by producer Alan Rogers in London
The film opens with a shot of a room with an old black and white cathode ray television in it. The room is unlit except by the television. We see a man with a moustache on television. He is talking. We can assume this is ‘Chopper’.
“Well…I mean…humanity doesn’t like me…that’s why I was sitting in here talking…i’m a bloody freak show”
Cut to black and white professionally lit shot of the man. He moves his hand down out of shot, it gives the impression he is lowering a cigarette. The video is slowed. We notice he has a lot of tattoos.
“The film is really about narcissistic rage. Paranoia. And, I suppose, extreme psychological damage”.
Silence and black screen.
Cut to Missy. This is a yellow palette. She is lit from the right. Music starts. She is laying (kneeling?) on her front. Missy raises her head, her eyes are closed. She moves forward as if bumped into, we can assume she is having sex. She appears to be naked.
Cut to missy laying on her back. She remains naked (as far as we can tell) but with sunglasses on. Same colour palette. Her mouth is open.
I KNEW MARK ‘CHOPPER’ READ
She appears to say the word ‘yes’ but the soundtrack is missing, she throws her head back. She continues to be having sex. Her hand goes up to steady the sunglasses as she is thrust along the settee she is laying on.
CHOPPER WAS A FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN CRIMINAL
The camera moves around capturing Missy’s throat. It is not clear who is holding the camera.
HE WAS ALSO AN ACCOMPLISHED AUTHOR
THE 2000 FILM ‘CHOPPER’ IS BASED ON HIS LIFE
Missy’s left breast comes into view with a close up of her nipple.
HE SPENT 18 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HIS MANY CRIMES
INCLUDING ARMED ROBBERY & ATTEMPTED MURDER
Missy lifts her head and upper body up, the camera zooms in on her face. Her eyes are closed behind the sunglasses, She looks in bliss.
I FIRST MET HIM IN MELBOURNE IN 2006
Missy throws her head back.
I WAS BUYING HANDCUFFS IN A SEX SHOP
Missy removes her sunglasses. It is an unconscious act, as she continues to have sex
I TURNED AROUND AND HE WAS STANDING BEHIND ME
THAT CHANCE MEETING BEGAN A LONG FRIENDSHIP
Missy turns her face to the camera. She smiles. It is a close up of her face.
READ WAS A PSYCHOPATH WHO CUT OFF HIS OWN EARS
The camera moves around to take in Missy’s (now supine) body.
BUT HE WAS ALSO INTELLIGENT, ARTICULATE & WITTY
The camera hovers over her chest, between her breasts then travels down to her pubis, where the shot is (essentially) a close up of her right thigh.
THESE WERE CHOPPER’S RULES FOR LIVING HIS LIFE
The camera tries to focus between Missy’s legs but the image is too dark, so retreats again.
- USE YOUR HIGHER MIND
The camera comes back up her body to show a puckered nipple.
- BE IN THE THICK OF IT
The nipple (and breast) get covered by a hand and the camera loses focus.
- CONTROL AND DIRECT WHAT HAPPENS
When the camera achieves focus again, it is of Missy’s face. No longer in bliss, but contentedly observing the camera.
- CHANGE. BUT DON’T BE LOOSE CHANGE
Missy looks away, then holds her hand to her mouth.
Cut to Missy Laying on her back, naked on a bed. The same colour palette of yellow. Missy is wearing the same sunglasses as before. There are mirrors on the wall in the background but they reflect only the ceiling from this angle. There is a red object on the bed, which is unidentifiable. Missy appears to be holding the camera at arms length.
THEY HAD A RESONANT EFFECT ON MY FILM MAKING
Missy is trying to get the camera to stand up on it’s own, but the movement of the bed when she moves makes this a difficult task.
HIS LIFE CAME TO A PERFUNCTORY CONCLUSION
Cut to Missy on her side in the bed. Same position. Her body is backlit, and twisted to the side, so that her right breast is in profile. She stretches and picks up the red object.
IN APRIL 2012, HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH LIVER CANCER
As Missy puts the object behind her we see that it is a vibrator and that we were looking at the bottom end of it before.
HE DIED OF THE ILLNESS ON 9 OCTOBER 2013 AGED 58
Missy stretches again and lifts her sunglasses to look at the camera directly. She puts the sunglasses down where the red vibrator was and puts her hand to her face again.
HIS BOOKS HAVE SOLD OVER 500,000 COPIES WORLDWIDE
Missy waves at the camera.
Cut to sponsor clips
Black screen. Silence.
FOCUS. BE DIRECT. BE CONSCIOUS
THE LAST WORDS CHOPPER SAID TO ME
Cut to grainy shot of white walled room. The colour palette is green. It could be a library. There is a group of men gathered around a bench at the end of the room and a man standing facing us. We will call him Man 1. It is not unreasonable to assume Man 1 is Chopper.
