Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 31st, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Netherlands, 1990
Director: Babeth (Babeth Mondini vanLoo), Lydia Lunch
Writers: Babeth (Babeth Mondini vanLoo), Lydia Lunch
Cast: Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, Don Bajema
DVD released: January 27th, 2009
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
At the core of this plot is a story that delves in topics like jealously, rage and obsession. The two lovers in the story are named Hedda and Neal. They have isolated themselves away from the rest of the world, in hopes of saving their crumbling love affair. Things become further strained when Hedda’s former lover named Jackson is invited to stay with them. Jackson’s arrival further escalates tension between Hedda and Neal. Besides the three main players the plot also features flashbacks to other doomed relationships who have occupied the house where Hedda and Neal have been staying.
Visually the film takes full advantage of its minimal locations. The one area where this film comes up short is that the story and its characters are not given enough time to flesh things out. The films clocks in at just over thirty five minutes. The main creative force behind Kiss Napoleon Goodbye is Lydia Lunch who co-written, co-directed by and starred in the film as Hedda. Lydia Lunch began her journey as an artist as the lead singer of the new wave band Teenage Jesus & the Jerks. Over the years she continued to evolve as an artist with her spoken word performances, poetry, music and she has appeared in numerous films including Asia Argento’s The Heart is Deceitful above all Things.
The two other main roles in this short film are Henry Rollins (in his first starring role) as Jackson and Don Bajema in the role of Neal. The three leads Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins and Don Bajemaare all very good in their respective roles. Ultimately it is not surprising that Lydia Lunch gives the films stand out performance since she her character is the forbidden fruit her that Jackson and Neal lust after.
Cult Epics presents Kiss Napoleon Goodnight in its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones fare well. There is noticeable edge enhancement and the image looks a tad too soft. Despite the limitations of the source material the image is never too distracting.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. The audio sounds flat and at times distorted. There is also some background hiss that is present throughout. Overall the audio fluctuates and I found myself adjusting the volume more than once during playback.
Two extras have been included with this release a five minute spoken word piece titled Lydia Lunch “It’s a Mad World” and a fifty one minute documentary titled Lydia Lunch “Paradoxia & a Predator’s Dairy”. This documentary is a collection of spoken word and musical performances which are wrapped around comments from Lydia Lunch. Overall Kiss Napoleon Goodnight makes it way to DVD via Cult Epic’s well rounded DVD that fans of Lydia Lunch will want to pick up ASAP.