Good evening and welcome to Inside the Director’s Studio. I am your host, James Lipton Onion Soup Mix. (Polite applause)
My guest this evening is the esteemed director, Alfred Finchcock. (Applause)
James: Mr. Finchcock, welcome to our program. We are honored by your presence.
Alfred: As you should be. (Laughter)
J: Tonight we want to focus on one of your most controversial films to date, specifically, “The Words.”
For those who have not yet had the opportunity to attend a screening of this groundbreaking work would you provide a brief summary of the plot?
A: I would be happy to oblige; although, I find it most difficult to believe that any within the range of my voice have not yet viewed this masterpiece. (Polite laughter)
In this story we find a worldly woman…
J: Played by the lovely Tipsy Headroom.
A: …who purchases a pair of weighty tomes, specifically Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary and Roget’s Thesaurus, as gifts for the sister of a handsome man she encounters in a San Francisco book store.
J: You cast Prod Trailer in the role of Mitch. Interesting choice.
A: Quite. I considered his dark good looks the perfect counterpoint to Miss Headroom’s blonde Melanie. Dark, light. Male/female. Tall/less tall.
J: So far, we have an endearing story about a pretty woman buying a nice gift for a little girl. Your genius is in turning the innocent into infamy.
A: When Melanie, an unmarried woman of a certain age delivers the books to Mitch’s island home the tension begins to build.
J: The special effects are so subtle, so subliminal in the beginning. For example, the word, “exacerbate” slips by in the water as Melanie rows herself and the books to Mitch’s home.
A: I am singularly surprised that you caught that. But, you are correct. It was my intention to slowly build word upon word until the audience was gasping at each verbal assault.
J: Please continue.
A: Melanie’s gift is well-received by Mitch’s sister, a budding young author entranced by words. And Melanie is urged to stay over for the weekend.
J: Perhaps this is what triggers the chaos?
A: I was not overly concerned by causation; however, the audience might very well construe the surge of suppressed hormonal urges as the basis for the initial attacks.
J: And, attacks are forthcoming.
A: Indeed. The evening of Melanie’s arrival a loud bump is heard outside the home. Upon investigation the word, “melancholia” is found lying broken in a puddle beside the porch.
In each successive scene the number and intensity of the attacks increase until there are too many to be discounted.
J: Mr. Finchcock, critics have said that your subject was too broad. That perhaps you should have focused on verbs or nouns or adjectives.
A: James, if one observed carefully one would note that I arranged each attack around a specific part of speech.
J: Please elaborate.
A: In the phone booth, Melanie was attacked by a host of nouns: “Umbrage!” “Castration!” “Misogyny!”
When the children in the schoolyard came under siege it was by adjectives: “Allegorical!” “Voluptuous!” “Incendiary!”
J: Oh, and the attack on the birthday! Those could all be verbs! “Manipulate, castigate, endeavor!”
My God! You pulled it all together!
A: Quite so. The climactic scene is one in which our heroine is rendered catatonic by battling a frenetic flock of adverbs. “Forcefully!” “Fanatically!” “Morbidly!” “Moribundly!”
But the denouement…
J: Leaves us with verbiage of all kinds, waiting in silence for…
A: Who knows? The trigger could be an exhalation or an obfuscation.
J: And that, sir, is why we worship your art.
A: As you should.
J: One more question before we must let you go. Tipsy Headroom, is she just another famous Finchcock blonde? Why couldn’t a brunette have played this role?
A: I do have a predilection for blondes, but in “The Words,” I intentionally wanted to dispel the stereotype of the dumb blonde. In order to have survived at all my leading lady had to have linguistic skills of the highest caliber.
J: Again, I tip my fictional fedora to you. Here’s to much success with “The Words.” Thank you again for allowing us to come Inside the Director’s Studio.
A: My pleasure. (Applause)