Dark Nights in the City

Dark Nights in the City, is about the reality of expectations and the difference between what we are told and what actually exists. It’s also about the questions we all ask ourselves as we attempt to define who we are and weigh that person against the person we really want to be.

Amid the chaos that was Greenwich Village in the ‘60s young Danny Cerutti is trying to live a meaningful life, explore the possibilities of a career as a photographer and meet the woman all the movies tell him he deserves.

Seven deaths; a co-worker, an unknown child and two young women, one a friend, the other a lover; as well as those of three predators provide the story’s framework, each death affecting Danny in a different way, each forcing him to consider different aspects of his life in relation to them, each helping him to progress to a point where the questions, if not the answers, are at least beginning to make sense.

It's winter 1957 and Danny meets a group of friends under the clock in the Biltmore bar, The gathering results in his escorting Julie Beckerman home to Englewood where he runs into her the next day and then dates he a few night later. The date results in a very passionate episode but he will not see her again for four years.

In that time he ends up traveling the world, tending bar in a bucket of blood on Broadway and starting a career as a photographer. He also meets the strange and attractive Kathy Haddon whom he does not pursue to his almost instant chagrin. This is partly due to the arrival back in his life of Julie, who walks into the bar one night and moves right into his bed.

We find out that her father is the owner of a huge darkroom equipment manufacturing company and she shows a great interest in Danny's photos. She takes him home and persuades her father to give him some unwanted darkroom equipment and during the ame period he runs into an old friend, now a mob member, who offers him a free loft if he will keep an eye on some of the mobs buildings.

While at the Beckerman mansion, meeting Julie's family the father shows him a book of his work that consists solely of nudes of his pre-pubescent daughters. Danny isn't sure how to react to this but praises the man's obvious talent.

Julie, who has been engaged this whole time goes to Paris to meet her fiancé and comes home with a serious ring. When Danny questions their relationship she leaves in a fit of anger. Danny meets with his cousin Nikki to get some insight with what is happening between him and her best friend. What she tells him is disquieting. He runs into Kathy and his friend Zack in the park and wishes he hadn't prompted Zack to pursue her.

On a quiet Village morning fire breaks out on MacDougal Street. Danny and his friends Gallo & Quatro enter the burning building, rescue three kids and an old lady but miss one child and she dies.

That night on the way up to Nikki's for consolation he sits on the train and thinks back to the first instance of death he experienced when a fellow factory worker with five kids, had been killed in an industrial accident. This leads him to the contemplation of an incident he had with a priest the following spring that lead to his rejection of the church and confusion about God. Nikki again consoles him.

A few days later after a party at Zack's flat Danny returns the next day to find Kathy Haddon, tied naked to a chair. He mistakes it for an attack but quickly realizes that he has interrupted something. The next night Zack explains about Kathy who had been arrested in Conception, Chile and tortured and abused by he captors, which has resulted in unusual sexual proclivities.

A couple of days later Zack gets a call from Kathy. She has seen the man who held her captive in Chile and he has seen her. She is terrified. Zack calls Danny who calls a cousin that works in D.C. and is advised to go to the papers with the story. He meets with Zack & Kathy in Zack's flat to tell them this. Tommy Day another friend shows up unexpectedly and points out hat a couple of limos are on the street. They see that it is Colonel Servias from Chile who comes to the flat with two men, An argument over Kathy occurs, Servias gets pushy and the three young men kill him and his guards. They bury them in the basement.

After this traumatic event, Zack leave on tour in Europe, Kathy disappears and Danny wonders if they did the right thing.

An old friend, Marva Rubenstein hires Danny to shoot stills of an off-Broadway musical she is producing and he meets nutty Bree Flynn. She turns out to be an exhibitionist and thrill seeker who gets off on doing it in public places and on the edges of roofs.

They are at a party when Dave Quatro, who manages the Bitter End tells Danny that Feds have come by looking for Kathy and Zack. Bree takes him from the party to an orgy, which turns out to be a major turnoff; too many naked people who should only be allowed to undress in the privacy of their own baths.

Nikki calls and tells him that Harold Beckerman, Julie's generous father has died. They go to the funeral where Julie's sister tries to get him to go after Julie. He backs off.

Danny goes to the opening of Marva's play and meets Abby Walsh, who he falls for instantly. He also runs into Kathy and tells her that the FBI is looking for her. A few days later Abby shows up at his loft and agrees to pose for him. He shoots her in the woods in Jersey and they come back to his loft to develop the film.

Dark Nights in the City - Excerpt