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Shall we kiss?
March 14, 2007 10:51 PM   Subscribe

On s'embrasse?
posted by growabrain (45 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
je n'ai aucune idee des sujets ou les objectifs de la filme. Mais! Oui, toujours oui.
posted by mwhybark at 10:54 PM on March 14, 2007


well. that was depressing.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:02 PM on March 14, 2007


Why did I watch that?
posted by mrnutty at 11:04 PM on March 14, 2007


I totally thought that he was going to turn out to be the director.

Now... I am sad.
posted by Mister Cheese at 11:09 PM on March 14, 2007


That's wonderful. Thank you. Though I really wish it ended earlier - I don't think the (ex-)girlfriend had to come in at all. The point was already made.
posted by Ira.metafilter at 11:13 PM on March 14, 2007


That was awesome, thanks.
posted by patr1ck at 11:24 PM on March 14, 2007


Gah, and I agree completely with Ira.metafilter.

must... use... preview... button.
posted by patr1ck at 11:25 PM on March 14, 2007


god that was great.
posted by facetious at 11:27 PM on March 14, 2007


Or, have the woman come out, stand in front of him crying, trying to say something, then walking away. End on him watching her walk away. But her actually saying "Can we kiss?" seems a bit too much.

Is there any way to download or save the movie?
posted by Ira.metafilter at 11:30 PM on March 14, 2007


I don't feel like watching this. Wish I knew more so I don't waste an unknown amount of time attempting to find out whether I would be interested.

Yes, I'm that lazy.
posted by newfers at 11:35 PM on March 14, 2007


I guess the best way for a dumpy, balding guy to meet totally hot women (one of whom had nice arms!) is to sit in a French cafe, drinking coffee. Gives a guy like me hope...

I appreciated the communion that occured between two strangers during the first bit, and it would have ended nicely when the first woman left. But the O. Henry twist sort of ruined it.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:37 PM on March 14, 2007


that was awesome.
posted by pinespree at 11:39 PM on March 14, 2007


Metafilter: can we kiss?
posted by miss lynnster at 11:43 PM on March 14, 2007


On s'embrace isn't like "let's make out" but, rather, the faire les bises, "kiss, kiss" thing. So it is not really "can we kiss" but "shall we say goodbye?"

Sure, that is how they translated it that way, but I think it is deceiving as to the meaning.
posted by pwedza at 12:03 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Je parle Anglais!
posted by amyms at 12:16 AM on March 15, 2007


That was pretty alright. But yeah, the ex coming out at the end made it less good.

And I totally had a girldfriend say to me "Are we going to kiss?" after breaking up with me.

Girls are sometimes sweet and gentle like that.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:31 AM on March 15, 2007


L'art imite la vie, qui donc imite l'artifice.
posted by rob511 at 1:51 AM on March 15, 2007


Bonjour, bon voyage, vive la France. Je ne sais quoi. C'est la vie, Le Monde.
posted by gsteff at 2:23 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I totally thought that he was going to turn out to be the director.

Me too, Mister Cheese. That would have been better...although then I would have said it was too predictable.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 3:54 AM on March 15, 2007


Un peu de déscription peut aider.
posted by knave at 4:01 AM on March 15, 2007


La vie est un renvoyer des chiens avec du fromage très vieux mélangé po.
posted by moonbird at 4:12 AM on March 15, 2007


So French.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:22 AM on March 15, 2007


This reminded me of the cafe scene from "Surviving Desire," an early, and sadly forgotten, film by Hal Hartley. Jude (Martin Donovan) asks his student, Sofie (Mary Ward), to change the pronouns as she recites her short story. Its effect is brutal and the repetition of the dialogue in the scene is brilliant.

I was unable to find the text or video anywhere online. Anyone?
posted by papoon at 4:59 AM on March 15, 2007


great little movie.
posted by Substrata at 6:12 AM on March 15, 2007


Great. Thanks. Though I too agree it would be better without the second lady.
posted by dame at 7:20 AM on March 15, 2007


C'est super, ça. Je suis pleure un petit peu, malgre moi.
posted by everichon at 7:42 AM on March 15, 2007


Lovely.

It's amazing how at first the girl comes off as a bad actress (her affected twitching at the bar made me think at first that this was going to be torture to watch), but once she makes a connection to the man it's as if she suddenly stops acting and it's real. That is extremely, extremely hard to do in a convincing way.

