December 4, 2008


There are many ways in which all of the characters in the film "Bound" are physically or metaphorically bound by something or someone. Violet is bound by her marriage. Caesar is a violent member of the mob with experience torturing people. He also has weapons and the mob on his side; all of these obsticals make it impossible for Violet to leave him. Caesar is also bound by the mob. They would kill him if he fled and kill him if they suspected him of disloyalty which is why he cannot flee after he notices the money is missing. Shooting the godfather of the mob and his arch enemy caused his relationship with the mob to rupture and freed him. Caesar is also bound by his over-confidence and superiority complex; he continues to push Violet and tells her there's no way she could shoot him, right before she pulls the trigger. This moment 'cuts Violets ropes' metaphorically. Corky is also bound in multiple ways throughout the film. I think she is somewhat bound by her gender because of the profession she chose. In the beginning she tells Violet she is "just lucky to have the job" filling in for the man who had been working there. Caesar is shocked that Corky is a woman and relieved that Violet hadn't been cheating on him, so

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December 3, 2008


One of the key elements of Bound is sexuality and the way the two lead women use their sexuality to their advantage. However as much as Violet uses her sensuality and attractive body, she is also trapped by the after effects of using sexuality in order to movie ahead financially or even socially. She is trapped by the choices she made earlier in her life when she meets Corky. Once she slipped into the mafia life or as Cesar called it the “business? she doesn’t know how to successfully escape the role of the bystander that has to experience all of the murders and criminal activities. Violet overhears Caesar and his Mafia buddies beating and torturing Shelly (Barry Kivel), a man who has been skimming money from the business. Upset by the violence and cruelty Violet realized that she can’t live through her sexuality anymore. However she knows that she is to a certain degree bound to her past decisions. Once Violet has realized that she used her femininity and sensuality in a patriarchy that allowed her to gain financial support from a cruel man, she needs to find a different way to get out of that system. In the middle of the storyline when Violet is trying to unsuccessfully convince Cesar to run away from the mob it is made clear by him that she doesn’t have the choice to run away without him. Even though he is her lover and boyfriend he goes as far as threatening her life in case she tries to run off. Loyalty is only seen by him if she stays by his side at all time. This is one of the clear signs that Cesar believes that their past relationship and Violet past career as a waitress has made her completely bound to him. He makes constant references to the fact that she would be nothing without him, and that she maybe tried to screw him over by working with Johnni. Cesar believes that the only reason Johnni and Violet could be connected would be her sexuality. Cesar makes constant references to Violets financial needs and her sexuality. This is why until the end of the movie the only suspicion he has against Violet is switching over to Johnni for financial support. Violet is always bound to a man for financial needs however Cesar soon realizes that she worked against all man in order to free herself from her initial decision to be financially dependent on a man.

December 2, 2008


The themes of being bound in relationships and performativity play significant roles in the film for Violet’s character. Violet is bound in her relationship with Caesar. She has been stuck with him for five years and due to his mafia power and intimidating personality, she is unable to leave him. Violet is also bound into performing an artificial gender role around Caesar and his friends. When they are present, she plays the role of the ditzy and obedient sex kitten. There are ruptures in the theme of being bound. Corky, in general, represents a release for Violet from being bound. In the scene where Violet is sitting on the bed and telling Corky about her plans to steal the money, Violet speaks intelligently and quickly and the tone of her voice is more natural and less seductive. She releases her personality around Corky. The end of the film also represents a release for Violet. She is free of Cesar and in an unrestrictive relationship with Corky.

Women and Money

Gender played a huge part in this film. The whole idea of these women mapping out such a great plan, especially while knowing that at least one person’s life would be ruined (bringing in the concept of the femme fatale) is something of the queer sort. After Corky and Violet murder Caesar, nobody suspects that the two of them had anything to do with Caesar’s death or the money simply because of their gender.

The women (Violet in particular) were able to take advantage of their perceived innocence because they were able to fool the mafia men. They performed how they were expected to in order to stay safe. This meant that Corky was supposed to be the butch who repaired things, and Violet was supposed to be the ditzy, sexy heterosexual for Caesar.

