I suggest a film be made that acts as a framing device that pulls together all the substantially shot but unfinished films. For Hollywood pitch-session purposes it would be described as Memento meets The Lady from Shanghai. Instead of post-it notes, the amnesiac main character would awaken in a bloodstained motel room with no clues to what has happened to him other than 35mm movie frames scattered about. He convinces himself that, if he can only piece the fragments together in their proper sequence, everything will make sense.
The frames are, of course, snippets of The Deep, DQ, The Dreamers, The Merchant of Venice and TOSOTW and, along the path to his attempted enlightenment, he finds himself in the employ of a limping lawyer whose cynicism and scheming, beautiful companion both know no bounds. (Forgive me if, in the casting, the actress playing the companion should bear a soupcon of resemblance to one BW-S; but art simply will not be stopped from imitating life.)
As the tale unfolds, our man becomes increasingly obsessed with his patchwork mission, mesmerized by the infinite range of possibilities suggested by merely changing the order in which any two or more fragments are put together. Soon there are layers within layers and films within films, their images confronting each other starkly and startlingly like those found in a funhouse.
But, what's this? It is a funhouse we're in, only this funhouse has a projection booth. The flickering images appear and disappear randomly while our man chases after them around a room whose perimeter is nonexistant in the surrounding gloom. We see him studying the lips of the speakers in the soundless segements, giving voice to their dialogue. He repeats their babble to himself, over and over, insistient that, in them, he will find the heart of the matter, the truth he seeks. All is becoming a mad, mad crescendo.
Suddenly, one image answers him back directly, calling him by name. He looks up to see the full, reflected face of the lawyer's lady with a crazy-quilt of film fragments flickering around it. Here the BW-S resemblance is at its most uncanny and our man is driven to the very brink of insanity as he strives in anguish to comprehend the sensory vortex in which he now stands enveloped.
She is beckoning him to give up his mad, futile quest and join her. United, they can storm the booth, seize the dreams embedded in its projector and ransom them for all time to come!
He falters, our fellow does, transsected by the sharp angular shadows cast by the mirror edges on all sides. So close, he thinks. So close to knowing the answers - if there are indeed answers to be known - and yet still so far from certainty. She, however, offers certainty. So cool, calculating and beautiful - all that he lacks, wants, needs. She, he tells himself, she IS the answer, she must be, for nothing else around him is making sense. But, what if he's wrong about her? How far can a woman be trusted who seems so prepared to leave out and betray her husband?
"Husband??" she laughs back at him, "What husband?" He didn't realize he had uttered that last thought aloud.
"But...I thought...I thought...?" he stammers, quite unable to think at all.
"It's ALL RIGHT", he hears the lawyer's approaching voice calling amid the punctuation of his crutch and footfalls as he maneuvers his way into the room. "This time, at least, your assumptions won't kill you - will they, Dearest?" It is at this point, as lawyer and companion exchange knowing looks, that we see the lawyer more clearly and he looks amazingly like BW-S's henchman. "Help us", he continues, "and you'll be set for life. Get in our way, however..." (the point of one crutch now pressed dangerously up to our man's - ahem - vulnerability), "...and you can assume the worst. Savvy?"
"I savvy", our fellow responds sounding faintly Irish. We see him taking in the twosome (who appear joined at the hip), eyes darting to the tantalizing film images, then back. A look of angst-ridden indecision gathers and overpowers his expression. Perspiration is beading like mercury on his brow. His lips part slightly, dry and trembling. No sound but the hint of a shallow and quickening breath. Back and forth dart the eyes. The images are now not much more than a blur. The camera dollies in closer and closer on his face, at one instant anguished, another firm and resolute. The expressions trade places with increasing rapidity, so much so that we cannot make out which one it is that lingers just long enough for him to say, "I, I've decided. I know what I must do. I'm going to -"
Ah but, Dear Reader, this is where I must entrust you to your own devices, for only you can decide for yourselves which way our man will go. I leave you poised on the border between wish and probability, charged with only one task which is, of course, to come up with the right ending. Now, what could be easier than that, hmmm?