Slamdance Film Festival
Director: Joe Tippett and Robert Brice
After Arcadia is a ’50s-science-fiction-themed short shot in black and white wherein the protagonist’s internal monologue opens with his guilt for having accidentally decimated humanity with a seemingly nuclear invention that he created. He dilapidates in the boredom of solitude in the bunkers in which the film is shot, which spurs him to create a time machine to reverse his misdeed. Upon completion, he hears what he believes to be one of the “Earth’s inheritors” and rushes to his new invention to jet him back in time. He soon discovers, now in the past, that he was the accident that caused his previous self to mistakenly press the button to unleash his weapon upon mankind. Once he comes to after the eddies of time travel that he’s suffered, he goes to the outside world to discover one of these “inheritors,” and gives him a burning branch—perhaps a symbol of recreating the ingenuity of humankind. This film was gorgeously captured in black and white in a bunker in Southwest England, and the only dialogue is the main character’s narration of his thoughts and feelings. This short film transpires at exactly the length it was meant to be, and does not overstay its welcome. Nearly flawless, it’s wistful and nostalgic to watch.