Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Quiet American

An old dream I had once:

I was watching a film. Oddly enough, it was called The Quiet American (hadn't heard of Graham Greene at this point). It started off a bit like a Kurosawa film, in the cinematography. It was set after a war of some sort, in Japan. A young woman lost her home and family during this war, and in the beginning she's speaking with another family, who agree to take her in - on the condition that she pretends to be a servant. It cuts to the young woman in a servant's outfit (traditional Japanese clothes of some sort) and she's sitting or waiting in the room where the family entertains guests.

Some guests arrive; from outside the room, the young woman hears the head of her adoptive family deliver some sort of insult. For a moment she is offended, but then she remembers that it is traditional to address servants in this manner. At this point her adoptive family and a family of guests enters. Cut to a few minutes ahead, with drinks and pleasantries being exchanged.

The camera work changes noticeably at this point; there's a lot of strangely done closeups, off-kilter steadicam stuff, swooping around. Reminds me a little of some sort of psychedelic montage. The young woman notices that the head of the family of guests looks uncannily like herself. Cut between closeups of the young woman looking curious, disturbed and increasingly confused, and the other woman exchanging small talk and so on so forth.

Cuts between extreme closeups from this point on - the gestures and mannerisms of the two women are beginning to synchronise. Their lips become strangely flat and sort of spread out. Their mouths open and their gums are really, really weird. They look like razor clams, long and tubular pink structures attached to individual teeth. Some of the teeth are just floating at the ends of the gum-things, and some of the gums just end in floating filaments of pink. The last closeup is of their eyes - at the same time, marking total synchronisation, their left eyes roll up into their sockets while the right eyes stare straight into the camera.

They get possessed or something at this point. Both of them are speaking as if they were an American soldier raping someone. The guests get really agitated and confused.

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