a Captain in the French National Army. He was a friend of mine. More than a friend. And he was the lover of my best friend, Angelique.

Your grandmother, young man.

EXT. 1942. RUE DES ABBESSES. NIGHT

The platoon gathers in front of the Hotel Fleur. The radio operator gestures to the Oberjaeger.

RADIO OPERATOR (mouths silently)

The Kommandant want us to wait.



55.

OBERJAEGER

Lose the signal.

The radio operator scratches his microphone along the wall.

Albrecht gets ready to kick in the door.

OBERJAEGER

No. Knock.

(A dog barks.) Now you can kick it in.

KOMMANDANT

(on the field radio) Tracker One to Black Patrol. The radio station is in Rue Des Abbesses. We have a lock. Number

145.Probably on one of the upper floors.

OBERJAEGER

This is where we saw that old woman. We saw her in the street before, near the killing. She is one of them. Inside this building! Kick it in!

EXT. 1871. BARRICADES. MIDNIGHT

The Cavalry Captain rides around his men; the troops stand easy, some smoking pipes, and others talking quietly.

TROOP

He was here yesterday morning.

TROOP 2

Yesterday? Wasn't that...

TROOP

That was him. He stopped the mutiny and saved the rest of us. God knows what would have happened!

TROOP 2

He is a fucking hero, but I have heard that he sympathises with the Communards.

TROOP 3

You are talking crap. There is no more loyal officer in the French Army than Captain Challeyer.



56.

TROOP 2

Maybe, but I have heard that every night he is at the Quadrille de Montmartre among the tarts and the dancing girls and the Communards and the workers.

TROOP

Eh alors? What he does with his private life is his business.

TROOP 2

Fuck it is. It is consorting with the enemy and it is punishable by death.

TROOP

The people of Paris are not our enemy. There is no declaration of war. These are still Frenchmen.

TROOP 2

Whose side are you on?

TROOP 3

Shush!

TROOP

I'd still rather fight under his command than any other officer. I'll follow him into hell!

The horse moves past and obscures the soldiers.

EXT. 1871. BARRICADES. MIDNIGHT

Seated on the barricade, Demonique looks down the street, tracking the lone rider.

RUBY

Is that him?

DEMONIQUE

Yes. How long does the ceasefire last?

RUBY

Seven hours.

DEMONIQUE

Then what?



57.

RUBY

Nobody knows. We shall not attack, but we do not know what the Army will do.

EXT. BARRICADES. DAWN

The Cavalry Captain leaves the Government lines and rides up to the rebel barricade.

COLONEL REGNAULT

Good morning to you, Captain

Challeyer.

CAPTAIN CHALLEYER Good day Colonel.

This cease-fire is coming to an end in three hours. We were able to save a large number of lives, and I thank you for that.

I propose to extend the cease-fire by a further 48 hours. I know that your leaders favor a peaceful resolution to this conflict, and so do I. 48 hours to arrange a conference, 48 hours of peace. 48 hours to be with our loved ones.

COLONEL REGNAULT

I shall send a runner to the Provisional Government of the Commune. The choice whether to negotiate is in their hands. Bring me a despatch rider!

He extracts a sheet of paper from his wallet and writes, then seals the letter and wraps it in canvas, sealed again. A corporal leads his horse up to the frontline.

COLONEL REGNAULT Corporal, Take this message is to the Quadrille de Montmartre. It is to be delivered to the Central Committee directly. Wait for their answer and deliver it back to me. Time is of the essence.

The despatch rider sets off towards the Rue des Abbesses.

COLONEL REGNAULT

And now we wait.

The Captain's eyes catch Demonique's, then returns to



58.

Colonel Regnault. Demonique regards him intensely.

DEMONIQUE

What are you doing here?

CAPTAIN CHALLEYER

I am trying to prevent a war,

Mademoiselle.

She looks at him, standing with a musket across her thighs.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. EVENING.

The dancers set the tables for the evening show. Angelique keeps glancing towards the massive doors. Outside, a rider approach the mill. She looks away.

MISS KITTY

Is that him?

ANGELIQUE

Who?

MISS KITTY

Ooh, such an innocent... How old did you say you were, my darling?

INT. QUADRILLE. DAY

The despatch rider rides up the wooden steps of the Moulin, and before his horse comes to a stop, jumps off and rushes in. He salutes and hands over his documents to General Dombrowski.

DESPATCH RIDER Compliments of Colonel Regnault, sir. I am to await your reply.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. EVENING

The informal cabinet of the Commune are in deep discussion around a table near the small stage.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI Thanks to Captain Challeyer, we have extended the informal ceasefire by 48 hours. That gives us time to enter into negotiations with the Government in Versailles.



59.

COURBET

That should please you, Clemenceau! You are the one in favor of talk, talk, talk.

CLEMENCEAU

Seriously, Messieurs (and Madame), is there anybody here who thinks that our city can prevail in a battle with the French Army? And if we cannot, then what are we doing with our barricades and muskets?

