An amateur driver beats the world record for speed and gets a chance to race for the championship and to prove the value of his life.Logline
Following her abduction, a naive activist risks everything to escape and becomes the very ideals she was imprisoned for.
Klara and the Sun (2021)
Choosing the setting and characters to explore the theme of your story is a task in itself, maybe as important as finding the theme. These choices will ultimately define how your ideas become the narrative, the elements also by which the audience will hold on (or not) to the journey you’re proposing as a writer. And although many themes have been explored similarly throughout narrative history, some of them becoming tropes reutilized to exhaustion, there’s always some space for original interpretation. Something rare these days, I know.
Klara and the Sun is such a story.
This magnificent novel, by Nobel prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, follows the adventure of one Klara, a robot designed to be a companion of humans. An AF or “artificial friend” built to address a growing problem amongst the human population, loneliness. But the story only uses loneliness as an anchor to talk about something else, for this story ultimately talks about “the human heart”, which some believe is a synonym for love. I’m not sure about that myself, maybe love is a too general topic, especially for a theme. In my view, the author is searching for that capacity that goes beyond self-interest, which is assumed to be an “only human” characteristic. Yet, he cleverly gives it to the protagonist of the story.
Yes, the artificial friend.
Klara is a robot who, as I said before, has been built to accompany humans. To help them. She starts the story impatiently waiting to be chosen by a human, at the AF store. From the beginning, we notice her personality traits, conveyed because she’s the one telling us the whole thing, as she acts as the narrator of the novel. We quickly get her curious and insightful personality as she tries to make sense of the world she experiences, not unlike we as humans would do but far more conscious about the process. Patterns and intuitions appear in her mind, prompting her to make assumptions in an ever-enduring necessity for understanding.
And yes, she gets picked by some Josie, a girl who falls in love with her and wishes to have her as a companion. And from this point forward, Klara gets to experience the world of a dystopian human society where extreme and cold rationality seems to have taken all places of society, leaving almost no place for feelings and higher callings (aka. spirituality). A place where children are genetically modified to perform better, with serious health implications for them, and a place where human labor is secondary to machine efficiency. All contrasting ideas merge into the spinal plot line of the story; Klara wants to help Josie, who’s currently dying because of ill-used genetic modification and she believes something incredible, the Sun can help her recover. With the little knowledge Klara has about the world, she believes the Sun to be a sentient being looking out for us, having magical powers that can heal the ill. She believes this so much she makes her life work to convince it to help Josie.
The plot gets quite complicated by the midpoint of the novel, turns out the mother of Josie wants to make Klara copy all of Josie’s manners and then when the time comes for Josie’s departure, take her place as the daughter.
I don’t think the idea here is for me to tell you the story, I think you should read it. And that ending… oh God…
If the capacity for love is the capacity to selflessly care about those whom you love then it doesn’t matter if it’s a human or anyone else who has it or does it, right? Just as long as it still exists in this world, which seems to be something were forgetting so fast. I hope many people have the chance to read Klara and the Sun, just to remember what it feels like to go beyond oneself, to go beyond getting something out of it, you know, to love.
This one started only as an exercise, the idea was to emulate a scene from a famous movie. The thing is, as I was planning the script I went off to create a distinct scene that deserved to come to life. This was also the first time I took the time to do good pre-production and storyboard of the whole thing, which made the shooting fast and juicy!
A young A.I. researcher enters a coma-induced dream to make a copy of her ex-fiancée before losing him forever and to ask for his forgiveness.
Halcyon Days (Chapter I)
EXT. ROAD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOUNTAINS – NIGHT
Echoes of drifting wheels, to one side and to the other. A faint light is lit in the intense darkness.
As we get closer, the light reveals the outline of the street, the rows of trees around it.
It’s a winding road through a mountainous and tree-covered area, seen from the heights.
The light comes from the headlights of a BLUE NISSAN ALTIMA.
We continue to approach from the heights, the echo of a violent blow, the car crashes against the protective barriers and falls in the middle of the forest.
We keep descending, the car crashes into a tree. The horn sounds without stopping.
There’ s a person lying on the grass, bleeding.
We get closer.
To WILL (47), cuts on his face, shards of glass on his body, breathing hard, his eyes still, open.
OVER BLACK: HALCYON DAYS
INT. BEACH HOUSE KITCHEN – DAY
The waves calmly hit the shore of the beach and recede, their sound is heard faint, low. The image of bluish tones is contemplated by Will from the window partially fogged.
Steam escapes from the neck of the kettle.
Will pours two cups, arranged on the table. He removes the bread from the toaster, places it on the plates.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE BEACH HOUSE – DAY
The door of the house opens and hits the frame, driven by the sea wind. Will comes out covered by a blanket, his bare feet in the sand.
He walks across the sand, ahead, near the shore of the beach, a small boat.
The crests of the waves rise. Cloudy, flat sky.
Will takes a deep breath, turns and looks back.
In the kitchen window of the weathered white wooden house he can see SOPHIA (45) with a cup in her hands. Next to her, CHRIS (8) waves effusively.
Will smiles, continues walking through the sand. He reaches the boat, leaves the blanket inside.
Then pushes the boat into the water, pushes hard against the onslaught of the waves.
He manages to get into the depths, until he can no longer stand up underwater.
Will climbs into the boat, takes the oars and places them in their positions.
He forcefully pushes himself out to sea, paddling again and again, pulling away with each embrace. Until the coast is no longer visible.
The boat stops in the middle of the sea.
Will wipes the condensed water from his nose. He picks up the net from the floor, prepares to throw it into the water.