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Bound #2

In the film “Bound,? there are many examples of that title being played out. The first of course, is when Corky is tied up and gagged in a closet. This represents Violets boyfriend’s attempt to repress Corky’s homosexuality, as well as Violet’s by bounding Corky, the woman who physically embodies his idea of lesbianism. Male panic plays a huge role in this situation because not only are these two women (Corky and Violet) the ones that have stolen the money, but now he is threatened with not being necessary to Violet because of her involvement with Corky. Corky gets freed from her ties eventually and escapes with the help of Violet.
Another example is when Violet and her boyfriend are in the bathroom and she has to pretend that she was just showering with him. Although she is bound in a physical space, she cleverly manipulates the situation so she has authority and frees herself, and consequently her boyfriend too.
She plays on her performativity of her femme identity to manipulate situations and to present herself in a seemingly non-threatening manner. This theme is reoccurring, for example when Corky is over and they are fooling around on the couch and her boyfriend comes in, he doesn’t suspect anything because Violet plays so innocent and feminine. When Violet is talking with the mob men she always acts victimized and non-threatening. Corky and Violet are set free at the end because Violet manipulates her boyfriend’s death and convinces the mob men that she was merely a victim herself. Actually, she doesn’t even need to convince them, she just never lets on that she thinks critically about her relationship or that she has the potential to plan a robbery. Although one could look at Violets femme identity as being something that bounds her in itself, I think it’s ironic that she uses it to control the men around her and take advantage of there hypermasculinity.
If Corky would have been visible to the mob men, I think it’s fascinating how different the situations would have been. Violet would not have seemed so innocent all of a sudden, and Corky would have posed a huge threat, creating male panic amongst the mob men.
There are so many examples of being bound in this film, these are just a couple that I find most interesting.

Bound 2

The characters of bound are trapped in many ways, both physically and metaphorically. Right from the beginning we see imagery of Corky being tied up, with the sense of being bound heightened by the low camera angles and close shots. The fact that most of the scenes take place within the apartment building also adds to this. Violet, Corky and Caesar are all bound in their relationships as well. Caesar's connection with the mob is a hard one to break, and it pulls Violet in as well during the course of their five year relationship. The only way Violet is able to free herself from the mob is by playing dumb, taking advantage of the fact that Caesar and Micky are so bound in phallocentrism and male panic that they would never suspect that a woman would be capable of such acts.

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Bound, Part 2

The concept of being bound was used and shown in so many different ways in this film it's almost hard to narrow it down but one of the things that I really noticed was the confinement to the apartments. Most of the scenes in the movie are shot in Violet's apartment. She has the freedom to come and go whenever she wants but she is still forced to be there because of Caesar and his control issues. One of the moments I noticed some freedom from Violet being bound was in the sex scene between her and Corky. I believe they were at Corky's apartment where there was a bed in the middle of a room and nothing else around. There was a sense of openness and contentment in that room and she was also free because she was expressing her sexuality openly, which is something she couldn't do when Caesar was around.
The opening scene of the movie where you see Corky tied up and lying on the floor of a closet, she is obviously physically bound. I think that was very symbolic because throughout the whole film Corky is the character who expresses herself openly and isn't hiding her sexuality or her attitude about life. Also, it is mentioned that she just spent 5 years in prison so for her, being bound again is not something she wanted to have happen. Her butch look at actions helped in her expression of freedom as well.

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Bound 2

In the film Bound the audience is able to see the title demonstrated throughout the film through the different relationships. The men in the movie are bound to the mob through their connections; they are unable to leave because it’s like a gang once you are in, you are in for life and it could be deadly to get out. Another demonstration of being bound in the film is seen in the relationship between Violet and Caesar. They are not married yet Violet feels that she is unable to leave Caesar because of his connection to the mob. Therefore she is “bound? to stay under Caesar’s oppressive lifestyle; Caesar knows he has the upper hand physically and he uses that to control Violet.

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The very first scene that takes place between Violet and Corky in the elevator exchanging glances, I can see that Violet is “Bound? to the domination of her husband. I say this because Violet was obviously very curious about Corky and made it clear without her husband noticing. I think that if her husband had not been present she would have simply began a conversation and not had to play so many games. In this scene, Violet is trapped in her “feminine role? that is specific to the dynamic of her relationship with her boyfriend. She is dutiful and obedient to her “man? and is playing a submissive role, one in which we learn throughout the course of the movie is not the “real? violet. Thus I conclude that Violet is bound to her role in her relationship.

