Experiencing Interruptions?

Green Glass Blues

In the late 1940s, a young pickpocket goes undercover in a wealthy house-hold to look for her long lost partner in crime, but finds the truth is worse than she could imagine.

The story begins in an underground bar in 1946, where Julia, a down on her luck cleaner at the local country club, is offered an interesting proposition by her charismatic and mysterious friend Loretta; the opportunity to steal a priceless jewel that would allow them to elope together. Disguised as employees of the Museum, the two successfully steal a Prussian emerald necklace. Julia replaces it with a clever forgery as Loretta sneaks out with their haul, disappearing into the night.
Two years later, Julia is still looking for her partner in crime who never re-appeared after the heist. Unsure if her friend had betrayed her or is in serious trouble, Julia enlists the help of their old contacts. Audrey the bartender has tracked down the stolen necklace to the home of a nouveau rich couple, the Packards, who have moved to town with the emerald in their private collection. Julia takes a job as a maid in their home to search their house and overhears a conversation that reveals the necklace was found in a car wreck that left no survivors. Julia realizes that Loretta is dead and resolves to steal the necklace from the Packards, avenging Loretta and finishing what they had started.
Using the criminal skills and contacts she gained from her time with Loretta, Julia to returns to the Packard Manor to repeat their heist, only to find the necklace missing from its display. She is interrupted by the sound of the Packards returning to the house and flees, but is caught by Mrs. Packard, a woman she finally recognizes to be her long lost friend Loretta wearing the very emerald they once stole.

  • Willa Cohn
  • Willa Cohn
  • Willa Cohn
  • Charlotte Rickard
    Key Cast
  • Sean Wada
    Director of Cinematography
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Noir, Drama, Crime, Mystery, Romance, LGBT
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 13, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Colorado Denver
  • Cinefest 2023
    United States
    May 12, 2023
    Local Premire
Director Biography - Willa Cohn

Will Cohn (they/them) is a Colorado native and alum of the University of Colorado Denver's Film and Television Production program. They have worked as a producer on the award winning comedy series Womanhood (2021) and lent their musical talent to the making of two movie musicals; A Meaning for Suffering, a grunge rock opera about an artist struggling with imposter syndrome, and Mixer Through the Roof, a comedy of errors about the chaotic world of student filmmakers. They are a lover of love stories and genre films and dream of making their way into the television industry of Vancouver Canada.

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Director Statement

-Green Glass Blues is a love letter to the film noir genre, but it is also a strongly worded letter to the editor on how things would be done differently if I had any say. I first began researching and enjoying film noir when I was still a film studies major living unhappily in an isolated, conservative town in Maryland. I was drawn in by the pessimistic tone which echoed my own helpless frustration and captivated by the way that cunning women seemed to twist a cruel world into one that worked for them. A key element of noir is the way it echoes the real frustrations of the era; wrestling with the evil and darkness brought into the public conscious by the depression, WW2 and the rising popularity of sensationalized crime journalism.
I see that cynicism mirrored today as we become more and more aware of the suffering in our globalized world and more critical of our economic class structures, but film noir no longer sits right with a modern audience; often being overtly sexist and racist or too censored by morality codes to make open-minded conclusions. I was inspired to write a classic noir story that could connect with the frustrations of a modern audience; one for people who are overlooked and misunderstood but are protagonists in their own right. Julia’s story is especially close to home for me, and likely many other queer people, as her unrequitted love and loyalty for a friend who doesn’t feel the same is almost an informal gay right of passage.
I have been especially interested in the themes of class mobility in American media and this film is meant to take a more critical look at the inequality of the myth. While Julia and Loretta are on even footing in the beginning, both working the same job, Loretta’s social mobility is only possible for her as a beautiful white woman with an interest in men. For Julia, her skin color, gender, and sexuality means marrying rich was never an option, and neither was stealing enough money to pose as a upper-class. Julia is working on a different playing field than Loretta or any other protagonist or femme fetale. The switch from traditional noir scoring to blues music and the shifted focus to female relationships should blend with the traditional elements of noir rather than clash with them, keeping the characters and story grounded in history rather than a ‘modern’ remake and reconnecting audiences with the unique cinematic language of the genre.