Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Kissed (Lynne Stopkewich, 1996)

A necrophilia movie that's not Nekromantik?! Stop the presses! Kissed is the story of Sandra, who, throughout her life, develops an obsession with death. She's no goth, she's more interested in the spiritual and transformative power of it. As a child and young woman, she manifests this by giving solemn burial ceremonies to dead animals she finds; as a young woman, she begins working in a funeral home, and we see where this is going. It's nice to see this movie take such a non-judgemental view of such a taboo thing, but Stopkewich never goes far enough.

At a scant 79 minutes, we never see Sandra's home life, her school life, nothing that doesn't have to do with death. And that's probably Stopkewich's point, but what normal human (as Sandra does seem "normal" for the most part) doesn't understand the taboo nature of necrophilia? Sandra never once expresses any doubt or guilt about what she does, and neither does her boyfriend, Matt (who, in a move I was actually angry about, is informed by Sandra of her predilictions offscreen and just accepts it with no argument - how cowardly of Stopkewich, to refuse to show us what a natural, yet difficult, reaction would be). Again, Stopkewich is trying to portray Sandra as someone who is so in tune with death that she doesn't see this as wrong, but she has to know that it is, somewhere. So does Matt. And the ending is so contrived that I saw it coming more than a half hour before it did.

Despite the ridiculous amorality (not even that - the absolute ignorance of morality which is unbelievable), Molly Parker is radiant as Sandra. Stopkewich, for all the faults in the film, displays in the film a confidence in shooting that is rare in debuts. She shoots Parker's face with such light that it is almost overwhelmingly touching. The beauty, and Molly Parker, are the real reasons to see the movie. The rest is just silly.


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