Episode 4

Bound (1996) and Poison Ivy (1992)

The fourth film in our Risqué Romance cycle is Lana and Lily Wachowski's debut film, Bound (1996).

Like the Wachowskis' more successful and canonical sophomore effort, The Matrix, Bound both works wonderfully on its own as a playful lesbian-centered noir and as a challenge to the WWII-era subgenre, as well as modern crime films writ large, to reconsider and deconstruct masculinity and femininity alike. Essentially a chamber drama with Hong Kong action-inspired flair, its lead performances from the still-underrated Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon leap off the screen with ferocity while also retaining a delicate sense of intimacy. The supporting cast, including reliable Wachowski mainstay Joe Pantoliano and a magnetically maniacal turn from Christopher Meloni, fleshes out the film's ahead-of-its-time graphic novel pulp sensibility too. The whole affair comes off as not just risqué but downright revolutionary.

For our chaser film, we discuss the trashy erotic thriller Poison Ivy (1992). Directed by exploitation master Roger Corman protégé Katt Shea and largely a footnote of the decade's offerings, its queer undertones and Lolita riffing merit discussion, not to mention the fact that it somehow spawned three direct-to-video sequels.

Dan is off this episode, but joining Chris in his absence is the insightful and talented freelance film writer and frequent Little White Lies contributor Lillian Crawford.