Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

Kiss of the Spider Woman & r & & r & by TAMMY MARSHALL & r & & r & & lt;span class="dropcap" & N & lt;/span & ewly restored and distributed by the Independent Cinema Restoration Archive, Kiss of the Spider Woman opens with William Hurt as an effeminate homosexual named Luis Molina recounting his favorite cinematic love story to a skeptical Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia). Both men share a jail cell somewhere in Brazil. Arregui is there as a political prisoner; Molina, for statutory rape.





Annoyed at first by all the melodrama, Arregui pokes fun at Molina's love story about a beautiful French woman (Sonia Braga), a famous stage actress of the 1940s who falls in love with a powerful Nazi who just happens to be in charge of the occupation in France. Arregui soon realizes that Molina is recounting a Nazi propaganda film and voices his disgust. Molina replies, "I don't care, I think it's beautiful." Soon it becomes clear that while Arregui values politics and practicality, Molina stands for romantic escapism. Spider Woman, however, has less to do with politics or romance than with simple human decency.





Arregui is fighting for political freedom against the Fascists; meanwhile, Molina dreams of finding a real man. Then the prison warden complicates matters by hammering Arregui for information; he poisons Arregui's food and promises Molina a pardon if he can convince Arregui to talk.





Director Hector Babenco utilizes extreme close-ups to emphasize the theatricality of Molina's story. Flamboyantly, Molina prances around the jail cell in sheets wrapped to look like kimonos and head scarves. In his swishiness, Hurt's Molina is more like Robin Williams in The Bird Cage then like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. Yet without the over-the-top character that Hurt created, Molina and Arregui wouldn't have collided in style. The two opposites wouldn't have merged and then reversed, and the cinematic version of Manuel Puig's novel about the desperation of the human heart wouldn't have been as effective.





As it was, The Kiss of the Spider Woman won four Oscars in 1986 for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Hurt), Best Director and Best Picture. Rated R

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Bridging the Gap
  • Bridging the Gap

    Bridge Avenue stands as the dividing line between the swanky Kendall Yards and impoverished West Central. Is that about to change?
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Rematch
  • Rematch

    Once again, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Joe Pakootas face off for her seat in Congress. Here are some ways they differ
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Hail to the Chief (Again)
  • Hail to the Chief (Again)

    Craig Meidl again gets the nod from Mayor Condon; plus, a WSU football player in Domino's brawl won't be charged
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Spokane Chiefs Home Opener

Spokane Chiefs Home Opener @ Spokane Arena

Sat., Oct. 1, 7:05 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Murrow's Nightmare

    Debate moderators need to be much more than an onstage prop to make our democracy work
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


Briefs


trail mix


green zone


marijuana


Readers also liked…

  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation