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a film noir….with an extra lesbian! April 4, 2007

Posted by Wasik in bound, noir.
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I was intrigued by Bound. On one level, the film could be enjoyed simply as a film noir (see this). Violet made an excellent femme fatale with her sultry voice, dark nails and makeup, soft pasty skin, and powerfully seductive nature. I thought many of the shots in the film were very artistic, and added some cinematic beauty to its raw violence. Watching crime films is often hard because graphic brutality are integral to the plot; however, like Ebert (in the review that Jen posted below), I think that Bound made the mafioso violence and intrigue captivating as well as gruesome. In general, I think that Bound succeeds when considered purely as a genre film.

Enter The Lesbian. Corky’s character is clearly replete with traditionally ‘male’ attributes: she is a plumber, she has tough looking tattoos, she has muscles, and her recent stint in jail has given her a wrong-side-of-the-tracks, tough-guy swagger. In her own way, she oozes sex appeal. Her attractiveness is difficult to pinpoint in a conventional sense because she strongly resembles Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise: she is hot because of her abs, the way she brushes the hair out of her face, and the fact that “she is good with her hands.” At the same time, the obvious fact that she is a woman makes her appeal a bit ambiguous. However, by the end of the movie, I found myself wondering if Corky’s gender actually changed the plot of the movie at all, and I realized it did not. If the actress who plays Corky were replaced by Brad Pitt, the sex scenes in the film would be different, but nothing else would really change. Clearly, this poses a problem: is Corky’s character a female (and lesbian) in order to make the sex scenes in the film racier, or does the fact that there is no difference between her actions and that of a male actor in her place serve to highlight her equality and success in the male-dominated world of mafiosos? I don’t really have an answer to this question, because I think a case could be made for both sides. In any case, I loved the movie.

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