Clocking in at just over 17 minutes, Sean Glass’s short film, A 1984 Period Piece in Present Day (Act One of a feature in development) teases the viewer into thinking there will be more. Act One is this film’s only act, which makes everything Glass accomplishes (in less time than it takes to watch a Curb episode) that much more impressive. An AFI Fest (American Film Institute) competition selection, the short—Glass’s first in this genre, following a decade-long career in music and technology—stars the filmmaker alongside Isabel Sandoval and Carlos Dengler (formerly of the band Interpol). It tells the autobiographical story of a guy (Glass) who realizes years later that the romance in a cherished childhood film was actually rape. Filmed in a motel outside of Atlantic City—“It was already bad before Trump,” says Glass, “but he really left the place in ruins”—the movie asks today’s universal question: How can we know who we are if we’re shaped by our entirely unreliable memories? —J.V.
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