Lucid - A Phantasmagoric Short Film

by Erik Houdini



A woman, clad in the vibrant hues of an early 1920s cabaret dancer, stands in stark contrast to the grim, desolate alleyway. This place, a forgotten vein in the pulsating heart of the city, boasts an architecture of severe angles and uncanny shadows, its buildings seemingly in ceaseless, spectral flux under the dim gleam of a solitary neon light.

CLOSE UP: The intricate tattoos adorning her hand, where she holds a hand-rolled cigarette, its ember burning like a lone beacon. She inhales the smoke, its ashy tendrils curling, rising, and dancing into the chilling air.

A silent film text card materializes: "Even in my sleep, I can't kick this habit."

CAMERA PANS UP AND OUT: We see a collection of worn posters clinging to the weather-beaten walls, their images hinting at vaudeville acts of yore—fortune tellers, illusionists, and fire-breathers. They add to the disorienting, dreamlike quality of the scene.

As she breathes out a ghostly cloud of smoke, a figure, garbed in a stylish black suit, emerges from the engulfing shroud of fog and smoke. His coiffed hair and the arrogant tilt of his head cast him as a creature of commanding presence. His gestures, like a seasoned actor from the silent silver screen era, are grandiose, theatrical.

MAN (his lips moving in the silence):

(He proffers a card.)A silent film text card materializes:"You'll be leaving soon. Call me when you do."

SHOT FROM ABOVE: The camera surveys the scene from a bird's-eye view, focusing on the exchange of the mysterious card.

She looks down at the card, a flicker of uncertainty casting a shadow across her expressive features. As she raises her gaze, the man has already begun his retreat into the labyrinthine maze of the alley, his departure accompanied by an eerie melody—an auditory apparition that evaporates into the cool night air.



The woman, bathed in cold sweat, awakens from her unsettling dream. In her hand, she clenches the black card. The bedroom—depicted as if constructed on a theatrical stage—radiates a surreal, vibrant palette of colors, the patterns on the walls pulsating like the beating heart of some mythical beast.

The set design makes it impossible to place a time period in which this woman lives. Room bare, minimal, functional. On the dresser, the viewer can see the necklace she was wearing in the beginning scene.

STATIONARY SHOT [Georges Melies Style]: The woman rises from her plush, baroque bed, her bare feet sinking into the soft carpet, the color of ripe pomegranates. Drawn towards a retro rotary phone mounted on the wall, she dials the number etched onto the card with trembling fingers, the monotonous click-clack of the dial echoing in the surreal silence.

As she presses the phone to her ear, an eerie pause stretches the fabric of reality.

The silent movie text card reappears for one final time: Lucy?

CLOSE UP OF HER TATTOOED FACE[Shieks of terror, gasps of confusion]

Then, her name is whispered, the voice so intimate, so familiar, that it sends a shiver of primal fear down her spine.




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