Character notes #screenplay Where I Laid Me Down To Sleep #feminist novel ’80’s sex

So talking about who the characters are in this piece.  It’s important as a feminist work because coming out of 80’s era and the kind of sexuality that was “the then.”

So, plays a few love songs from the time to get in the mood.  It’s an era when women are really expecting that men actually love them, and the whole sort of 50’s sensibility is forming the backdrop for a young girl’s love.  But it’s her art teacher and he is a liar.  He just uses her for sex.  She becomes an object and a muse, not unlike any of the muses his lens finds.


He’s male, 36, married no children.  Teaches photography.  Is trying to establish a career for self, and this is post grad school in art.  Tall and thin, dark hair and aviator glasses.  Never without the frenetic snapping of the cameras doing street work like Cartier-Bresson.  We meet him at night, on the street, escaping the stifling qualities of marriage he is immersed in.  He will fall in love with the MC, but there is no loyalty to her.  He uses her.


She is 22, an art student at a community college. Wants her degree in an era post Roe v Wade, but also having a 50’s sensibility about love, she will fall in love, very deeply in love as she becomes the MUSE.  Sandman will nearly destroy her in the course of the affair emotionally.   Sandman will not care that she is a girl trying to get through school and neither will the man who is in love with her, that wants to rescue her.  She will be caught in a terrible triangle between these two men.  And forced to make a choice, for herself.


She is an embittered divorced woman who works in fashion.  She wants her daughter to follow in her footsteps with a career, and not go to college.  She loves her daughter but does not provide guidance, and there is not a father to help shape Natasha’s life.  The mother is 50 and very fashionable.  A cross between Kate Hepburn and Bacall, with a smart Dorothy Parker mouth.  She expects Tasha to marry and not need an education, but she never makes this clear to the girl.  It’s unspoken.


She is a Joni Mitchell type.  Has been married for 13 years and under pressure from her mother to have a grandchild.  Works in Social Services in a high position downtown Los Angeles, wants a baby with her husband — but he is having an affair unbeknownst to her with Natasha his student.  Is not aware of this.  She is a middle class type, shops for things at bargain places — dines on dishes made of Melamine and uses a lot of Corning Ware to make casseroles.  She can’t really fit into the art world her husband covets, but she tries to help him out at openings.


Jones is the good teacher who helps all his students.  He is teaching them to use the darkroom and do black and whites of things  using the Ansel Adams method.  Fond of taking the students on field trips out to the desert to make pictures of the cactus in bloom.  Is helping a student get a scholarship to a famous art school in LA.  Is 50’s — dark hair, short salt and pepper mustache and beard.  May have been in the Navy and learned his skills as a photographer there.  Natasha (his student) is asked to model for the other guy students, she does, even though she wants to be behind the lens herself.  There are few girls in the class.  Photography is seen as a man’s job in this era.


He’s Asian, a really great photographer, 20.  Is showing in the school’s gallery and has gotten so much help from Jones.  He is seen mostly in darkroom developing but he and Tasha often go to lunch down in Venice Beach on the boardwalk.  Friends.  He needs her to pose for his assignments, and she doesn’t want to — but she does.  At one point Jones lets him sleep on a couch because he is broke trying to make it through school.  Short, friendly face, always smiling.  Not a punker — wears regular 80s clothes for guys.  Carries a black backpack and is never without his Nikon.  It’s his most precious possession.


The are a married couple who live in a tract house in the Valley in LA.  Childless.  Marnie and Greg like to watch the films that might allow them to go places they haven’t been sexually, and they secretly come on to the couple.  The have a big pool, pool parties and barbecues.  Best friends of the couple.  We see them at a few openings and at their house.  Marnie dresses in floppy hats and skintight jumpsuits — polyester.  She has a much easier life than Sandman’s wife.  Greg supports her.  Her only role in life is to please him.  Think Stepford wife original style. (As the look).  Lots of cleavage showing in her outfits.  She presents as dumb.  Greg as shrewd.

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