COURBET

We cannot prevail, not alone, we know that, but if the people of France rise up to join us, and if the peoples of Europe join us, then we cannot be defeated.

CLEMENCEAU

Agreed. But for that to happen, we require time. Time to sue for peace and independence; or time to find solidarity for our cause.

Either way, time is what we need, and now we have it. That young officer de Challeyer has done us a great service... There are men of peace and integrity on both sides.

LOUISE MICHEL

He appears to be a good man in a fight. A good man to have on your side.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

But he is on the other side!

LOUISE MICHEL

I trust that he is on the side of

France. Is he coming here today?

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

I have had no word. But I expect he shall be here. He has another interest in the Quadrille, eh Courbet?

COURBET

You mean my niece? Or the fact that he is a superb artist of the dance? Waiter, would you call Mademoiselle Angelique for me?



60.

ANGELIQUE

Hello Uncle!

COURBET

Angelique, my dear, are you expecting your boyfriend today?

ANGELIQUE

What boyfriend?

COURBET

The brave Captain Challeyer. Your artist friend.

ANGELIQUE

He is not my boyfriend! And he is just arriving. I must go.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. EVENING.

The Central Committee looks up as Challeyer enters.

COURBET

Ah mon Capitaine! I was hoping they would send you!

CHALLEYER

Let's say I volunteered. (He bows)

Bonsoir Messieurs-Dames.

COLONEL REGNAULT We have a chair for you. We appreciate the ceasefire and would like to initiate serious and comprehensive dialogue with the Government in Versailles.

We propose a delegation consisting of General Dombrowski, Monsieur Clemenceau, Monsieur Courbet and a team of support staff.

We would like this conference to take place as soon as possible, without preconditions, anywhere within the City of Paris, with a guarantee of safe passage for all participants.

CHALLEYER

Very well, can we draw up these proposals on paper, and I shall have it delivered to the Army High Command. My messenger is waiting at



61.

the door.

EXT. 1871. MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

Challeyer and the two women cross the farmland on their way to their rooms, his warhorse trailing behind.

DEMONIQUE

I don't understand. Which side are you on? Are you our enemy or are you our friend?

CHALLEYER

I shall always be your friend, Mademoiselle Monique. Even if we go to war, I shall have only the deepest love for you and Angelique and for the Quadrille de Montmartre.

Angelique turns and throws her arms around him, laughing.

CHALLEYER Angelique, I want you to meet my mother. Can you come to lunch on Sunday? And you too, Mademoiselle Demonique.

When can I have my medal back?

DEMONIQUE

I shall think about it.

INT. 1871. DAY. FARMHOUSE

The living room is spacious, sparsely furnished but covered in exotic drapes. Daylight streams through several windows. Challeyer sets up a home made easel while the two women throw down a range of dresses, petticoats, corsets and shoes.

ANGELIQUE

Look how lovely!

DEMONIQUE

And this!

She is wearing Challeyer's medal around here neck, black stockings and little boots.

CHALLEYER

Who's first, Mesdemoiselles?



62.

ANGELIQUE

You go, Demi!

CHALLEYER

Doesn't matter. Can we put a drape over that window, and that one?

DEMONIQUE

Nobody comes here...

CHALLEYER (laughs)

No, to control the light.

The two dancers arrange some makeshift curtains, standing on chairs and tables, the light playing over their bodies. Challeyer clips sheets of paper to his drawing board.

CHALLEYER

If I could paint this, we would all be famous! Just hold that! Don't move!

He draws, loose flowing strokes in charcoal, flinging the finished studies on the floor. Angelique jumps down and kneels over them.

ANGELIQUE

This is good!

The girls fall down on the big couch, happy. Challeyer cuts rectangles from a roll of canvas.

CHALLEYER

Let's try canvas now. Miss

Demonique? Just charcoal for now.

And a bit of pastel. On canvas!

Unstretched canvas, rectangles, big brush calligraphic drawings over washes, local colour scumbles (Ruby pastels?) loose studies, flung aside.

Ananda to model?

Cabaret poses, then Demi takes military pose.

DEMONIQUE

I am a soldier on parade.

CHALLEYER

Are you sure? You are a soldier?



63.

DEMONIQUE

Ready for inspection, mon

Capitaine.

CHALLEYER

If you move, you will have to be punished.

He reaches out to touch her boobs.

DEMONIQUE

Remember, Captain, the first touch sets the tone for the relationship.

Challeyer pauses. Then he reaches out. He touches her jawline, ears and throat, then slowly slides his hands down to her collar bones and over her breasts. She shudders.

DEMONIQUE

What punishment?

CHALLEYER

Why, the naughty corner, of course. Now you, miss Angelique. In boots, bloomers, corset. You stay, miss Demonique.

I'll go to Bertin's to do some lithographs.

ANGELIQUE

What should I do?

CHALLEYER

Pick up that ribbon. Now play with it. Whatever comes into your head.

