Deviant Sexual Behavior in Hollywood

Institute History

  • 1998 January Screenwriters Lab


Art Freeman, a gifted but starving musician, was supposed to be the next great one – the next Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon. However, in the name of artistic integrity, Art just blew his last chance at a record deal. His girlfriend promptly walks out on him, he’s homeless and he’s broke. After contemplating suicide, he decides to do the next best thing: to kill the artist inside himself and give in to the record company’s demands. Later, at a party with his friends, Art meets Sindee, daughter of record company president Michael Thornsberry. Both are intrigued by the idea of forbidden fruit, so Art and Sindee leave the party together. During an intense night of sex, Art blacks out. The morning after sleeping with Sindee, Art finds he can’t sing or write music. He becomes extremely paranoid and fears that he has lost his soul. As a result of heavy drug use, severe stress, and sleep deprivation, Art falls into an intense manic depressive state. Art’s sanity becomes unclear and he begins to question his own reality.

Meanwhile we follow Art’s group of diverse and quirky friends in hot pursuit of their own careers in show business. Through each of these character’s unique perspectives, we also watch them explore the blurred lines between work and sexual politics.

During a paranoid delusional episode at a record company Christmas party, Art attacks the company president (Thornsberry), accusing him of being the devil and stealing his soul. After the party Art leaves with Faith, an attractive young dancer he met earlier. At this point, suicidal thoughts are surging in Art’s mind and Faith becomes an angelic figure sent to help him learn some lesson and make it through the night. Back at Art’s house, Faith reveals that she is HIV positive and facing her own death at 24. The following morning Faith is gone.

Several days later, the police arrest Art for attacking Thornsberry on the street. Instead of going to jail, Art ends up being committed for psychiatric evaluation. After leaving the hospital, Art returns to heroin for creative inspiration. During a series of drug induced hallucinations, Art has a vision of his future fame, his own immorality, and his assassination at his own concert. At the moment of his visionary death, Art comes back to “reality” and finds himself still making love to Sindee at his home; as if everything since that moment never really happened. In a desperate attempt to save himself from his own fate, Art stages an intricate plan to fake his own death. In the end, Art leaves Hollywood with the money, Sindee, and his artistic integrity.


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