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Containment and binding

Bound opens with a shot of Corky, wrists bound and mouth gagged, laying in a woman's closet. From here on out, the film is filled with imagery of being bound to or contained by something, both physically and figuratively. One of the most crucial themes is that of trust as binding; again and again, Corky and Violet often refer to trust as what binds them together, that which will ensure their success in their bid for quick cash and an escape for Violet. Violet is tethered and bound to the apartment she shares with her boyfriend through both the relationship and the implication of violence; here again, we see the idea of trust as binding, because her partner ultimately does trust Violet. She is aware of the threat of violence that comes with this trust, however – Violet remains physically contained because of Caesar's trust as well as his fear.

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“I had this image of you inside me… like a part of me? (Violet)
“Where is f…king money?? (Cyrus)
“All part of business? (Violet)
“You made a choice once? (Violet)
“What choice?? (Corky)
“I want out? (Violet)

From the beginning of the movie when we hear the above quotations, we can sense that the characters are bound whatever situation they are in and are trying to break through for some freedom. The first shot of the characters in the film is that of Corky in the dark closet tied up. Corky who has just gotten out of the prison is all alone but develops a relationship with Violet as the film progresses. Initially, she is attracted but cautious about Violet’s advances on her but the trust between them is build slowly. When situation worsens for Cyrus after he kills the mob leader’s son, Cyrus doesn’t allow Violet to leave him. Corky is hearing all the conversation from the next door apartment and understands the slim chances of Violet being able to run away from Cyrus. Corky could have happily sneak away with the 2 million dollars but she stays and makes her moves since she feels bound to Violet. Here we are also metaphorically see that she is bound in that apartment all alone while all the action is taking place in the next apartment.

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The theme of the characters being bound is found throughout the entire movie through literal references and figurative references. The opening scene shows Cork bound and gagged in Violet's closet. We can view this literally, she is literally bounded and trapped in the closet. This scene is also ironic because it was just revealed to Caesar that Corky is a lesbian, and he forces her back "in the closet". Corky's character is also bound to Violet through the relationship that they have developed through out the movie. They needed to trust each other completely because they each could have turned on the other and gotten away with the money. In the end, their trust allows them to break away from their binding pasts and identities to allow them to be free together.

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In Bound, the multiple ways in which the characters are bound to one another and their situations reflect many of the ways in which society is bound by conventional, patriarchal thought. The men in the film, foremost Caesar, are not only bound into their pecking order of mobster roles (respect is paid to Johnnie even though he’s done nothing to deserve it), but also by their prejudices about gender. What they think they know about a woman’s “nature? they believe in so fervently that it ultimately costs them lives and $2.2 million. As Nobel’s article points out, Caesar so emphatically refuses to believe that he was wrong about Violet that he “stakes his life on? it and loses. In their steadfast allegiance to patriarchy the men cannot accept that Violet would be capable of conceiving of or pulling off the crime. Ironically, when Caesar says to Corky that her “kind can’t be trusted,? the truth is that his belief system can’t be trusted.

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Bound by the Castration Complex

In the film Bound, the title can be viewed in one way as the bounding of a heterosexual male by his own castration complex. Violet’s male lover, Caesar, is a bound by the idea that if he runs away from the mob he will inevitably be castrated of his power and his dignity. This is in comparison to Violet and Corky’s sense of freedom in which they plan to rob the mobsters and run away. They are not afraid of the mob coming after them and are not afraid of the heterosexual male power that the mob exudes. Caesar is bound by this castration complex and devises a plan to not lose his power by proving that it was the mobster’s own son who has betrayed him. In Brandon Goes to Hollywood, Rigney describes the fear women rejecting femininity and blurring the lines between male and female, which describes corky. She then goes on to compare this to men beginning to lose their masculinity and now instead of being seen as powerful they are seen as sinful and unclean. Caesar is afraid of this and he tries to literally bound Corky from her power that she now possesses by blurring these lines between the genders. He never thought that she may have been the one who stole the money and framed him but now that he has figured it out he feels castrated of his power as a man because it was a woman who outsmarted him. Although Corky is the one who is bound literally by ropes, it is Caesar who is bound by his phallocentrism. To be castrated by a woman he thinks is worse than being castrated by the mob.