ANGELIQUE

How is this?

CHALLEYER

Not bad. Wind it around your wrists. Tight. Good. Now hold that. I like that. Now with your arms behind your back? This is good. Now I need some dancing poses, in your dancing costumes.

He draws, directly onto the canvas with Conte crayon, flowing line minimal detail. Then he scumbles in some loose colour fields with softer pastel and throws a transparent oil wash over part of the picture.



64.

CHALLEYER

This works! Let's try another. In profile, this time throwing your skirts over your hips! Oh, that's naughty. Into the corner with you, Angelique. No, right in the corner, facing away.

You come take her place, miss

Demonique.

DEMONIQUE

But it is not fair!

CHALLEYER

Well then you had better join her in the corner! I need a rest, anyway...

EXT. 1871. THE FARMHOUSE. EVENING

The wooden farmhouse is set back in a garden suffering from benign neglect. Challeyer's horse wanders about among floors, shrubs and grasses as the setting sun lights up the garden.

He watches his owner moving about in the semi dark behind a tall sash window, amid fun and laughter and sassy conversation.

EXT. 1871. BOULEVARD HAUSMANN. DAY

Lazy mists drift around the street of Paris, the buildings noble in spite of the excavations for the new Metro lines. On the Boulevard Hausmann music spills from tall windows.

A coach pulls up before a grand edifice. A footman jumps down and lets down Angelique and Demonique.

The two young women are in bright dresses, just a touch overdone, with large bonnets, a fan and a parasol. Colorful stoles are wrapped around their shoulders. Their hair is curled and small dark veils covers their eyes.

INT. 1871. THE MAISON CHALLEYER. DAY

A butler (55) opens the door. His severe expression fails to conceal his delight at the beauty that meets his eyes.

GASTON

Bonsoir, Mesdames. The Comtesse is



65.

expecting you. May I take your hats and jackets?

CHALLEYER

(from within)

Thank you Gaston, I shall take care of the ladies.

INT. 1871. THE SALON OF THE COUNTESS DE CHALLEYER.DAY

The salon is furnished in exquisite taste. Challeyer is in his smartest dress uniform.

CHALLEYER

Mother, may I present my very special friends, Mademoiselle Angelique du Pre, and Mademoiselle Monique Bonheur. Mesdemoiselles, la Comtesse de Challeyer, my mother.

LA COMTESSE

It is always a pleasure to meet my son's friends, Mesdemoiselles. Won't you please sit down? Would you have something to drink? Tea, or a glass of port, maybe? Gaston..

Demonique sits down on a comfortable settee. Angelique makes a bee-line to the paintings on the walls.

ANGELIQUE

A glass of port for me, please. This is a Bargue, I believe. And a very good one! And this must be a Corot! What a treasure house you have here, Madame! You collect the Fontainebleau School as well as the Romantics...

This one I do not recognise...?

LA COMTESSE

That one is by my son. It was done at the studio of M Gerome. An early landscape, but one of his best. Has he not shown you any of his art?

DEMONIQUE

Only his drawings... Have you seen his sketchbooks, Madame?

LA COMTESSE

No, I cannot say that I have...



66.

CHALLEYER Mademoiselle Monique has a funny sense of humour, mother... That is; Mademoiselle Monique. Ah, here is Gaston.

DEMONIQUE

Your son is the most amazing draughtsman, Madame. His sense of movement and the female anatomy...

CHALLEYER

Mother, you must have a word with Mademoiselle Angelique. She is the niece of the great artist, Gustave Courbet.

LA COMTESSE

Courbet? That revolutionary oaf? I should hardly call him a great artist!

ANGELIQUE

Oh but he is! And he very much admires Armand's drawing. He thinks Armand is a kindred spirit, a fellow lover of the female...

CHALLEYER

Your port, Maman. And yours,

Mademoiselle Monique. Angelique...

LA COMTESSE

And what is your background,

Mademoiselle...

DEMONIQUE

Please call me Monique, Madame.

Angelique and I are dancers.

The old lady leans forward in her chair.

LA COMTESSE Dancers! Armand, why haven't you told me so? Dancers! I love the dance! Which company are you with, Monique? The Ballet de Paris, or the Comedie Francaise?

ANGELIQUE

Neither, Madame. We are dancers at the Quadrille de Montmartre.

Silence falls.



67.

LA COMTESSE Montmartre. It is so dangerous there now. But... When it is safe, you must take me there. I absolutely insist! Dancers! How magnificent! I should have known, looking at your posture!

A toast. To your Quadrille de Montmartre! I shall go there. But first, Angelique, you and I must visit some art galleries together. Tomorrow!

Gaston! A table!

EXT. 1871. BOULEVARD HAUSMANN. EVENING

The coach rolls up before the Maison Challeyer as Challeyer walks down the steps with Demonique and Angelique.

CHALLEYER

My God that was crazy! You girls are dangerous.

