“Kite Circuit” is all about style and flashy pop-art colors that splash across the screen like a thermonuclear explosion in a candy factory. There’s no real plot to speak of, and even less theme, but as pure visual experiment, it’s an exciting experience.
Produced by four Queensland film students, “Kite Circuit” looks at seemingly dozens of strangers in their goings over one single minute on a busy city street. The vignettes range from the quotidian (a man driving down the street) to the droll (two thugs discussing Newtonian physics), but what happens in the film is secondary to how it happens: we jump from vignette to vignette with abandon, our only indication of where in time anything is happening being the rock song that underlines all of the action, reaching its crescendo at the same time that most of the stories do. And at every moment, the screen is positively saturated with wonderfully lurid color. Everything here is best described as “bright”: bright red cars, bright green grass, even bright blue police uniforms. There’s a near-hallucinatory quality to the gaudiest imagery that makes the film seem like a Technicolor dream more than a movie.
Each of the vignettes (there are nine) unfolds on its own terms, but the interplay between the events has a certain poetic logic even as it is mostly chaotic. It’s easy to say that yes, life in the city is all about the combination of many vibrant strands of life, but sometimes very hard to make that fact real, but “Kite Circuit” manages in only ten minutes to bring that idea to life. Yes, a lot of things happen, and no, they don’t all fit together, but that’s the messy beauty of life. Many things are happening at every moment, and sometimes through pure serendipity, they all come together in a single moment. It’s that recognition that makes “Kite Circuit” truly exhilarating.