8 December 2008 | jeroen-achterberg
When you kiss, you either give or you take
Interview with Lance Daly
Synopsis Kisses is a road movie in which two teenagers are trying to flee from their dysfunctional home situation. The change in their life is the discovery of each other (and themselves) while wandering through Dublin (and Trollhatan). The basis for Kisses can be found in major social problems, but Lance Daly is not really appealing to a higher moral or coming up with solutions for Irish victims of abuse. The moral of the film: When you kiss, you either give or you take.
Where did you find Kylie and Dylan, the lead actors in the film Kisses? LD: We have seen a lot of kids at schools, malls, etc. Finally we made a selection of 15 boys and girls and invited them for a serious screen-test. The role of Kylie was clearly for Kelly O'Neill , as she didn't need any encouragement at all. Dylan (Shane Curry) was the only one who could cope with the attitude of Kelly and after seeing the end result I think we have done a good job casting the two.
Working with and directing of kids is generally experienced as very difficult and time consuming, how was that the case for Kisses? LD: Working with kids is indeed difficult and puts a strain on your endurance and mood. I had to adjust to the fact that we were not allowed to keep on filming, because the kids are protected by laws indicating they may only work so much a day. Secondly, they have a mind of their own and you just can not treat them the same as adults. This was at times frustrating, especially Kylie is very demanding and time consuming. On the other hand, Kylie and Dylan make the film and they have done a superb job.
Can you elaborate some more about the title, why did you choose for 'Kisses'? LD: The title was pretty obvious for me and came up during writing the script. The film consists of several chapters and every chapter ends with a kiss. The kisses symbolize hope and love, which makes it a bit cheesy and romanticizes the film. But hey it works and closes the chapters well.
There are many references to Bob Dylan, where does this fascination come from and why was it so pre-eminently in the film? LD: Well Bob Dylan is a great musician, whose music fits perfectly with the spirit of the film. The appearance of the look alike was a coincidence but also works out perfect with the accidental meeting with Kylie and Dylan.
Have you considered adding English subtitles to the film as the Irish accent is difficult to understand for non Irish viewers? LD: It is funny that you ask me that question. Recently we have had this discussion back home and we just didn't know for sure. During the Q&A after the screening at festivals we have asked the audience if they would have understood the film better if there were English subtitles. Almost half of the people would have liked it and therefore I expect subtitles will be added before the theatrical release.
What is the foresight for Kisses? LD: Focus Features and CAA (North America) picked up Kisses for sales and distribution. At this point the film is still showing at some festivals and around December 2008 Kisses will have its theatrical premiere in several countries.