Tell-Tale Heart

TTA-78

 

THE TELL-TALE HEART – a musicabre

 

Text: Edgar Allan Poe

Adaptation and Music: Danny Ashkenasi

FringeNYC 2006 Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics

 

Now an award winning short film!

TTH Poster Screenshot

 

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” on IMDb.com

 

Awards

scroll below for specific citations

Accolade Global Film Competition – Berlin Flash Film festival – Best Actor Award – Care Awards – Cinema World Fest Awards – Couch Film Festival – Creation International Film Festival – Crown Wood International Film Festival – Druk International Film Festival – Flicks Monthly Film Festival – Florence Film Awards – Global Film Festival Awards – Horror Bowl Movie Awards – Independent Horror Movie Awards – Independent Shorts Awards  – IndieFEST Film Awards – L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival – London Independent Film Awards – London International Filmmaker Festival – New York Film Awards – New York Movie Awards – Oniros Film Festival – Prague International Indie Film Festival – So You Think You Can Direct/Act Competition – South Film and Arts Academy Festival – Spotlight Horror Film Awards – Top Indie Film Awards – Top Shorts – Virgin Spring Cinefest – WRPN Short, Tight and Loose Film Festival Competition

 

TTD20

 

Official Selection

Amazing Shorts and Movies Festival – AltFF Alternative Film Festival – Berlin Flash Film Festival – Best Global Shorts – Carmarthen Bay Film Festival – Cinemafest – Director’s Circle Festival of Shorts – Dumbo Film Festival – Dunedin International Film Festival – Feel the Reel International Film Festival – Flathead Lake International Cinemafest – Genre Celebration Festival – Eurasia International Monthly Film Festival – Global Film Festival Awards – Gold Movie Awards – Hollywood Screenings Film Festival – Hollywood Verge Film Festival – Independent Horror Movie Awards – IndieFEST Film Awards – IndieX Film Fest – London International Cinema Festival – London International Filmmaker Festival – Maverick Movie Awards – Melkbos Short Film Festival – Motion For Pictures – New Filmmakers NY – Prague International Indie Film Festival – Reels of the Dead – Red Wood Film Festival – Russian International Horror Film Awards – So You Think You Can Direct/Act Competition – The São Paulo Times Film Festival – Short Cine Fest – TMFF The Monthly Film Festival – Top Indie Film Awards – White Unicorn International Film Festival – WRPN Short, Tight and Loose Film Festival Competition

 

TTHss5

 

THE TELL-TALE BLOG POSTS:

 

PRE-PRODUCTION:

THE TELL-TALE HEART – A MUSICABRE and the roommate from hell who planted its seed

TELL-TALE SIGN…      /      TELL-TALE OMENS      /      TELL-TALE SOUNDS

TELL-TALE REVEAL!             /            A FREAKY LITTLE TELL-TALE TIDBIT

IF ONLY THE POE COTTAGE HAD BEEN OUR TELL-TALE MURDER HOUSE!

TELLTALE CAMERA TEST                   /               TELL-TALE CELLO DOUBLES

 

IN PRODUCTION:

TELL-TALE PEEK INTO THE ON SET MONITOR     /    TELL-TALE PRATFALL

THE DAY I MURDERED MY HUSBAND/450 DEGREES OF MORTAL TERROR

WALLPAPER FROM HELL  /  TELL-TALE RINGTONE   /  TELL-TALE DELAY   

 

AWARDS:

TELL-TALE MERIT       /     BEST ACTOR AWARD   /        DIRECTOR AWARD

L’AGE D’OR AWARDS                 /              A BUCKETFUL OF SFAAF AWARDS

TOP SHORTS   / TELL-TALE HORROR BOWL  /  NEW YORK FILM AWARDS

CINEMA WORLDFEST    /    TELL-TALE COUCH     /    N Y MOVIE AWARDS 

 INDEPENDENT HORROR MOVIE AWARD      /    TOP INDIE FILM AWARD 

WSTL Awards      /    MAVERICK  Award     /    Global Film Festival Awards

BERLIN FLASH    /    PRAGUE BEST ACTOR?

