Monday 13 April 2015

Blogging from A to Z in April - The Letter K - Monday 13th April 2015

 <a href=""><img alt="" src="" title="Blogging from A to Z April Challenge" /></a>

Monday 13th April 2015 - The Letter K.

K is for Kisses, Cinema-Kisses, which would be Kyssar, in Swedish, Filmkyssar. 

By 'Cinema-Kisses', I don't mean sitting-in-the-dark-kissing-your-honey-at-the-pictures kind of a kiss. No, I am talking about screen-actors (who may not even like each other) doing a convincing job of kissing each other. What are your most memorable kissing-scenes from the silver screen? Do you have any favourites? I have.

I thought that I would start the third week of A to Z by showing off my favourite cinema-kisses. And here are my criteria:

For a kissing-scene to be successful, three things are important:

1. The actors must be convincing and appealing (maybe even beautiful or at least good-looking), which is why most good cinema-kisses are often performed by young and handsome actors (but not always). Are the characters made believable?

2. The plot leading up to the scene where the lovers kiss, must show the viewer who these characters are, what motivates them, and why the kiss is important; has meaning, and makes the audience care about these characters.

3. Since a really good scene with a kiss is an important event in the plot, the kissing scene often comes toward the end of the film or even is the very last scene. The kiss should say something about these characters' relationship: is it a farewell or the beginning of a long life together? When the film's protagonists (main characters) finally meet, embrace and kiss, the audience should have learned enough about them to care about them and even identify with them; to feel what they are supposedly feeling.

My examples:

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) wrote plays about practically everything and that are still played today or imitated by newer authors. In his play, Romeo and Juliet (1595), hen captures the essence of being in love. So the film with the title, Shakespeare in Love, must show a double-plot about the characters of the play and the events in the playwright Shakespeare's life that could have inspired the play, Romeo and Juliet.

This well-made piece of cinema is filled with kissing-scenes, both 'real-life' and theater. But there is no one kiss that is more important than the others. Much of the fun in this picture is built round the painstakingly rendered details of the time -  such as the fact that only men could be actors, all the female-roles were played by men or boys.

Does Shakespeare in Love live up to my criteria? Yes, I think so.

I've used the award-winning survival film, Cast Away, with Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt, to illustrate my word 'Forgive' (see my post here). But I did not show the ending of that picture, when Chuck Nolan, after four years and being presumed dead, miraculously escapes a tiny desert island in the South Pacific and is returned home to Memphis Tennessee. 


What does he find? The love of his life, Kely Frears, has married his dentist and they have a child. Chuck did all he could to preserve the pocket-watch with Kely's photograph in it, through the plane-crash, and the harsh living conditions on the island, and the perilous ride over the waves on the raft. He was almost naked when he left the island, but he had Kely's granddaddy's silver pocket-watch around his neck when almost everything else on the raft was gone.

Kely is confused when she first hears about Chuck's rescue. But when she finally meets him again, she embraces him. 


They don't know what to do. They still love each other. 



But instead of selfishly leaving her husband and baby girl, she decides to stay with her present family and perhaps have more children with the dentist, in spite of the fact that she realises that Chuck is the love of her life.



Their kiss outside in the rain at night with only the headlights of the car for light, is so full of joy and sadness, because it is both the answer to their longing as well as a farewell. 


(The last kiss in Shakespeare in Love is similar to the kiss in Cast Away. (William Shakespeare and Viola De Lesseps can never marry. She is betrothed to one Lord Wessex and is shipped off to the colony in Virginia right after her wedding.) But the kiss in Cast Away feels more genuine to me. It is easier for me to identify myself with Kely Frears than with Viola De Lesseps.)

The Lake House is the American remake of a South Korean film, Il Mare, with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. This is a beautiful love story that plays with time (sort of science-fiction-ish).



The two lovers live two years apart from each other but can write letters using the rural mailbox at this house 'on stilts' on the shore of a lake north of Chicago. There is a lot happening, which I will not take the time to explain here, but when the very, very last scene comes, it is a beautiful kissing-scene and it makes up for any flaws in the plot up until then.  I felt happy for the characters when I saw this scene. Against all odds, against the very laws of nature, they find each other, and can live the rest of their days, happily, together.


I love the expression on Sandra Bullock's face here. She looks genuinely happy. I think love should make you happy.

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Shawn Yankey

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