It would be difficult to deliver a spoiler for Continuity. Omer Fast’s looping 40 minute film has no clear narrative arc and offers few clues about the mystery at its core.
All we know is that the same middle-aged German couple pick up three different servicemen from a rural rail station, and take him home for a spot of psychodrama.
It could be they are call boys. It could be a case of sliding doors. It could be Brechtian exposition. Or it could be that the entire episode is the product of a bereaved mother’s fevered mind.
What’s really compelling about the film is that, despite the uniforms, there is difference within this repetition. Youth is one of the only things these soldiers have in common.
Their reunions are pretty intense affairs. The couple have license to touch, chide and even climb into bed with these young men (the mother). In fact the whole set up is uncomfortably oedipal.
You could write it off as kinky middle class role play, were it not that the ‘returning soldiers’ bring genuine trauma and a cast of unwanted ghosts back to this bourgeois home.
The couple cannot escape the realities of war. It seems they try to drive away from the conflict. But they find a camel, and worse, in the middle of their local forest.
Fast’s film is full of hallucinations, along with the doubling effect which comes from an actors playing actors. The war for this artist appears to be an enduring source of strangeness. With no resolution.
Continuity can be seen at Artes Mundi 6 until 22 February 2015.