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Kiss of the Spider Woman: The Film

Presentation for PRT3391/SPT3130 on the film "Kiss of the Spider Woman," based on the novel of the same name by Manuel Puig.

Alisha Morgan

on 18 November 2010

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Transcript of Kiss of the Spider Woman: The Film

Kiss of the Spider Woman: the Film
Alisha Morgan & Jennifer Quijano
Hector Babenco
William Hurt
Babenco: "What attracted me to the novel was the magical way it showed how men of totally different social, political and psychological backgrounds became friends, and how their personal involvement affected their lives."

Babenco tried seducing Puig with ice cream in attempt to secure the movie rights for the film. It did not work.

Burt Lancaster was originally cast for the role of Molina. He, however, did not like Puig's revised scripts and, according to Babenco, never understood that Molina and Valentin were equals. The director realized that Lancaster was not the right person for the role and let him go, although official reports cite Lancaster's health as the reason for backing out of the project.
Born on February 7, 1946 in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Son of a Polish Jewish immigrant

Lived in Europe from 1964-1968

Moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1969

Accomplished director, screenwriter, producer, and actor
Helped in the post-cinema novo movement of his country.
First feature film was "King of the Night" in 1975.
Breakout Film was "Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco" in 1981. It had worldwide success and won several international awards.
Other films he directed include: "Ironweed" (1987), "Corazón iluminado" (1996), "Carandiru" (2003), and "El pasado" (2007).
Babenco has had 16 wins and 9 nominations for cinematic awards, including an Oscar nomination for best director for "Kiss of the Spider Woman".
The Film
Brief Overview:
Released in 1985
Was first released in France for the Cannes Film Festival
Main Actors: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga
The film received 10 wins and 8 nominations, including an Oscar win for best actor (William Hurt), 3 other Oscar nominations, 4 Golden Globe nominations, and various awards at film festivals, including the Special Jury Distinguished Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
While Lancaster was still attached to the film, William Hurt's agent called a producer and suggested the actor for the character of Molina if Lancaster did not work out.
Hurt was paired with a drag queen and a choreographer to better understand the physicality of Molina.
There were "creative sparks" between Hurt and Babenco. They eventually stopped talking to one another during the shoot.
William Hurt: In Every Role, A New Life To Inhabit: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124043013
Eye on the World: Hector Babenco
Tangled Web: Making Kiss of the Spider Woman, 2008.
Raul Julia
While Lancaster was still involved with the project, he agreed with Babenco that Julia was perfect for the role of Valentin.
In the commentary, "Tangled Web: the Making of Kiss of the Spider Woman," Julia says [paraphrasing] that the two main characters are like opposing countries, and if locked in a cell together, they would either become very close or betray each other.
Julia and Hurt traded characters for a day during rehersals. Babenco commented that Molina was a more natural character for Julia because he proved capable of portraying more flamboyant characters, whereas Valentin shared the rugged everyday man characteristics that embodied Hurt. This exercise allowed the actors to realize what their performances were missing.
Sonia Braga
Originally signed on to play only Marta.
Sonia says that William Hurt was "the bridge between Molina and me," so she had to pay attention to his mannerisms and mimic them in her performance.
Puig taught her to pose: "Put both hands on one hip and think liver trouble."
Hurt's choreographer was slated to portray the Spider Woman. Braga thought the audience would be confused by the sudden change and was given the part at the last minute.
This was Babenco's first English-speaking film and he did not understand the language.
Babenco and producer David Weisman spent months editing the film, much of the time arguing, before turning out a 3-hour movie that their friends refused to screen more than once.
Babenco was diagnosed with lymphantic cancer while editing.
Cannes Film Festival required a tighter ending before accepting its submission.
Full transcript