Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles (LACLA) in collaboration with the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats film series will present the film Kiss of The Spider Woman on June 9, 2018 at the Million Dollar Theatre. The evening host will be Catherine L. Benamou, Associate Professor, Film & Media Studies – School of Humanities, UC Irvine.  David Weisman, the film’s producer, will be the special guest.

Kiss of The Spider Woman is the 1985 dramatic film directed by Argentine-Brazilian Hector Babenco. It stars William Hurt, Raúl Juliá, Sônia Braga, José Lewgoy, and Milton Gonçalves.  An instant classic, this remarkable film was a sophisticated and high-profile queer triumph in the midst of the conservative 1980’s. The film tells the story of Valentin Arregui and Luis Molina, two distinct prisoners. Arregui is serving time for activities with a revolutionary group, and Molina, a transgender who identifies as a female, is incarcerated for having sexual relations with an underage boy. The story is a “film within a film”, featuring Luis Molina episodically telling Valentin Arregui the plot of a fictional film called Her Real Glory, ostensibly produced in Germany during the Second World War by the Nazis. It unfolds with a sequence of friendship, corruption, betrayal, and romanticism as Molina befriends Arregui to spy on behalf of the secret police. After successfully being on the police’s side, Molina is released from prison, later developing a fabricated story to explain her “involvement” with revolutionary groups. As noted by Barbara Fulks, Puig’s work deals with the “ polemical nature of the relationship between sexuality and revolutionary politics. The conflict between power and sex, and their functions in society.”

The film is based on the Argentinean author Manuel Puig’s 1976 novel “El beso de la mujer araña.” He later adapted it as a stage play. A Broadway musical by the same name, also based on the novel, was produced in 1993.

The Kiss of the Spider Woman will be screened at 8 pm. The Million Dollar Theatre is located at 307 S. Broadway, in Los Angeles 90013. Tickets can be purchased online here.