Review: ‘Kissing Metal’

DV-shot "Kissing Metal" tells the transparently autobiographical story of a French expatriate producer foundering in Hollywood -- written, directed and starring said producer, Philippe Caland. Unlike "New Suit," that much slicker Gallic send-up of Hollywood that's been doing the fest rounds, pic's tinseltown satire is oblique and soft-edged.

DV-shot “Kissing Metal” tells the transparently autobiographical story of a French expatriate producer foundering in Hollywood — written, directed and starring said producer, Philippe Caland. Unlike “New Suit,” that much slicker Gallic send-up of Hollywood that’s been doing the fest rounds, pic’s tinseltown satire is oblique and soft-edged. Poor image quality, dubious touches of whimsy and absence of known talent rule out theatrical life. Still, pic possess a rueful charm that works well with its comically contemplative tone and zero-budget absurdism, so fest and indie cable could call.

In a tent under the skeleton of his unfinished dream house, an independent Hollywood producer struggles to keep his head above water as everything falls apart around him. Bolstered by mantras and a $2,000-a-month rental statue of Buddha (the kissed metal of the title), he turns his obsessive need to release his unsaleable last feature, the aptly titled “Dead Girl,” into a moneymaking venture, even if it means interpolating footage of an Indian distributor making necrophilic love to the star corpse, via blue-screen, to cinch a foreign sale.

Kissing Metal

Production

A Crosslight Entertainment presentation of a YBG production. Directed, written by Philippe Caland.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Lisa Brook; editor, Lance Cutter. Reviewed at Avignon/New York Film Festival, April 5, 2003. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Philippe Caland, Betsy Clark, Theo Cardan, Michel Nahas, others.
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