This was one of my favorite scenes in Cosmopolis. When I found out Mathieu Amalric was playing the pastry assassin, I knew he was going to bring some major punch behind that pie. It’s not a long scene for him but its definitely energized and captivating.
Many people were wondering yesterday what was going on in the scene: “what happened to the limo??” “what’s that on Rob’s face??” “paparazzi are in the scene??”
Wonder no longer! This book excerpt is quick and explains mucho.
*spoilers* after the cut…
From Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis:
What happened next happened fast. He stepped onto the sidewalk and a man approached running and struck him.
He raised an arm in defense, Eric did, too late, and threw a blind punch, maybe grazing the man on the head or shoulder. He felt the sludge, the sort of mush of blood and matter on his face. He could not see. His eyes were coated with the stuff but he heard Torval nearby, their rustles and grunts as the two men skirmished. He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and stood on the curbstone wiping his face, cautiously, in the event an eyeball had been dislodged. He was able to see that Torval had the man bent over the trunk of the limo, forearm locked behind his head.
“Subject reduced,” Torval said into his lapel.
Eric smelled and tasted something. First there was the handkerchief, soured by his own secretions of the testes and seminal vesicles and various other glands, collected earlier in the day when he’d used the square of cloth to clean himself after one or another expulsion of fluid.
But he was confused about the taste on his tongue.
The man, the subject was saying something and there were radiant bursts, as of muzzle flash nearby, but without ensuing reports. Torval yanked the man off the rear of the car and splayed him toward Eric, then snapped his head back smartly.
“I am after you long time. Son of bitch,” he said. “I glop you good.”
Now Eric saw three photographers off to the right and a man shooting video from his knees. Their car sat with doors flung open.
“Today you are cremed by the master,” he said. “This is my mission worldwide. To sabotage power and wealth.”
He began to understand. This was Andre Petrescu, the pastry assassin, a man who stalked corporate directors, military commanders, soccer stars and politicians. He hit them in the face with pies. He blindsided heads of state under house arrest. He ambushed war criminals and the judges who sentenced them.
“I am three years waiting for this. Fresh baked only. I pass up president of the United States to make this strike. I creme him any time. You are major statement, I tell you this. Very hard to zero in.”
He was a small guy with hair dyed glossy blond, in a Disney World T-shirt. Eric caught the note of admiration in his voice. Carefully he kicked him in the nuts, watching him spaz and crumple in Torval’s grip.
When the flash units lit up, he attacked the photographers, landing a number of punches, feeling better with each one.
The three backpedaling men stumbled into a row of garbage cans, then scuttled up the street. The videographer fled in the car.
He walked back toward the limo, ladling whipped cream off his face and eating it, snowy topping with a trace of lemon in the taste. He and Torval were bonded now by violence and exchanged a look of respect and esteem. Petrescu was in pain.
“You lack of humor, Mr. Packer.”
Eric gave him a forearm shiver, bouncing him off Torval’s chest. It took the man a while to speak.
“You are living up to reputation, okay. But I am kicked and beaten by security so many times I am walking dead. They make me to wear a radio collar when I am in England, to safe the queen. Track me like rare crane. But believe one thing please. I cremed Fidel three times in six days when he is in Bucharest last year. I am action painter of creme pies. I drop from a tree on Michael Jordan one time. This is famous Flying Pie. It is museum quality video for the ages. I quiche Sultan of fucking Brunei in his bath. They put me in black hole until I am screaming from my eyes.”
They watched him stumble away. The restaurant was locked and empty and they stood in the hush of the moment. Eric had whipped cream in his hair and ears. His clothes were streaked with cream and dashes of lemon pie. He could feel a cut on his forehead from a camera one of the men had wielded in self-defense. He needed to take a leak.
He felt great. He held his clenched fist in the other hand. It felt great, it stung, it was quick and hot. His body whispered to him. It hummed with the action, the charge at the photographers, the punches he’d thrown, the bloodsurge, the heartbeat, the great strewn beauty of garbage cans toppling.
He was brass-balled again.
He found his sunglasses in the champagne well and put them in his shirt pocket.
Seriously LOVE. Click HERE to view the pictures I used in this post. So what do you think of the scene? Looks like DC Nancy Babich’d it to me. 😉