Bound by the Castration Complex

In the film Bound, the title can be viewed in one way as the bounding of a heterosexual male by his own castration complex. Violet’s male lover, Caesar, is a bound by the idea that if he runs away from the mob he will inevitably be castrated of his power and his dignity. This is in comparison to Violet and Corky’s sense of freedom in which they plan to rob the mobsters and run away. They are not afraid of the mob coming after them and are not afraid of the heterosexual male power that the mob exudes. Caesar is bound by this castration complex and devises a plan to not lose his power by proving that it was the mobster’s own son who has betrayed him. In Brandon Goes to Hollywood, Rigney describes the fear women rejecting femininity and blurring the lines between male and female, which describes corky. She then goes on to compare this to men beginning to lose their masculinity and now instead of being seen as powerful they are seen as sinful and unclean. Caesar is afraid of this and he tries to literally bound Corky from her power that she now possesses by blurring these lines between the genders. He never thought that she may have been the one who stole the money and framed him but now that he has figured it out he feels castrated of his power as a man because it was a woman who outsmarted him. Although Corky is the one who is bound literally by ropes, it is Caesar who is bound by his phallocentrism. To be castrated by a woman he thinks is worse than being castrated by the mob.

Bound #2

I find that Violet is the character that could be considered the most "bound" in the film. She is bound by Ceaser, the mob, her feminine role, and money. One thing I do not believe she is bound by is her relationship with Corky, which is refreshing in a Hollywood film. Ceaser ties up Violet in a later scene of the movie, but she is bound to him from the beginning. She considers it working, but it is clear that she is not free to just walk out. She makes reference to this several times and says things like, "you don't know Ceaser the way I do". This gives us the notion that Ceaser is a violent man, which we later find out to be true. In connection with her ties to Ceaser, she is also involved with the mob. From watching the Sapranos, we all are aware that this a business which you can not just walk away from. She is also trapped in her feminine role. I call it a role because there are times in the film where she breaks away from her stereotypical appearance. She is merely playing a part, yet she can be considered bound by it in the sense that she has played it for so long that it would be shocking and even dangerous for her to break out of it. She is herself with Corky however, and reveals her true nature to Ceaser later when she shoots him. She even clearly states, "Caesar, you don't know shit". This can be seen as a pivotal moment when she breaks free of all her binds.

Bound and Categorized

Throughout the film Bound, the most interesting binding reference to me was that of Corkey’s character. First, she was bound by her past. She had been taken advantage of and it landed her in jail. There was a moment of rupture involving her trust issues. It was an intimate scene in Corkey’s truck when Violet informed her about her plan to deceive her mob boyfriend. When the two women are discussing the risks in trusting each other Corkey states, “We’re about to find out.? Corkey decided to take a leap and dive into Violet’s plans regardless of the outcome. Violet’s character also had an interesting binding accompanied with numerous ruptures. Visually, she was an innocent, beautiful female that was constantly objectified as a trophy girlfriend. She was bound by her boyfriend, Caeser, and by the mob lifestyle she was involved with. From the start it was apparent that Violet used her appearance to her advantage. She sweet talked, batted her eye lashes and charmed everyone in the room. In the end, Violet did the ultimate rupture and defeated Caeser and an entire mob of men! The actresses were visually

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In the film Violet is represented as “bound? to Cesar. There are several examples throughout the film which show her confined to this relationship. When Cesar and his mafioso companions are beating up the man in the bathroom, Violet is instructed by Cesar not to leave the apartment. He tries to make her feel more comfortable about the situation with alcohol, until eventually one of the Mafioso members allows her to leave the scene. Violet’s association with Cesar has lead to her a life in mafia. Later on in the film, after Cesar realizes the money is missing, he once again does not allow Violet to leave the apartment. Cesar uses is gun as a threat. Violet is shown sitting in the tense living room, and the camera angle of this scene originally comes out from the gun. The gun is of course, conveniently pointed at Violet. Towards the end of the film, after Cesar knows that Corky and Violet took the money, Violet is shown litterally bound with rope at the hands. Throughout the film Violet is attempting to break free from her tricky relationship with Cesar. With Corky as motivation, Violet is eventually able to escape from Cesar’s controlling “mafioso power?.

