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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

The Renaissance Man


FADE IN:

INT. CLUB HOUSE - DAY

PETER brows a paper-back feature.

PETER (V.O.)

Oh, Leonardo da Vinci's

literary, artistic and

scientific works...And the

Chateau at Amboise?

I was there - in 1990!

FLASHBACK

INT. OFFICE - DAY (1990)

Peter (36) reads a communication from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

PETER (V.O.)

WIPO is holding a

symposium on Industrial

Designs. I've been asked

to reform the Hong

Kong law. I should seize

the opportunity to

broaden and deepen my

perspectives.

He reads on.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

At Amboise in France?

Well, if I could go, I'd

better hire a car and

drive there from Paris.

INT. CHATEAU DU CLOSE LUCE - DAY (1990)

Peter is among dozens of European PARTICIPANTS.

PETER (V.O.)

A nice French town for

me to learn anything

about industrial designs

But why here?

INT. MUSEUM, AMBOISE - DAY (1990)

Surrounded by green grass on the outside. Alone, Peter examines extracts of notebooks and working models on display.

PETER (V.O.)

Well, these scientific notes

and models were done by

by Leonardo da Vinci?

I thought he was an artistic

painter. He was really good

at many different things.

Peter looks at some drawings.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Wow, the concept of

a helicopter? Well, he

was centuries ahead of

his time!

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

But why his design stuff

is exhibited here, in this

small museum?

Then he reads something striking.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Oh, he actually lived here

until his death!

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I was that ignorant then!

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

At Amboise, I also met up for the first time an

Examiner from the

China Patent Office.

FLASHBACK

INT. CHATEAU DU CLOSE LUCE - DAY

PARTICIPANTS have lunch at a round table. Sitting next to Peter is the EXAMINER (50s). They exchange Chinese character notes with each other. A GENTLEMAN (40s) opens a small talk with the examiner but he doesn't get it.

EXAMINER

Can you speak in English?

GENTLEMAN

I'm speaking English!

Their conversation ends.

RETURN TO PRESENT

PETER (V.O.)

I learned from his notes

that he studied for a

year in Oregon.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I didn't speak Mandarin

then. When people praise

my fluency in Mandarin,

I'd remember this scene

which motivated me to

learn.

Peter remembers something.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

There was a Gala dinner in

a castle. As a Yugoslavian

designer and I stayed at

Novotel, he wouldn't drive

but would take a lift of my

hired car to and from the

castle.

FLASHBACK

INT - CHATEAU ROYAL D'AMBOISE - NIGHT

Grand and prestigious. A few small dinner tables on upper floors. Sitting opposite Peter are the DESIGNER (30s) and a WOMAN (30s) who are engaging in conversations.

PETER (V.O.)

I can tell the Yugoslavians

are talking something very

serious, but I don't know

what. The French dinner

in the Castle is long and

boring, but I can't leave

early.

EXT - MOTOR WAY - DAY

Holding a map in his left hand, Peter drives a left-hand-drive car alone. A strong wind blows away his map.

PETER (V.O.)

Oh! Without it, I've to

rely on signs to take

me back to Paris de

Gaulle Airport!

RETURN TO PRESENT

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

The designer posted me

a Yugoslavian calendar

near year end. I heard no

more of him, but the

Yugoslav wars from the

media.

A beat.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

When I make my first

duty visit to the China

Patent Office in 1992,

the examiner sent me

a telex asking me to

do something I consider

inappropriate. I declined

his request.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Upon retirement in 2014,

my younger son and I

joined a package tour

to Europe. When I saw

the crowd trying to take

photos of Mona Lisa at

the Louvre, I recall my

good times at Amboise.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

If I drive to Amboise again,

there's GPS now. It's

reasonable that the

Renaissance Man couldn't

foresee that even when

he died around this time

500 years ago!

FADE OUT. The End

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