This is an excellent short that shows the writer's attentiveness to the social and political problem represented by the mounting US public death - counted by the marquee-sized debt clock in Times Square, NYC - and how «your family share» is affected, after being itself part of the cause of the problem.
One bleak Friday, a couple arrives home from home and listen to the voice-recorded unattended telephone calls from a number of people: the credit card company, the bank, the husband's office, the husband's lover, the wife's life insurance company... Each is disturbing enough in itself, but heard in a crescendo to the unexpected - and extremely revealing ones - it makes something only comparable to the best of the short, crispy, made-for-TV Alfred Hitchcock episodes.
À la Hitchcock, the story ups to a grim finale, with crisp editing, up to 2-frames-per-cut. The lab's experienced editing assistants didn't believe it could be done - as told November 15, 2010, at the film's show at the Portuguese Cinematech by the Director, Bruno de Almeida. He imposed that daring-do in editing. He won! The 35mm film didn't disintegrate, and the result is terrific! Again, as in the best thrillers, the eye-to-eye, revolver-to-revolver confrontation by the not-so-loving husband and wife, will not end in that grim finale.
As in real life, a book-peddler appears at their door, proposing them to buy (to buy - to buy - the cause of their overburdening debt) just one more book, that will save their lives, and assure them a bright future. Yes, they can! For a moment, their grim faces change. Unfortunately, as for the US, the reasons to believe in a bright future are short-lived - as are the three lives in this short.
With three false finales, and almost no words from the principals whose facial and body expressions are exaggerated as if this was an old Harold Lloyd's comic, we are fully served.
Because the Director's was living in NYC then, and possibly in love with that city where he chose to carve a career away from The System, he chose to film some plans of the 6th Avenue, with the debt clock, and the Twin Towers in the distance amidst the other engulfing sky-scrapers.
Thus, it also makes this short of extreme actuality in 2010. First, since the 9/11 the Twin Towers are no more part of NY's skyline. Second, the debt clock has been moved to another location, and modified since it came to a halt due to failure in keeping with the over US$10 trillion number in 2008, and the new clock is more performing, but less impressive than the first clock was. Third, «your family share» of the (seemingly) unstoppable Debt is still mounting.
Amidst tales of «sex, lies, and mounting debt», at individual, and global scale. So much in 12 minutes. The nine prizes the film got already are OK, but it should be brought to wider audiences, in theaters and television.