A slight whistling sound catches Will’s attention, he looks around, he can see nothing but the calm sea.
The whistling intensifies.
From above. Will looks up at the cloudy sky. Nothing.
The whistling intensifies even more.
The clouds open up, a fireball pierces the sky, its downward trajectory takes it towards the sea.
Will watches in amazement, following the rapidly descending fireball until it hits the surface of the water.
The blow causes a wave, which comes rushing towards the boat.
Will has no time to hold on to the boat, the wave hits him and throws him into the water.
As the wave passes, Will returns to the surface, grabs the edge of the boat and climbs back up.
Looking up at the impact site, Will can see a SPACE SHUTTLE floating on the surface of the sea.
EXT. OUTSIDE WILL’S HOUSE – NIGHT
Will’s car pulls up to the curb, he gets out, waves to a neighbor who is walking his dog.
Will walks up to the house, a BLUE NISSAN ALTIMA is parked in the driveway.
Will sighs, walks over to the driver’s window. Inside the Nissan sits Sophia, with both hands on the steering wheel.
Will knocks on the window twice, Sophia lowers it.
Honey, when did you get out?
Don’t talk to me that way.
I just want to know.
Sophia turns to look at Will.
You don’t look fine.
I just want to talk, okay?
Will nods, he looks to the side, tries to contain his emotions.
Can you get in the car?
Will takes a deep breath, walks around the Nissan.
Gets in the passenger side.
What do you want to talk about?
Sophia starts the engine, the Nissan backs into the street, drives away from the house.
END OF FLASHBACK
EXT. BEACH SHORE – DAY
The tip of the boat hits the shore of the beach. Will jumps onto the sand, runs toward the house.
Will stumbles on a mound of sand, but manages to keep his balance.
Sophia, come out!
He looks toward the—
Where Sophia walks out the door.
Sophia looks at Will, looks towards the boat, where an ASTRONAUT, with a helmet covering the face, is lying down.
Come help me! Quick!
Sophia covers her chest with the sides of her vest, crosses her arms, walks towards Will with a serious look on her face.
Will runs back to the boat, grabs the astronaut from behind, tries to lift him up. Sophia reaches the boat.
Where did you find him?
He fell from the sky, take his feet.
Sophia grabs the astronaut by the feet, Will pulls and manages to lift him up. They both pull him out of the boat.
What are you going to do with him?
Will looks at Sophia in confusion.
Sophia looks away, both continue to move across the sand and toward the house.
(To be continued…)
During the biblical rapture, a prostitute finds a way to overcome her lifelong fear and becomes a saint.
After an unexpected accident, an astronaut, with the most important mission in the history of mankind, relies on memories from the past to return to the spacecraft from which he was separated.
For the future
After a nuclear war, a sick woman travels with her family to escape a group of hunters and to give her child a future.
Explosion of supernova feelings
The titanium alloy builded cabine of the interstellar rollercoaster vibrates upon warp speed entry as Johnny, a teenage pulsar dj practitioner, changes tracks once again, undecided about the atmospheric melody which he would like to listen upon death by suffocation, tossed imaginarilly into space and time after loosing the incoming dj battle he’s about to face. Yet, the rollercoaster arrives to the nearest star at lightspeed, alongside the new beat in Johnny´s playlist; “excitement of a burning star”. The tune hits the cabin, some dude in the back starts moving his head with a smile that fastly spreads to more and more, increasingly excited, people.
- I bet they won’t toss me into space after listening to this killer track.
Johnny accomodates his vintage headphones and let’s himself be carried away by the melody, but he’s quickly interrupted by the harsh bass on Azeroth, his contestant, hit track; “Cry of a pulsar”. The battle is on.
Johnny turns up the volume, along with the rising laser melody which welcomes the audience into the sudden fall of the rollercoaster and manages to take them away from the sad tunes of his adversary. But at the end of the fall, the melancholic pulse on the bridge of “Cry of a Pulsar”, pushes them back into the sadness of oblivion, conveyed by Azeroth’s feelings. Johnny concentrates on his previous sentiments, on the warm rising of the sun in the summer, but the melody only manages to upset the audience, completely caught up in sadness, and they love it. The rollercoaster spirals, taking Johnny off from concentration and giving Azeroth even more sad feelings to feed upon. Hanging in despair, Johnny notices Azeroth is looking right at him, probably feeding of Johnny’s desperation to add to his sad tune. And so, Johnny opens his safebelt and lets himself go in the middle of the rollercoaster spinning. The sudden fall of Johnny makes Azeroth laugh and the sad tune he’s conveing changes into an uprising beat, following his own feelings, and more so than that, merging with another rising tune, the hopeful arrangement that comes from Johnny’s heart, grabbing the side of the dj table and not letting himself go in the middle of the chaotic movement of the rollercoaster. Fighting for his own life, Johnny’s heart fuses with the melody from “excitement of a burning star”, transforming it into a new song; “Explosion of supernova feelings”. And the entire audience let’s themself go from their seatbelts, and the rollercoaster travels through space with a multitude of people hanging from their chairs, fighting to stay alive and not letting go.
The spiral tracks are behind and the rollercoaster stabilises near the heart of a gigantic galaxy, purple mist and the birth of new stars accompany Johnny´s triumphant coda, as “explosion of a supernova feelings” hits the end. The audience goes back into their sits, a couple rejoice by the window, kissing passionately. Azeroth´s song has stopped for some time now, not that anyone notices it and Johnny is the only one to say goodbye to him, before the floor opens and tosses him out into space, to die.