ANGELIQUE

But you should know that! Anyway, she liked us!

DEMONIQUE

She surely likes you, Angelique.

You get to go with her tomorrow!

COACHMAN

Bonsoir Mon Capitaine.

Montmartre, I presume. Shall you be accompanying the ladies?

EXT/INT. 1871. THE COACH. EVENING

Angelique sits close to Challeyer, across from Demonique in the open Spandau, beautiful lit in the soft coachlights.

DEMONIQUE

You two! What a pair! The soldier and the showgirl. The count and the working girl! The servant of the state and the renegade!

ANGELIQUE

Shall we tell her?

CHALLEYER

Of course, why not?



68.

ANGELIQUE

Demonique, Armand and I are going to get married!

DEMONIQUE

That is insane! Does your mother know?

CHALLEYER

Not yet, but I shall tell her in the morning.

DEMONIQUE

If there is a morning! If your mother does not kill you, the war will!

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. DAY.

Sunlight streams in from the doorway. The central committee of the Commune looks up as Challeyer walks in.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

Challeyer. Pull up a chair.

Dancers in street clothes are mark their routines to the piano. Angelique looks up at the mention of his name.

DEMONIQUE

Have you told his mother?

ANGELIQUE

Armand has.

DEMONIQUE

And... And?

Angelique smiles the smile of a cat.

CLEMENCEAU

Any response from Versailles?

Challeyer places a folder before Clemenceau and the general.

CHALLEYER

They have not confided in me, sir, but I am not optimistic.

GENERAL DOMBROWSKI

Sit. Sit. Let's have a look.

The piano falls silent as the General unties the folder.



69.

COURBET

Music, Maestro, please. Carry on!

The conductor starts to play, then pauses.

CONDUCTOR

Demonique, let's do your new song: "Love me".

Five, six, seven, eight.

MISS KITTY

Come on Demonique! Sing for us.

DANCERS

Oh sing, Demonique.

DEMONIQUE

I am a dancer, not a singer!

DANCERS

Shut up and sing!

DEMONIQUE

Grow up if you love me.

Man up, little boys!

I am here but only if you dare!

Because my friend, I am danger.

Yes, oh yes, I am danger.

Love me. If you love me

If you love me if you dare.

Love me. If you love me

If you love me if you dare.

Carnevale turns to the choreographer, standing next to the piano.

CARNEVALE

She is the Commune.

CHOREOGRAPHER

She is?

CARNEVALE

Yes, and the cancan is France.

The men applaud, then return to their discussions.

EXT. 1871. QUADRILLE. NIGHT.

It is dark, a three quarter moon behind the clouds. An elegant coach trundles up the dirt track leading up towards the Quadrille de Montmartre, swaying wildly on its springs. The sole passenger is the Comtesse de Challeyer, poised in



70.

the swinging coachlight. As they arrive before the dance- hall, the footman moves around to lower the steps.

LA COMTESSE

Merci. Driver, please wait for us.

Gaston, you will accompany me.

Heads turn as they enter. Demonique and Angelique dance on, delighted. Challeyer starts up from his chair. The members of the Central Committee look from the newcomers to Challeyer and back. Courbet grins hugely.

COURBET

Salut, Adele!

LA COMTESSE

Brute.

The Countess stops near the massive doors, Gaston behind her shoulder. Challeyer charges up to his mother.

CHALLEYER

What are you doing here, Mother!

Come, let me take you home!

He takes her arm.

LA COMTESSE

Let me go! Pay for my entrance, and take me to your table.

CHALLEYER

Absolutely not! We are going home!

Gaston, call for the coach.

LA COMTESSE

Gaston, you shall do no such thing. Please pay the gentleman at the door. Now Armand, will you accompany me to your table? I am here to see my friends.

CHALLEYER

Mother, no. This is no place for a lady!

LA COMTESSE

Is that what you think of your friends? This place is good enough for them but not good enough for your mother?

CHALLEYER

It is not that, Maman. These are



71.

dangerous times, and Montmartre is on the brink of war.

LA COMTESSE

If you do not want me at your table, I'll ask that villain Courbet to invite me. I am sure he is more of a gentleman than you.

CHALLEYER

Ah well, come with me. Gaston, will you find yourself a table?

GASTON

Of course, Sir.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. NIGHT

Angelique slides down into a hip bath, wrapped in a white shift, down into the suds. Challeyer and the Comtesse sip champagne, his sketchbook out of sight.

LA COMTESSE

She is good.

Gaston shares a table with two men. He is in his element.

GASTON

Very good dancing. I am impressed.

And I know dancing.

A hand on his shoulder. Courbet stands next to his chair.

COURBET

How is she, Gaston?

Gaston looks at the stage.

GASTON

She is happy, Monsieur Gustav. A bit lonely sometimes, but she is happy to be here with her son.

COURBET

That is her son? Captain Challeyer?

GASTON

He is engaged to be married.

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE DE MONTMARTRE. DAY. 1871

The conductor has a swig from his beer and leans back.



