Sils Maria

 

 

Back down to one-a-day this week thanks to a lot of summertime social activities. That might turn itself around next week with it being a long weekend up here in The Great White North…or I could keep getting outside and enjoying the sunshine.

Who’s to say?

 

#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with KISSED directed by Lynne Stopkewich.

 

Lynne Stopkewich is a Canadian director who directed three films early in her career and then largely moved into television. KISSED was her 1996 debut about a young woman played by Molly Parker who is fascinated by death at an early age and goes to work at a funeral home in her early 20’s. That fascination soon turns into a full-on sexual curiosity…and…well..it goes there

 

Not long after, the young woman’s activities catch the curiosity of a young man in town, and he really can’t deal.

I knew about this film, but hadn’t really thought to include it in my #52 until my friend Ariel Fisher (who just launched a new podcast – go listen!) brought it up. When she asked what I thought about it, I found myself thinking long and hard about the state of feminism and men’s place within that movement

Us guys are idiots, that won’t change any time soon. Even those of us who believe ourselves progressive and even voice our support for change are idiots. (Sidebar: this applies to white folk – men and women – who believe in racial equality too). Guys want to see the world differently, make it better, think about inclusion and representation, and be part of the solution. However, we aren’t entirely wired that way. We still have this tendency to argue from a place of ego, disagree disrespectfully, feel pangs of inadequacy, and make it about us.

Which brings us to KISSED.

Watching this young man pester a woman about her activities speaks deeply to the state of a man’s insecurity in an increasingly feminist world. Sure, he starts out as a man who seems to understand something that many would recoil from, and a source of support to a person who becomes selfish in his approach, and downright needy in his desire to a part of her activities.

Yep, that’s life as a guy alright. Make it seem like you’re a sympathetic ear and in short order make it all. about. you.

Ariel suggested that in the movie (and perhaps in life, but I didn’t ask) this comes from a feeling of inadequacy in men. That’s on point. In the back of every guy’s brain, there is a tiny voice that doesn’t want the boat to leave without him…can’t be content in facilitating something unless he can be a part of it. Now, to be fair, the man in this film takes it to an absurd extreme, but the metaphor is still apt.

At the end of the day, it might be worse than not being supportive at all, because at least people who stand in the way of progress wear their colours on their sleeve. Men who seem supportive but really aren’t are fuelling dissension from within.

KISSED is a beautiful movie that could have just been one big round of “ick”. I have to believe that much of that comes from the deft approach by Stopkewich. Along with underlining how sexual appetites are complex and fluid, her subtle criticism on a man’s place in a woman’s world is poignant.

Pretty sure I wouldn’t have found it in a film directed by a dude.

 

Here’s the week at hand…

 
Screenings
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP – A really lovely movie that I haven’t the first clue how to review.

 
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
SOLARIS (1972) – I really didn’t expect to like this half as much as I did.
KISSED – Thanks again to Ariel Fisher for suggesting this one.

 
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER – Quickly becoming one of my most-watched films of the last 10 years.
THE BOURNE IDENTITY – I began doing my homework in preparation of new Bourne…
THE BOURNE SUPREMACY – …then got word that the new Bourne was pretty bad. S-o-o-o-o…
THE GREAT ESCAPE – For podcasting purposes.

 

Boxscore for The Year
138 First-Timers, 93 Re-Watched
45 Screenings
231 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?