Watch This Beautiful, NSFW Short Starring Chris Abbott From Girls

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Have you been wondering what happened to Christopher Abbott, a.k.a. Charlie from Girls? The answer is right here, in this exclusive Vulture screening of 1009, a nearly wordless and visually lush short film Abbott made not long after he left Girls because, as he told the Times, he couldn't relate to his character's arc. (He also did an off-Broadway play and a few indies, popping up most recently in A Most Violent Year.) Watch the short to see Abbott shirtless again, but stay because the film is gorgeous and moving.

1009 is the first of two collaborations between Abbott and his good friend director Josh Mond, whose feature-length debut James White premieres Friday at the Sundance Film Festival and stars Abbott as a troubled young man dealing with the severe illness of his mother (played by Cynthia Nixon). Until now, the short has only been seen by family and friends ... well, and an audience of 1,500 in the Czech Republic, when it played at the Karlovy Vary film festival as part of a retrospective for Borderline Films, the three-man creative collective behind Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene and Antonio Campos’s Afterschool and Simon Killer. Mond said he saw 1009 as a “sketch pad” for James White, where he could experiment with ideas about visual compositions and gain confidence as a director. “They’re different explorations of the same idea,” Mond told Vulture over cigarettes and wine at a bar near the post-production facility in Bushwick where he’s rushing to put the final touches on James White. “They’re both about a guy trying to get control of an uncontrollable situation.”

Mond, who was grieving the loss of his own mother during the making of both films, specifically wanted to use these projects to explore the nature of obsession. “How does it start?” he mused. “For me, you idealize, you think you can handle it, then before you know it, you can’t control it anymore and you have to work hard to focus. And then you’re able to have a moment of peace by having control, and then you realize, ‘Shit, it’s still there, but I can walk through the day.’ And then at the end of that, when you explore it, you realize it’s about something else — it’s not about that.”

1009 features gauzy images of a past relationship projected on Abbott’s skin and on the walls of his stark hotel room, a visual language Mond first explored in a 2009 music video for the band Young Love. Mond cautions, though, that the short is “not about the girl.” He explains: “That’s the thing that distracts you from the thing you want to worry about. You find something easy to understand and you obsess about it. It’s like, ‘Oh, relationships’ — because the stuff that you’re really thinking about or fucked up about, it’s so bad you don’t want to explore it because you don’t know how.” And at the end of making both films, Mond says he’s found direction. “What I’m interested in exploring is being human,” says Mond. “Nobody’s perfect, and everybody’s going through their shit.”