Being With Cows

FEATURE FILM (In development)

The centenary anniversary of Katherine Mansfield’s death is approaching (9 Jan 2023). This film is a fact-based fictional account of Mansfield’s final days spent with the Armenian-Greek mystic Gurdjieff, and his commune of refugees, bohemians and animals in the forest of Fontainebleau, France.

Screenplay by Gaylene Barnes

”Life is, all at one and the same time, far more mysterious, and far simpler than we know."

Logline

A desperate hope for miraculous healing drives a consumptive writer to join a mystic cult in the forests of France (1922). But instead, she seizes the authentic life offered and learns to accept her unavoidable death.

Genre

Period (1922), Biography, Romance

Film Style

intellectual, atmospheric, art house, psychological, serious, uplifting, sincere, emotional, colourful, heartbreaking, lyrical, sentimental, melancholic, contemplative, thought provoking

No-one I know, receives more from life, than she who tastes death.
TO ACT AND NOT TO DREAM.
EXT. ‘SELECT HOTEL’ PARIS – NIGHT
It is the middle of the night, the streets are empty.  The hotel facade of the ‘Select Hotel’ glimmers in the lamplight.  All the windows are dark except for one.  There is a light in a room on the third floor.
Ida helps a weak KM up the spiral staircase.  Her oriental shawl falls off, floating down the middle of the stairs. ‘My spirit is nearly dead.’
She sits alone in a gravel pit where pitiful statues loom above her.  A sparrow lands on her seat. ‘Did you know it is Nietzsche’s birthday today?’
‘My life is a damnable montage.  An insufferably slow one, without any flow or whole.’
‘I must tell you about the bees – we shall have bees.’
‘I am determined to learn everything there is to know about them.’
Bridget walks over to the barn door window to look out. ‘Why does one live so far away from all these things?’
SALZMANN ‘Today ‘sit’, tomorrow Shakespeare! I am very hopeful!’
KM ‘Those two seem your best hope. Not sure about Stripey there… He seems to have quite the rebellious spirit.’
SALZMANN ‘Dont be so quick to judge! She is just jealous. Adriana is devoted to me.’
ACT ONE: MINUS-DOMINUS

EXT. PARIS STREETS, SORBONNE - EARLY EVENING

A crowded 1920's Paris street.  Horses, carriages, motorcars, too many people.  Autumn.  Grey.

KEY: Paris, 1922