Good morning, everybody.
I was in a movie theater, probably with my mom and my grandma P. The theater was very large and packed with people. The seating area was flat and wide. The screen was enormous, though it seemed to be tilted away from me at a slight angle. My seat may also have been tilted, so that I personally faced the screen at a weird angle.
The theater was dark, and movie previews had just begun to play. The first preview was about how the devil took over the world and how Jesus fought against him. It all took place in the modern world, in a big city. The city seemed to be just as large and full of buildings as New York City, but with a bit of an older or more stately feel, with many of the buildings, it seemed, made out of large, tan stone blocks.
The devil had shrunk to a very small size. He had either split himself up into millions of little men or else brought with him a horde of demons who were also shrunk to a very small size. These millions of beings all filtered down, as an oatmeal-like paste, into the sewer systems of the city. One shot showed the paste flowing down under a partly lifted manhole cover.
This paste was, apparently, supposed to look innocuous. The devil knew people would think the paste was harmless. But the devil would use the paste to infect people or possess them with demons. The world would then grow worse and worse. But somehow Jesus, looking just like all the old paintings of Jesus, came on the scene to defeat the devil. He may have planned to have some kind of physical fight with the paste. He may also have planned to reveal the true nature of the paste to people, so they wouldn't expose themselves to it.
The next movie preview also had something to do with demon possession, and probably on a large scale. But the main illustration, in the preview, of the larger potential for the demon possession had to do with lions and tigers at the zoo.
The scene was a very tight view of an exhibit at the zoo, apparently for both lions and tigers. The setting was all very lush, with full, green plants everywhere. But the exhibit itself may have been small: just a ledge bordered by a steep cliff on one side and a pane of glass, for close viewing, on the other side.
At first, only the tigers were visible. There were two or three tigers. Two tigers were laying down. Another tiger may have been standing and pacing back and forth between the two lying tigers. But then there were also one or two lions. At least one of the lions was a male. The lions had been possessed by the devil and were out to eat the tigers -- something they wouldn't usually do.
The lions were possessed of a ferocity exceeding their usual ferocity. The lions would start fights with the tigers. They would then take their claws, which were gigantic, and, in a struggle where both the lions and tigers were on their hind legs, split the tigers open from head to groin. Pale pink flesh would glop out of the gash. It was implied that, from this action, the tigers had also been possessed by demons. The tigers would later go out, like zombies, to infect or possess other creatures.
For some reason, my only reaction to all of this was that the lions were really disgusting animals. It didn't make sense to me that any animal would want to kill an animal as beautiful as a tiger. It also seemed almost like cannibalism that a lion would want to eat a tiger. I thought of the lions as reasoning, intelligent creatures, making deliberate choices about their actions, rather than demon-possessed beasts.
Now the actual movie began. The opening credits were mostly blue, capital letters against a blank, black screen. There were occasionally some red titles, and a few white titles.
The very first titles were white, and they noted either that the film was conceived by or had it screenplay written by a woman named Lisa King, who, I "knew," was Stephen King's wife. (Not Tabitha King?) These titles ran across the left side of the screen, a little lower than the middle of the screen.
On the right side of the screen, running down from the top of the screen to a little lower than the middle of the screen, was a black and white photo of Stephen King. The photo looked like it came from the late 1980s.
At first I thought the presence of the photo meant that Stephen King had died and that this film had been made in his honor. Then I thought the photo meant that King had actually created or conceived of the film himself. But if this was the case, I couldn't figure out why the film had been attributed to King's wife. Somehow I came to understand that the photo meant partly that King had helped to create the idea of the film, but mostly that it was a love-dedication of the film to King.
The screen cleared, becoming all black. A series of blue titles now played just above and to the right of the center of the screen. This series was a list of the last names of great authors of the past. I didn't recognize any of the names. The first name was quite long, and it started with an M. All the other names were long and sounded rather dignified and European.
I knew that eventually Stephen King's name would show up in this list. I almost groaned with annoyance: it seemed so silly for a film the creation of which had been so tied to King should also attempt to connect King to a lineage of great authors.
