CAFE NOIR » Tales of an atheist, anarchist, wannabe filmmaker of sorts, and father of three lovable little beasties

Sun Rising

Concerning the heat death of the universe, and other things as well

Working screenplay: Updated 03/27/18

by Jeff Kesterson


  • Total solar eclipse, with prominent corona, burning into the frame for the opening seconds.
  • Cut to an interior–Mars-colony-style–where a young man and woman reclining together stir quickly from sleep, as solar light begins pouring in through a window. They stare intensely at it for a moment.
  • Cut to a lunar-esque exterior of that same location. They scramble outside hurriedly and stare transfixed at the sky. We don’t see their POV, but rather remain tightly on their faces, on their expressions of utter awe intermingled with quickly dawning distress.
  • At the 0:30 mark in the song, they scramble back inside, frantically on the radio, digging through supplies, loading up gear. We catch intercut images of a command center, elsewhere, as a growing team of people chaotically jump into action, set off alarms, fuel rover vehicles, grab supplies, load into those vehicles, hit the “road.”
  • At the 1:28 mark in the song, the rover vehicles are just cresting a hill, over which the sun comes into view, and we finally get our first direct look at the unfolding situation: Huge fiery swaths of matter and energy are leeching rapidly from the star, spiraling toward a dark hidden object in orbit. We remain fixed on this wide view of the sky for several moments, then cut to the stunned faces of the spectators.
  • At the 1:57 mark in the song, the news has spread back to the wider community of inhabitants, and exterior sirens begin blaring. The streets fill with a broiling sea of bodies and objects, as if World War III has just arrived unannounced. We survey and cut from pocket to pocket of frantic activity.
  • At the 2:35 mark in the song, we cut back once more to images of the dying star. Ghostly, almost slow-motion closeups of particles rushing inexorably toward an unseen target.
  • At the 3:05 mark in the song, we’re back to the panic in the streets, and we drift from scene to scene, as the solar light begins to fade and artificial light from the overhead city lamps rushes in to replace it.
  • We continue to cut between various scenes of chaos, and eerily slow, rhythmic images of the star’s death dance. Fade gradually to black, as the song fades to close.

————-Gap in screenplay————

The opening chords of “Be True [Burial Remix]” by Commix fade in.


  • A small halo from the exterior floodlights of their ship illumines the ground on which it sits, a tiny island of warmth in an otherwise immense sea of black. As the ship rises gradually and gracefully from the planet, the light it’s sharing with the ground rapidly recedes from the surface, and finally the exterior floodlights are snuffed out. We then immediately cut to the interior of the ship and the soft cabin light within.
  • They finish charting their course with the cabin instruments, then stare expressionless out into the void.
  • Cut to them eating silently, exercising, checking flight data, finally curled up together in bed, as they drift wearily off to sleep.
  • Cut to him awake, arm wrapped around her sleeping form, staring absently. Images of their past, their former home, the people they love, the places they miss, the beauty and fragility of it all.
  • At the 5:15 mark in the song, cut to a dimly-lit forest path. Fading orange light through the barren trees. The moment they met, stumbling across each others’ paths, no words spoken. Intense but shy eye contact, from their distant spots among the trees. The birth of unforeseen desire, of connection-yet-always-distance.
  • Cut to her stirring him from his bittersweet reverie. The song fades.


(Ever so delicately)



(As if he doesn’t quite believe the words he’s saying)

You’re right here, aren’t you?

They make love. So very softly at first. Gradually growing in intensity. Climax as the opening chords of “Four Walls” by Burial & Massive Attack fade in.

  • Exhale of ecstasy, vocalized extra-diegetically in the song at the 0:04 mark. They continue to hold one another, still fully conjoined, brushing hair gently from each other’s faces, staring into each other’s infinite, mysterious depths.