Bound (1996) (1996)
January 1, 2023 2:27 AM - Subscribe

Corky, a tough female ex-convict working on an apartment renovation in a Chicago building, meets a couple living next door, Caesar, a paranoid mobster, and Violet, his seductive girlfriend, who is immediately attracted to her.

Sparks fly when Violet (Jennifer Tilly) sets eyes on Corky (Gina Gershon) in an elevator. Violet is the girlfriend of a violent gangster, Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), while Corky is fresh out of prison and doing renovations on the apartment next door. As the two women launch into a passionate love affair, they assemble an intricate plan for Violet to escape from Caesar, with two million dollars of the mob's money -- but the important part is to make it out alive.

Written and Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski

Staring Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano

89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

JustWatch listing.
posted by Marky (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Late in the last century I saw an innovative new-noir with script and direction from a pair of siblings. I thought this small movie seemed far better than almost anything else released that year and I looked forward to more movies from the same director(s). Unfortunately, the followup was a Big Dumb Trilogy, which I found deeply disappointing but which was inexplicably popular with a lot of people, and since then the output has been... erratic at best. Nothing has ever lived up to the promise of that first feature.

Why yes, I’m of course talking about Christopher Nolan and Memento. But it’s just as applicable with Los Wachowski and Bound.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:18 AM on January 1 [7 favorites]

It's kinda been weird to have been a fan of the Wachowskis since this movie only to see it fade from public awareness as they grew more successful.

Suzie Bright was a consultant on this and her DVD commentary is pretty interesting if, like me, you're not a lesbian and not attuned to the subtleties in the film.

In some ways, to me this film is to the Wachowskis what Jackie Brown is to Tarantino — sort of a glimpse of the superior craft and artistry these filmmakers are capable of when they use a lighter touch.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:18 AM on January 1 [10 favorites]

I read at the time it was released that Corky had been originally written as male.
posted by brujita at 8:38 AM on January 1

I read that the studio tried to get them to change Corky to be a man but they refused.
posted by octothorpe at 11:35 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]

I thought the Matrix movies were kind of great in their own way, but I can sympathize with the frustration of watching a director go from making scrappy indie movies you love to big blockbusters that don't do anything for you. I feel like Peter Jackson peaked (by a mile) with Heavenly Creatures and I think James Cameron hasn't made a really good movie since the original Terminator.

Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly both seem to have discovered some weird fountain of youth. This movie came out nearly three decades ago and they've both hardly aged and they're as hot as ever.

Thanks for posting, Marky. I have never seen Fanfare so quiet. Admittedly it was New Year's, but we went two whole days without a new post!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:32 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]

It has both Susie Bright on screen and Susie Bright as consultant on hot hot lesbian sex.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:29 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]

I walked out of this and asked for my money back which I always laugh at in retrospect (I was a lesbian living in Northampton at the time!!)
posted by latkes at 7:23 PM on January 1

I have never seen Fanfare so quiet. Admittedly it was New Year's, but we went two whole days without a new post!

We need to send out a search party for DoT.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:47 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]

I once walked past Jennifer Tilly on the sidewalk outside a theater after a thing she was in and she looked exactly like she does in the movies, no matter how long ago the movie was. Supernatural! IMDb says she's 5'7" but she seemed over 6ft, which is just a testament to her being larger than life.

Bound is so exemplary of the 90s independent cinema explosion, maybe a peak before Memento a few years later seemed to mark the beginning of the disintegration of single-screen repertory theaters (and the consequent ascendance of Equinox gyms). I still give both the Wachowskis and Nolans my faith, even if Cloud Atlas was a slog for me and I didn't even see Matrix Resurrections.
posted by rhizome at 1:53 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]

I saw Gershon and Tilly present this in person a few years ago and they're still both totally wonderful.
posted by octothorpe at 5:37 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]

THIS MOVIE! It ignited my interest in noir and crime stories in general. How different the stories are when you center women instead of the men again and again. Gina Gershon is wonderful, but Jennifer Tilly as a woman with thoughts and agency rather than a "girlfriend" is one of my all-time favorite characters.
posted by epj at 11:30 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]

I rewatched this recently and it was interesting to see some bits like the camera following the telephone wire that were reused in the Matrix movies.

Love this movie. Saw in the theaters when it came out. Hadn't watched it in a while and it totally holds up.

It would be interesting to see Lana return to small stories. Make them science fiction even. I'd love to see someone doing small science fiction stories.
posted by kokaku at 5:37 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

That was an immersive to watch and it is amazing how much I remember it, given that I saw it only once by accident when it made its appearance on TV.

I knew nothing of the Wachowskis then and I assumed it was an older Tarantino film or someone else who succeeded at emulating a Tarantino style film.

All around great movie, but I have to say the violence and sense of doom got to me here, even though I saw far worse in other movies, and even though it had a happy end (I think?)? I don't know how to explain it, maybe like the movie was leaning too much on the threat level and general gloom facing a Lesbian in a patriarchy? You know, kind of like poverty porn, but with Lesbians?

Still great though.
posted by Ashenmote at 9:51 AM on January 4

I saw this movie for the first time recently, and was delighted! If you're a fan, I highly suggest catching season 2, episode 4 of Chucky, Death on Denial. It's essentially a murder mystery/love triangle bottle episode/Bound reunion featuring Jennifer Tilly (a series regular), Gina Gershon, and Joey Pants, and a special guest appearance by Meg Tilly!
posted by quatsch at 6:42 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]

Saw it in the cinema at the time, and have seen it in the cinema recently, it holds up well.
I can't explain, at all, how there was nothing similar to this at the time, and I would say since. A film with queer women that wasn't a coming out story, or a one of them dies at the end story, or a their family hates them story, it was just a fucking heist, and they got (very well!) laid, and Corky was sneery and butch and caught herself about to smell her fingers, and Violet played her like a fucking violin ("are you surprised I know what that is?") and they all lived happily ever after, and drove off in a big new shiny truuuuuck!

I've mentioned it elsewhere, but I could not get my head around how two straight guys managed to make such a female-gazey dyke movie. And then they told me how. Love this film so much. Someone kept my DVD, so I am trying to decide what is the best blueray offering. I have learned that the blueray has a lot of good retrospective materials on it and that initially Tilly was cast as Corky (?) and Linda Hamilton as Vi (?!?). Imagine that film!
posted by Iteki at 3:18 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]

Also, this is a fun interview with Tilly and Gershon in like 2019.
posted by Iteki at 3:38 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]

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