directed by Lynne Stopkewich
Canada 1996

 

The subject of Lynn Stopkewich’s featuring debut Kissed is necrophilia, a subject rarely addressed, as it by nature is on the disturbing side of perverseness, both due to the pathology of the subject and the graphic nature of sexual encounters with corpses. But rather than provoking by grotesque dark comedy like Jürg Buttgereit did with Nekromatik, Stopkewich transforms necrophilia into an act of sexual spirituality; thus by the end, we are not disgusted by the acts of Sandra, but rather sympathetic.

Based on the short story “We So Seldom Look on Love” by Barbara Gowdy, Kissed deals with Sandra, played by Molly Parker, who since early adolescence has been attracted – fascinated even - to death. To her, dead beings have an energy, which she not only senses, but can see. “When love turns into hate, there are always sparks. But when life turns into death, it’s explosive”, she comments, and to her, this energy is channelled into sexual energy. When she gets involved with Matt, played by Peter Outerbridge, to whom she openly confesses her sexual preference, he becomes obsessed with not only understanding her, but also to share her sexuality.

Directed on a very minimal budget, cast and locations are limited to the bare minimum, which both adds to the film, by making it very intimate, and weakens it, as its simplicity reveals its limitations. To me, despite its intelligence and sympathetic nature, it never transcends the screen and never involves me. As much as I with hindsight can understand Sandra, I never attune to actions nor feel with her. This is indeed sad, as Molly Parker does her utmost to portrait Sandra. You can sense both the intelligence and emotions she invests in her character.

 

Henrik Sylow

Theatrical Release: September 7, 1996 (Toronto Film Festival)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

 Tartan - Region 0 - PAL vs. MGM Region 1- NTSC

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow and Per-Olaf Strandberg for the Screen captues!

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:15:11 (4% PAL speedup) 1:18:36
Video

1.33:1 Opem Matte
Average Bitrate: 6.43 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Tartan

Bitrate: MGM

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles No Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Original Trailer (2:18)

DVD Release Date: March 12, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:56)

DVD Release Date: August 23rd, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: MGM Region 1- March 07': It appears as though the older MGM DVD is far superior. Firstly it is in the correct aspect ratio (of 1.66), it is also sharper and colors seem more true. It also offers subtitles in 3 flavors - English, French or Spanish. The NTSC DVD is far from perfect though as there is some minor evidence of edge enhancement, but it is by far the better DVD to own as neither offer any extras. The MGM is less than half the price of the Tartan.

Gary Tooze

***

Most likely to be contributed to it being based on a 35mm blow-up from 16mm, the transfer lacks some sharpness in detail, and at times its colour palette seems a bit faded. No visible artefacts and full 1.33:1 OAR.

Sadly lacking is additional material. Only one to be found is the films original trailer, and Tartan, who so often as exclusive interviews or audio commentaries for their esoteric films, should perhaps have invested in one of either here, due to the films nature and subject.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 



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DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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