For her “First Kiss” video, filmmaker Tatia Pilieva asked 20 strangers to kiss on camera. While just a few minutes long, Pilieva’s project captures the range of emotions present in scenes where the first meeting immediately precipitates a first kiss.
Her subjects, men and women of unknown sexual orientation, all exhibit similar emotions when faced with the awkwardness of an artificial setting. Some try to talk away their nerves, others laugh or fidget, but ultimately they all end up surrendering to the concept of inevitable intimacy with a stranger.
The black-and-white video, powerful in its simplicity and candor, also gives credence to the idea of sexuality as an act, or an action. There is no difference between the nerves or intimacies of the men kissing women, the men kissing men or the women kissing other women.