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Kiss of the Spider Woman [Blu-ray]

 Unrated   Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
While many like Hector Babenco's brilliant, raw 'Pixote' better, I find
his deeply emotional portrait of two lost souls surviving together in a
South American prison cell even more riveting.

The two towering performances ' William Hurt's feminine gay
storyteller, and Raul Julia's angry but frail (emotionally and
physically) leftist are by far the best work either has done on film.

The intricacies of their slowly evolving relationship are complex,
powerfully moving, and sometimes disturbing,

And while probably 60% of the film takes place in one room, the film
never feels like a play. It's always cinematic.

A special film that holds up to repeated viewings.
Was this review helpful to you?
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
While many like Hector Babenco's brilliant, raw 'Pixote' better, I find
his deeply emotional portrait of two lost souls surviving together in a
South American prison cell even more riveting.

The two towering performances ' William Hurt's feminine gay
storyteller, and Raul Julia's angry but frail (emotionally and
physically) leftist are by far the best work either has done on film.

The intricacies of their slowly evolving relationship are complex,
powerfully moving, and sometimes disturbing,

And while probably 60% of the film takes place in one room, the film
never feels like a play. It's always cinematic.

A special film that holds up to repeated viewings.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine, Thoughtful Movie Nov. 15 2002
By H. F. Corbin - Published on Amazon.com
I remember liking this movie when it came out in 1985 but I had forgotten just how good this movie really is. William Hurt certainly deserved the Oscar he won for his portrayal of Molina, an effeminate sex offender-- he is always in character-- on the other hand, Raul Julia is wonderful as a political prisoner too. This film makes a thoughtful statement about both friendship and what being a man is really all about as well.
I can't remember when I have seen such a realistic film. You can almost smell and taste the awful prison food that these two men eat, for instance. The sex between the two men is handled with great delicacy. This is a really fine movie that troubled me long after I saw it again.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "classic" in every sense of the word! Jan. 22 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
UPDATE!
City Lights Home Entertainment Secures North American Distribution Rights to Academy Award(R)-Winning Indie Classic ''Kiss of the Spider Woman''
Friday May 9, 4:15 pm ET
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray for the First Time
Special Collector's Edition Video Package will include never-before-seen footage and a full-length documentary: Tangled Web: Making Kiss of the Spider Woman
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--City Lights Home Entertainment has acquired DVD, digital and television distribution rights to Academy Award®-Winning Indie Classic Kiss of the Spider Woman. The feature film starring William Hurt, Raul Julia, and Sonia Braga, along with a surprising and never-before-seen feature length documentary "Tangled Web: Making Kiss of the Spider Woman", will be available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digitally for the first time in North America at a future date to be announced.
***********************************************************************
"Kiss Of The Spider Woman", although an emotionally draining film, is a true classic. Right from the first scene, you feel the frustration of Valentin and Molina, both outcasts of society, yet for very different reasons. The acting is nothing short of extraordinary. William Hurt as the lonely homosexual, Molina, the late Raul Julia as the stern, but deeply caring political prisoner, Valentin, and Sonia Braga [who takes on three different roles, including the title role, and plays them all brilliantly], are what make this film so great. Although Hurt deservingly won the Oscar for Best Actor, the same consideration should have been given to Julia and Braga for their contribution, as they were both nothing short of incredible. Why this great film is not out on DVD is a mystery in itself. If you've seen it, see it again....if you haven't, I highly recommend you do.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly moving and poignant story June 26 2008
By Laura J. Lendman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Based on the classic play this film tells the story of friendship, fantasy, love, loss, and betrayl. Set in a foreign prison. Two individuals--a gay man (William Hurt) and str8 man (Raul Julia)form a bond that opens the world of the mind and fantasy to escape the physical realm of their prison walls. Sadly this bond is just a facade to illicit government espionage and secrets.

This film was surely a head of it's time. Some might compare this to a "Brokeback Mountain" style of film. If you are squemish about a film dealing with homosexual aspects this film is perhaps not for you. Even though the film and the story is more mulit-layerd with drama and subtext to be labeled a "gay" film.

The acting performances are incredibly powerful and heart wrenching. Sadly, Raul Julia is no longer alive, but this is a fantastic example of his dramatic ability, when so many are familiar on a larger scale of viewer with his performance as Mr. Addams in ADDAMS FAMILY and ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES. William Hurt does not portray a "typical" gay man for laughs or mocking purposes or explotation. His performances goes much deeper than that.

This film explores how we all can be manipulated by kindness and love when are at our most low and vulnerable place in our life. We all have a choice to merciful and kind, or deceptive to reach our own means. Which eventually backfire on us in eventual time.

I highly suggest reading the play before seeing this film. It might help in understanding.

This is an Oscar winning film and very much so.

Buy it and await the visit and fatal KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN. Will be one to enter this web of complex dimensions. Devout film lovers take note, this should be on your list.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars talk about overlooked! May 12 2001
By MAX - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Why is this film not on video or DVD? Think back to 1985. This was one of the biggest films of the year. Did you ever read a bad review of it?
William Hurt won Best Actor at the Oscars, BAFTA and Cannes for this film! It was nominated for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay Adaptation!
Come on FOX, get your act together and release it!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kiss of the Spider Woman Review from The Massie Twins Oct. 31 2008
By thejoelmeister - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
To each his own form of escape. For political prisoner Valentin it is a dream of freedom with the woman he loves; for cellmate Luis it is to gain a sense of higher purpose by becoming involved with a selfless cause for a love he can never have. In Kiss of the Spider Woman film is an escape on two levels - a momentary reverie from inhuman conditions in a nondescript bastille and as pure cinematic escapism for the viewer who can become lost in a movie of thought-provoking fantasy and film-within-a-film parallels.

Luis Molina (William Hurt) is a [....] window dresser, now a convict in an undefined Latin American prison (marked simply with the name Pavilhao IV), locked away for corrupting a minor. His cellmate is Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia), a journalist revolutionary detained and tortured for his political ties. At first Valentin is annoyed by Molina's fanciful attitude as the two men clearly have opposite life views, but eventually grows to depend on his kindness - a complex relationship that becomes even more intricate when Luis begins to fall in love.

Molina passes the time by telling the story of one of his favorite films, a German propaganda feature that finds distracted singer Leni (Sonia Braga) falling for an enemy Nazi soldier, confused about whether to continue aiding the French Resistance with a plot to steal a secret map to a German arsenal, or trusting in the man she loves. As her story progresses, Molina's real life begins to imitate the embroidered fiction of the movie - for his involvement with Valentin evolves into something shockingly deliberate.

The performances by William Hurt and Raul Julia are quite masterful, with Hurt embodying a quirky and unexpected character resoundingly unique amongst major roles of the time (they were purportedly cast in each other's roles, switching when the chemistry wasn't natural). Although the story is daringly bizarre and oddly beautiful, it is the performances by the leading roles that outshine the morals of the tale. Hurt in drag with his lingering monologues and frequent one-sided conversations is a courageous role that won him the Best Actor Oscar of 1985.

Kiss of the Spider Woman's claim to fame was it's groundbreaking achievement of being the first independent film ever to receive the top four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture for producer David Weisman, Best Director for Hector Babenco, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Leonard Schrader from Manuel Puig's novel. A melancholy romantic theme presides over the muted browns of Molina's fantasy narrative and the darkly tinted blues of their bleak existence as pawns for the oppressive right-wing regime. The escapism and fantasy of Kiss of the Spider Woman is just as relevant as today, and this disturbingly singular film is a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable retreat.

- Mike Massie
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