Lance Daly's film 'Kisses' to open in the U.S.
Director has made a name for himself on the strength of Kisses his most successful feature film to date
Irish film director Lance Daly is making his name with The Good Doctor, his forthcoming new feature with Hollywood A-lister Orlando Bloom. But on July 16 his film Kisses, a definite crowd pleaser set in Dublin, will open and introduce the new Irish director to America.
Where can you run where there’s nowhere left to run? That’s the tough question that Irish film director Lance Daly’s hard hitting new film Kisses (set in present day Dublin) asks.
The surprise is that the two people asking it are 11-year-old runaways, Kylie and Dylan, a pair of next-door neighbors who make a secret pact to escape to the big city together.
Opening in New York on July 16, the new Irish film introduces us to tough girl Kylie, who lives with her five younger siblings and her overworked mother in a tiny house next door to loner Dylan.
Dylan, it turns out, has problems of his own, growing up with an abusive father and the painful and persistent memory of his runaway brother. Inevitably these two plucky kids hatch a plan to find him, making their way toward the big smoke with the hope of finding new lives for themselves, too.
It’s a heartrending premise and Daly, 34, delivers on it handsomely without lapsing into sentimentality.
“The idea for it came to me while driving around the featured parts of Dublin listening to Bob Dylan’s Bringing it All Back Home and remembering thoughts of running away as a kid,” Daly told the press.
For Daly and for the two characters who populate his urban fairy tale, the music of Dylan represents everything the two kids are in search of -- freedom, fun and a more authentic life, even though they can’t put that quest into words just yet.
“It doesn't hurt that we refer to Bob Dylan as a folk and musical god twice in the film, I think it's very respectful of his legacy. That’s why his people gave us the rights to his songs,” says Daly.
Every frame in Kisses is seen through the wonderstruck eyes of two impressionable kids, so the city street lamps shine like carnival lights and everything that’s encountered is fresh and new. At night, magic and terror lurk behind every street corner of inner city Dublin.
The film itself began its journey in Galway at the Galway Arts Festival, where it won the best Irish film award outright. By the time it screened at the Toronto Film Festival, Focus Features came on board to handle international sales. It was a remarkable ascent for a debut Irish feature film, and Daly was picked to helm a major Hollywood feature on the strength of it.
In Kisses Daly makes terrific use of lighting and subtle camera work to pull the best possible performances out of his young stars. That kind of talent can’t be faked and it helps to give the film its gritty realistic quality.
Like his two young actors Shane Curry and Kelly O’Neill, Daly was born and educated in Dublin where he spent time as an actor, a musician, a photographer and editor before finally making the leap into films, a role he had aspired to since his childhood.
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