Kiss of The Spider Woman was released in a magnificent Collector’s Edition DVD and Blu Ray on October 21st. Spider Woman begins in the narrow walls of a Latin American prison cell, as Molina (William Hurt) tells his new cellmate Valentin (Raul Julia), his favorite story. Molina is a homosexual who has been jailed for seducing a minor, and Valentin is a revolutionary – enough reason to be jailed by the fascist, right wing regime of the country. From that point, stories twist and turn within stories, revealing the many contrasts and similarities between the two heroes. By the end, each man is somehow triumphant, by changing enough to feel the other’s tragedy, and each gains an inner strength to define freedom in new ways.
Aside from the stunning and effortless performances of Raul Julia and William Hurt, for the first time, I was able to go behind the scenes of this masterwork by director Hector Babenco, with the feature length making of documentary titled Tangled Web: Making Kiss of the Spider Woman. The odyssey from novel to film is chronicled in Tangled Web. It profiles the creative team, including author Manuel Puig, William Hurt, Raul Julia, Hector Babenco, David Weisman and Leonard Schrader, who all dicuss the daunting challenges, lessons learned and the deep satisfaction of creating the film, which almost never made it to the big screen. Filmmaker David Weisman’s documentary captures the many unique and emotional moments that turned this amazing project into a breathtaking masterpiece.
Add to all of this, a remastered visual, that brings stunning color and definition to the performances, and what you have is a disc to be experienced and treasured, not just viewed.
More about Kiss of the Spider Woman
This groundbreaking film was the first independent ever to receive the top four Oscar nominations including Best Picture for producer David Weisman, and Best Director for Hector Babenco. Adapted by Academy Award nominated screenwriter Leonard Schrader from Manuel Puig’s novel, set in a non-specific Latin American country, Kiss of the Spider Woman takes a penetrating look at the role of sex, politics, and torture under an oppressive right-wing regime. The timeless story, more relevant today than ever, follows the complex relationship between two fundamentally different men with opposite life views – building with emotional crescendo as they gradually come together in a stunningly transcendental conclusion. William Hurt delivers his Oscar winning performance in this captivating tribute to the power of film and fantasy as escape from inhumane conditions.
Kiss of the Spider Woman also stars Jose Lewgoy, Milton Goncalves, Miriam Pires, Nuno Leal Maia, Denise Dumont, Joe Kantor and a captivating Sonia Braga as the Spider Woman.
Below is the trailer for Kiss of the Spider Woman.