Opening 18 Jun 2009
What does Contact High bring to mind? High school parking lot? Maybe a Grease re-run? A new Stephenie Meyer vampire? Contact High is billed as a “psychedelic, road movie, western comedy.” That’s a tall order, maybe Hair/Thelma and Louise/Rio Grande/Monty Python in one fell swoop? Actually it is an Austrian film by Michael Glawogger and features Max and Johann who travel from Vienna to Poland to pick up a suitcase. The original responsibility was with Harry, who runs a car junkyard, much like the German Ludolfs except that all his cars are vintage 1950s and everyone on his place is terribly gay. He delegates the job to Schorsch, who convinces Mao to take on the responsibility. Mao passes it on to Max and Johann, owners of a hot dog stand called appropriately Wurst und Durst. From here on it’s a road movie as these two make it to Poland by car and train. On the way they meet an Iranian business man, fall in love with a beautiful girl and stay in a hotel which looks different when they are high (the title word) which is often and also causes them to float around among brightly colored dogs, pig, and fish. It’s post hippie 50 years too late.
There is absolutely no reason for the movie except to provide a venue for some funky guys named Detlev Buck, Georg Friedrich, Raimund Wallisch and Michael Ostrowski to kick up their heels. The best part is the terrific music by groups called Devendra Banhard, The Surfaris, Get Well Soon, etc. The only group I had ever heard before was Roxy Music, but I wouldn’t mind learning more about all 17 songs on the soundtrack. (Becky Tan)