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(Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, US 1996, 109 min., DCP)
It takes a certain something special to reach “iconic” levels when it comes to LGBTQ+ cinema, and Bound definitely has it. The 1996 crime-thriller, written and directed by trans women and siblings Lana and Lilly Wachowski in their feature debut, packs so many thematic elements into one story: romance, mob thriller, erotica, comedy. It’s got everything.
Corky (Gina Gershon), a lesbian just out of prison, is hired to work on the plumbing in an empty apartment. Next door lives the very sexy Violet (Jennifer Tilly)—who doesn’t hesitate to make her attraction to Corky known during their first meeting in an elevator—and her husband Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), who launders money for Mafia boss Gino Marzzone. When that attraction quickly turns into a steamy love affair, Corky and Violet decide to steal two million dollars from Marzzone and frame Caesar for the crime.
Easier said than done, of course, and as the tension ratchets higher, so does the body count. The Wachowskis were ahead of their time, blending classic film noir (Billy Wilder is a clear inspiration) with their modern comic book–influenced style, and the result is nothing short of masterful. Tilly and Gershon have a palpable chemistry and their love scenes—choreographed by writer and “sex-positive feminist” Susie Bright—are genuine and hot. Suffice to say, the ending did not go the way this jaded moviegoer expected it to in 1996. And trust me, that’s a good thing.
If you’ve already seen Bound, sit back and enjoy how awesome it is. And if you haven’t, I envy you. You’re in for a treat.