PUBLISHED 24 JUL 2017
KISS - A LOVE STORY is a short, dialogue-free 3D-animation about the sun and moon’s tender meeting in the form of an eclipse. As a film with no identifiable characters and a limited narrative, how can it fit into what we define as a short film? If there is seemingly no story, is KISS nothing more than a video art piece fuelled by appealing aesthetics?
KISS is described by the filmmakers as “a love story plain and simple, personified by the sun and moon and told as a solar eclipse”. The team originally considered adding subtle facial features to help personify the spatial beings but eventually decided to leave the personalities of the two entities up to its audience. As a result, the film is immediately engaging as we are forced to use our own imaginations to picture what is happening on screen, imagining how exactly these two solar beings could possibly be “kissing”.
The way in which the narrative unfurls within KISS is unique. There is no conflict driving the short but the characters are shown to be polar opposites, visually represented by the stark and limited colour palette the film begins with. The moon is moody and grey while the sun is shining white. This suggests a rivalry of sorts as the oppositional planets orbit one another, with their blank surfaces allowing audiences to imagine if they are fuelled by hatred or love as they float ever closer. These emotional possibilities may be difficult to read but the film does present a clear answer as the sun and moon begin to intertwine.
As an eclipse begins, the planets reach out to one another, sending cascading tendrils of desire to one another. We witness this moment from afar before being submerged into the monochromatic fusion. This is where the “kiss” in the title comes from. Although no lips are present, the fusion of the sun and moon feels intimate, sparking romance in the surreal nothingness of outer space. The contrasting colours beautifully marry in a shower of light and dark and, after a moment of silence, a firework sound signals the success of the eclipse. After this delicate moment, colour rains down upon the world, filling the previously greyscale landscape with life.
There is not necessarily a meaning to take away from KISS, it exists to allow the viewer to relish in its beautiful visuals, aided by the haunting soundtrack that melts into the world of the short. The engaging beauty of KISS creates a bond with the audience; even if we don’t understand what is happening, we still ultimately feel something. KISS feels simultaneously homely and other-worldly, creating familiarity without the comfort of language or colour. We have little grasp of narrative other than our own interpretations, which Aubry and Hodgson suggest was their intention all along. For the directing duo, any time spent pondering their mysterious short film is a success as it means an emotional response - positive or negative - was achieved. This, for a seemingly characterless silent short, is a victory.
Watch KISS - A LOVE STORY here
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