Posted by: Haley Hastings | March 2, 2010

Review: It Felt Like a Kiss

Shared by Christa Rooks, an advanced magazine writing student at MU. The Missourian is featuring reader contributions from True/False. If you’d like to submit your photos, stories or reviews, send them to

There’s something about happy-go-lucky pop music and video clips from the late 1950s and early 1960s that makes you feel… disturbed. Disquieted. At least, that’s how it feels when Adam Curtis combines these elements in his newest film, “It Felt Like A Kiss.”

So what do you do when the American dream turns into a nightmare? This is what Curtis explores in a film that investigates the unraveling edges of American dominance in the time period just before hippies came onto the scene. On the outside, everyone seems happy, and the music is light and happy, too, so why is there an accumulating sense of dread?We find out when Curtis reveals CIA coups that failed to kill Fidel Castro and that put a corrupt dictator in power in Africa. We are also shown that Saddam Hussein used to work for the United States, that Brian Wilson wrote his happy pop music to distract from the screaming in his head and Lou Reed underwent electroshock therapy to “cure” him of homosexual feelings. This period in American history is drilled into our heads as a “more innocent time,” and yet we discover that this is only a facade for a darker period in our history.

This film is hauntingly beautiful and will stay with the viewer long after he or she has left the theater. American history will never feel the same after “It Felt Like A Kiss.”


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