Bound and Released

The theme of confinement appears many times within the film "Bound". It first occurs within the opening sequence, with Corky seen bound and gagged on the floor of Violet's closet. We can see later, too, how Violet is still bound in her own closet, so to speak, by her invisibility as a lesbian because of her ultra-feminine appearance and mannerisms. Caesar is bound to the mafia, and his actions in the scenes of his killing the don, his son and one of his henchmen and his ensuing flight all highlight this, how he has no way out other than murder. Violet and Corky are bound together through their affection and attatchment to each other. We see this when both women remain and defend the other when their scheme is revealed, and are thus pursued by Caesar. Once their plan is put into motion, Violet and Corky are again bound, this time to their plan. They cannot turn back and undo what they have already started.
Moments of release are also depicted, such as in the scene where Corky is taken out of Violet's closet by Caesar. The scene where Violet tells Caesar that he doesn't "know shit" and then shoots him multiple times gives her an outlet of expressing her true desires to him and her rejection of him. Violet also finds freedom at the end of the film, when she and Corky are finally free of the mafia and are out together as queer women.

Dualism and Bound

The film Bound uses the identities and relationships of butch and femme to highlight a certain fallacy about what is often perceived as their dichotomous nature. The film focuses constantly on the dualism of the central women in a series of ways to point to subtle differences and similarities that allow the reading of these identities to be broken down. From close up on coffee cups (one straight black and one with cream) to the very stylized shot of Corky and Violet when Corky says “we're about to find out ]? (if Violet's going to screw her over with Caesar) in which their faces look symmetrical- lined up to mirror one another, to their connection over the wall, to the final line of the film where Corky asks “You know what the difference is between us, Violet?... Me neither.? The film constantly builds up and breaks down the ways in which these two characters are bound to their perceived notions of each identity. Both from the position of the characters perception and also as the audience we follow an almost linear introduction to the characters and then breakdown of their initial positions. Consider the most obvious example of this in the exchange that draws on several elements of identity, confusion, and difference:

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December 1, 2008

Bound 2

Well the most obvious meaning to "Bound" is when we see Corky tied up. She is physically tied up and and beat up. But there is a network of knots deeper than just the physical knots. Corky is trying to find a new direction with her life. She was in prison, someone she trusted stabbed her in the back, and now she is trying to move on with her life and seems to be stuck. Violet doesn't appreciate her relationship and is stuck in a difficult position in the middle of underground violence. On top of that, they both in the closet and wanting someone they can truly trust. Corky and Violet together are able to unbind some of their troubles if they know they can trust each other. First they have found someone they can be sexual with. The sex scene allows them to break free. With the money they are both able to break loose and test new waters. Violet ends up shooting her boyfriend. Corky gets to put her plan into action and finds someone who she can trust in her missions. This really brings her closure since she was back stabbed earlier in her life. There are a lot of mutual benefits between Corky and Violet.

Bound #2

The concept of being bound is addressed in this film both literally and figuratively. In the beginning, both Violet and Corky are very much bound to their pasts. Violet in particular asserts that she has made a choice to live the way she does, saying “you make your choices, you pay your prices.? She seems to feel that she has chosen her life with Caesar and can’t change it.

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Significance of the title "Bound"

In the film, the most obvious binding situation is Violet to her boyfriend Caesar. She even compares her five year relationship with him to Corky’s five years spent in jail. Violet feels as if she is bound by him, bound to her work as she refers to it. She knows secrets of his mob and getting out will not be very easy without being looked at suspiciously. When she tries to leave Caesar after he kills Johnny and Gino Marzzone, he will not let her go. He tells her that she must go with him. Also, because Caesar is such a dangerous man, she cannot simply just tell him that she is leaving him for someone else. He would kill Corky and probably force Violet to stay with him.
Caesar is also bound by the men in his mob. He knows he will die if he turns his back on or disrespects the mobsters. He is not able to simply get out if he wants to. When he loses the money he knows that he will die for it, even though he didn’t really take it. He is trapped in this life of crime and in the mob.
Another way the characters seem bound is Corky to her butch identity and Violet by her femme

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bound part 2

I would say the series of scenes at the end of the film when Violet and Corky are trying to steal the money has several examples of them being bound. First of all they are bound by the apartment they are trying to get out of with the money. It is very difficult for them to leave because there are not many ways for them to escape. Another way that they are bound is to each other. If they want to escape with the money than they must follow the rules that they set for themselves or else they will not be able to make it out. In this instance they are both bound physically by each other but also by the pact that they have with one another and the trust that they have in each other. Other instances in this scene where the two women are bound is with Violets male partner. Here they are bound by his male dominance and also simply by him physically holding the women back from getting away with what the money. Finally, everyone in the film is bound by the Mob guys and the money. In this particular scene everyone is bound by their law and what they want, the money. If it was not for them wanting the money than the scene would be a lot less complicated and the characters would not be bound by by all the different events going on in this series of events.

