Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Film 27 Missing Kisses (Nana Djordjadze, 2000)

The Duke University Screen Society showed 27 Missing Kisses tonight. It is a film from Georgia in the previous Soviet Union. The main character, Sibylla played by Nutsa Kukhianidze, is a free-spirited tomboy who enlivens a small town where she is visiting her aunt. I found the film to be edgy, zany with nonsequiturs, and interesting though perhaps self-referentially absorbed. I probably missed key cultural context, though the film's narrative style did remind me a bit of Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. The setting and photography were quite appealing.

From the official film website:

A hot Summer. A Broken Promise. A tragic comic Love Story.

It was a Summer unlike any other. Sybille promised Mickey one hundred kisses before the Autumn. But he only got 73.

This is the story of a beautiful, romantic and very upsetting Summer, somewhere in the East. The Summer of the Eclipse. Fourteen year-old Sybille arrives in this sleepy little town to spend her vacation with Aunt Martha. By the time she leaves, nothing will be the same.

On day one she falls in love like never before: With Alexander, the astronomer who looks after the old observatory and who is a somewhat lonely widower. He is forty-one and thinks Sybille is too young for love.

Equally fast, Alexander's son Mickey, also fourteen, falls for Sybille. He knows she must belong to him - at all cost - but she doesn´t take him seriously. And Alexander pretends not to see what is happening.

Sybille is not to be underestimated. It is as if she has electrified the small town. Everyone feels a mad yearning for love. Illiopolous, the schoolteacher, has a heart-attack whilst with his mistress. And Pjotr, the night-watchman, has a most unfortunate encounter with a weapons-grade steel ring.

The arrival of a French Captain in search of the Sea, and the secret screening of an old Emmanuelle film at the local armaments factory bring things to a head.....

96', 35mm, DolbySR

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