Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Good evening, BALKers! To help kick off Smut Week, tonight's Midnight Movie is the 1996 neo-noir erotic lesbian crime thriller Bound, written and directed by the Wachowskis (The Matrix, V for Vendetta), and starring Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon as "Violet" and "Corky," a pair of new lovers engaged in a torrid affair while planning a massive heist against Violet's violent mafioso boyfriend, played by Joe Pantoliano. This cult classic and critical darling was the first film the Wachowskis directed and was, essentially, the first script of theirs to come fully to the screen. (Their first screenplay was almost completely rewritten, while they were given complete creative control over this film.) The sibling filmmakers looked to the films of Classic Hollywood comedy and noir legend Billy Wilder for inspiration, and consulted sex expert Susie Bright to choreograph the steamy sex scenes.

Share your thoughts and memories in the comments. Have a gorgeous evening & enjoy the show!


REVIEWS

Roger Ebert:

4/4 stars

"Bound" is one of those movies that works you up, wrings you out and leaves you gasping. It's pure cinema, spread over several genres. It's a caper movie, a gangster movie, a sex movie and a slapstick comedy. It's not often you think of " The Last Seduction" and the Marx Brothers during the same film, but I did during this one—and I also thought about "Blood Simple" and Woody Allen. It's amazing to discover all this virtuosity and confidence in two first-time filmmakers, [Lana] and Andy Wachowski, self-described college dropouts, still in their 20s, from Chicago. [. . .]

"Bound" is shocking and violent, and will offend some audiences. It's that kind of movie. But it's skillful filmmaking, setting a puzzle that involves time, space, money and danger, and seeing how many different ways it can be solved.

The Celluloid Junkie:

It's rewarding to watch the story line of Bound unfold through the cinematography of Bill Pope (Pet Sematary, Army of Darkness, The Matrix) who, working closely with the Wachowskis, was able to craft a film with a heavy, seductive visual noir. Together, the Wachowskis and Pope drew inspiration from graphic novels, Frank Miller's Sin City series in particular.

Every shot is beautifully framed and lit. The apartment building is highlighted as another character in the film, creating, sometimes simultaneously, a sanctuary and prison for those who find themselves within its walls. The Wachowskis would, of course, take this sense of architectural construction to their groundbreaking work on The Matrix, with Bound providing us a first look into their particular, spatial genius.

I remember thinking when I saw Bound for the first time how structured the story was, how polished. I loved it. It was a film I could (and did) watch repeatedly, and not solely for the purpose of watching Gershon and Tilly make out … although, by my own admission, it certainly doesn't hurt.

What I didn't realize then was that part of what makes Bound so original, so special is the fact that it was (maybe) the first mainstream or wide-release film in which lesbians are central to the story, but the plot had nothing to do with the characters being gay.

Mind blown and thank you.


Screenwriters/Directors Lana & Andy Wachowski, with the cute outfit and shade of pink, and the rad Motörhead t-shirt and diabolical eyebrows.

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)


BACKGROUND

Sex scenes

The sex scenes were choreographed by feminist writer and sex educator Susie Bright. The Wachowskis were fans of Bright and sent her a copy of the script with a letter asking her to be an extra in the film. When she read the script she loved it, particularly as it was about women enjoying having sex and not apologizing for it. Disappointed that they never described exactly what was happening in the sex scenes, she asked if she could be a sex consultant for the film and they agreed. The main sex scene set in Corky's apartment was filmed in one long shot. The Wachowskis believed that this would look more realistic than several shots edited together. Although it should have been a closed set, there were actually many people present, moving the walls of the set in order to allow full movement of the camera around the actors.

Bright appeared as Jesse, the woman Corky tries to talk to in the bar. Comedienne Margaret Smith played Jesse's girlfriend and the extras in the bar scene were Bright's friends—"real life San Francisco dykes".

Themes

The Wachowskis describe several themes present in Bound. They say that the film is about "the boxes people make of their lives", that it is not only gay people who "live in closets". They wanted to define all of Bound's characters by the "sort of trap that they were making out of their lives". Violet is trapped in her life with Caesar, and in the first scene, Corky is literally inside Violet's closet, bound and gagged by Caesar. This scene is echoed later in the film when Violet says "I had this image of you inside of me..." This theme of being trapped is exacerbated by the claustrophobic feeling created by the fact that most of the film takes place in Corky's apartment, Violet and Casear's apartment, or the apartment next door where Corky is working.

Susie Bright described some of the specifically lesbian themes of the film. One is the concept of the hand as a sex organ, highlighted by lingering camera shots of Corky and Violet's hands. Another is the repeated use of water as a symbolic motif to represent women, present for example when Corky is retrieving Violet's earring from the sink. Bright describes it as a movie that is "wet" (feminine) as opposed to "hard" (masculine). She says the scene where Corky and Violet have their first conversation is full of "lesbian signs". She highlights the fact that Violet, away from Caesar, is wearing jeans and able to be less overtly feminine. Jennifer Tilly says that whenever Violet is talking to men, her voice becomes high-pitched and "girly"—making her seem vulnerable and ensuring she is taken care of. Joe Pantoliano agrees, saying that the result is that "everyone in the film wants to be with Violet". When she is with Corky, Violet can drop the act and talk at a more natural pitch. According to Bright, the more subtle lesbian themes of the film were noticed and appreciated at the LGBT film festival screenings.


Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)


Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)


Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)


Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)

Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)


Midnight Movie: Bound (NSFW)


Trailer

Film