Jacques Feyder | The Kiss

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Jacques Feyder

The Kiss

Jacques Feyder's The Kiss (1928) is a little drama that mixes every sort of genre - romance, soap opera, thriller. It recalls Cecil B. DeMille's The Cheat (1915), in that its central character is a society woman who gets mixed up in a scandalous trial.

Feyder's films are full of unusual interior design. The Kiss is an early Hollywood film to use Art Deco. The heroine's home is full of it, in its most extreme geometric manifestation. Similarly, La Kermesse héroique (1934) is dominated by its recreation of 17th Century Dutch interiors, the kinds we see in the great paintings of the period. Feyder's visual style is these films is built around these decors. Shots are designed to reveal the interior architecture, and display it to its maximum clarity to the audience. Feyder loves geometric compositions. His shots often make the frame of the screen parallel to the rear wall displayed in the shot. Various items of furniture are then displayed at precise positions within the frame. These deco items themselves often have pure geometric shapes: the table with a pyramid inside it being a delightful example.