Great Moments in Screenwriting: “China is Near”

Camillo Gordini, seventeen years old, is examining himself in a mirror. Rospo and Giacomo, both eighteen, enter and sit down at the table. Camillo sits at the head of the table and places before him some typed pages. Giacomo gets ready to listen attentively. Rospo sits tiredly and plays with Ja-Ja, the Gordinis’ miniature schnauzer.

CAMILLO: Certainly the necessity of a daily political presence—which rightly calls for efforts superior to the average—has distracted us from a problem which will become more and more serious the longer we postpone it: the sexual problem. By sexual problem I mean a coitus non interruptus, in horizontal position, with the body totally extended in length, with the active and self-conscious participation of both parties.

ROSPO: What am I, dreaming?

CAMILLO: We have excluded a priori the possibility of experimenting on a prostitute, in the first place because this would require our acting in the open, in public, so that the bourgeois laws would be able to slander our movement. Secondly, because we would risk being infected with venereal disease, whose consequences would weaken our already exiguous ranks.

Rospo kicks a ball to the dog.

CAMILLO: Rospo, if you don’t pay attention I’m going to stop.

ROSPO: You ought to.

CAMILLO: A friend who shall remain unnamed knows a girl by the name of Giuliana with amatory possibilities which, he says, are inexhaustible. According to him, during sexual intercourse she goes into a trance so complete that her partner might be substituted without her noticing it: a perfect experimental laboratory for us. She is from the working class, docile and reserved. Of course a bourgeois girl would be better, so as to ravish in her the class she belongs to. But since the education of such a girl prevents her from going into a hypnotic trance, and since she always has some end in mind when she lets her pants be taken off, we ought to try ourselves out on this Giuliana first. Furthermore, if Giuliana is a proletarian, she is potentially a petit-bourgeoise. Let us not forget that, as Chairman Mao says, the peasant class is the only revolutionary class.

Rospo is playing openly with the dog now.

CAMILLO: Oh, cut it out! This is no game.

Furious, he goes out.

GIACOMO: You could have let him go on. It’s such a high-level speech.

ROSPO: Who gives a damn?

GIACOMO: Well, you can’t say it isn’t well written!

Elda Tattoli & Marco Bellocchio


One Response to “Great Moments in Screenwriting: “China is Near””

  1. Von D. Says:

    This post does not have any naked pictures of ladies from the ’60s. Please fix.

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