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KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985) 
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Post KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
Click here for the review of Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

Part of the "1980s" series.


Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:18 pm
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Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
I have to admit, I'm slightly saddened that there's no mention of 'Pixote' here, being Babenco's credentials after making that masterpiece probably greased the wheels to this film's completion.


Nevertheless, excellent review. I actually want to see the film now, whereas before my interest was tepid. It seemed like the film had potential for a great deal of technical seams, what with it's alternating narratives and lower budget.


Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:53 pm
Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
My parent once told me about how they saw this film at a theater because they were expecting to actually see the titular spider woman, which didn't appear until near the end of the film. It was kind of an amusing story. I think that I may add this to my list of must-sees now that James has reviewed it.


Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:34 am
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Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
It's strange: I remember seeing this movie when it came out (based on effusive reviews by Siskel and Ebert). I remember enjoying the performance of Raul Julia, and after this I made an effort to see almost any film he was in. I remember a bunch of dark scenes in a prison cell. But other than that, I couldn't remember anything else about this movie if my life depended on it. It's odd how certain movies, even if they're well done, simply make no lasting impression in your memory. I don't know, perhaps this film, despite its many strengths, just didn't make an emotional connection with me.


Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:03 am
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Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
Reading this review I was reminded of a story a co-worker once told me.

He apparently had a friend who was some kind of prison guard. The inmates had the opportunity to order movies to watch occassionally, but they were generally ignorant of what was out there, and they had to rely on movie titles to get a hint of what the movie might be about. Kiss of the Spider Woman sounded like a movie about some hot woman.

Little did they realize it was about guys in prison.


Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:55 am
Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
This movie impressed me the first (and till now the last) time I saw it: I was speechless en depressed for the rest of the evening. Haven't had that feeling anymore.

Wim


Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:25 am
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Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
Wimted wrote:
This movie impressed me the first (and till now the last) time I saw it: I was speechless en depressed for the rest of the evening. Haven't had that feeling anymore.

Wim


I would suggest you NOT watch THE WAR ZONE... To date, that is the most emotionally wrenching movie I have seen. It took a long time to shake it, and I first saw it during a film festival.


Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:07 am
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Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
James Berardinelli wrote:
Wimted wrote:
This movie impressed me the first (and till now the last) time I saw it: I was speechless en depressed for the rest of the evening. Haven't had that feeling anymore.

Wim


I would suggest you NOT watch THE WAR ZONE... To date, that is the most emotionally wrenching movie I have seen. It took a long time to shake it, and I first saw it during a film festival.


I'd personally lean towards Requiem for a Dream as the most difficult film I've seen. The War Zone was also tough to watch but not nearly as much (for me personally at least).


Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:38 pm
Post Re: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (1985)
oafolay wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
Wimted wrote:
This movie impressed me the first (and till now the last) time I saw it: I was speechless en depressed for the rest of the evening. Haven't had that feeling anymore.

Wim


I would suggest you NOT watch THE WAR ZONE... To date, that is the most emotionally wrenching movie I have seen. It took a long time to shake it, and I first saw it during a film festival.


I'd personally lean towards Requiem for a Dream as the most difficult film I've seen. The War Zone was also tough to watch but not nearly as much (for me personally at least).



The following is said with all due respect to James, who has made many substantive arguments regarding both of the aforementioned films.


For me, 'Grave Of The Fireflies' defeats both films handily in terms of both quality and impact. I've never actually reacted to 'The War Zone' in a visceral manner. It's every bit as good in my opinion as James says it is, but I'd argue it's nowhere near as traumatizing, and occasionally
[Reveal] Spoiler:
it's scenes drag so much that the essential horror of the situation is dissipated (the powerful sequence that features Lara Belmont crying helplessly as the dinner table is followed by a sluggish monologue from Ray Winstone which recalls Todd Hayne's approach to dialogue in the film 'Safe', which was a good dramatic fit there but out of place here).


Admittedly, 'Requiem For A Dream was tough for me the first viewing, but ever since my reaction to the film has been one of complete boredom - upon more thoughtful examination, 'Requiem For A Dream' has a (RELATIVELY) optimistic outlook disguised by flickering lights and human suffering.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
It makes certain that the choice of using drugs was made by all four participants, and that their choices were not imposed but determined by the characters, with contrived twists of fate dragging them to their eventual abyss. This is less pessimistic to me, than, say, 'The Sweet Hereafter', which depicts a town of normal people who have tragedy forced upon them for no reason and are then taken advantage of by a deluded man who thinks he can do good but can only cause pain to himself and to their community, or 'Grave Of The Fireflies', in which the main characters are denied safety and home by war, with one character, Setia, providing the symbol of the nation's pride and arrogance, and Setsuko, the sad victim of this national blindness, is slowly starved to the depths of illness and insanity due to Seita's tragic foolishness, slowly (and graphically) condemned to death.


I'd say the most shattering and unrelentingly painful experience I've ever had with a film was 'Night And Fog', a 1956 Holocaust documentary that should not be viewed under any circumstance if you are suicidal, since,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
even as it bombards you with viscera and sheer horror (images which will never be forgotten), it essentially goes to hellish and disturbing lengths to rob you of any hope that this event will be an isolated case and that relentless suffering is promised and and possible for all of humanity. Take that, hope.


Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:09 pm
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