This week our writers peruse the psychedelic and hone in on the hallucinative in their exploration of Michael Glawogger's absurd Austrian stoner comedy CONTACT HIGH (2009).
"EAT ME", "DRINK ME"
After a night of clubbing, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, CONTACT HIGH’s (Michael Glawogger 2009) affable stoner Max (Michael Ostrowski) and sausage connoisseur Johann (Raimund Wallisch) wake up in their hotel room, hallucinating that the furniture is much smaller than its normal size. Max even sees the cars in a television broadcast of renowned sports race Le Mans shrink before him. As they return to their room the previous night, Johann claims they are going “down the rabbit hole”; indeed, the following scene is reminiscent of several sequences in the Disney animated classic ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Clyde Geronomi et al. 1951).
In the Disney animation, Alice shrinks and grows several times by consuming different food and drinks. Lewis Carroll’s source novels and the various film adaptations have long been associated with recreational drug use due to their surrealist, psychedelic imagery. Alice eating the cake and drinking from the potion bottle does not actually change her physical size but her perception of reality, much like Max and Johann when they wake up.
There are several other allusions to the Carroll story throughout, including an excerpt from the 1974 Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band song “Party of Special Things to Do”, which mentions the Red Queen, and a character named Sissi (Aline Pölzi), a young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes who resembles Disney’s Alice. References to Alice’s warped perceptions suggest that Max and Johann are in a childlike state while they are high; their openness to their own imaginations is something that should also be embraced by the viewer as they watch.
Every day this week a different writer will provide their perspective on our MUBIVIEWS film and each post will be open to comments from our readers. Watch CONTACT HIGH on mubi.com until 19 May 2017 and join the discussion!
One MUBI film, five perspectives, endless possibilities.