72.

CONDUCTOR

Right! "Soixante Onze"!

In their street clothes, the dancers form a platoon.

LES FILLES MECHANTES Mille Huit Cent Soixante Onze. Eighteen Seventy one.

The German officers crossed the line and had their asses kicked.

The Emperor he wanted a war and got his arse kicked too.

In eighteen seventy one it was that the land of France was lost.

Mille Huit Cent Soixante Onze.

Eighteen Seventy One.

But in Paris, but in Paris, in eighteen seventy one

The people said go fuck yourselves, we do not play this game

And if you want to join us here, Stand up, salute the flag Salute the drapeau rouge

And kiss my arse, go fuck yourselves, the people stand alone. Servants of the capitalist state, You slaves to German rule.

The Kaiser put you back in power

To play your stupid game

And all you did was fuck it up

And sell out to the rich

But in Paris, but in Paris, in eighteen seventy one

The people said go fuck yourselves, We fight unto the end

Go fuck yourselves, we are free

And we still have fraternity

We have equality

So kiss my arse salute the flag

Salute the drapeau rouge

The red flag of Paris

Salute the men and all women

Who know how to be free

In eighteen seventy one are we

The commune de Paris.



73.

EXT. 1871. BARRICADES. DAWN

Woman soldiers huddle behind the barricade. They hum the "1871" song.

COLONEL REGNAULT

The cease-fire expires in an hour. We do not know if it will be renewed, nor if hostilities will commence immediately. But we have to be prepared.

Prepare defensive positions, Sergeant. Firearms at the ready, and keep an eye on the government troops. Officers, to me!

EXT. 1871. BARRICADES. DAWN.

Behind government lines, a despatch rider reports to Captain Challeyer, who sends him onward to the rebel positions.

DESPATCH RIDER Captain Challeyer's compliments, Sir. By agreement of the two parties, the ceasefire is to end at 9 o'clock exactly, at which time either party is at liberty to commence hostilities.

COLONEL REGNAULT Defensive positions! Hostilities commence at 9 o'clock. We hold our fire until and unless the enemy attacks. Nobody fires until I give the command.

Men and women find defensive positions behind sandbags and cobblestones, rifles and muskets poised. The street clears. An ominous silence descends upon the scene.

EXT. 1871. BARRICADES. DAY

The two opposing forces face off, each unwilling to fire. Some of the rebels take to sitting on top of the barricades. Demonique joins them.

REBEL SOLDIER

This is no place for a woman.

DEMONIQUE

Nor for a man, at that!

Nothing is going to happen.



74.

WOMEN SOLDIERS

Demonique, give us a song.

DEMONIQUE

But I am a dancer, not a singer!

WOMEN SOLDIERS

Shut up and sing!

DEMONIQUE

Give me some music, you.

That's better!

Come have a little look,

Come have a little glance.

It's what is underneath all this

That's what we call romance.

It's what is underneath all this

That brings them all to France.

Froufrou. Froufrou.

She marches up and down the barricade. As the song ends, both armies give her a standing ovation. On his horse, Challeyer smiles, then turns deadly serious again.

A carriage pulls up with a CIVILIAN (70) and a senior FRENCH OFFICER. Challeyer rides up and salutes.

FRENCH OFFICER

What is the delay, Captain?

CHALLEYER

I have put in motion a plan to bypass the barricade and to take it without firing a single shot.

In case of an attack from the rebel forces, we are ready to respond with full force, Sir.

FRENCH OFFICER

Very well, Captain. We are here to observe.

The civilian leans over to the Officer, who speaks passionately, to no avail, then turns to Challeyer.

FRENCH OFFICER

You have new orders, Capitaine. You are to hand an ultimatum to the insurrectionists. They will have ten minutes to clear this boulevard, at which point the National Guard will attack.

Bring the officer in charge of artillery unit to me.



75.

Challeyer remains motionless as the ADJUDANT (40)rides off.

EXT . 1871. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY. DAY

The LIEUTENANT OF THE ARTILLERY (28) marches up to the carriage and salutes. The Adjudant rides up next to Challeyer.

ADJUDANT

Bonjour Armand.

CHALLEYER

Jean Francois.

ADJUDANT

Big trouble coming.

CHALLEYER

Hmm.

LIEUTENANT OF THE ARTILLERY

Sir!

The French Officer leans down to the civilian, and straightens up again.

FRENCH OFFICER

I have orders for your unit, Lieutenant.

At 10 o'clock exactly, unless you receive new orders directly from me, your number one unit is to fire heavy shot directly on the barricades.

Then hold fire for exactly one minute to give the Renegades opportunity to surrender.

If there is no offer of surrender, or if they return fire, you are to start a fusillade of artillery fire for as long as is required.

You will remain under the command of Captain Challeyer.

LIEUTENANT OF THE ARTILLERY

Very well Sir. Captain!

He salutes Challeyer, and marches off towards the front.