A Different Release from Bondage

This film opens with Corky literally bound in a closet. As it progresses, however, she and Violet lose their physical, as well as metaphorical bindings.

Corky and Violet are both metaphorically bound at the beginning by their respective butch/femme identities. Corky wears the pants, boots, and male underwear while Violet wears the make-up, dresses, and stockings. However, as Kessler points out, while the two “are aesthetically constructed in traditional butch and femme roles, their characters reflect cultural changes? (18). They do not remain bound by the stereotypes of the butch/femme identities. Violet may act more “female,? but she is the sexual aggressor, the typically “male? trait while Corky is more submissive.

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Bound #2

“The Wachowski brothers say that the film “Bound? is about "the boxes people make of their lives", that it is not only gay people who "live in closets". They wanted to define all of Bound's characters by the ‘sort of trap that they were making out of their lives’?(Wikepedia). Violet’s character is portrayed as trapped in her life with Caesar. She is never happy or able to fully express who she is. In addition, in the first scene, Corky is laying inside Violet's closet, bound and restrained by Caesar. “This scene is echoed later in the film when Violet says ‘I had this image of you inside of me...’?(Wikepedia). This theme of being “bound? is also made clear by the fact that the majority of the film takes place in Violet and Caesar's apartment, Corky’s aparment or the apartment next door where Corky is doing work. The camera rarely leaving the apartment complex shows how all of the characters are trapped in their lives.

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Subversive Gender Roles

I feel like in many ways the relationship between Violet and Corky did “reinscribe gender roles that allowed for the continuation of patriarchy (power-point), but in the end, it was Violet who killed Cesar. The visual images do the work of establishing both gender and gender difference (Noble, 3), but the characters are subversive because in taking on the “butch? or “femme? role, they are displaying that gender is a performance, as Judith Butler argues in her works.. Throughout the film we see how Corkie adopts a masculine identity. The articles discuss her leatherjacket, boots, tattoos, etc., but she also takes on a masculine identity with her attitude. She often makes statements that one would think of a heterosexual, macho man saying: “stealing is a lot like sex? or “I can fuck someone I just met,? but in the end, I think that we are supposed to view the two characters as equal: “you know what the difference between you and me is Violet…me either? (Bound). Even though Violet acts like the helpless girl who needs Corkie to take her away and help her start a new life, she also uses her femininity and appearance

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The title Bound is obviously a good title for the movie because there is constant reference of being bound by person, place, or thing. When Violet jumps in Corky’s car and they have sex, after words Violet states that she needed that. Obviously Violet could have received that from any girl had she not been in a relationship with Ceaser, which literally shows that she is bound by him. Also, Violet is bound by Shelley because he witnessed Violet in a bar with another woman; to keep Shelley quiet; Violet does her “work? to him. Also, Corky is bound by ropes in the opening scene in a closet from the choices that she makes by not giving up on Violet even though they hardly know each other but because of this, figuratively, it shows that they love each other because that’s what they needed. Jean Noble also suggests that it is metaphorically fighting/bound to come out of the closet as a “femme quest?. Ceaser also finds himself bound to the mob and pure loyalty to them, explains his reactions for why he goes “insane? when he finds out that supposedly Johnny was trying to frame him. He tried to unbind himself from

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In the film Bound the audience hears over and over about being bound by the choices that the main characters have made in the past. For Corky she choose to steal and she got caught and had to go to jail for it. Violet choose to be in a bad relationship with a man who was in a money launderer. The metaphor of being bound is brought up a lot and see actually see Corky bound in the beginning of the movie again bringing up the point that we are bound by the choices we make through out life. The main characters are bound by femme and butch identities. Corky is bound to play this so called manly man and Violet is bound to play this very grily character. They are bound by these identities because if they were to switch the way they dressed half way through the film they characters wouldn't have this same effect because Corky is supposedly suppose to be this "man" and Violet is suppose to be the "women." Everything needs to be in black and white and if anything gets too close to being gray people freak out because they are not sure how to handle things that go against norms.

bound by the gaze

The movie bound, though about the relationship of two homosexual women, is framed by heterosexuality. Both the gaze and the audience it seems, are playing to and appear to be dominantly heteronormative, and male. Violet also reflects this constriction to heterosexuality perhaps echoing the lesbian communities distaste with most portrayals of them through film. Violet is bound by the idea of her sexuality and while she can at times use it for her own personal advantage, it is usually the tool of the men and the sexualization/objectification of her and other females.

