The film opens with a man awake at midnight, arms cradling a cat, staring at his sleeping wife. Out on the sidewalk, unbeknownst to him, his mistress stares at him through a window.
The film opens with a factory explosion. Rippling flames and a flurry of shrapnel. There’s a second explosion. The camera falls over but keeps filming.
The film opens with a psychiatric patient calmly retelling the history of her illness. Three doctors take notes and make vague sounds of affirmation. One of them is another patient, incognito in a white coat.
The film opens with a city ice cream truck playing Turkey In The Straw on its PA, idling on the sidewalk. A man walks up to the truck and studies the menu. He squints and grabs his bearded jaw, squeezing it a few times as one would check produce for ripeness.
The film opens with a woman talking incessantly at the dinner table. Trivialities, a monologue of the mundane. Her husband can’t get a word in. He casually gets up and walks over to the housecat, then strangles it, silencing his wife.
The film opens with a young woman alone in a room. On the table before her are an arrangement of smartphones, while above her are the bobbing reflections of the touchscreens’ tempered glass. She doesn’t realize she is alone. She looks into the reflection of a phone and begins to talk about herself.
The film opens with a man knelt in bedside prayer. He asks for forgiveness before forcing himself on the woman revealed to be in the bed. Afterwards, he prays again.
The film opens with a man trying, and failing, to describe another man’s eyelashes.
The film opens with a child in the backseat of a car, experiencing a carwash for the first time.
The film opens with an american breakfast table. A woman in black saunters up and takes her seat. Very methodically, she pours a coffee, slices a pat of butter, and drops it into the mug. The fat slowly beads on the surface of the coffee.
The film opens with a man struggling to open a thirtyrack of beer. He moves as if in slow motion. The camera lingers on his numerous attempts to puncture the cardboard.
The film opens with a driver waiting for a green light. Through the windshield she sees the pedestrian signal count down the seconds, and watches people cross. When she looks back to the signal, the seconds are counting up.
The film opens with a man pouring a beer into a glass, the foam hissing like tv snow. He tilts an ear to the lip of the glass, as one would with a large conch, and holds it there until the foam reduces.
The film opens with a dim room full of young women all sitting with topped laps, hard white macs balanced on their knees – a 21st century update of the sewing circle. The women are silent. The rapid chatter of plastic keys is the only sound.
The film opens with a train station at rush hour. Commuters in raincoats move down the staircase in an endless surge. One figure attempts to move up the staircase in zigzag motion.
The film opens with one elderly man talking to another on a parkbench. Their conversation flows easily, as old friends’ might. They bid each other farewell, where it’s revealed both are wearing bluetooth earpieces and had been having separate conversations.
The film opens with the pages of a once-soaked, now sun-dried phonebook fluttering on the cement porch of an abandoned house.
The film opens with three women scrubbing blood off a stage and removing overturned folding chairs. They place musical equipment on the stage. Musicians enter. A dance follows.
Derick Dupre lives in Los Angeles and edits The White Elephant. His work has appeared in publications including Sleepingfish, Black Sun Lit, The Fanzine, and Hobart. Visit him at derickdupre.com