CHALLEYER

Sir, I need just one hour for my engineers to break a tunnel through the buildings to a position behind



76.

the enemy lines.

FRENCH OFFICER

You have your orders, Captain

Challeyer.

CHALLEYER

It is most irregular, Sir, to bypass the authority of the officer in command of an action. I respectfully request to be relieved of my post with immediate effect.

FRENCH OFFICER Request denied. You are to direct the fighting. Not to make policy. Relay the ultimatum to the rebels, take up your position and stand by. That is an order, Captain!

EXT. 1871. BY THE BARRICADES. MORNING

Challeyer rides his horse around the gun emplacements. Artillerymen kneel behind sandbags, their torches smoking.

CHALLEYER

We hold our fire until I give the direct order. Stand by.

GUNNER

The Captain is not going to fire.

ARTILLERYMAN

Who would? You? This is madness.

GUNNER

All war is madness.

ARTILLERYMAN

But these are our brothers.

GUNNER

All men are our brothers.

CHALLEYER

Keep it quiet there.

EXT. 1871. BARRICADES. DAY

Challeyer turns to his Adjudant.



77.

CHALLEYER

What news from our engineers?

ADJUDANT

They are making good progress, but they still need an hour to break through as they have to work in silence.

Captain Challeyer rides toward the rebel lines to address the barricades.

CHALLEYER

I have been ordered to issue the following ultimatum. If at exactly 10 o'clock, that is twenty minutes from now, if these streets have not been cleared of rebels, armed or otherwise, we shall open fire.

REBEL SOLDIER

Have you no shame! We are brothers in arms, you and I have fought the Prussians, shoulder to shoulder.

COLONEL REGNAULT

Is it that you want to kill your brothers, Challeyer, or do you want us to have to kill our brothers?

CHALLEYER

You have 19 minutes.

EXT. HOTEL FLEUR. NIGHT

The German platoon lines up at the door of the Hotel Fleur. There is a sign next to the door. BATIMENT A VENDRE

KRAUSE

The building is deserted, Sergeant.

OBERJAEGER

Makes sense.

Albrecht kicks in the door. Soldiers take defensive positions.

PLATOON RADIO OPERATOR

We are in position. Moving in!

The Oberjaeger steps past the broken door. His men are lined along the walls. A Border Collie snarls and barks viciously.



78.

SOLDIER

Shall I shoot the dog, Sir?

OBERJAEGER

Don't be stupid!

He moves towards the dog, imposing in his black coat.

OBERJAEGER (CONT'D)

Sit!

He advances towards the dog, who backs away. He backs the barking dog into the small kitchen, then closes the door.

The dog obeys and the Oberjaeger slams the door shut.

OBERJAEGER(CONT'D)

Up the stairs! Check every room!

Two men per room. Move! Move! Move!

INT. 1942. TOP OF THE STAIRS. NIGHT

The hotelier moves down the passage on the garret level and kneels to look down the spiral stairway, his old revolver in his hand. The staircase is dark and silent. A door bangs and his dog barks in the distance.

He checks his revolver and spins the chamber.

HOTELIER

From the commune!I ask you!

INT. 1942. A FRENCH COUNTRY PUB. NIGHT

Men and women clean their weapons by a big radio.

DIDIER

(off)

The song, "Liberté" was composed in 1871 by Alexandre Carnevale. It will now be performed by the legendary Demonique.

EXT. 1942. A SHIP AT SEA. NIGHT

A fishing boat moves towards land under darkness.

MONIQUE

(Off, singing)

Liberte is not freedom for one. It



79.

is freedom for all. Fraternite is not sharing in misery. It is giving joy to all.

INT. 1942. A SCHOOL DORMITORY. NIGHT

Schoolgirls gather on a black iron bedstead.

MONIQUE

(off)

Equality is not living on your knees. It is marching side by side.

SCHOOLGIRL

Oh wow!

INT. 1942. STAIRWELL. NIGHT

The sound of the smashed door echoes in the bare foyer. The German soldiers work from room to room in teams of three.

TEAM 1

Clear!

TEAM 2

Clear!

The rest of the platoon move to the second floor.

TEAM 3

Clear!

TEAM 1

Clear!

EXT. 1942. GERMAN RADIO TRUCK. NIGHT

The radio truck roars up the narrow streets of Montmartre, drowning the sound of Monique's song.

MONIQUE

(With static, on air) So love me if you love me. Love me if you dare.

The truck screams to a halt at the hotel. The Kommandant jumps out, his long black coat billowing around him like a predatory bird.

KOMMANDANT

Driver, wait here! You two, with



80.

me.

INT. 1942. TOP OF THE STAIRS. NIGHT

At the top of the spiral staircase, the hotelier listens as the sounds of troops advancing up the stairs get louder and beams of torchlight reach the ceiling.

HOTELIER

Damn!

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT.

