One of the films I really dugg at the 2008 Telluride Film Festival was this Irish film titled Kisses by Lance Daly.
In my review, I described the film as “Lost in Translation but with two irish 10-year-olds.” The story follows two kids who run away from home and spend a “night of magic and terror on the streets of inner-city Dublin.” The film is sprinkled with realistic improvisational moments and Daly cleverly plays with the saturation and desaturation of color from the frame to visually convey the children’s emotions. If you haven’t figured it out, it might be too indie for some, but I really dug it.
The trailer is now online, and you can watch it now after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. It should be noted that while the kids speak English, it is often times hard to understand what they say due to their accent (in the trailer their words are even subtitled).
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The International Watch List is just like The Black List but instead of unproduced screenplays, over fifty US film executives and their assistants vote on their favorite foreign-released films released in 2008. Thanks to QuietEarth, we have the full list below. I haven’t seen all of the selections (or the majority for that matter), but the ones I can personally attest for include: Let The Right One In, JCVD, Kisses, The Good The Bad and the Weird, Sleep Dealer, Treevenge, and I Love Sarah Jane (which you can watch here). I absolutely hated Hunger, but I seem like one of only a few that has had such feelings. Check out the full list below. I’ve already added a bunch of them to my Netflix queue.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
Tomas Alfredson Cinetic Media / Christina Bazdekis
Oskar, a fragile 12-year-old boy, is regularly bullied by his stronger classmates but never strikes back. The lonely boy’s wish for a friend seems to come true when he meets Eli, also 12, who moves in next door to him with her father. A pale, serious young girl, she only comes out at night and doesn’t seem affected by the freezing temperatures.
Pascal Laugier ICM / Nathan Ross & Robert Lazar
Young Lucie is found half-naked, filthy, starving and nearly catatonic, unable to describe the horrors she has endured. Hospitalized, she learns to function once again with the help of Anna, another young victim of terrible abuse. The girls quickly develop a strong bond, and though they try to protect each other, Lucie continues to be haunted by the specter of her violent past. Fifteen years later, with the help of Anna, Lucie sets out to wreak vengeance on the family she suspects of being the sadists responsible for her torture. Lucie’s violent acts set into motion a downward spiral of pain and despair for the two heroines.
BEFORE THE FALL
F. Javier Gutiérrez Paradigm / Marc Helwig
Life as we know it ends in three days. The leaders of the world have just announced that a comet is hurtling toward Earth. No one can stop it, and the object is so immense that there is no hope for any of us to survive. Unfolding against this terrifying backdrop is the story of a small family in a Spanish village, a simple group with a troubled history. A disturbed man from their past wants nothing more than to bring misery to the family, targeting the smallest, most vulnerable members of this clan. When he is released from prison—the impending global catastrophe has unleashed all kinds of chaos—the terror deepens. The world’s ending in three days? That may not seem like soon enough for one family.
Matteo Garrone ICM / Jeff Berg & Nathan Ross
Power, money and blood: these are the “values” that the residents of the province of Naples and Caserta confront every day. They have practically no choice, and are forced to obey the rules of the “System,” the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a “normal” life. Five stories are woven together in this violent scenario, set in a cruel and ostensibly invented world, but one that is deeply rooted in reality.
Hong-jin Na Information unavailable
A serial killer is preying on call-girls from various escort agencies. In the midst of police indifference and incompetence, Jung-Ho, an ex-cop-turned-pimp must dust off his old flatfoot skills to find the killer and save the life of one of his girls who has gone missing.
More after the jump.
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Writer/director Lance Daly described his film Kisses as a story about “how to escape if you can’t escape”. More specifically, it’s about two kids who run away from home and spend a “night of magic and terror on the streets of inner-city Dublin.” Sprinkled with realistic improvisational moments, Kisses is Lost in Translation but with two irish 10-year-olds.
Daly cleverly uses the saturation and desaturation of color from the frame to visually convey the children’s emotions. A woman on the gondola ride home, also aptly compared the use of the technique with The Wizard of Oz. And I think many comparisons could be made between both of these stories.
Kelly O’Neill, who plays Kylie in the film, is incredibly natural and has the charisma of a young Drew Barrymore. If it weren’t for her accent, I would predict a huge career for her in American film. Kisses is a sweet and wonderful indie. The film earns your admiration even though it can be unbelievable (the boat sequence) and self indulgent at moments (one too many minute long close-ups of the young leads homeless on the streets of Dublin). And at only 72-minutes in length, it leaves you wanting more.
/Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10