Every Wednesday, we’ll be sharing short films that illuminate queer life. Welcome to #HumpdayShorts.
Queer filmmaker Matthew Puccini takes us on the tense journey of a man waiting for his HIV rapid test results in The Mess He Made, which premiered earlier this year at the SXSW Film Festival.
Max Jenkins (The Mysteries of Laura, High Maintenance) star as Jude, who anxiously tries to keep busy in a small-town strip mall as he waits for potentially life-changing news.
“This is a film about queer rituals. This is a film about grappling with gay shame,” Puccini says. “[It’s] about a man who is terrified of winding up alone, but on some level thinks he deserves to be.”
The film was shot a week after the election in Scranton, Pennsylvania—which Trump won handily, adding an unexpected layer of importance to the project.
“If anything, it really fired us up,” Puccini told Out. “I love what Max Jenkins wrote to me in an email the morning after the [election] results came in: ’Can’t wait to stomp into Scranton looking gay as hell.’ I think we all felt like that.”