Directed by: Andreas Ortner
Written by: Helmut-Michael Kemmer
Starring: Andreas Ortner, Martina Martinz
Just as I was beginning to bask in the beauty of this village named Wildegg, the narrator of Andreas Ortner’s Change of Course told me to snap out of it as this short is not a fairy tale. Really? It’s a pity because I was more than willing to submit myself for nine minutes of sightseeing. Because, in comparison, what this short offered was far less interesting or attractive.
Let me rephrase my words. It’s not actually about the topic it conveys but the way it conveys it to us. Change of Course is about the current pandemic, highlighting the cons the virus bought with it. It changed the course of our normal life. Earlier, we only needed to concentrate on dressing our bodies. Now we also need to make sure that our faces remain covered in public. Two people - a male and a female - narrate lines directly to us. They are Andreas Ortner and Martina Martinz. Martinz has her eyes covered with a cloth. Is she representing the ignorance of human beings, or is she unable to face how careless some people have become even during a pandemic? I spent a good amount of time thinking about it because I was not so impressed by Change of Course. Or shall I say, there was a change of course from my side with respect to the narrative of this short film?
Ortner raises concerns about quarantine. How it has boxed us in isolation and separated us from one another. He is worried that this physical severance could lead to detachment in the emotional bond between our families, friends, and relatives. According to him, the elders and sick loved ones are perishing “not from the virus, but from loneliness.” As the short progresses, Change of Course makes a vague connection between the virus, war, and art. I don’t know what happened there, but the image of people taking off their masks seemed a bit troubling. I am not sure what the intention here is, but people, please do not take off your masks in public.
Watching Change of Course felt more like watching a conspiracy video on YouTube. The only difference being that Change of Course is shot considerably better than the online video. It’s flashy and zaps at some points. While I was not invested in it, I enjoyed the scenery. Maybe an extra star for the gorgeous view?