There is such beauty and passion when you see two lovers embracing and sharing a kiss. Their back story is unknown to the observer. Where they were before reuniting and where they are going after is not clear either, but what you can see is two people sharing a moment of love and lust. Hands held or embracing each other’s faces; bodies melting with every stroke of each other’s lips. This is a kiss of two lovers who share a past, a present and a future. However, would this image change if there was no shared history?
Tatia Pilieva, an amateur film maker, has captured the intrinsic beauty encapsulated within a first kiss. In a moving short film aptly titled First Kiss, Pilieva unites twenty strangers and captures the beauty which emerges from a kiss. The beauty lies in the initial awkwardness which soon dissipates to a passionate embrace between strangers.
Each couple initiates their kiss in a different manner highlighting the various responses people take towards intimacy. Some couples begin by introducing themselves and others talk about their background and what they do. Interestingly, nerves begin to fade after these initial introductions suggesting that having even the smallest amount of contact is both calming and reassuring.
Others begin by engaging in touch and sight. By holding each other’s hands and feeling each other’s bodies one couple begins to embrace as if they were long time lovers reunited after years of separation. The passion that is ignited between the two highlights the importance of multiple senses such as sight, touch and taste in order to ignite passion and lust.
A kiss can be both passionate and ugly, however there is still a beauty embedded in this image. The film captures the kiss between an actress and a gentleman. The man feels more at ease knowing that she has done this before in her profession and the viewer assumes a sincere and stylised kiss will occur. Instead, the couple embrace in an odd battle as she retreats from his eager lips. The beauty lies in the juxtaposition between reservation and passion which often holds us back from initiating a first kiss.
The film also highlights the eclectic mix of ages, ethnicities and sexual orientations, emphasising the complexity and difference between people yet the simplicity of passion and beauty. By including this dimension the audience is involved in an all-encompassing behaviour which transcends multiple facets of human identity.
The captured image caught between two women and two men is starkly contrasted. In order to ease nerves, the two women begin by looking at each other forming an emotional connection before kissing. The two share a gentle and loving kiss which is met with delight. In contrast, the two men awkwardly stand facing one another, complimenting each other on their eyes in order to ease nerves. The two share a reserved kiss and hug at the end as a means of ending contact. Interestingly, each couple shared a similar focus on eye contact emphasising the strength and power of sight as a means of gauging whether the other is interested in pursuing.
The symbolic nature of this film lies within each couples transition between fear and reservation towards passion and beauty. Letting go of inhibition and allowing emotions to transcend through the touch of two lips highlights the unnecessary need for a shared past, present or future. The beauty in a single kiss comes from within no matter the history shared between two people.
image: Tatia Pilieva