And yes, the second lady was overkill. It was obvious from the man's reaction.
posted by winna at 8:16 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh - DO watch it!!!

(Reminds me of this pretty famous poem, Dejeuner du Matin, by Jacques Prevert)

He poured the coffee
Into the cup
He poured the milk
Into the cup of coffee
He added the sugar
To the coffee and milk
He stirred it
With a teaspoon
He drank the coffee
And put back the cup
Without speaking to me
He lit a cigarette
He blew some rings
With the smoke
He flicked the ashes
Into the ashtray
Without speaking to me
Without looking at me
He got up
He put his hat
On his head
He put on
His raincoat
Because it was raining
He went out
Into the rain
Without a word
Without looking at me
And I
I took my head
In my hands
And I wept
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:16 AM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the post - it reminded me (in that vague set in a European cafe sort of way) of 7:35 in the morning. I think everyone above nails my thought on the second lady.
posted by Staggering Jack at 10:26 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


C'était émouvant, ça.
posted by jouke at 11:49 AM on March 15, 2007


Thank you Jody. I really liked that.

I've learned a copious amount about a lot of things in this world over my lifetime, but my knowledge of poetry is almost scandalously deficient.

And that is despite the fact that I seem to enjoy it when I encounter it, and I enjoy writing my own hackneyed tripe on special occasions.

And I totally had a girldfriend say to me "Are we going to kiss?" after breaking up with me.

Girls are sometimes sweet and gentle like that.


Heartbreaking. And familiar.

The clip? Great. I rather enjoyed it, although I think the 2nd woman was absolutely necessary. In truth, I think it would have been best if the first girl had walked away, and then turned around and came slowly back and asked the bonhomme, exceedingly quiet and timid, practically a whisper "Can we kiss?".

Of course, that's probably why its a good thing I'm not a film director.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2007


The 2nd woman was the feature of the piece. Without her, the whole thing is just a study in a stranger's random suggestion improving the quality of acting.

With her, it becomes a story about black irony, in which the stranger's reticience is revealed to be because of a suffered gut punch, his powerful suggestion to be an act of hurt knowledge, and his stolidity in the face of the irony quite moving.
posted by felix at 12:44 PM on March 15, 2007


Oh, Staggering Jack, I'm so glad you posted that link! I've been trying to re-find that movie for the longest time, not wanting to spend an ask-me question for help.
posted by vytae at 1:36 PM on March 15, 2007


"The 2nd woman was the feature of the piece. Without her, the whole thing is just a study in a stranger's random suggestion improving the quality of acting."

Noooooooooooooooo! felix!

Surely the viewer was already starting to understood the stranger knew the terrible meaning of the words she was initially simply mouthing? That his quiet empathy was the key to her understanding?

Which is why the ta-daah! (or the O. Henry twist as others have put it) seemed like an excessive flourish?

(Whatever - it's great to note the short won tons of awards - from the "about this film" bit. Makes me rather love the French sensibility all over again.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:31 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree with felix. Yes, I suppose at the highest level of story-telling, the bit of exposition at the end is more than necessary, but I don't think it's so extraneous as to be distracting. It's interesting to watch him again, looking over his shoulder to the restroom, for example.

If you don't like it you could always watch that Valentine's Day breakup on YouTube again.
posted by dhartung at 3:19 PM on March 15, 2007


dhartung, I don't think anyone's saying they don't like it, they think it's great, just that it could've been even better if it ended earlier. Here's why for me: (SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ANYONE WHO HASN'T SEEN IT)



- As Jody Tresidder said, it dawned on the actress that he was speaking from experience. It might've even reminded her of her own experiences. If the film had ended on her leaving, we would've had a different story, sure - perhaps called "Try It Smiling" - but that's a great story on its own.

- I would say that this story, the one of her stumbling into a stranger's pain and realising, and how they react to that, is about a million times more interesting than the story of "black irony".

- With the "black irony", that kind of coincidence is unlikely enough already. Imagine, to be right in the middle of a breakup, and then while your girlfriend's in the loo, have an actress who happens to be rehearsing a breakup scene choose you to rehearse with. It's pretty unlikely already, don't you think? But even if you go with that story, to have the 2nd woman actually say the same line that was in the script - don't you think that's a bit too much? Doesn't it just distract from the emotional core of the story, and make you think more about the coincidence, maybe more about the writer's cleverness, or the character's misfortune, than the heartbreak itself?

