By Roger Smith from IMDb
The film finished and we were invited by the good shepherd on stage to go to the IMDb page to let the world know what we thought. OK so I have started this review in reverse, so let’s go back to the beginning. I’m an American in London and I was asked by a good lady friend of mine if I would like to attend a special film screening as her guest and that was that, oh and just one more thing, I needed to have a dinner jacket.
It has been a long time since I wore one of those, so dusted down and thankfully still fitting, although not done up that is, off we marched on the eve of Valentines Day to the Genesis Cinema in East London (nice venue) to watch the World Premiere of 50 Kisses, which we learned was the worlds first crowd sourced movie which will hopefully get a Guinness Book of records entry for the most people who worked on it, or something to that effect.
’50 Kisses’ the film and its conceptualization, turned out to be a true revelation and genuinely so delightful, that afterwards I found myself really excited at the prospect of having been part of its opening night. One of those nights that are not planned for and you just feel good as the show goes on. 50 Kisses is a collection of very short stories that magically weave into each other without question (a miracle in itself) and are based around a kiss and Valentines Day. You would be pretty stuck to think how many times you can watch a kiss and the possibility that would this fall apart after a few stories gone, but the extraordinary array of talents on display here have achieved exactly the opposite, I also felt there was a universal camaraderie to the makers too, not just in person but from the film itself, many of who were in attendance.
As Forest Gump would say, which feels like the best way to describe it for you, 50 Kisses is like a box of chocolates, you never know which kiss you are going to get, and like a box of confectionery known to the UK as Quality Street, this was a collection of short, sharp, bite sized individual stories, wrapped up in varied colors and shapes that all in one way or another tasted, well of a fine quality.
50 Kisses as a watch flew by and each of them was more than justified with the thunderous applause of the whole audience in tow, a brain wave of an idea that as a repeated international platform, could yield the easiest and most cost effective way for new talents to breakthrough on to the big screen, without the hardships of not knowing which way to turn in order to do so.
Our host for this jolly (as they say over here for enthusiastic time, event or place) Mr. Chris Jones, is the ringleader and bubbly optimistic waver of the film wand of ‘can do’ as an attitude to carry at all times, provided a magical evening for all those involved, which in short and to the point has universally delivered ‘the ones’ to watch globally as film and writing talents to support and reward, with further opportunities I sincerely do hope.
There were awards given prior to the screening which showcased all the writers and filmmakers and also the best of the best films within the film, with a large and thoughtful balance given towards female filmmakers.
These highlighted the most promised of them all and were evenly spread out through the film as a whole; ‘That Good Night’ from Turkey gave us a new female voice as a director to watch out for, she was genuinely over blown for winning.
‘Smasheroo’ from the US, the best picture, handling deftly and sensitively a difficult and emotional subject matter.
‘LOVE’ from the UK which was unfortunately absent from the film for some legal reasons, appears to have been a much loved and daringly made entry, and took home a Guerrilla award for its efforts (it is available to watch online we were told).
And then there was ‘Neil’ from the UK, which seemed to have won the most awards on the evening, collecting gongs and merits for Original Music, Production Design, Sound and ‘Kubrick influenced’ Editing, for a moment I thought Michael Jackson had come back to life when the filmmaker came on stage to collect them, a few people said this to me also, so I wasn’t being odd with this thought. The film was outed from the stage as being a home run from the start and it is certainly a magical lullaby scored Thriller, forgives the pun and closes the movie on a well earned high; it may have also given us the next Christopher Nolan.
Other delights involving Teddy Bears, puppy love and those childhood ‘The Wonder Years’ crushes we all have had warmed us all, devious grannies, zombie love and traffic light shenanigans made us all laugh out loud. I could go on and on, but I will leave it here as otherwise it spoils it and I want you to discover it for yourself.
I hope 50 Kisses does gets a proper theatrical release, it deserves it and earns it and I am sure purely on the audience’s reaction alone, justifiably warrants it. The big screen is a films truest home, and with all the CGI mess we have to accept these days as being the only choice on offer, here is truly a collective breath of many refreshing airs as stories, and the good thing is, is that they all smell like roses, well it is Valentine’s Day, and so they should.
Bravo to them all.