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our shadow(s)

To me, Ruthless feels floaty, effervescent and conflicted. It sounds like it is from a place of conflict where love, hate, hope and hopelessness share the same bed. When Tristam sings the last line of the chorus, it resonates with me because it feels like he sings to himself or his alter ego.

" I wish I had some clue
Why I’m so ruthless to you "

The lyrics live far into the ether, expressing an angst that is too wide and too great to be directed to one person. For art to bleed, you have to cut yourself open and think of how you can share your blood to another through art. At this moment in my life, I am trying to understand who I really am and who is constructed by my own neuroses.

This is why I propose the concept for ruthless to be about two shadows who are estranged with each other. At one moment, they are wrestling with each other, and at another moment, they’re battling. The two shadows represent a duality inside.

We will cast twins or doppelgängers with a background in classical/contemporary dancing. I’m leaning towards doppelgängers who are comfortable in their own skin to fight or dance with each other. The two shadows represent the same person, a duality inside. In the end, they realise that one can’t live without the other, and make amends to all the things they have done to each other.

We take inspiration from Wong Kar Wai’s “Happy Together” and Johnnie To’s “Mad Detective.”

In “Happy Together,” moments of violence make the intimate scenes where they are dancing together feel narcotic. In these moments, the abused is flush with dopamines because, finally, they get to glimpse what loving and caring feels like, and the abuser’s shame is washed away because, finally, they get to glimpse what it feels like to be worth loving. In “Mad Detective,” the protagonist sees in every person their spiritual attachments. One person can have multiple spirits latching onto them, making them do things that are out of their character.

On surface level, it can look like an LGBTQ romance. However, the two shadows represent the same person, a duality inside.


1 x Main (contemporary dancer)

1 x Shadow (contemporary dancer with similar look to

4-5 x other dancers (if budget permits) (varying race and gender to poetically express all the versions of ourselves)


We want to explore the possibility of three location types of budget and time permit. The mixture of these three locations will make the film feel like it is unraveling one of Salvador Dali’s paintings.

Location 1: Home scattered in dream
A multi-faceted location that is flexible and amiable. I want it to feel as if it is a condo home in a dream or a game haphazardly developed, where a tree is growing through a living room or a bedroom is in a wide open space.

Location 2: Open field, big sky
Wide open space with a big sky that feels deserted. I’d like to put a bed or a chair in a field. This bed or chair can end up in different places to further express the disassociation the main character has to the outside world, and how he is stuck inside with his own vices.
Location 3: Studio space
A studio where we can control light and create a dream realm that envelopes MAIN & SHADOW in black. )

sequences ( in progress )

        -  Our MAIN is in a bathroom, looking at himself in the mirror. When he bends over to wash his face, SHADOW goes in from behind him and massages his shoulders. MAIN looks up into the mirror. There seems to be no one there except for him. MAIN gives himself a knowing look in the reflection (note: depending on the location and props, it can be in front of a mirror and he’s getting dressed. Main can put stuff on and Shadow can take it off)

        -  In a dream real with a black background, MAIN and SHADOW wrestle with what looks like a beam of light isolating the two on what seems to be a performance stage. SHADOW gets the best of MAIN, putting him in a chokehold. We see MAIN losing air as a beam of light intensifies over his face.

        -  MAIN dances with himself in an open field. SHADOW joins him. They are silhouettes against a saccharine coloured sky. We see fluid movements, like two shadows are meshing into each other, becoming one.

        -  We see shadow in a water reflection. MAIN steps on the water and thrashes it. He lays down in the water, and as it settles, the SHADOW remains beside him.

        -  MAIN and SHADOW salsa dance with each other under lime light. 

        -  MAIN and SHADOW run up stairs rambunctiously, racing to the top. )

Thank you.

dreams are limitless.