 

FESTIVALS:

Director’s Circle     /    TELL-TALE in MADRID     /    TELL-TALE BANNER

The Dunedin Experience           /            TELL-TALE REELS of the DEAD

The 3/25 NYC TELL-TALE SCREENING   /  TELL-TALE LIVE STREAM Q&A

 

 

Global horror short

Global TT picGlobal dir pic

 

SFAAF title and statues

South Film Arts and Academy Festival Awards

Best Musical Feature

Best Lead Actor

Best Art Direction

Best Costume Design

Best Lighting

Honorable Mentions – Production and Original Score

 

Top Shorts Winner The Tell-Tale Heart - a Musicabre design

 

Creation Winner The Tell-Tale Heart

 

Cinema Wordfest Winner

Musical – Acting – Costumes – Color Treatment

Cinema WorldFest Win The Tell-Tale Heart musicalCinema WorldFest Win The Tell-Tale Heart actingCinema WorldFest Win The Tell-Tale Heart costumingCinema WorldFest Win The Tell-Tale Heart color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIIFF - Best ActorPIFF - Certificate of Achievement rev - 2qrt 2020 - JPEG. BEST ACTOR

PLUS:  HONORABLE MENTION – ORIGINAL SCORE – PIIFF

 

SYRYCA laurel

 

 

New York Film Awards Winner Black Back LQ

New York - Score - The Tell-Tale Heart 2

New York - Honorable - The Tell-Tale Heart - a musicabre

 

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 11.54.48 AM

NYMA Actor certificate

NYMA honorable certificate

 

CW Winner LaurelCW BEST FILM SCORE THE TELLCW BEST ACTOR MALE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TT - Best Actor 3

 

CARE Best Musical

Horror Bowl logo

Horror Bowl laurel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifa 2019 Winner Laurel

LIFF Best Musical Horror Short Nov 2019

Druk DIFF LAUREL_LDruk Certificate The Tell-Tale Heart - a musicabre

 

ihma-2019-winner-best-actor

 

CouchCastCouchWriter

Couch Film Festival

Winner: Best Cast & Best Writer

Nominations:  Best Long Short Film & Best Director

Couch semi finalist

tifa logo

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 6.52.16 PM

WSTL/WRPN.TV AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE:

SHORT FILM

DIRECTION

SCORE

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 6.48.21 PM

SILVER_AWARD_VSC_2019Virgin Spring Silver Awards for Short Film and Music Score

Virgin Spring The Tell-Tale Heart - a musicabre_Short Film

Virgin Spring Score The Tell-Tale Heart - a musicabre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight Certificate

 

Independent Shorts Awards:

Certificatetemplate [Convertido]

Certificatetemplate [Convertido]

 

TT - IndieFest Award Gold

IndieFEST Awards of Merit

Actor – Short Film

 

LAge dOr WINNER LAUREL

L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival

Winner – Best Actor

Outstanding Achievement – Short Film – Film Score

 

 

Oniros laurel

Oniros Grand Jury Award The Tell-Tale Heart

 

Accolade Award of Merit

Accolade Award of Merit for Short Film

 

Nominee – Best Director – Maverick Movie Awards

Maverick nom

 

BFFF_Outstanding Achievement_Color

 

OFFICIAL SELECTION - London International Cinema Festival - 2020

LONDON IFF 2020 NOMINATIONS:

Best Original Score

Best Original Recorded Song

Best Sound Design

Best Original Screenplay of a Short Film

 

AlfFF SemiFinalist

 

AltFF – Alternative Film Festival

Semifinalist – Long Short Category (20 – 45 minutes)

Best Cast

The Tell-Tale Heart – A Musicabre by Danny Ashkenasi

Best Director

Danny Ashkenasi – The Tell-Tale Heart – A Musicabre

 

Melkbos special mention

 

NYMA Finalist

 

Florence Finalist

Florence Film Awards – Honorable Mention: Horror

 

 

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Genre Celebration Festival - 2019-2

Eurasia Finalist

Eurasia certificate

 

hscreeningssemi_2

 

TMFF besttrailernominee19

 

NF Laurels 2020

Cinema WorldFest Official The Tell-Tale Heart

CBFF2020-officially selected

IndieFilmFest official selection

Prague off sel

OFFICIALSELECTION-ShortCineFest-2020

DC 2019 Official Selection LaurelOfficial Selection CARE Awards

Cinemafest official selection

Screen Shot 2019-12-14 at 10.07.08 AM

DIFF2020_BlackLaurelFlathead Lake 2020 Official Selection Laurels copy

Amaxing Shorts

 

