Monday, June 13, 2011

26 Films: Kiss Or Kill

Kiss Or Kill


97 Minutes

Somewhere in hell and gone Austriala damaged young grifters Matt Day and Francis O’Conner are working their trade when something goes wrong and they end up with a dead mark. Along with the mark they also end up with a video tape that would be very damaging to a sports celiberty. Now all this is a pretty standeard Noir set up, young people with fucked up lived doing fucked up stuff headed for a fucked up end….. only in case, after a life full of bad descissions, a good one is made, get the hell out of dodge. Thus we have the start of a nice little nourish road film that at once has elements of the Not Quite Hollywood era of austrialian cinema with the great Road Games as a major touchstone, but also the DNA of such well reguarded more current Aussie crime films like Animal Kingdom (and if you saw that and liked it, I recommend that you seek out the amazing Noise).

I saw this film for the first time when it was relased in the states n DVD, I think it was a favorable review from Siskel and Ebert that lead me to the film, but I recalled enjoying it, and likeing at least the not what you expected story. I also really really like the leads, Matt Day has long been one of those actors who I am not sure why he didn’t become a big star in the states. He has a nice presence and great rockabilly hair. If you don’t know his name, I assure you that you have seen his work, as he had a small but pivitoal roll in Muriel’s Wedding.

Francis O’Conner is best known for her work in Mansfield Park in 1999. I think she is super cute and has a presence that is joyful and has a depth. I espically like that while both her charcter and Day’s charcter are damaged, it’s only her trauma that we really get to see and experience… mostly because she is the films narriator and focus. She also gets the silent moments of reflection and doubt in the film.

The rest fo the cast is filled with no one who I recognized, but I want to give a special mention to the pair of cops that are hot on the trail of the progatinists. They have a weird fun chemistery, and there is a moment centering around the eating of Bacon that is right up there with the Sam Jackson and John Trovolta moment in Pulp Fiction. Along the way there is a cast of charcters, a tracker, and the afore mentioned sports celiberty (who gives just a slight Buffllo ’66 feel to the film).

I have to say that I really liked the film a lot, I liked rediscovering it and I liked seeing it in the context of where it stands in the history of Austrialan film. Matt Day and Francis O’Conner will return in a future installment of this series covering one of my favorite over looked 90s gems…. A film where O’Conner plays the grilfrind of Radda Mitchel… but we will get to that soon enough. Sufficide to say that I think that this film got it’s US release because of the same interest in odd ball crime films that allowed I Went Down a release, as far as I can tell there isn’t a US domestic DVD or Bluray release, but it’s still worth seeking out.

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