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Kiss of the Spider Woman
June 9, 2018
This year's program will feature the Brazilian-American drama, Kiss of the Spider Woman , directed by Brazilian director Héctor Babenco.
An instant classic, director Hector Babenco’s remarkable film was a sophisticated and high-profile queer triumph in the midst of the conservative 1980s. In an unspecified Latin American country, two men share a prison cell: one (Raul Julia) incarcerated for his leftist militant activism, the other (William Hurt, in an Oscar-winning performance) for his dalliance with an underage boy. In close quarters the two slowly find common ground. Seeking spiritual escape, Hurt’s character enacts scenes from a favorite film, actually a Nazi propaganda piece, evoking the eponymous “spider woman” (fantastically enacted by Sonia Braga) who comes to personify and propel the intensity of the passions that have brought the men to this hellish existence.
Producer: David Weisman. Director: Hector Babenco. Screenwriter: Leonard Schrader. Based on a novel by Manuel Puig. Cinematographer: Rodolfo Sanchez. Editor: Mauro Alice. Cast: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, José Lewgoy, Milton Gonçalves. 35mm, color, 119 min.
Courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
There will be a pre-screening discussion with the producer of the film, David Weisman, and it will be moderated by UC Irvine Professor Catherine Benamou.
Visit our 2017 Archives page to revisit last year's program.