Inside the "Flicker" film club: members only night. Dark, smoky, full of people either watching the screen far too intently, or not watching the screen at all.
Cut to close up of a woman. She looks bored, as if she's been coming to the same place, every week, for as long as she could remember. She used to get a thrill from coming here: the conspiratorial back street entrance, the feeling that you could see anything here, and no-one would be shocked by anything you did, but eventually even transgression can get dull. She is starting to think it might be time to leave when she feels a prickle run up her spine.
Cut to screen. Someone being hypnotised in the film that has just started.
Cut to woman. Her eyes are fixed on the screen, anything like that grabs her attention, and this has been done very well. The film is at the avant-garde end of erotic, slightly pretentious but still engrossing: giving impressions and allowing the viewer to project their fantasies onto it, rather than leaving nothing to the imagination.
We see the action of the film played out on her face as we cut between the film and her. The face of the hypnotist merges into the subject and then the woman, who sometimes reflects the look of command she is watching, sometimes sleepiness or blank eyed trance. It becomes difficult to tell who is who as eyes fill the screen, the regular pulse of changing image becoming hypnotic in itself.
Screen suddenly fills with white light.
Cut to woman. She shakes herself back to reality - the film has ended and she hadn't realised how engrossed she had become. She scans the room, hoping no-one has seen.
Cut to man. He is looking directly at her.
Cut to woman. She stares into her drink, blushing, she isn't sure how obvious her absorption had been.
Cut to man. He is coming over to her. He sits down next to her, drawing the chair around to face her better.
Him: (pleasant and friendly) "Did you like my film? I see you in here a lot, but you don't usually seem interested in anything."
Cut to woman. She looks as if she was going to make an acidic response, but it died before it reached her mouth. She's disarmed by something about him.
Her: (hesitantly) "Er ... yeah, did you make that last one then? It was really good."
Cut to man. He smiles.
Him: "Yeah, I'm glad you liked it. I've wanted to talk to you for a while now, and when I saw you ... enjoying the film I thought we might have something in common. You never seem very happy, I wanted to see if I could do anything."
Cut to woman. She seems to be strangely affected by his eyes, his voice, as if she isn't able to think properly.
Her: "Oh ... like what?"
Him: "Well, maybe I could take away whatever makes you frown all the time."
Cut to woman. She laughs, slightly embarrassed.
Her: "Oh, I doubt it, I think that's just what my mind does to me."
Cut to man. He looks at her as if he'd understood exactly what she'd meant, whether she'd intended him to or not.
Him: (slowly) "Why don't we play a little game?"
Cut to woman. She seems completely drawn in by this stranger, perhaps a part of her is screaming that she should run away, but she can't seem to stop talking to him.
Him: "Well, you don't have to do anything. Just look in my eyes, and I'll talk to you."
Cut to woman. She's looking into his eyes in spite of herself. They seemed to have trapped her. She's starting to feel as if everything is falling away; a part of her knows what is happening but she doesn't seem to want it to stop.
Her: "What? ... Why?"
Him: "Shh ... it's OK, just relax..."
He says some more but we can't make out the words as it gets quieter and quieter.
The woman is lying down on a bed, slowly opening her eyes.
Him: "...you're waking up a little now, you still feel calm and safe, but it's too much effort to move. You can talk to me, and you want to be completely open, there's no need to hide anything, you trust me completely..."
Cut to close up of a woman. She's smiling as if she feels great.
Him: (softly) "How do you feel?"
Her: (smiling sleepily) "Fantastic."
Cut to man. He smiles back at her.
Him: "Your frown's gone."
He looks as if he is trying to decide how much to say.
Him: "Do you mind me bringing you here?"
Cut to woman. She looks confused, as if she can't understand how she could mind anything this wonderful person did.
Her: "Of course not!"
She starts to look as if there is a slight nagging at the back of her mind, that she can't quite get a grip on.
Cut to man. He's seen it.
Him: "Is there anything the matter? You can tell me anything."
Her: "Did you... did we?"
Him: "We didn't have sex, is that what you mean?"
Cut to woman. She nods, looking relieved.
Cut to man. He looks slightly concerned.
Him: "I just ... convinced you to come here, and put you on the bed. I'm afraid I put some subliminal suggestions in the film, I could see that you'd taken them in, so I took advantage of it. I hope that's OK."
Cut to woman. Her eyes glaze over slightly.
Her: "That's fine, you can do anything you want."
Cut to man. He looks embarrassed, but amused. He strokes her body absentmindedly, concentrating on areas that she seems to enjoy most.
Him: "You are aware that you've been manipulated into feeling like this, aren't you?"
Her: "I don't care. It all feels so natural ..."
Him: "... and it is, it's perfectly natural to be lying in the bed of a man you've never met before, obedient to his every suggestion."
Her: "Good. I thought it was."
Cut to woman. She smiles happily and closes her eyes as if the matter is ended. He laughs gently and strokes her forehead with an upwards motion.
Him: (whispered) "Hey, wake up, I wanted to ask you something"
She frowns slightly as she opens her eyes, as if she didn't want to have to think about anything.
Him: "Shh ... don't worry, it's the last decision you'll have to make. OK?"
She sounds relieved, as if he's promising exactly what she has always wanted. She can't remember if she wanted to be controlled like this before this evening, but now she feels as if her fantasies are coming to life. Everything the man says seems to fill her mind, leaving no room for her own thoughts, and it seems so much easier to obey his words without question.
Him: "Do you want to be awake or in trance when you surrender completely?"
She looks as if her mind is spinning, as if she'd been expecting something else, but realises that he already knows he can do whatever he wants to her. She doesn't seem to have any thoughts of resistance, but struggles to answer his question.
Her: "I ... I don't know, uh ..., either, both ..."
Him: "OK, that's fine, you don't need to think any more."
Cut to man. He smiles, and strokes her forehead downwards.
Long shot of them both on the bed. The scene is shot as if it is happening in a dream, sometimes in very sharp focus sometimes blurred and ambiguous. The woman is becoming even sleepier and he moves her around without her resisting, she has no control over her body and does whatever he suggests. He whispers commands as he caresses between her legs.
Him: "The more you please me, the more aroused you become. The more you obey without question, the more you please me. The more aroused you get, the more you want to obey me..."
The woman is breathing hard, and he moves his mouth to her ear, speaking gently into her empty head.
Him: "It feels so good as you let me into your mind, it feels so good as you let me between your legs, it feels so good as you let me into your mind, it feels so good as you let me between your legs ..."
He moves his cock into her slowly. She wriggles down gratefully.
Him: "You like to obey me, it feels good to obey me, it's arousing to obey me, you like to obey me..."
Her breath comes in gasps and she grinds her hips in time with his words.
Him: " ... obedience ... arousal ... obedience ... arousal ... obedience ...
The scene becomes less linear: close ups of parts of the body, her face transfigured by surrender, his eyes watching her intently. He is talking all the time, as he holds her down and slides in and out of her, but we can't make out what he is saying, as layers of sound overlap and mingle with the woman's moans. Images are coming in rhythmic pulses now, fading in and out of black. All the layers of sound resolve themselves into one phrase, repeated, overlapping and irresistible:
Him: "... let go ... just let go ... let go ... just let go ..."
Fade to white.
They are both in bed as she struggles towards consciousness.
Her: "How long have I been here? I can't make out if it's been one night or years."
Him: (whispered) "Shh ... it doesn't matter ..."
He strokes her forehead with a downward stroke.
Fade to black.