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From the time she was a little girl, Sandra (Molly Parker) has always been fascinated by death. She lands a job at the local funeral parlour headed by the troubled Mr Wallis (Jay Brazeau), and begins her initiation into the funeral industry and the hidden world of undertakers. While studying embalming, she meets Matt (Peter Outerbridge), a lonely, intense medical student. Matt competes for Sandraís affection, only to find that her passion for death exceeds her love for him. Faced with Mattís mounting obsession and conventional notions of love, sex and death, Sandra finds that sometimes there is a way of crossing over.

"Edgy, evocative and erotic, Kissed tackles a sensational subject in an accessible non-voyeuristic way, offering a fascinating insight into necrophelia. The direction is adept and stimulating, bringing the deftly written screenplay to life, while Molly Parker as Sandra gives a riveting, dazzling lead performance, allowing us to glimpse not only some understanding about her obsession, but to actually see things from her perspective. Her fascination from early childhood to immerse herself, body and soul into dead creatures is developed credibly, while Sandraís inevitable journey to a funeral parlour and embalming rituals become the expected, as opposed to the un-expected. Scenes demonstrating embalming skills are morbidly fascinating and definitely not for the faint hearted, but the image of Sandra caressing and for the first time, kissing a corpse inside a hearse while going through a car wash, is one of the most bizarre film images imaginable. Most intriguing and engrossing, however, is the relationship that develops between Sandra and Matt (compellingly played by the very good-looking Peter Outerbridge). Thereís humour and human frailty in Mattís obsessive jealousy of Sandraís dead lovers, and the startling ultimate twist has an eerie inevitability. Complex, compelling and overwhelmingly haunting with a passionate musical score, Kissed is a great cinematic experience to be savoured."
Louise Keller

"Films touching on necrophilia have an instant effect: we wonít see them because the subject matter is taboo. But Kissed is not your typical film about the subject; itís a dark, hypnotic comedy, surprising for the deft way director Lynne Stopkewich explores the material. Sandra is one of the more complex female characters of recent memory, a beautiful young woman whose obsession with death since childhood charts her strange destiny. As played by the extraordinary Molly Parker, she is a fascinating, detailed character, trying to come to terms with her own sexuality in a unique fashion. Many critics were put off by the filmís brazen subject matter: death and sex treated so frankly? How shocking, but the film is not designed to shock or to titillate, but to present us with a woman curious about "the other side". Kissed is not a film for everyone, but it doesnít try to be, and it will polarise its audiences. But it does remain a fresh and audacious work, deeply funny, poignant and truly memorable. Itís the most extraordinary, unique film of the year."
Paul Fischer

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CAST: Molly Parker, Peter Outerbridge, Jay Brazeau, Natasha Morley, Jessie Winter Mudie, James Timmons, Joe Maffei, Robert Thurston, Annabel Kershaw, Tim Dizxon, Amber Warnat, Bill Finck, Janet Craig, Edward Davey

DIRECTOR: Lynne Stopkewich

PRODUCER: Dean English, Lynne Stopkewich

SCRIPT: Angus Fraser, Lynne Stopkewich (based on an original story by Barbara Gowdy)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gregory Middleton

EDITOR: John Pozer Peter Roeck, Lynne Stopkewich

MUSIC: Don Macdonald


RUNNING TIME: 78 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 6, 1997
(Sydney only;
Oct 30: Melbourne)

AWARDS: Official selection Cannes 97; Special Jury prize Toronto Film Festival 96

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