Top Indie Awards Off Sel

 

SFAAF Laurel Offcial selection 2019 w

 

GFFA_OS_VectorWHITE0

 

Creation IFF Official Selection

Reels of the Dead off sel

Independent Shorts Awards official selection

OFFICIALSELECTION-BestGlobalShorts-Season32020

Independent Horror Movie Awards Official selection

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Berlin Flash Film Festival - 2019

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Dumbo Film Festival - 2019

OFFICIAL SELECTION - The So Paulo Times Film Festival - 2019

OFFICIALSELECTION-RedWoodFilmFestival-2019

Official selection accolade

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Russian International Horror Film Awards - 2020

 

OFFICIAL SELECTION - WRPN.TV Short Tight and Loose Global Film Festival Competition - 2020

Official selection Virgin Spring

OFFICIAL SELECTION - White Unicorn International Film Festival - 2019

HollywoodVerge Off Sel

 

 

TTR1

 

c5

 

TTA-8

 

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TTA-31

 

TTG-9c

 

TTHss4

 

TTringtone1

 

 

THE TELL-TALE HEART
a musicabre

 

Text: Edgar Allen Poe
Adaptation and Music: Danny Ashkenasi

 

CAST:
Protagonist
3 Cellos (Cellists)

 

LEGEND:
Spoken text
Sung text
(Stage directions)

 

#1 TRUE, NERVOUS

(3 cellists (and their instruments) surround a man, the protagonist
He is seated in a chair. There is no other furniture.
As the Cellos start playing, the light slowly comes up on the protagonist
He hears but doesn’t see the cellos. He addresses the audience.)

PROTAGONIST:
True, nervous
Very very dreadfully nervous
True, nervous
Very very dreadfully nervous
I had been and am

But why will you say…
True, nervous
Very very dreadfully nervous
Very very dreadfully very dreadfully
Very very dreadfully very dreadfully nervous
I had been and am

But why will you say that I am mad?
The disease had sharpened my senses
The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre 2
Not destroyed
Not dulled them

True, nervous,
Very very dreadfully nervous

Above all was the sense of hearing acute
I heard all things in heaven
I heard all things on earth
I heard many things in hell

How then am I mad?
How then am I mad?

True, nervous
Very very dreadfully nervous
Very very dreadfully very dreadfully
Very very dreadfully very dreadfully
very very dreadfully very dreadfully
dreadfully dreadfully dreadfully

(He pauses while the cellos chatter disturbingly)

Hearken!

And observe how healthily
How calmly
I can tell you the whole story

(He and the cellos settle down,
although one nervous twitch in a cello does slip by before he suppresses it.)

#2 A PALE BLUE EYE

PROTAGONIST:
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none.
I loved the old man.
He had never wronged me.
He had never given me insult
For his gold I had no desire.
I think it was his eye.

Yes, it was this!

One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture.
A pale blue eye
With a film over it
Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold.

And so by degrees –
Very gradually –
I made up my mind to take the life of the old man,
And thus rid myself of the eye for ever

#3 YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN ME

PROTAGONIST:
Now this is the point
You fancy me mad
Ha!
Madmen know nothing

But you should have seen me
You should have seen me
You should have seen how wisely I proceeded
With what caution
With what foresight
With what dissimulation I went to work

I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.

Yes you should have seen me
You should have seen how deftly I proceeded
With what wisdom
With what prudence
With what consideration I played my part

And every night
About midnight
I turned the latch of his door
And opened it
Oh so gently

And then
When I had made
An opening sufficient for my head

I put in a dark lantern
All closed closed
So that no light shown out

And then I thrust in my head

Oh you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in!

I moved it slowly
Very very slowly
So that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep

It took me an hour
To place my whole head
Within the opening so far
That I could see him
As he lay upon his bed

Ha!
Would a madman have been so wise as this?

