The city of DETROIT plays an atmospheric role throughout
this film. A sense of isolation. Dark. Lonely. Foreboding.
The film is black and white. Deep black shadows. Unsettling
Dutch angles from below. A menacing and tense score creates
a heavy mood and a lurking presence of morbidity.
SCORE: BAUHAUS – “DARK ENTERIES”
Ominous overlay images of Gothic churches in the city of
DETROIT and pages from the book, ‘The Lesser Key of
Solomon’. The pages are old and frayed, showing flashes of
TIGHT CU – A PAIR OF EYES
The eyes appear calm and pure. We hear the psychology
lecture of PROFESSOR TOWNLEY. The shot holds for an
uncomfortable amount of time.
There are certain curiosities, which the logical mind can not explain, Jung would say. Certain experiences that appear to be out of the ordinary. A person may come to be feeling a dispossession of self. The ego being overcome. Possibly by an inner or outer force. Beyond the mind. Beyond the will.
WIDE SHOT – INT. COLLEGE LECTURE HALL - DAY
The room is very dark. We see WES, 19, dark hair; hunched
low in his seat, face partially in shadow. There are 10
other students widely spread across the stadium seating.
PROFESSOR TOWNLEY is speaking in front of a projector
screen, which provides the only light.
Cut to MEDIUM SHOT
Jung was not afraid to go beyond traditional
psychological explanations and venture into
the realm of the spirit. The unseen energy,
he felt could influence an individual. When
referring to something called, the numinous,
he described a mental state that could produce
an experience of a subject acting independently
of their own will or thoughts. Coming under the
action of an invisible influence or presence.
Whatever this presence represents, it was
a force that could cause a peculiar alteration
of individual consciousness. Perhaps like a
trance. A spiritual transcendence. Or perhaps
tapping into the collective unconscious? This
gets to the heart of it all. What is a real
experience? What is us? And what is not us?
Can we always be said to be acting from our
own free-will? Or are we subject to be acted
upon, by forces of the universe beyond our
EXT. DETROIT, BUILDINGS ALONG ROAD – DAY – TRACKING SHOT
We hear a conversation between WES and his mother JUDY,
transpiring over the phone. We see neither character. Only
a series of buildings, passing by from the window of a city
You know, you’re both so young. You’ll have
plenty of opportunity to meet new people Wes.
You’ll see. In a few months you won’t even
remember all this.
Yeah. Let’s not even talk about it anymore mom.
I’m just trying to get readjusted here. I have
lots of class work to keep me busy. I need to
find a job too.
Oh, I’m sorry hunny. It will get better. Change
is a good thing. You had your time together.
Maybe you just need to be alone to focus on
making new friends.
You know I worry about you down there. I want
you to look out for yourself. You have to be
careful. Sometimes I wish you had gotten that
scholarship to Western. Then I wouldn’t have
to worry so much.
Mom, mom. I’m gonna be fine. The campus
is safe. It’s not like you think.
I’d like you to come home after your
semesters over. I’m sure the other kids
will be going home too.
Yeah, sure mom. I will. Anyway, I have
to get going. I’ll talk to you later, okay?
Ok, you take care of yourself now and
let us know if you need some money.
I will. Tell everyone I said hello.
I love you hunny. Goodbye. Call soon.
Love you too. Bye.
INT. – ABANDONED BUILDING – DAY
WES and SIMON, a 20-year-old black male, are skateboarding
inside a once beautiful Art Deco era building. The ceiling
still shows remnants of its intricate design, now mostly
decayed after decades of abandonment.
INTERCUT dynamic shots of both WES and SIMON performing
tricks on a few ramps that have been set up. This goes on
for a few minutes.
WES sits down on his board. SIMON performs a final trick
and sits along side him.
Dude, that Nightmare Flip is a bitch. That’s gonna be my move though. Too much lean on my landings. So damn close though.
If I almost land something on the first try, it takes me two hours before I finally land it for real.
Yo, check this out man. We’re like scientists, man. This is straight
physics at work out here. If they
had let me do all my science experiments
with a skateboard, I woulda had A’s
For real. It’s about that law of
conservation of angular momentum.
Rotation, torque and all that. I know
my shit, even though I dropped out.
I just want to skate man, you know?
Yeah. I don’t know what I want to do.
I can’t skate forever. My classes are
cool right now and everything, I just
still don’t know for sure what I really
I just want to skate and get my own farm
start-up. Get a piece of land and grow.
Eat my own. Sell the rest. You can come
work on it if you want.
Yeah, I’m gonna have a bunch of people
working on it. Make it big. Feed the
neighborhood. No more of this processed
shit no more. Know what I mean? All natural.
(Pulls out a joint from a cigarette
pack and lights it up.)
No more working for them. I need my
That sounds cool. I’ll just be a cop
And come and bust your ass for weed.
