Playing with the physiological and cinematographic principle of the after-image, Provost causes dozens of fast-edited kissing scenes from European and American film classics to collide. The viewer sees flashes from emblematic films like Vertigo, North by Northwest, Blue Velvet, The Thomas Crown Affair, From Here to Eternity made by illustrious directors like Hitchcock, Lynch, Jewison and Zinnemann. They show historic film couples like Montgomery Clift and Deborah Kerr, James Stewart and Kim Novak, Isabella Rossellini and Kyle MacLachlan and Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. But the white silver screen glamour and the eroticism of the well known scenes is deconstructed.
The fast speed of the successive images and the way Provost double-couples the kissing (or about-to-embrace) film couples – letting them collide simultaneously in two films, inducing after-image effects by alternating the scenes rapidly – soon turns these romances into something uncanny. The women’s open mouths, the jacket-clad male backs, the image of ‘the man’ attacking ‘the retreating woman’ — offer 21st-century viewers a different take on the standard cinematic embrace. It’s a more animal-like and threatening image of the always white, always well-dressed, ‘odd couple’.