Work / Film

Film: 20 strangers kiss for the first time in this oddly transfixing short

I have to confess, I’m wholeheartedly averse to public displays of affection. It doesn’t even matter if I’m bathed in a rose-tinted mist myself, all it takes is a pair of slurping snoggers on the Tube and my reflex is to double up immediately and start making violent and theatrical retching sounds, the likes of which are rarely seen outside of children’s telly programmes. With that in mind, this short film by Tatia Pilieva, in which 20 strangers meet each other and then proceed to kiss for the first time, took me completely by surprise with its simple and strangely transfixing approach.

The excruciatingly awkward first meeting should have been enough to have me clicking on the escape button in seconds, but the simple and honest chemistry (or lack thereof) between each pair was enough to keep me glued to the screen. Nose squashes, noisy slurping and princess-like leaning all served to increase my fascination rather than to curb it, as awkward quickly turned to adorable. Beautiful and surprising, this is an absolute must-watch, if only for the moment where one lady exclaims “well that was lovely!”

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Tatia Pilieva: First Kiss (still)

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Tatia Pilieva: First Kiss (still)

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Tatia Pilieva: First Kiss (still)

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Tatia Pilieva: First Kiss (still)

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Tatia Pilieva: First Kiss (still)