Filmmaking team Teal Greyhavens and Nikolai von Keller have crafted a thoughtful, intriguing short sci-fi mystery that examines the line between technology and perception, and just what happens when the world around us is virtual.
Working from a subtle, intelligent script, the film begins with a tender, vulnerable scene, beautifully shot in an hillside location.
But the gentle atmosphere ruptures with the revelation that something — perhaps a collision event, followed by a mass exodus — has happened while Jason has been talking.
Jason must confront the reality that the world around him may be coming to an end, and his only connection may be the invisible voice that serves as his tether to information, news and even the remains of humanity itself.
The film rests on a terrific lead performance by Leo Marks, who draws in viewers with a quiet yet emotional pull in the film’s opening. But as the story reveals its hand, he communicates the confusion, disbelief and fear that arises when he confronts what is happening to the rest of the world.
The film’s photography is both beautiful and economical, and while Jason is surrounded by natural beauty, thanks to his virtual world, the invisible reality around him is actually the most influential and ultimately devastating. No matter what bucolic scene surrounds him, something dangerous and life-altering is happening — and in fact his inability to see and experience it directly may actually cause him more anxiety and fear.
“Contact” handles its futuristic elements with subtlety, looking at what life could be like when practically all of reality is mediated by technology. Like many sci-fi films, it poses provocative questions about our relationship and increasing reliance on technology. If our only “contact” with others and the outside world is virtual, the price we pay in terms of disconnection and disassociation may be larger than we ever could imagine.