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KISSES

Director: LANCE DALY

IRELAND-SWEDEN • 2008 • COLOUR/BLACK AND WHITE • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 73 MIN


ALREADY A SUCCESS ON THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL CIRCUIT, ‘KISSES’ IS A GRITTY ROMANTIC FABLE ABOUT TWO KIDS ON THE LAM IN DUBLIN CITY DURING CHRISTMAS TIME. IT’S THE BEST FILM TO DATE FROM DIRECTOR LANCE DALY, WHOSE PREVIOUS FEATURES — ‘LAST DAYS IN DUBLIN’ AND ‘THE HALO EFFECT’ — BARELY HINTED AT THE TALENT ON DISPLAY HERE.
In a bleak Dublin suburb, young pre-teenage neighbours Kylie (Kelly O’Neill) and Dylan (Shane Curry) are subjected to various forms of abuse from their adult family members. Following an altercation with his violent, alcoholic dad, Dylan makes his escape with the help of Kylie, who insists on joining him in what proves to be an exhilarating, if dangerous, adventure.
Childhood is one of the great universal themes, in part simply because of its appeal to common experience. What’s interesting about Daly’s approach is the way it combines elements of fantasy and romance with a realistic depiction of young people in a harsh modern environment. The hyper-realism of the film’s opening is followed by scenes straight out of Mark Twain, as Dylan and Kylie hitch a ride on a boat piloted by a harmonica-playing immigrant who introduces the kids to the music of Bob Dylan. As the youngsters approach the centre of Dublin, the film’s images gradually morph from bleak black and white into colour and the city becomes a kind of winter wonderland before night descends and the spooks come out. These shifts in tone are handled with the lightest of touches by Daly, who also deserves credit for coaxing wonderfully naturalistic performances from his inexperienced young actors. — Peter Walsh.
Plus Declan Cassidy’s short film ‘Whatever Turns You On’, the comic story of a young homeless man who disrupts the smooth running of an electrical shop. (Ireland, 2008. Colour. 4 min.)
‘Whatever Turns You On’ just won Best Irish Short at Kerry as well as the Audience Award at Filmstock International UK and has been shortlisted for Best Short in Boston Irish Film Festival.
There will be a Q&A with the director and two main young cast members following the 6.45pm screening on Friday 21 November.

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