Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Institute History

  • 1999 June Screenwriters Lab


Kurt, 30, a disgruntled New York paparazzi photographer, awakes from a short nap to discover that it is a day later than when he nodded off. Unable to account for the previous 24 hours, Kurt becomes even more troubled when he begins to realize that a strange sensation or vibration overcomes him every time he looks at something provocative or lurid. Though his girlfriend, Eddie, teases him about it, Kurt knows something is definitely wrong when he becomes aroused looking at his won body in a mirror.

But he's not aware just how wrong things are until he visits an eye specialist, who informs Kurt that a miniature camera and transmitter have been implanted in both of his eyes. Someone, somewhere, seeing everything he sees. His most intimate moments with Eddie become tense and perversely charged.

Desperate, Kurt manages to track down the person watching and is stunned to discover a young woman, Shulie, 27. She reluctantly explains that she has paid an illicit company of surgeons a large sum of money to have a receiver implanted in her brain, enabling her to see through Kurt's eyes. But it is forbidden for her to meet him, and she soon slips away. When a man from the company attempts to kill Kurt, Shulie intervenes, guiding Kurt to a non-descript hotel where the two hide out. Alone, Kurt realizes how close Shulie feels toward him. They embrace, then Kurt is suddenly wracked by another headache—the camera implantation was bungled and he has only a few days to live.


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