For Kiss and Cry (2015) Liz Magic Laser worked with figure skating coach Marie Jonsson Mackenzie while she trained her two children, seven-year-old Anna and eleven-year-old Axel. Skirting the line between fiction and documentary, warm-up and performance routines are interwoven with scripted dialogue and voice-overs that trace the social construction of the innocent child. The script draws on family values rhetoric, progressive era propaganda and sociology texts about on the history of childhood and child rights movements, as well as on Lee Edelman’s No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004). The underlying ideas were informed by the debates surrounding the culture wars and how the imperative to protect children became an excuse for limiting the liberties of others.
“The kiss and cry” is the phrase used to refer to the area to the side of the skating rink where coaches and competitors gather after performing to await the judges’ verdict, a media strategy invented to elicit empathy.
Featuring figure skaters Anna MacKenzie and Axel MacKenzie and coach Marie
Director of Photography: Nikolay Michaylov
Second Camera: Daniel Froidevaux
Camera Assistant: Dan White
Audio Engineer: Dallas Boyes
Sound Mixer: Jakob Thiesen
Production Manager: Georgina Jackson
Production Assistants: Nick Torok and Andrew Hoekstra.
Commissioned and produced by Mercer Union.