Man 1 whistles, gestures to come forward, and the back of another man comes into shot. The man says;
‘See that line there’
Man 2 looks down.
‘That’s your side of the yard. You stay that side of the yard, we’ll stay this side’.
Man 2 looks around. The camera now faces him. He looks behind him at a scene almost identical to the other end of the room. We conclude it is a prison due to the iron bars to the left of Man 2 which are now in shot, the uniforms worn by the men and the free standing toilet to the right of Man 2. The credits roll over this sequence.
There is a pause and Man 2 walks off.
Cut to Man 1 who says ‘Good. You got that knucklehead’ and walks off to his right (our left).
Cut to Man 2 who is now standing by his group of prisoners sitting on a bench. He has his hands in his pockets and he says; ‘So you’re not going to get me then Caffrey?’.
Cut to Man 1 who is pacing up and down in front of his group of prisoners. He groans and says ‘Not worth doing any more time because of you mate’.
Cut to Man 2 who seems hurt. ‘Aw. Caffrey. You’d get off on self defence, all’s you gotta do is kill me, present me psychiatric records to the court, there’s not a jury in the land that would convict ya’.
Cut to Man 1 (still pacing, then laughs) ‘your fucking sick, Read, your insane’ (confirming that Man 2 is in fact Chopper after all)
Cut to Chopper. Who is saying thoughtfully ‘Beethoven had his critics too Keith’.(He momentarily pauses to put a cigarette in his mouth). ‘see if you can name three of them’.
Close up of Caffrey looking around to see if others have caught his humiliation. He sharply turns to Chopper.
Close up of Chopper, who says through his cigarette ‘that’s right, you cant’.
Cut back to Caffrey who is still pacing but makes the ‘gabbling mouth’ hand gesture before saying ‘why don’t you do yourself a favour and neck up you cunt, your’e a parrot. Fucking blowfly’.
Cut to Chopper (exasperated). ‘Aw Keith, you know I always thought I was a good bloke’.
Cut back to Caffrey (still pacing which is starting to contradict that of Chopper’s standing stance, showing that Caffrey is agitated, but Chopper is not). ‘Ha, what did you ever do that was good?’
Cut to Chopper. ‘Well I bashed you’. The other prisoners giggle.
Cut to Caffrey who stands still and sneers. Chopper continues; ‘That was good wasn’t it?, It was good for a bit of a giggle anyway’.
Cut to Chopper. close up, now interested. ‘Hey Keithy…’ (Then reconciliatory) ‘aw come on Keith, you should thank me’.
Cut to Caffrey who has not moved, and continues to sneer. Chopper continues ‘you’ve got a head that needs regular panel beating’
Cut back to Chopper (breathless) who shuffles saying, ‘You don’t much like me do you Keith?’
Cut to Caffrey laying in a pool of blood holding a very bloody hand to his face. His voice is raspy as if he has a mouthful of blood ‘you bash people for no reason, just to make a name for yourself, you’re a fucking idiot’.
Cut to Chopper. ‘Im not the dumb cunt that’s pissing blood Keith, right?’’
Cut to Caffrey collapsing.
Cut to Chopper, looking disgusted.
Cut to three Prison Warders coming through the door.
Close up of Chopper back to looking nonchalant as the Warders come towards the bars behind Chopper
Warder; ‘What’s going on here?’
Cut to Chopper seen through the bars. He turns to face the warder. His expression is neutral as he says ‘Ah, don’t you sweat’, then moves as the gate gets opened ‘old Keithy seems to have done himself a mischief’. He turns to watch as the officer approaches the bloody mess that is Keith Caffrey. The Warden calls out ‘Stay back fellas’, and
Cut to view from the cage and Chopper as we watch Caffrey beeing dragged out by all three warders leaving a trail of blood in his wake. Chopper; ‘you alright Keithy?..Off you go mate’ (other prisoners groan at the sight) ‘off to the sick bay’,
Cut to view of pool of blood with Chopper observing Caffrey being dragged into the cage, ‘Ah, whinge whinge, fucking whinge’.
Cut to previous professional black and white shot of Chopper.
Narrator repeats; “The film is really about narcissistic rage. Paranoia. And, I suppose, extreme psychological damage”. At this point we see Chopper smile.
Cut to black
I was left wanting to know more about your relationship with Chopper. The fact that he was a dangerous man is fairly apparent, one then wonders if that is what attracted him to you. You stated that the friendship lasted several years but the film never shows the man from your standpoint or experience, other than to print his advice given to you.
The film centres on Chopper’s bipolar behaviour. Although it never shows the violence, it is apparent with the bloodbath that we witness afterwards. I was therefore shocked by the apparent ease at which Chopper moves between personalities.
I won’t linger on my thoughts of your sex scene other than to say It was beautifully lit and edited.
Another beautiful film Missy. Take care.
Railway Arch, 80 Scoresby St, London, England, United Kingdom