(Takes a hit off the joint.)
Fuck that, you will. My people will have
a constant watch. My shit will be secure.
I’ll never get busted.
(Hitting off the joint again.)
So you going to the loft tonight?
I’m thinking about it. I should stay in
though. I’ve been slacking too much lately.
I don’t want to end up like you.
You’re too worried about your mom to be
like me. You’re the playing it safe type.
I’m living for the now, trying to get mine.
(Taking a big toke of the joint.)
Going back out?
Naw… I actually have to go to the library
for a bit.
(Gets up with his board.)
Thanks for the smoke. Maybe I’ll see you
For sure. Get to that work.
They slap hands goodbye.
SIMON stakes back out while WES
SIMON stakes back out while WES
heads out a broken glass window.
INT. – LIBRARY – AFTERNOON
WES is scanning the rows of books in the philosophy
section. He is puling down books by Friedrich Nietzsche.
Intercutting between CU of his face in profile and
CU of the spines from his POV.
Camera tracks with him as he travels to the next aisle.
Camera tracks with him for a few more slow moments.
He moves out of the aisle towards the tables in the center
of the room. He sets a heavy stack of books down onto the
table and takes a seat. There is an ambient noise of
students whispering and moving about.
WES looks around him at various groupings of them. He pulls
a book from the stack and opens it up. He then pulls out
his notebook and a pen from his book bag and places them
beside him. After a moment he glances across the room at a
beautiful young GIRL with dark hair, sitting at another
table. She is facing him, giving him the opportunity for
Camera holds his POV as she scans her own books and jots
down notes. She does look up and perhaps sees him. Cut back
to WES to capture his nervous look back down to his book.
The thought of approaching her makes him tense. Being lefthanded,
we see his left-hand clench his pen in frustration.
He seems to be cursing himself as a coward.
Camera crains overhead, framing both WES and the GIRL to
show the actual distance between them. Shot holds looking
downward for a meditative amount of time.
EXT. – LIBRARY – MIDDAY
We see WES exit the library and walk onto campus. People
are going to and from buildings. Another student jumps into
frame from behind WES and startles him. It is his friend
JORDAN is a gregarious 19-year-old of Eastern-
Whoa, easy there. What are you going
to do when it’s someone really scary
coming up on you?
Jesus man, I thought you had class at
Well… the thing is, I ran into this guy,
Todd, who just happened to have this crazy
Canadian bud. I haven’t missed Econ this
whole semester. I deserved a little break.
Besides, I was up all last night studying.
So let me guess. Now you’re hungry? Right?
Well, now that you mention it. Fuck yeah.
You look like you could use a break too.
Somewhere to set all those heavy books
(Checking the clock on his cell phone)
Alright, but only if we go to Blimpie’s.
That’s about all I got cash for.
Dude… I will eat anything right now.
INT. – BLIMPIES SUB SHOP – DUSK
WES and JORDAN have just received their sandwiches from a
bookish female employee behind the counter. They carry
their trays to a nearby table.
I can’t stand looking at your sad face
anymore man. We’re young. This is our
time to be free and shit. You know?
Getting laid? It’s not gonna happen
if you’re all lost on some old high
(doing a high-pitched impression)
“ooooh, Jamie, oh god girl, don’t leave me!”
The girl behind the counter glances over at them.
You’re such a dick.
(chewing on a sub)
I’m going to be fine. You, (points) are
going to get someone pregnant. You’ll
be a drop out in no time.
Yeah fucking right. That shit ain’t
happening. I learned how to put a
condom on when I was 12. I’ll teach
you everything you need to know.
I’ll be ok, thanks. Quit worrying about
me. Trigonometry is what you should worry
All I’m worried about tonight is checking
out this party spot downtown. And you’re
going with me!
(takes a bite out of the sandwich)
Man, crazy girls are going to be there.
This is what we need. Fuck all this worrying
about shit. Jamie is getting tapped right
now by some Chicago hipster-type. Maybe two?
OK, motherfucker, enough already. I have
papers to write and shit to read. I actually
want to graduate in the near future. Not
have to buy subs on credit the rest of
Are you serious right now? I can already
tell, all you’re going to do tonight is
go to that shitty apartment and feel all
lonely and think about calling Jamie up.
As your friend – as you’re only friend,
I can’t allow it. No, uh-uh. We’re getting’
trashed tonight and meeting some ladies.
I’ll think about it.
(peaks around the restaurant to see
if anyone can hear him)
I got some of that shit earlier from Todd.
So, are you down or what?
(looking up at JORDAN with a
Jesus… I’ll go out for a little bit. OK?
I can’t be out all night.
That’s what I’m talking about!
You’re alive after all. You’re making
a good decision, I’m telling you.
