Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lynne Stopkewich|
|Produced by||Dean English
|Written by||Angus Fraser
|Music by||Don MacDonald|
|Editing by||John Pozer
|Release dates||September 7, 1996 (Tor. Film Fest.)|
|Running time||88 minutes|
Kissed is a 1996 Canadian film, directed and co-written by Lynne Stopkewich, based on Barbara Gowdy's short story "We So Seldom Look On Love". It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 1996.
The film stars Molly Parker as Sandra Larson, a young woman whose fixation on death leads her to study embalming at a mortuary school, where in turn she finds herself drawn toward feelings of necrophilia. Peter Outerbridge also stars as Matt, a fellow student who develops romantic feelings for Sandra, and so must learn to accept her sexual proclivities.
Despite being allowed a substantial grant, Stopkewich went almost $30,000 into debt and cost her company $400,000 so she could complete shooting the film.
The film opens with Sandra Larson staring at a human corpse while she reminisces about at her childhood fascinations with death. As a young teen Sandra was enthralled by the feelings invoked by the stillness and smell of death. At night, a near nude Sandra would dance with the corpse of an animal rubbing it on her body, before giving the animal a funeral. Sandra only had one childhood friend, a girl named Carol (Jessie Winter Mudie) who also had a death fascination. Their friendship ended after Carol found Sandra's ceremonial dance too extreme.
Fast-forward to the adult Sandra at school fascinated in biology, carefully dissecting the bodies of small animal, trying to avoid disfiguring them. Sandra was working for a flower shop when she learned of an opening for a chauffer at a funeral home. She asks Mr. Wallis (Jay Brazeau), the mortician, for the job and he hires her. The funeral home's janitor Jan (James Timmons) believes, like Sandra, that dead bodies still have a soul in them. While driving the hearse with a body in a coffin in the back through a carwash, Sandra looks at the body and finds a shining light, believing that body's soul is alive somewhere.
Mr. Wallis apprentices Sandra in embalming. She starts studying mortuary science in college, where she meets a med student named Matt (Peter Outerbridge) who also must study corpses for his major. Matt and Sandra begin to date, while Matt is intrigued by Sandra’s death fascination. Occasionally they would spend night's together in Matt's basement apartment, but Sandra would leave for late night visits to the mortuary to celebrate the dead bodies of young men with dance ceremonies which escalate into necrophilia as her death fascination increases to an extreme obsession. Matt becomes distraught when he discovers that he is competing with dead bodies. He unsuccessfully tries to get Sandra to talk about her necrophilia, so he starts visiting Sandra at the funeral home which upset her. Matt has to go to an extreme to win Sandra’s heart, as she struggles with choosing between the living or the dead, with tragic results.
- Molly Parker as Sandra Larson
- Peter Outerbridge as Matt
- Jay Brazeau as Mr. Wallis, Mortician
- Natasha Morley as Young Sandra
- Jessie Winter Mudie as Carol, Sandra's Best Friend
- James Timmons as Jan, Mortuary Janitor
- Joe Maffei as Biology Teacher
- Robert Thurston as Detective
- Annabel Kershaw as Mother Larson
- Tim Dixon as Father Larson, Owner of Larson's Flowers
- Kalli Paakspuu, "Lynne Stopkewich: Abject Sexualities" Great Canadian Film Directors, ed. George Melnyk. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press (2007): 394