And then
When my head was well in the room
I undid the lantern cautiously
Oh so cautiously
Cautiously
For the hinges creaked

I undid it just so much that a single thin ray
Fell upon the vulture eye

And this I did for seven long nights
Every night
Just at midnight
But I found the eye always closed

And so it was impossible to do the work
For it was not the old man who vexed me
But his Evil Eye

And every morning when the day broke
I walked so boldly into the chamber
And spoke courageously to him
Calling him by name in a hearty voice
And inquiring how he had passed the night

Ah you should have seen me
You should have seen how wisely I proceeded
With what caution
With what foresight
With what wisdom
With what prudence
With what insight
With what feeling
With what considerate
Deliberate
Dissimulation I went to work

So you see
He would have been a very profound old man indeed
To suspect
That every night
Just at twelve
I looked in upon him while he slept

(A cello sighs)

#4 UPON THE EIGHTH NIGHT

PROTAGONIST:
Upon the eighth night
I was more than usually cautious
In opening the door

A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than did mine

Never before that night
Had I felt the extent of my own powers
Of my sagacity
I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph

To think that there I was
Opening the door
Little by little
And he not even to dream
Of my secret deeds or thoughts

I fairly chuckled at the idea
And perhaps he heard me
For he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled

Now you may think that I drew back
But no
His room was black as pitch
With the thick darkness
For the shudders were close fastened through fear of robbers
And so I knew he could not see the opening of the door
And I kept pushing it on
Steadily steadily

I had my head in
And was about to open the lantern
When my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening
And the old man sprang up in the bed crying out:
“Who’s there?”

(silence)

#5 THE GROAN OF MORTAL TERROR

PROTAGONIST:
I kept still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the
meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening – just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

(the cellos moan)

Presently I heard a slight groan
And I knew
It was the groan of mortal terror
It was not a groan of pain or of grief
Oh no
It was the low stifled sound
That arises from the bottom of the soul
When overcharged with awe

I knew the sound well
Many a night, just at midnight
When all the world slept
It had welled up from my own bosom
Deepening
With its dreadful echo
The terrors that distracted me

I say I knew it well
I knew what the old man felt
And pitied him
Although I chuckled at heart

I knew
That he’d been lying awake ever since the first slight noise
When he’d turned in the bed
His fears had been ever since growing upon him
He’d been trying to fancy them causeless but could not
He had been saying to himself

“It is nothing but the wind in the chimney
It is only a mouse crossing the floor”
Or “It is merely a cricket that has made a single chirp”

Yes he’d been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions
But he had found them all in vain

All in vain
Because Death
In approaching him
Had stalked
With his black shadow
Before him
And enveloped the victim

And it was the mournful influence
Of the unperceived shadow
That caused him to feel
Although he neither saw nor heard
It caused him to feel

The presence of my head within the room

#6 WIDE, WIDE OPEN

PROTAGONIST:
When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down
I resolved to open a little
A very very little crevice in the lantern
So I opened it
You cannot imagine how stealthily stealthily
Until at length, a single dim ray
Like the thread of a spider
Shot out from the crevice
And full upon the vulture eye

It was open
Wide wide open
And I grew furious as I gazed upon it
I saw it with perfect distinctness
All a dull blue
With a hideous film over it
That chilled the very marrow of my bones

But I could see nothing else
Of the old man’s face or person
For I had directed the ray
As if by instinct precisely upon the
Damned spot

#7 THE BEATING OF THE OLD MAN’S HEART

(the cellos pluck out a quick steady heartbeat)

PROTAGONIST:
And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?

Now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull quick sound, much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton.

I knew that sound well too
It was the beating of the old man’s heart
It increased my fury
As the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage

But even then I refrained and kept still
I scarcely breathed
I held the lantern motionless
I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye

Meanwhile the hellish tattoo of the heart increased
It grew quicker and quicker and louder and louder every instant
The old man’s terror must have been extreme!

It grew louder, I say
Louder every moment
Do you mark me well?