EXT. – DETROIT CITY STREET – NIGHT
AUDIO: APHEX TWIN – “RHUBARB”
Montage of moody images. The full moon with clouds moving
across the sky. Steam rising from a manhole cover.
Pan across shadowy decrepit city buildings.
WES and JORDAN walk together along the sidewalk, camera
(pulling out a pipe and lighter
from his coat pocket)
This is going to set us up just right.
Here I’ll even let you get first hit…
(hands the tools over to WES)
That works for me.
(takes and lights the pipe, taking a drag)
Yeah, man, you know, I’ve just been a
little off since Jamie and I broke up.
I think I just need some time to get
over it. That was real for me, you know?
It’s like, I though that could be it.
I thought she was just the one.
WES passes the pipe back over.
Dude, it’s the best thing for you.
Nobodies ready to settle down in college
man. It ain’t right. You’ll see.
You’ll probably find out tonight.
JORDAN takes a hit from the pipe.
I can tell you I’m not getting back
into anything for a long time. It was
stupid of me to actually trust her that
much. I just gotta do my thing for
That’s right man. Fuck all that shit.
INTERCUT wide front shot of WES and JORDAN walking toward
camera and tight CU shot of a black crow sitting on a phone
INTERCUTS speed up and tighten up on the owl. WES and
JORDAN walk closer and closer into frame.
Tight CU on the owl’s eye. Owl flies off the wire into the
INT. – LOFT ENTERANCE – NIGHT
SCORE: DJ SHADOW – “BUILD STEAM WITH A GRAIN OF SALT”
WES and JORDAN enter front door into a downtown loft party.
It’s a crowded and smoky room, filled with 20-30 year-old
men and women. A mixture of college student types and scene
locals. Loud music and muffled conversations can be heard.
Everyone is drinking and carrying on. JORDAN slaps hands
with DANNY, who let them in. It’s DANNY’S loft.
Yo, what up J-J?
Awesome spot man. Hey, this is my man Wes.
(gestures over to WES)
Heeeeyyyy Wessie. Welcome to the paaarrrttyyy.
Come on in.
(High and a little nervous.
Looking all around the room)
WES and JORDAN move into the main open room, which contains
a couple couches with people sitting on them. They make
their way to a keg in the corner and fill themselves
drinks. People sit on the hardwood floor as well. There are
large glass windows all along the perimeter of the loft
over-looking downtown Detroit.
Camera pans across expanse of the room to take in the
INT. – LOFT MAIN ROOM CORNER – NIGHT
WES and JORDAN are intently listening to SIMON in a corner
of the room. They are in a deep conversation while drinking
and smoking weed. People move about the room but they are
in their own world.
…what we believe in man, it’s all this
shit that’s been handed down. We’re just
beginning to see that. Getting free of
their ideas and morality.
(takes a hit off a joint)
How do we know there’s only one God?
What if they’re a bunch of Gods? Or no
God at all, man?
(a drink in one hand, pipe in the other)
Right, no God. I mean, I got put in Sunday
school, anytime I asked a question, they
just tried to shut me down.
That’s right, they don’t want you to
think. They want you to accept. That’s
what it’s about. So we can’t live the
way we want to live.
(passes the joint to WES)
Back in the day, like in Egypt, they had
Gods for everything. Each one has their
own thing. You could get power for certain
things, know what I’m saying?
I think it’s impossible to know for sure.
We make things up in our heads so we
can feel better or justify things. My
Nana needs that old God up there. The
way things are, it gives her something
to make sense of it. We question it and
we’re all fucked up. Kind of like, on
That’s where the freedom lies, my man.
We get to decide now. We don’t have to
live in their construct. We have natural
laws. I go to nature spirits. Animal spirits,
all around us. But we’re blocked out down
here. In the concrete jungle. They separated
us from our true nature man. That’s what’s
fucked up. Got us going inside a man-made
construct, walled inside. It’s outside.
We know what’s right.
(reaches around SIMON’S neck and pulls
him into his chest)
And fucking is not wrong! We’re here
JUMP-CUT in time
SCORE: PORTISHEAD – “ELYSIUM”
Slow-Motion lock-off shot on WES as he hunches in a corner,
drinking. Bodies move across him in either direction.
Camera focus slides in and out. This shot holds for two
Cut to blurry CU of JORDAN’S face, looking down on WES. He
is looking maniacal. Saying something that can’t be made
INT. – LOFT SIDE ROOM – NIGHT
WES, in a very drunken state, slides off into an adjacent
room off to the side of the main living quarters. A man is
slouched asleep in a corner with drink cups surrounding
him. Wes places his arm on the window, which he places his
head in order to prop himself up. We see the dimly-lit city outside.
Eerily vacant. A vagrant moves about an alleyway.
