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Les baisers de secours (1989)

The familiar conflicts of a film director planning to make a movie about his life and the confrontation he has with his wife, an actress who was turned down for such project in which she wanted to play herself.


Philippe Garrel


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Cast overview:
Brigitte Sy ... Jeanne
Philippe Garrel ... Mathieu
Louis Garrel ... Lo
Anémone ... Minouchette
Maurice Garrel ... La père de Mathieu
Yvette Etiévant ... La mère de Mathieu
Jacques Kébadian Jacques Kébadian ... Paul
Valérie Dréville Valérie Dréville ... Josette
Aurélien Recoing ... Le comédien
Pierre Romans Pierre Romans ... Le metteur en scène de théâtre
Charlotte Clamens Charlotte Clamens ... L'amie de Jeanne
Laurent Wennig Laurent Wennig ... L'amant


The familiar conflicts of a film director planning to make a movie about his life and the confrontation he has with his wife, an actress who was turned down for such project in which she wanted to play herself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

4 October 1989 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Beijos de Emergência See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Film debut of Louis Garrel. See more »


References Maine Ocean (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Didn't impressed me the way it could have
13 November 2012 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

"Les Baisers de Secours" ("Emergency Kisses") would be an interesting piece of relevant art when it comes to present an aspect of things that sometimes, not always, concerns the artistic process that involves choices while making a movie. Philiosophical and quite realistic, it's too bad that it's too dry, unfairly pretentious, half interesting. The interest for it fades away quickly and the pessimism of the character takes over, isn't constructive for the movie's actions, uninvolving for the most part.

Mirroring his own life, Philippe Garrel portraits with his real life family (his father Maurice, his son Louis and his then partner Brigitte Sy) the obstacles an film author puts up against while making choices as an artist and as a man. The discussion begins when his wife, a very talented yet insecure actress is refused by her husband to portray a character who is based on herself in his next project. She even tries to persuade the chosen actress to give up the role but she doesn't give reasonable explanations for such. Art isn't perfect, neither does life. Parallel to this, their marriage seems to deteriorate more and more, separation is eminent and comes the problem of finding what love truly means and share their son's love and attention.

This is the kind of story I would love to see because it is real, it happens and I would like to imagine how such process takes place. And if the treatment were comical it would be even better. Family matters mixed with work/film related issues are very hard to conceal; the movie proves that. But why does it all have to be so unclear, so sad and so depressive (and not in a good way)? Mr. Garrel makes deep and existential reflections but he doesn't sustain this string with effectiveness for too long. By the end of the film you'll find yourself bored or with mixed feelings about it. In the end nothing was won, neither the art, neither the family or even this movie.

Technically speaking, despite being beautiful, the black-and-white cinematography evoking traces of the Nouvelle Vague is avoidable. Or at least should be. The dialogs are good while some of the situations are not. Garrel is a better director than as an actor; I didn't feel anything with any of the characters except the father, played by Maurice. His ways of comforting his son, sharing his ideas of love, family, and life are quite positive, meaningful.

One thing is sure: Woody Allen would make something really remarkable with this theme on hands. 5/10

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