I have told you I am nervous, nervous
Very very dreadfully nervous
So I am

And now at the dead hour of the night
Amid the dreadful silence of the old house
So strange a noise as this
Excited me to uncontrollable terror

Yet for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still

But the beating grew louder louder
I thought his heart must burst

And then a new anxiety seized me
The sound would be heard by a neighbor

The old man’s hour had come

(the cellos attack)

With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room
He shrieked once – once only
In an instant I dragged him to the floor and pulled the heavy bed over him

Then I smiled gaily
To find the deed so far done

(the plucked heartbeats resume)

But for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound

This however did not vex me

It would not be heard through the wall

(the heartbeats wane and slow down,
trickling down to few and far between,
before stopping)

At length it ceased
The old man was dead

#8 HE WAS STONE, STONE DEAD

PROTAGONIST:
I moved the bed and examined the corpse
Yes, he was stone, stone dead
I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes
There was no pulsation
He was stone dead
His eye would trouble me no more

(the cellos play a fugal lamentation)

If you still think me mad
You will think so no longer when I describe
The wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body
The night waned and I worked hastily hastily
But in silence

First of all I dismembered the corpse
I cut off the head and the arms and the legs

I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber
And deposited all between the scantlings

I then replaced the boards so cleverly cleverly
So cunningly cunningly
That no human eye
Not even his
Could have detected anything wrong

There was nothing to wash out
No stain of any kind
No blood spot whatever
I had been too wary for that
A tub had caught all ha! ha!

(the cellos cry)

#9 OFFICERS OF THE POLICE

PROTAGONIST:
When I had made an end to these labors, it was four o’clock – still dark as midnight. As
the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door.

I went down to open it with a light heart – for what had I now to fear?

(he acknowledges the cellists)

There entered three men who introduced themselves
With perfect suavity as officers of the police
A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night
Suspicion of foul play had been aroused
Information had been lodged at the police station
And they, the officers, had been deputed
To search the premises

I smiled (ah) for what had I to fear?
I bade the gentlemen (mm) welcome
The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream
The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country

I took my visitors all over the house
I bade them search – search well
I led them at length to his chamber
I showed them his treasures
Secure, undisturbed

In the enthusiasm of my confidence
I brought chairs into the room
And desired them here to rest from their fatigues

While I myself, in the wild audacity of my
Perfect triumph, placed my own chair down
Upon the very spot beneath which

Reposed the corpse of the victim

#10 A RINGING IN MY EARS

PROTAGONIST:
The officers were satisfied
My manner had convinced them
I was singularly at ease

They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted familiar things
But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone

(the cellos create tinnitus)

My head ached and I fancied a ringing in my ears

But still they sat and still chatted

The ringing became more distinct

It continued and became more distinct

I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling

But it continued and gained definitiveness

Until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears

#11 HIS HIDEOUS HEART

(a cello strums a heart beat)

(a second heartbeat)

(another, more defined, heartbeat)

(another)

PROTAGONIST:
No doubt I now grew very pale

(two cellos create the heart beats)

But I talked more fluently and with a heightened voice

Yet the sound increased

(the heartbeats slowly accelerate)

and what could I do?

It was a low,
Dull,
Quick sound
Much such a sound
As a watch makes
When enveloped in cotton

(he gasps)

I gasped for breath
And yet the officers heard it not
I talked more quickly
More vehemently
But the noise steadily increased

True, nervous
Very very dreadfully nervous
I had been and am

I arose and argued about trifles
In a high key and with violent gestures
But the noise steadily increased

Why would they not be gone?
I paced the floor with heavy strides
As if excited to fury by the observation of the men
But the sound steadily increased

Oh God!
What could I do?
I foamed
I raved
I swore
I swung the chair upon which I’d been sitting
And grated it upon the boards

But the noise arose above all
And continually increased
It grew louder
Louder
Louder

(all three cellos are strumming the heart beats)

I heard all things in heaven
I heard all things on earth
I heard many things in hell

And still the men chatted pleasantly and smiled
Was it possible they heard not?

Almighty God!
No no!
They heard
They suspected
They knew

They were making a mockery of my horror
This I thought, and this I think

Very very dreadfully nervous
Very very dreadfully very dreadfully
Very very dreadfully very dreadfully
Dreadfully dreadfully dreadfully dreadfully

But anything was better than this agony
Anything was more tolerable than this derision
I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer
I felt that I must scream or die

And now again!
Hark!
Louder!
Louder!
Louder!
LOUDER!

Villains!
I shrieked
Dissemble no more
I admit the deed

Tear up the planks
Here, here!
Tear up the planks
Here, here!

It is the beating of his hideous heart!

(the cellos scream their outrage,
faster and faster,
until suddenly cutting off)

(black)

 

TTH Postcard front

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