from the diary: “Sunday 1/26/86
I dropped by to say hello and “Ninnah & Adam … invited me to The Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Plaza in Petaluma. I’d been wanting to see this for a long time cuz it has two men kiss – Raul Julia and William Hurt.
“The movie was absorbing. I really liked the interplay in the cell. The movie fantasies were funny. I was never bored. But Molina (William Hurt) annoyed me. He spouted some lines that sounded as if they’d been lifted from The Naked Civil Servant (the film of Quentin Crisp’s autobiography of the same name) about always looking for a real man but never being able to find him because even if he did the real man couldn’t love him because a real man could only love a woman. He said at one point (about his penis), ‘If I had any courage I’d cut it off.’ I made some comment about the first point to Ninnah during the movie and she said, ‘That’s the eternal homosexual dilemma.’ (meaning the desire to be female, I thought). I bristled but didn’t say anything.
“Later in the car we discussed the movie. I told them I thought Molina was too close to being a cliché and was too unrelentingly tragic – of course he had to die at the end, no faggot can ever be happy. Just another tragic misfit destined to come to a sorrowful end in a world where he can’t fit in. hmph. I enjoyed the movie until Molina left the cell, then I thought it became too much like one of Molina’s fantasies; slightly absurd and more than a little overdone. But the cell interaction was great. I love intimate conversations (like My Dinner with Andre). The close quarters, the two (or small number) interacting so you can feel their presence.
“But the kiss – I was knotted and nervous, my hands were cold, I got no jolt from it – the circumstances with Molina working for the authorities, Raul left to be tortured again.”
No, it’s not about a book. It’s about a movie. But it’s a more thoughtful response than most of the excerpts about books I’ve been posting.