- As winna pointed out, the acting is fantastic. I felt this is true for the two main characters, but not for the 2nd woman, brief as her part was. There's just something about her that felt jarring, that didn't belong.

- This may be a personal preference thing - some people like things tied up and explained. I personally find that when they allow you to join the dots yourself in your own head, the result hits you much more powerfully. Perhaps because it's then partly yours, because you've shared in the experience in some way.
posted by Ira.metafilter at 4:25 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jody Tresidder: thanks for posting the Jacques Prevert poem! Do you know the Raincoats song No Looking? They wrote it based on the poem. It's one of my favourite songs, and I'd been meaning to look for the original poem it's based on for a while now, but never got round to it. So, thanks! :)
posted by Ira.metafilter at 4:43 PM on March 15, 2007


pwedza: Translation is a difficult thing, but what you said is so important - if it means "shall we say goodbye?", the ending becomes much more understandable. I hate mistranslations like this, that distort the intent of the original.

This is why as much as I am for variety and diversity and fascinated by all the different languages, sometimes I wish everyone on the planet just spoke the same one.
posted by Ira.metafilter at 5:26 PM on March 15, 2007


I am with felix. I feel the ending works well, I prefer to believe the first woman gets real because his suggestion is real and does not nessasarily know she has walked into his pain. I liked watching for his reaction at the end. Loved the acting.
posted by pointilist at 8:32 PM on March 15, 2007


Ira.metafilter,

No, I didn't know the Raincoats song "No Looking" at all - but I do now!

I immediately scurried off to find it - and it's absolutely brilliant.

I could only find a sample of the track online - but shall pursue it.

I also came of age -gulp! - bang smack in the middle of post punk and I love that voice/arrangement. (I also think - pretty obvious really - that good poems deserve as many lives as they can stand.)

Thanks very much indeed.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:49 PM on March 15, 2007


Enjoyed that short film. Also the FirstPost site. There was an amusing photo there I liked.

And ps, a little mash note, growabrain, your home site rocks, it's fantastic.
posted by nickyskye at 9:27 PM on March 15, 2007


More there >> Wow
posted by growabrain at 10:14 PM on March 15, 2007


I don't think the strength of the ending comes from it being a tidy explicatory wrapup. I think it comes from two places: a deeper, more emotional stab; and a rooting in immediacy.

The emotional stab: the man is revealed to have been playing along about a terrible situation in which he is actually currently involved. It's not a nursed-along high school fling; it's not a generalized depression about an inability to find true love; it's a violent irony. Imagine the strength this poor bastard had to have to try to help the actress despite knowing what he knows.

The immediacy: a second story is revealed to us in the span of seconds. In the no-O-Henry-ending cut, the actress walks away sadly, the man broods into his coffee. His story could be pretty much anything. He has no future, no growth, no past. We feel bad for the guy -- we have our suspicions -- but we have no real reason to believe anything in particular.

But in the O-Henry-ending cut, we have sudden access to a range of insights. He's strong. He's not only in the middle of a terrible breakup, but he's able to use the details, to hand them over in assistance, to help a stranger with her problem. His heart is being torn right now; and in addition to being forced to relive the events of a few moments ago, he is also, at the end of his time with the actress, being forced to live the events of a moment to come: the final denouement of his relationship with the second woman. And it darkens him, both figuratively and literally, but we know he'll come through it.

O. Henry endings may be in general a cheap trick, and certainly M. Night has done nothing in the recent years to improve their reputation, but in this sort of small, careful, well-acted set piece they have an impact that Lost in Translation style endings can't match.

Vive la France.
posted by felix at 9:25 AM on March 16, 2007


Seconding the wow for The First Post's movie archive, which is under the heading "Soho", the public entertainment part of London. The more I look at that site, the better it gets. Nice surprise.
posted by nickyskye at 9:29 AM on March 16, 2007


"But in the O-Henry-ending cut, we have sudden access to a range of insights. He's strong. He's not only in the middle of a terrible breakup, but he's able to use the details, to hand them over in assistance, to help a stranger with her problem. His heart is being torn right now; and in addition to being forced to relive the events of a few moments ago, he is also, at the end of his time with the actress, being forced to live the events of a moment to come: the final denouement of his relationship with the second woman. And it darkens him, both figuratively and literally, but we know he'll come through it."


Zut! - I read all that in his eyes, felix!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:02 AM on March 16, 2007


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