50 years in 50 weeks: 1996's cinematic 'dyke twist'

  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Wednesday September 29, 2021
Share this Post:
50 years in 50 weeks: 1996's cinematic 'dyke twist'

The film Bound, described in the October 3 issue of the Bay Area Reporter, was 'Noir lite with a dyke twist.' The Gina Gershon/Jennifer Tilly stylized romance got off to a passionate start only minutes into the mafia-dodging crime flick, which left fans hungry for an unapologetic bit of sapphic cinema, written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, who had yet to manifest The Matrix.

For some readers at the time, porn actor Rex Chandler appearing live and nude in the stage show Making Porn may have been the most salacious combination of art and erotica that year (March 21).

But women and fans of sly genre-seeped intrigue preferred Bound, and also enjoyed seeing rising star Christopher Meloni in a supporting role.

Yet, as writer Erin Blackwell noted, "the film uses female-to-female erotica to frame a terror and torture-laced endgame between double-crossing mafia thugs." She also critiqued Gershon's tomboy as "too prettified, even for a soft butch," and the film as "nothing to get excited about," yet fans continue to enjoy it as camp, despite the Wachowskis efforts as described by critic Blackwell, "straight men [with a] history of exploiting women's eroticism to spice up their old, tired scenarios."

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.