The initial idea for the film came from when I was thinking about directions to my neighbourhood — 'take the L train to Brooklyn'. The L train could be a train from hell or 'L'
The L train is one of the lines in the New York Subway, running from 8th Avenue in Manhattan to Carnarsie in Brooklyn. It is my local train, and I take it daily. In order to travel between Manhattan and Brooklyn, the train must pass through a tunnel under the East River. This trip lasts about three minutes, and so does the film.
The idea of the underground passage reminded me of accounts in literature and mythology of journeys to and from hell. I considered the Decameron and the fates of the Titans. But I was struck by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and the intriguing question left unanswered: Why had Orpheus defied the seemingly simple restriction that would have allowed him to retrieve his love from the depths of the underworld? The myth explains that Orpheus ventured into hell and charmed Pluto, Lord of Hades, to let his love return to the world. Pluto agreed but under the sole condition that Orpheus does not look back at Eurydice until they emerge from the underworld. But in the last moments before reaching safety, Oepheus turns to look at Eurydice only to see her fall back into hell.
Why does he do it? I consulted a number of books of mythology and viewed many films dealing with these two characters. None explain Orpheus' motivation to look back. I decided that this was the crux of my film. Thus, when we join Orpheus and Eurydice, they are about to leave hell… on the L train…