For I Am Dead is an 18-minute short film directed by Patricia Delso Lucas, who also produced it with Al Nazemian. In this film, set in the late 1800s, Al Nazemian stars as Oscar, a middle-aged wealthy man living a decadent life, alongside Riggsby Lane, who plays his young and handsome gardener Jude.
The short opens with Oscar and two courtesans engaged in a tumultuous dance that ends with the three indulging in wine and opiate. But as soon as young Jude enters the room, Oscar is immediately captivated by his innocent gaze.
The film gets intriguing when Oscar asks Jude to join him for a glass of wine inside the palace, and through a mix of intimidation and seduction, he is able to reveal his true feelings to him. Nonetheless, his plan rapidly turns against him as Oscar, right after tasting the wine, starts falling into a vortex of physical and emotional devastation.
In this film, Jude embodies temptation. At times angelic, and at times devilish, Jude fluctuates between being his rescuer and his perpetrator.
The linear narration is mixed with segments showing Oscar’s interior conflict. Truth and imagination are subtly mixed to convey a sense of disturbance and dichotomy, highlighted by handheld camera shots, with Oscar’s nightmarish visions alternating with images of reality. Oscar is now left to face his mother — disappointed by a son she doesn’t accept — the courtesans — frustrated by Oscar’s lack of sexual interest for them — and his maid, all four of them standing in the dark, holding candles and inveighing against him.