In the Shadow of Love: The Cinema of Philippe Garrel

Emergency Kisses

Les Baisers de secours

Philippe GarrelFrance90 minutes198914AB&WFrench

Feb 11
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    Forgoing an onscreen surrogate, Garrel takes the lead in Emergency Kisses as filmmaker Mathieu, who refuses to cast his wife Jeanne (played by Garrel's wife Brigette Sy) as herself in a film he is making about their own love story. Unable to convince Mathieu to reconsider his choice, the distraught Jeanne begins to call his fidelity into question, conflating his professional betrayal as a betrayal of their love (just as he has blurred the roles of artist and husband). Also featuring Garrel's father Maurice and his then five-year-old son Louis, Emergency Kisses is a favourite of filmmaker Leos Carax, who described it in poetic yet precise prose: "Be it at dawn, or at dusk, in a surreptitious silence, someone's hand cranks a handle without anybody around calling for 'Action!' The air is cold. Through his wiry mop of hair, the man looks at a woman he loves. Together they shiver. This shiver: the tingling of the cinema."