With the guarantee that there are plenty of fish in the sea and with some Tinder loving care just a swipe away, it’s safe to say that singletons today are spoilt for choice when it comes to dating. Katy Wang’s Kingston University grad film Contact, is a charming reminder that real human connection is something special which deserves to be cherished. The seven minute short is simple, deeply touching and refreshingly life-affirming.
Stranded on a distant planet, a lonely astronaut sends out a signal in desperate search of human contact. Everything changes when all of a sudden, he receives a message from someone else. Contact is a traditional frame by frame, dialogue-free animation about solitude, longing and finding love when all the odds are stacked against you.
Wang was inspired by her own experience of being in a long distance relationship, the feelings of loneliness she had to suffer and the human connection she was craving. “The key image that drove the film from the start to the end was the last scene. It encapsulated everything I wanted to say with the film, which is basically ‘you are not alone’ and the importance and simplicity of human contact” the director explains.
It’s easy to empathise with the characters in the animation. Wang has cleverly chosen not to have any spoken dialogue, we don’t see the face of the second astronaut, we don’t even know their sex, so we are free to envision whoever our hearts desire. But it’s the certainly that we have all felt the sharp sting of loneliness at some point in our lives, which tightens our connection to the characters and ensures an emotional impact. If you’re like me, it might even result in an unexpectedly stubborn lump in the throat and a few suppressed tears.
A love story literally out of this world, Contact’s flights of fancy are all grounded by the fact that there’s no better means of weighing the worth of a life than who we share it with. The positive takeaway makes the animation a rare treat, which delights the heart as much as much as the eyes.
Katy Wang is currently working on a narrative live-action short called Pistachio Boy, which is currently in post production. Inspired by the work of Wong Kar-Wai and the film Amelie, her next film is a story about Peter, a newsagents cashier obsessed with eating pistachios, who becomes infatuated with a boy who buys a packet of pistachios. Sounds pretty nuts! Sorry… We can’t wait to see it and we promise to keep you posted!