I’ve just seen Contemporary, a movie by Swiss artist Elodie Pong screened at ‘t Hoogt theater. The movie is a fragmented portrait of our time, narrated through discussions with a group of people, mostly friends of the artist’s. The protagonists, most of whom are either actors, artists, or students, share personal anecdotes and views about topics that range from postmodernism to their favorite bird, as well as their two cents about capitalism and death. The interviews alternate with studio sketches where the same people are playing iconic figures (Marilyn Monroe, Karl Marx, Batman and Robin etc.), reenacting famous dialogues from either their characteristic quotes or other sources.
Although the movie deals largely with postmodernism – everything is a reference to something else and everything is already said and done – it comes across as surprisingly human and sweet. Each person speaks in his or her own native language (be it English, German or French), sharing personal convictions and doubts, at times even dancing. You can tell the author has a personal connection to most of them.
A patchwork of cultural references, feelings, and compelling statemens,”Contemporary” is a funny, smart, and touching view. Highly recommended.