Serge stops playing and wanders over to the window. Seven floors up, the ladder reaches over to the next building. Light spills around his silhouette. All is quiet but for the song. The sound of a single gunshot breaks the silence.

SERGE

They're here! Shut down! Shut down!

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT.

Didier motions Monique away from the microphone.

DIDIER

Our position has been compromised! You may hear the sound of advancing gunfire. That was Demonique, singing live the famous battle hymn from the Commune of 1871.

Signing off until the next time we meet, who knows where, who knows when! Vive la France. Vive la Liberte! Vive la Resistance!

He shuts down the radio set, and buckles it into a bag.

Serge grabs his machine gun and holds the curtains open. He beckons to Monique.

SERGE

Madame.

EXT. 1871. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY. DAY

It starts to rain. Rebels push tight against the barricade. Colonel Regnault looks at his pocket watch.



81.

EXT. GOVERNMENT LINES. DAY

Down the road Challeyer does the same, rain streaming down.

ARTILLERYMAN

He will not give the order.

ARTILLERYMAN 2

Iknow. What then?

ARTILLERYMAN

God knows. This is going to happen. What is going to happen is going to happen. With him or without him.

ARTILLERY COMMANDER

Prime torches!

Long flaming poles are pulled from red hot barrels. Challeyer pulls his sword from its sheath.

CHALLEYER

At the ready. Nobody fires until my command!

INT. 1871. QUADRILLE. DAY

Inside the Quadrille the mood is somber. The Central Committee is represented only by Courbet and Clemenceau. The one or two waiters and dancers who remain prepare for the evening show.

A great musical chord breaks the silence. It grows into a pounding rhythm, a barcarolle in slow time, deep and foreboding. A more delicate melody line is woven into its darkness, submerged below the depths of the shadows, then soaring free.

This is the music Carnevale has been working on at night. He turns at his piano, looking for the horseman, in vain.

CARNEVALE

This is for you, Captain.

Quadrille, the dance of the

Commune.

EXT. 1871. THE CARRIAGE. MORNING

In the carriage at the back of the government lines, the civilian looks at his watch and nods to the officer.



82.

CIVILIAN

It is time, Sir!

FRENCH OFFICER Very well. Number one cannon, prepare to open fire!

EXT. 1871. FRONT LINE. MORNING

Challeyer and his adjudant sit astride their horses in front of the government cannons.

FRENCH OFFICER (from the carriage)

Open fire!

The Artillery Commander looks up at Challeyer.

ARTILLERY COMMANDER

Armand.

Challeyer turns his horse and rides forward. He pulls up in front of the barricade and turns to face the government lines, ignoring his friends from the Commune. He nods to the artillery commander.

EXT. 1871. THE FRONT LINE. MORNING.

The Artillery Commander raises his sword, then lowers it.

ARTILLERY COMMANDER

Ready Number One! Fire!

A storm of fire, smoke and noise breaks loose as the first cannon fires. The shot tears across the cobbled street, and into the barricade, smashing into wood and rock and canvas, and into Challeyer and his horse. They fall, slowly, struck down by grapeshot, down onto the shiny cobblestones, their blood mingling with rainwater.

EXT. 1871. BARRICADE. MORNING

Rebel soldiers return fire. Snipers shoot from windows. Shards of wood and concrete fill the air. A wild shape launches into midair. Even as her grey skirts are torn to shreds by the flying shot, a musket and bayonet in her hand, Demonique leaps clear of the barricade and lands at the convulsing body of Challeyer.

DEMONIQUE

Nooo!!!



83.

She tries to pull his shattered chest together by his lapels, pulsing blood covering her hands and arms. Challeyer is breathing blood.

CHALLEYER

Ah, Demonique!

If we have to go, this is the way I want to go!

DEMONIQUE

Armand, Armand, No!

Around her, snapping at her skirts and jacket, musket balls and grapeshot fly through the thick pungent gunsmoke. The sounds of battle even out to a continuous, deafening roar.

COLONEL REGNAULT

Hold your fire!

Debris and shrapnel tumble, frozen in space and time, and Demonique's clothes and hair, caught in violent movement, trace arabesques in the blues and browns of the gunsmoke and the greys of the mist and rain.

Movement and sound slowly return as she throws herself down over his inert body. Cordite mixes with mist and rain. Angelique runs around to join her friend and her lover.

EXT. 1871. BOULEVARD DE CLICHY. BARRICADES. DAY

Both sides hold their fire as Demonique and Angelique drag Challeyer's broken body back towards the barricades. Colonel Regnault walks up to the convulsing horse and shoots it in the head. Smoke and debris float in the heavy fog.

INT. 1942. STAIRWAY. NIGHT

As the Kommandant and his two assistants enter the lobby of the Hotel Fleur, a gunshot rings out. The Kommandant takes two and three stairs at a time in his heavy leather coat, guided by the flickering lights ahead.

KOMMANDANT

Stay with me!

INT. 1942. TOP OF THE STAIRS

The hotelier takes careful aim at one of the torches and fires two shots. A cry comes from the staircase.

