Posted by: Coco Buchanan
Full disclosure: I watched this movie by myself in my apartment & actually applauded after it was done. Here’s why.
Bound was written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, otherwise known for directing V for Vendetta and The Matrix movies. Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly star as Corky & Violet- an ex-con plumber, and a super femme girlfriend of a Mafioso named Caesar (played by Joe Pantoliano– sidenote: this dude really scares me ever since I saw that one episode of The Sopranos where he brutally beats a stripper to death). Basically the plot is very film noir, and the style is very pulp-y, except atypical to these styles/genres, it’s INCREDIBLY queerly subversive. *SPOILER ALERT*
Essentially, not only are these two women incredibly smart & crafty, but part of the reason why they get away with the shit they do (like stealing 2 million dollars from the mafia!) is because of their invisibility as lesbians. Caesar is so oblivious to their relationship, that he couldn’t even entertain the possibility-there was one brilliant scene where he walked in on them & mistook Corky for a man at first, but once he realized she was a woman, he was all, “Oh, ha it’s dark in here, nevermind!” Towards the end, when Violet essentially spells out what the deal is with her & Corky, there is the following fantastic line:
Ceasar: “What did she [Corky] do to you?”
Violet: “Everything you couldn’t.”
Dude……BIGGITY BIGGITY BUUUUUUUUUURN!!!!! And I’m not even talking about vaginas- Corky sees Violet for the smart and capable woman she is, and values her in a way that Caesar clearly has never understood and is essentially incapable of doing. Another great line, as Caesar is holding a gun in Violet’s face:
“Either pull the trigger, or get that fucking thing out of my face”
This is to say nothing of the sex scenes. Honestly, this was some of the most erotic shit I’ve ever seen, even though it was super softcore. The tongue-in-cheek strict gender role relationship between Violet & Corky is pretty amazing, and easy to read the wrong way, i.e. the debate about gender performance as exemplified by butch-femme pairings. I’ll try not to get into it too much here & bore the shit out of you, but essentially, butch-femme pairings were at some point thought to (by Western Feminists of the 20th century, primarily) reinforce normative hetero relationships, though gender theorists like Anne Fausto Sterling & Judith Butler say that because they in fact expose the socially constructed-ness of normative gender categories, it actually subverts those categories, rather than reinforces them as “natural” or normal. I hope that made sense. Oh, and I am aware of what a cult hit it is with straight men, but I think this only adds to the subversion- because after all, these two are certainly not fucking each other for the pleasure of any man, which is like THE fear that strikes into the hearts of androcentric straight men everywhere.
Anyway, this is a fucking fantastic fucking movie, and I wish there was a whole sub-genre of this, or at least its own series of comic books. Any nerds out there know of anything to recommend?