Consider the premise of Dark City. A species of “Strangers” who inhabit the bodies of dead humans have created a massive laboratory somewhere in outer space to perform experiments in search of that x factor the human soul. The lab itself resembles a weird amalgam of different periods and styles, though it is most notably an extreme version of Noir. Every midnight– a meaningless distinction because there is no sun and thus the city-laboratory inhabits a permanent midnight– the Strangers busily produce a plethora of objects– personal effects, papers, keepsakes, etc.– intended to support the new memories implanted in experimental subjects such as John Murdoch. They revise the city by “Tuning”– essentially harmonizing their psychic power, which is then amplified by some unspecified machinery. As if in a fairy tale, each night spirits fiddle with the world while mortals sleep, unaware.
you have to be shaved clean and close.
I perfected my own special technique
before I was kicked out
of the Medical Association.
My method is based
partly on calling a spade a spade.
I don't monkey around.
-Have you got the money?
-Yeah, you want it now?
Sam said you could afford $200.
Put it on the table there.
Ever see any botched plastic jobs?
If a man like me didn't like a fellow...
he could surely fix him up for life.
Make him look like a bulldog or a monkey.
I'll make you look older, but good.
-I'll make you look as if you've lived.
-I have, Doc.
I hope I'm not a coward when you start in.
We're all cowards.