OBERJAEGER

Turn out the torches! Continue in



84.

the dark! Find shelter, then move on! Cover me!

Machine gun fire shatter the walls and ceiling at the top of the stairway. The hotelier waits, then fires down into the darkness. Machine guns respond and he drops to the floor.

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

There is a heavy thump against the door. Didier opens the door. It is the hotelier, covered in blood from shrapnel and splinters, reloading his old revolver.

HOTELIER

You have to move fast. I can hold them off. Go, go, go.

DIDIER

How many?

HOTELIER

Maybe five. I have taken out two.

Machine gun fire smash into the walls and ceiling at the top of the staircase. Torchlight beams play in the gunsmoke.

DIDIER

Maybe five. We can fight them off.

SERGE

Madame, use the ladder and cross over to the next building. Then find your way down to the street. We shall join you presently.

MONIQUE

You joke! Give me one of those muskets!

Didier grabs the hotelier under his arms and pulls him into the room kicking the door shut. He throws two heavy bolts.

SERGE

You go! That is an order!

MONIQUE

I'll go when you go. I cannot lose him again!



85.

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

The hotelier drags himself over to the window, trailing blood. He leans back against the wall.

SERGE

Didier, help Monsieur l'Hotelier across the bridge to the next building, and come back for Madame and myself. Then take up a defensive position on the far side of the ladder. Cover the doorway with you machine pistol.

You stay near me, Madame. Nobody comes through this door. Can you use this machine gun?

He cocks the German Schmeisser machine pistol.

MONIQUE

This is my new best friend. Nobody comes between us.

Heavy boots sound in the corridor. Serge put out the lamps and they watch torchlight play under the door. He points Monique to the left and positions himself to the right.

SERGE (whispers)

Fire at shadows under the door.

INT. 1942. PASSAGE. NIGHT

The platoon follow the blood trail to number 703 and take up positions to both sides of the door. Inside all is silent. The Oberjaeger nods.

OBERJAEGER

Go!

Albrecht steps up to the door and lifts his boot.

Before he can kick, there is a massive roar as the door splinters. Albrecht is driven against the far wall in a bloody crucifix. The Oberjaeger fires at the door and it breaks apart, hanging from its hinges.

EXT. 1942. ON THE BRIDGE.

Just outside the window, Didier flings himself down onto the ladder and fires at the door on the far side of the room. Kneeling behind him at the far side of the ladder, the



86.

hotelier fires well-aimed shots.

DIDIER

Madame, come to me! Now!

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

As Monique gets to the window, Serge fires from the hip, advancing towards the door. The Oberjaeger steps out and shoots him in the face. Monique spins around and shoots him, a short vicious burst. Didier kneels outside the window.

DIDIER

Madame, your hand!

She reaches out to him, her hand frail in his. Didier steps into the room to pull her behind him.

INT. 1942. ROOM 703. NIGHT

Like a dark angel, the Kommandant steps through the shattered door. At the window, two figures are framed in the moonlight. He fires three shots from his Luger pistol, and one of the figures falls back into the room. The other retreats to the far end of the bridge, firing on the move.

MONIQUE (broken, on the floor)

Armand. Get out!

Live! Let that be our victory.

The Kommandant steps over her. Outside the ladder crashes down the walls, down to the ground, seven stories below.

Two German soldiers arrive. One lights a lamp while the other covers the open window with his rifle.

KOMMANDANT

Madame...

Monique holds her flimsy torn blouse to her body, a medal gleaming against her skin.

MONIQUE

Armand... Live.

(She closes her eyes)

The Kommandant tears the heavy red curtain from the window and drapes it over the old woman.

He stands over her body, then places her machine gun over



87.

her body, the red curtain now the flaming red of the Commune de Paris.

THE END

ROLLING TITLES:

In 1871 the ruling classes of France (by virtue of class and of money) took control of the city and began a bloodbath that went on for seven days and left dead twenty thousand men, women and children.

All that is left of the Commune of

Paris is its name. And its dream.

And its flag.

INT. QUADRILLE. NIGHT

Like a greek chorus, a line of old women in faded cancan dresses stand before a red curtain and sing.

LES FILLES MECHANTES

When she was just a baby girl,

When she was just a doll,

Her mother used to dress her up,

To dress her up and say:

DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

She said,

I always looked good in red.

LES FILLES MECHANTES

When she was just in kiddie school,

When she was une petit fille,

Her teacher used to make her stand,

To make her stand and say:

DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

She said,

I always looked good in red.

LES FILLES MECHANTES When she was just a 12 year old, When she was just a girl,

Her girl friends used to spin her round,

To spin her round and say:



88.

DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

They said said,

I always looked good in red.

LES FILLES MECHANTES

When she became a dancing girl,

When she kicked up her skirts,

The men all used to look at her,

To look at her and say:

DEMONIQUE

I always looked good in red,

They say,

I always looked good in red.