Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.



Shall We Kiss?


Written and Directed by
Emmanuel Mouret

Starring Virginie Ledoyen, Emmanuel Mouret, Julie Gayet, Michaël Cohen, Frédérique Bel, Stefano Accorsi

Just when we thought the slow moving, low action film about love and friendship and the quality of relationships was an event of the past having been covered too often too much, along comes yet another film questioning the nature of love and friendship. It strives to draw a line between the two when in fact the age old understanding that this line is thin and only our restrained actions can ultimately bring to resolution the nature of who we are to one another.

'Shall we Kiss?' is best answered with a conscious decision not with an act compelled solely by an emotional impulse.

The film brings this point home with the use of suburb acting. The augmentation of the dialogue with vivid fine works of art that hang from the walls. Even the wall paper in the last scene, age old in design, becomes so strong an addition to the film that one is forced to look at it and only with effort to look away to the actors as they perform their parts exquisitely well.

But why this film at this time?

I never thought the Internet would bring us so far afield of how to relate, that "hooking up" would become the norm and voyeurism the way of life for the very young through adolescence and beyond. But here we are on the precipice of never having to leave our personal abodes to be fully entertained, to never having to say our names or going through all those uncomfortable introductions We are on the brink of being so segmented in our daily interactions, so false in our ability to convey our essence that this film 'Shall We Kiss?' poses a question that survived for centuries and is now as never before threatened with extinction.

Yes, We Shall Kiss. We should know each other's names and the smell of our bodies and what each other thinks or doesn't. What else is there in life if not this friendship and love for one another. It might not be the ultimate meaning of life, but it certainly is an important ingredient in that search.

I recommend we get back to basics. 'Shall We Kiss?' is a good beginning to an always questionable end.

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

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