Write a very short synopsis of an imaginary film, as if writing for one of those video analogies—perhaps 10,000 Films in a Nutshell. Concentrate on images as much as you can in this summary of a plot or an interesting combination of images and time.
(from prompt #19 in The 3 AM Epiphany)
Read my response:
"the headless lovers" by Cane Ludico Rosso
The film opens in black and white, with stock footage of the two main characters in their daily life, just before they meet. The woman, played by the ubiquitous leading lady of period pieces, Keira Knightley, is shown wearing pristine white gloves and dining with company at a banquet table, attended to by servants, which is neatly juxtaposed by the man (played by underrated Ben McKenzie), with dirty fingernails, jumping out of view of two slovenly matrons to eat an apple in a busted door frame.
When the two meet up at a greasy café, the woman looks to the man, who ignores her and in fact walks out of the diner. After a beat, the woman gets up and follows the man to a closet-like room in a tenement building with laundry hanging out the windows. In the next scene, we see the two damp with sweat and half-clothed, and the woman is begging the man to tell her a story. As he talks about aliens living in a highly developed industrial society on an arid planet, haunted by ruby-lipped Zombie women and hunted by a nomad army, the camera pans out to the night sky and zooms into a full color, animated planet. McKenzie and Knightley’s voices interrupt each other, changing details in the animated cast. When she is offended by something, the animation pauses while an appropriate substitution is created collaboratively with McKenzie.
As the lovers continue to meet amid poverty and squalor, adding to the story the viewer sees literally animated, the man struggles to avoid imprisonment for arson, which the woman’s father framed the man for in order to collect insurance on his least profitable factory. Tension simultaneously builds between the nomad army and the insulated alien society, but before the woman is ready to leave her life of privilege for her lover, WWII claims the man, which we see amid the devastation in the science fiction story. Years pass, and the animated world begins to fade away, until finally, the animated priestess voiced by Knightley defies the Father figure, and begins to rebuild.