George Leontakianakos created in ‘The Kiss’ a short where irony is the main engine that drives the narrative without being seen by the viewer but making its presence felt from the very first frame of the movie. By quoting the first line from the plot overview it will make it easier to understand the basis of the fine irony: “Despina, a dynamic woman who hates romantic stereotypes, feels lonely.” Even if it starts like this, her whole life presented throughout the short is filled with stereotypical elements that only push the ironic threshold to another level. Despina is seen standing on her sofa with a cup of tea, reading something that looks like a romantic novel, watching an Audrey Hepburn movie, and suddenly having a rage burst, throwing her romantic novel towards the TV, and ending up hitting a photo frame and something that looks like a Christian icon. Of course, what should a lonely woman do next? Well, she will message her ex-boyfriend to say happy birthday, and of course, she invites him over for a glass of wine. After meeting with him, they talk, and eventually, she complains about him, making him leave. Somewhere in the background, there is Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’.
From our point of view, this short represents the true essence of irony, being a case study for all the artists that aren’t familiar with how to use this concept in their art. It is tremendously hard to use irony in a right way in art (and especially in film) and we’ve seen over the years tens of cases where directors went on this road and failed miserably. Well, for the first time we can say that we’ve found a great example, just as in Paul Thomas Anderson's work, of how to use it properly, reason why we definitely recommend George Leontakianakos’ ‘The Kiss’ as a starting point for anyone out there who doesn’t know how to deal with and make use of this complicated term ‘subtlety’.
Written by Vlad A. G