While waiting for the results of a rapid HIV test in a small-town strip mall, a man attempts to distract himself but only opens up more anxieties. The short film by Matthew Puccini which premiered this year at SXSW does a masterful job at building tension and creating evocative visuals and sound within sterile environments.
He steps outside to smoke a cigarette. Before long, his phone is buzzing and there’s a whole other world coming through the line. We slowly get to know the character, and each new piece of information further washes away the perception that he’s just an anonymous man in a waiting room.
It’s a riveting piece of work anchored by a beautifully vulnerable and naturalistic lead performance by Max Jenkins. (10 minutes). Written & Directed By Matthew Puccini. Starring Max Jenkins. Produced By Tyler Rabinowitz, Matthew Puccini. Director of Photography Brandon Roots. Editor Henry Hayes.