(2 min/35mm)

   

Music by ©


Story by
Philip de Souza

 

1.0 A country sunrise.

- Music starts: Depeche Mode’s - Uselink, ULTRA, Mute Records

 

1.1

Dissolve into the sleep-rich face of the Man opening his eyes in bed; his arm going over instantly and landing on the alarm clock just in time for it to emit a small ‘chirp’. Now he sits at the side of his bed in a posture familiar to any workhorse of the present. He is in his late twenties to mid thirties, single and still healthy but clearly drained and ambiguous as to what drives him on to work so incessantly.

 

 

Now he faces the bathroom mirror and stares into his eyes while the shower heats-up beside him.

“One day I’ll have that house in the country.”

 

1.2 - 10.5 seconds into music -

Steam rolls over the glass as we dissolve into another bathroom, this time the Woman’s.

A wet, white towel is hanging on the shower-beam. From nowhere, a lovely head of damp, brown hair comes flying across our sight as she whips it all back. Facing the mirror, her hand comes up to wipe it clean of fog, revealing her face as she ties her hair back tightly, apparently in a hurry.

She is a young (mid to late twenties), single, no-nonsense, go-getting power-dresser of a businesswoman, and she is late. Following her through her lovely country house as she grabs her coat, keys, bag, and heads out the door, we see that she is also quite successful.

Crane shot gliding down towards her from outside as she makes her way to her vehicle (housing construction resuming fervently in the near distance).

 

 

Morning sun is glaring into her impatient face after she rounds the hood, reaches the door, and makes to enter the vehicle.

Now it’s glaring into ours, blindingly, from its reflection on her front window as we blend into our final person’s wake-up call.

 

1.3

- 21 seconds -

Accelerated time-lapse footage of the sun rising in the sky and chasing away the shadows of a forest of pine, juniper, maple and ash to reveal a small cluster of American Indian teepees nestled in the nook of a breathtaking, mountainous wilderness (Mt. Zion National Park, Utah). For just a split second, we see a cluster of futuristic, semi-transparent, hexagonal dome structures replacing the teepees in our view like an accidental splice into the frequency of some parallel reality; now gone as quickly as it appeared.

- 24 seconds -

We see the top of one of these tents from inside -first person and looking up- the tip of the tent skin’s luminosity is growing and we hear children playing outside.

- 27 seconds -

            Now we see the occupants from above. Long, brown hair covers the face of the Indian’s wife as she lies on her side next to her husband. He is lying on his back and looking up at us with the face of a man at total peace with his surroundings.

 

 

Apparently, we couldn’t have come at a better time, and slowly he begins to smile. He turns to his wife.

 

2.0

- 31 seconds -

Cut to the bustling streets of a major megatropolis like New York or Chicago.

We see the Man exiting his apartment building. He is dressed the same as any decently waged businessman or banker.

Slamming the door, a group of pigeons are startled into the air as he fastidiously begins making his way to the metro station through all the traffic, smog, and noise. Pollution litters the street and the Man’s pace appears to be increasing.

Approaching his favorite part of the journey, the canal, his face and body lightens when he sees its resident pair of beautiful, white swans swimming along the surface.

Now he sees all the garbage and motor oil that is spread over the water, seething. At this, he turns his gaze, picks up his pace, and tries to make-light both his stare, and the very objects which he stares at.
                 
“Countryside, countryside, breathe.”

- 42 seconds -

Money drops into the hand of a beggar lying on the corner. Large, red letters scribbled across a piece of cardboard propped-up against his chest read, “Bail ME Out!!”. Listlessly he stares, his head held askance towards the sky.

Turning sharply into the station ’s entrance now, the man slams into a woman holding a collection pot and wearing a placard depicting a frightened baby orangutan from the scorched jungles of Borneo, staring back up at us. Beneath the picture is a caption imploring us to help save the rain forests. Her collection pot goes flying.

 

 

Apologizing profusely, he retrieves her collection pot and turns immediately away from her simple, thankful face as if in anticipation of what might come next. We see her looking after him as he comes barreling towards us and the escalators, glancing quickly down at his watch but reading nothing.