Cut to low frontal shot of WES with a view behind him. Just
over his shoulder a tall, black shadow figure steps into
frame. All that can be made out of the HOODED STRANGER is a
long, draping, heavy black leather jacket with a loosefitting
hood covering his head.
(voice is deep and gravelly)
Life can be lonely, can’t it?
(head turning slightly over his
shoulder, speaking with a slur)
Huuuhhh? Shiiittt. Alone. Always alone…
It doesn’t all have to be so weak and pitiful. It’s ok, to be angry at her. Jaime deserves it. She never loved you. Not the way you wanted. And it’s ok to want to hurt. None of them deserve mercy from us. Do they?
(turns to face him, unable to focus his
eyes on the figure)
…the fuck?... you know Jaime?
I know them all. I know they don’t care.
I know pain. Better to let them have it.
All of it. Make them know. Feel what you
feel. Better not to feel. I can help you
Who… are you? I think I’m fucked up…
You can change everything tonight.
If, you desire. No reason to remain
ordinary, is there? It’s a gift,
to make them see. To, not feel.
This is a weird night for me… wait…
how did you know…
WES reaches for the HOODED STRANGER’S shoulder to hold
The HOODED STRANGER Clasps WES’S wrist as it comes forward.
Places a vial into WES’S palm with his opposite hand.
This is all you need. This is all it
takes to get better. Powerful. Enough to
change… everything. Nothing else like it.
(releases WES’S wrist)
(opens his hand, looks at the vial)
Huh? For me? I don’t mess with hard
stuff. I’m too wasted, I think.
This will clear you. Bring you back.
As something better. No more of this
sorrow for her. For you. Sorrow will
die. Let it go. It all goes away. Tonight.
She’s gone… guess I’m gone too…
(laughs to himself)
Doesn’t fucking matter, does it? Just goes
on… Jordan… he sent you… I know him…
WES staggers off to into a corner. Sliding down to the
floor, he holds the vial up to his eye.
That easy, huh? Easy for you. Everything’s
easy for him… too fucking hard… hard… damn…
(He unscrews the vial. Drinks it down.
Sets it down.)
What’s your name?
(Looking outward into the dark. See’s nothing there. Tips his head back against
Wes… I was Wes.
The room blinks whiter and whiter to pure white.
Then back down to the loft.
INT. – LOFT MAIN ROOM – NIGHT
SCORE: JOY DIVISION – “ATMOSPHERE”
Now back in the main room. WES is standing, arms around two
beautiful YOUNG WOMEN. A fake blonde and brunette. Both
about 21 years of age. The three of them looking in at each
other, giggling and ecstatic looking. Most of all the
attendants are in various states of consciousness.
JORDAN is sprawled over a bar countertop, seated on a
stool. He looks bleary-eyed across the room at WES.
That’s my guy… over there…
(leaning over to a girl next to him
who is passed out. Laughing.)
He has it… I knew… I knew it… he didn’t
wanna listen… I know what’s up. I need
to get myself together now… shhhhiiiitttt.
(speaking to no one in general)
(speaking lucidly to both women)
And I know where we can be alone. This
party is over. You’ll come with me.
Because I need a ride. And you can ride
me back home. Isn’t that right, girls?
The girls look at each other, blushingly. And then back up
at WES. He guides them towards the door. JORDAN can only
look on in drugged amazement. As the door closes behind
them, he rests his head down on the table to sleep.
INT. – WES’S STUDIO APARTMENT – MORNING
Soft focus shot on a sea of blankets. They begin to stir.
WES springs up, camera
Racks focus. Shakes his head clear. Camera is his POV as it
discovers the sleeping BRUNETTE GIRL on his left side.
Camera whirls in the direction of a bang across the room.
The BLONDE GIRL is struggling to get a boot on by the door.
She has a panicked expression. Their eyes meet briefly.
Cut back to WES looking stunned but with a smirk of glee.
Ahhh… hey… wow… thanks for the ride home…
um… I hope to see you again on campus…
BLONDE GIRL has on her boots and flings the door open
desperately springing out.
(Looks at his bedside clock. The time is 10:26)
Oh fuck. Shit.
WES, realizing he’s overslept, pulls the blanket off him
and pops out of the bed. He begins to scavenge around the
room for clothes to throw on. He dresses.
Now he has to find the right books for the class he is late
for. BRUNETTE GIRL continues to sleep soundly. Camera holds
a wide shot on her as WES is in the bathroom with the water
WES re-enters the main room. He contemplates the naked girl
in his bed. He gives her a small shake on the shoulder. She
does not wake.
Hey, ah, I have to run to campus.
I’m way fucking late.
(realizing he doesn’t have time to get
her up and out)
Just lock the door behind you, ok? Maybe
we’ll run into each other again?
(more thinking out loud to himself)
I mean, that was the greatest night of
WES tumbles out the door carrying his backpack.
Continue reading Part II here
Continue reading Part II here