Film Scouts Reviews


by Liza Bear

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PARK CITY, Saturday January 18.

An intriguing debut feature based on a powerful short story by Barbara Gowdy, Lynne Stopkewich's chilly, mildly disturbing film about a necrophiliac, "Kissed" constantly treads the fine line between morbid curiosity and decorum.

Set for the most part in a funeral parlor, a clean, uncluttered frame and spare but effective production design serve this project well, as does a strong performance by lead Molly Parker as twenty-something Sandra Larson, who persuades the parlor owner to let her work there..

For Sandra, making love (kissing and frottage) with young male corpses provides a satisfaction that her med student boyfriend Matt (Peter Outerbridge) cannot. He goes to extreme and predictable ends to hold her affections - and finally does.

Deadpan in its tone, film exists in a vaguely surreal realm and seems intended as a metaphysical comment rather than exploration of a pathological phenomenon. Some of the best scenes, however, take place when Sandra gets lessons in embalming.

At first glance film may seem like a clever spin on the romantic obsession with love and death, deriving from the Orpheus legend, taken to its literal conclusion. (Fassbinder's first film , after all, was "Love is Colder Than Death." But it's his own death that the romantic desires because the intensity of extreme passion cannot be sustained, not the physical manifestation of death - a corpse.

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