 

2.1

- 52 seconds -

Cut to a smog-laden view of our tower-peaked horizon in the distance above a freeway packed with cars flooding towards it.

Now we’re in a bumper-to-bumper car jam in the crowded, bustling streets of the city. We see the shaking tail pipes of several makes of cars and trucks sputtering their fumes into the air.

Madness and automaton: quick shots of a homeless man coughing, crowds jostling, cyclists wearing breathing masks, and another charity collector being swamped by a swarming, apathetic work force.

The Woman, now stuck in this traffic, is lighting-up a cigarette and looking at a roadside billboard from her vehicle. On it is an extraordinarily beautiful country house with a real estate logo blended into the country. Across it are the words:

“AFFORDABLE FINANCING FOR YOUR DREAMS!”

With the blasé satisfaction of someone who believes herself to already be in possession of everything she could possibly want, save time, the Woman rolls down her window.

 

 

It is hot outside and, as if in confirmation, over her radio we’ve been hearing (since the 52-second mark) the voice of a beleaguered caller on a radio show. He says there's no way to stop the streams and ground water from becoming contaminated from the toxins in the gulf, and that "all it will take is for the weather to keep heating the water until the next hurrica-"...

- 59.5 seconds -

The Woman has turned the radio off.

Oil droplets drip, drip, drip, in rapid succession, from the tip of another shaking tail pipe.

 

2.2

- 62 seconds -

Moccasined feet make their way along a dust-packed piece of earth; just walking along, strong and steadily. Dust can be seen flying from around them. Our view begins to rise, taking-in the teepees in the receding background with the children following a few paces behind the Indian, still running and playing with each other.

We see his face. His eyes are steadfastly fixed on a point directly behind our position, looking right through us the way musicians do so often while they play. He is sharpening a long stick into a spear with his knife even though he carries a finely crafted stone-headed spear strapped to his back already.

 

 

His expression remains largely indiscernible, possibly threatening.

 

3.0

Cut to a wide external view of a frenzied downtown metro/subway station.

We see the Man exiting the station and making his way to a large building only a couple of steps away. Following him into and through the lobby, he goes hopping into an empty elevator as the doors slide shut. Fingers press one of the floors at the top and we see his face again as he finally relaxes somewhat. The journey has left him quite haggard.

Quick shot of elevator shaft / metallic / cables bring it rising up rapidly. 
 
- 81 seconds -

Towards the end of section 3.0 and into the beginning of 3.1, we hear the following from the Indian:

“White man works his whole life just so one day he can go fish.”

 

3.1

The Woman is pulling into a large, multi-story, parking garage.

In quick succession now, with tires screeching and engine roaring, we see her car come flying round and up the ramps a total of one, two, three times then stopping.

We see her up close as she exits and slams the door.

- 90 seconds -

The sound this makes reverberates as we spin up and around her to reveal her shock at suddenly finding herself, and her vehicle, alone – on a blackened expanse of oil-soaked beach stretching as far as the eye can see. Her arm flies up to cover her nose from the fumes, as if the lumps of death strewn about her feet weren't enough, on their own, to cause such an immediate and physical reaction.

 

3.2

Now we see the Man standing to attention as the elevator reaches his floor with a ‘bing’. The doors slide open as he steps out towards us and freezes in his tracks.

Again we spin around and away to reveal that he is now standing on a vast mountain range of garbage and junk.

In the near distance we can see the stubs and smoke that remain of a rain forest turned refuse dump. We’re flying faster through the smoke now. The fires still burn in the sweeping distance.

 

 

- The reverberation of the car door comes to a halt with another slam / thud. Music ends. -

 

Blackness…

 

- Slowly we begin to hear the sound of running water -

 

3.3

A beautiful riverbank where the Indian is handing his son the spear he just carved before us.

They appear to be dancing over the water.

 

 

“We just go fish.”

 

4.0

 

 

Fade in of the words, “Alternatives Exist”…

 

One or two seconds pass, then the letters begin to gently fly about and reposition themselves in front of us, ultimately forming, “SleepingNatives.org”.

 

Credits

 

Special Thanks to JD Fanger, Depeche Mode, and Mute Records

Artwork by Ted Boonthanakit

 

 

 

 

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