Now two last names were placed one on top of the other. The first name was something like "Hannan" or "Hannans." The second name was like "Breuger," "Breugen," or "Breugens." These two names then morphed into the first and last name of the character who was to be the main character of the film. I understood, now, that the use of these last names was intended as an allegory of the character, not as a promotion of Stephen King as a literary figure.
I thought that, if these two names were allegorical, maybe the entire previous list of names had also been allegorical. I was now a little less annoyed with Stephen King and a little more ashamed of myself, for having thought that Stephen King would have been so shamelessly self-promoting. (In waking life, by the way, I'm actually kind of a fan of shameless self-promotion.)
The blue titles vanished. A red title appeared. This was the actual title of the film. The title now faded away, and the first scene of the movie faded in.
The scene was of a cloudy, snowy night on a big city street. The time period may have been the present, or some timeless, but present-like, time period. The street itself was extremely wide, and bordered by massive stone buildings. But the street was so wide, that the massive stone buildings didn't take anything away from the airiness of the street's intersection or the vastness of the sky above.
It was a Friday night, and people were going out to restaurants, parties, etc. Everybody seemed to be mature adults, established in their careers. Many of the people may have been wearing Victorian dress. There was a lot of activity out on the street, but I didn't see a lot of people. Either people kept evading my view, or else the streets were so wide, or the people were so good at spacing themselves from each other, that it felt like only a few people were actually out on the streets.
Among these people were the main couple of the film. I didn't see the woman very well. The man was maybe in his late thirties or early forties. But he was a bit overweight, with thinning hair, and a generally worn out look. His hair was oiled down over the crown of his head to conceal the balding as well as it could. The man also had a long mustache and wore thin, round eyeglasses. He was dressed in a nice, Edwardian (?) style suit.
The man seemed to be very nervous and agitated. He seemed to be convinced that certain people out on the street were there only to get in his way and make him miserable while he was out trying to have a good time on a Friday night.
This somehow seemed to be proved to the man in the next moment of the film. The man and his wife had stopped underneath some kind of beach-parasol like structure, either to get out of the snow for a moment or to wait for some kind of public transportation. At this point, a few young, kind of rough-looking, but well-dressed, men walked by. One of the young men, with strawberry-blonde hair and red-tan skin, came up close to the man and did something to jostle him, then hustled off with his friends.
The man was now extremely angry and annoyed. He felt like he couldn't even go outside without something like this happening to him, as if some large portion of the population had all made a plan to harass him whenever he went outside. He felt like he wanted to fight back, to injure the people who did this to him, and to scare people off from ever doing stuff like this to him ever again.
It was at this point in the film that the devil knew he could get possession of the man. The devil began laying some kind of plan to bargain with the man. The man would get a taste of power from the devil. The devil would then promise more power to the man if the man would let the devil possess him. But this all may not have happened in a conscious way. Rather, the more the man's unconscious instincts would allow the devil's possession, the more the man would consciously experience moments of power.
The first moment of power was now happening to the man. It was in its incipient stages. What the man noticed was how the snow had almost frozen in its descent. The snowflakes seemed to be standing still in midair. Either the man was now acting and perceiving with super speed, or else something in the man had allowed him to control and freeze time.
The man now spoke in voice-over, as if reflecting, from a future moment, on what he'd perceived at this incipient moment. He said that the first thing he'd noticed when all the snowflakes had halted in midair was that one could see, through all the snowflakes, to distances of miles and miles.
When the snowflakes were falling, the man reflected, their motion created a blur. But when they were frozen, the blur was gone. It was then evident that what snowflakes actually did was clear the air, give it greater visibility. So if it weren't for the blur of the snowflakes, everybody could, when it snowed, be able to see much farther than they could when it wasn't snowing.
I didn't quite agree with this idea. It seemed like the conditions that created snowy weather would necessarily make visibility worse. This seemed especially obvious to me at the moment, when thick, heavy clouds hung low in the sky overhead. Those dense clouds seemed, to me, to imply bad visibility in general.