We think about it every day. Total strangers pass us on the street and we think maybe they could be the one – or at least wonder what it would be like to kiss them.
Thanks to filmmaker Tatia Pilieva, we don’t have to wonder anymore. Her short film First Kiss took the internet by storm last night, featuring twenty strangers in gorgeously simplistic black and white making the instant jump to first base. Moments after meeting, each “couple” was asked to engage in a little game of tonsil hockey. As you can imagine, it all began in a shy, awkward limbo, but then sparks started to fly.
It may be the gracefully minimalistic cinematography, the amazing song selection, or the fact that everyone in the video is really attractive, but Pilieva has created something truly sublime here. The seamless transition from awkward encounter to hot-and-heavy suggests that it’s not that difficult to form a real human connection. Maybe all you need to ignite those fireworks is the confidence to just go for it.
Kissing random people on the street may be taking it a little too far though. I learned that the hard way.
Why can’t the internet give us one piece of innocent bohemia without the controversy?
Yesterday, Slate revealed the grain of salt in Pilieva’s supposed study in human interaction. As it turns out, the WREN listed at the head of the video is a clothing company and First Kiss is an advertisement for their Fall 2014 collection. To add insult to injury, most of the strangers depicted in the video are professional performers trained in the art of acting out intimacy for an audience. The cast includes models Natalia Bonifacci, Ingrid Schram, and Langley Fox as well as musicians Z Berg of The Like, Damian Kulash of OK GO, and singer Nicole Simone, not to mention a handful of professional actors. Couple the onscreen deception with a soundtrack that prompts “If you’re not ready for love, how can you be ready for life? ” and the outcome is not as “beautiful” as we originally thought.
Be looking for a follow-up piece discussing this kind of emotional manipulation in the next couple of days. We have more finger-wagging to do before this is through.