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As the title of the film suggests, there are many moments and specific scenes where the characters are trapped or bound by other characters or various elements. They are bound by the choices they make, as Violet’s character repeats, “We make our own choices, we pay our own prices?. The opening scene of the film shows Corky literally bound by her hands and feet and gagged in Violet’s closet. She would not have been in that position if she hadn’t chosen to stay bound to Violet’s side even though they hardly know each other. However, Corky and Violet refuse to “give up on? each other throughout the film. Moreover, Jean Noble suggests in her essay Bound and Invested: Lesbian Desire and Hollywood Ethnography, “the opening scene visually, discursively, and metaphorically, stages the performative act of ‘coming out of the closet’, or at least, establishes the desire to come out as Bound’s subtextual femme quest narrative?. Violet’s voice is repeated pleading, “I want out?. Violet and Cesare along with other members of the mob are bound to the relationships and supposed loyalty between them. Violet expresses her desire to leave Cesare and get out, but doesn’t have the will power to unbind herself from that lifestyle. Cesare provides and protects her, and as much as she wants out, she refuses to give that up.

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From Bound to Free

The idea of being trapped within manifests itself from the very title of the film, Bound, down to the inner identities of the main characters. In this sense, binding encompasses not only the physical entities of a person, but also their inner selves. It is this means of absolute control that the two main characters, Violet and Corky, strive to overthrow. As women in a patriarchal society, they are predisposed to the strictures that male phallocentrism binds them to. Violet remains at the whims of Caesar and his other mob associates. Corky is bound by the institution (prison, and a record of theft); this is made immediately apparent by the black and white bars which fade in and out at the beginning of the film and then a quick cut to Corky. Their lack of freedom only increases with the potential of the realization of their sexuality. Violet cannot fully admit that she is lesbian to anyone but Corky, who doesn’t even fully believe her. Corky, when trying to pick up a woman at the bar, has her criminal past brought in to prevent her.

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I'm Bound

I am going to first explain the many ways that Violet was bound by both physical and metaphorical confinement. Violet said, “I want out.? She said this because she felt bound to multiple aspects of her life. Her life was a lie; she was in a heterosexual relationship with Caesar, but she knew that she was a lesbian. She was also having sex with other men for money throughout the film, even after she met Corky because she was a gold-digger and felt bound to the material objects that this lifestyle brought. Throughout the film Violet was sexually objectified by Caesar and other members of the mob. Corky questioned Violet’s sexuality and Violet said, “They know what I am.? In regards to Violet’s relationship with Corky, Violet was bound as the “femme? lesbian.

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Bound #2

Most, if not all of the characters are “bound? within this movie. Violet is bound to most of the characters. Obviously she becomes very bound to Corky as they become sexually intimate and progress there escape. Violet is also bound to Caesar because of how long they have been together and all that she has become because of him. Violet is weirdly bound to Caesars associates as she pleasures them and is looked after by them. Corky and Violet escape from their lives through each other. Their appearances give Corky the role of the butch and Violet of the femme but that contradicts itself when Violet takes control of their sex life. Although, they look the part there is not one butch and one femme, they both play the parts. Violet pretends to be a dumb woman so she gets what she wants with no worry. While Corky (even though she is very strong) acts like she is the more dominant one, when she really isn’t most of the time. She lets Violet know that she is not dumb and that she knows women very well. During their sex scene Violet plays the butch role by satisfying her and having her under her will. Although, there is never a clear dominant role within the movie. This turns into a spiral effect for Violet and keeps going on into the crime scene.

When Caesar finds out about Violet and Corky he rushes into male paranoia. He acts like a tough guy and tries to outdo them and get his money back but when he is tricked by Violet he knows that he has been played the whole time. Violet eliminates his male dominance by killing him when he thinks she would never do such a thing. When she shoots Caesar she is standing up over him on a chair and then on the floor. She is above him and looking down. I think that that was a good choice of camera angles showing the viewer who the winner is. In the beginning of the movie Corky told Violet that they are different people. Violet seemed to disagree and proved her wrong. They are know they same people.

Bound 2: With a Vengeance

When it comes to its title, there are two things that came to mind after watching Bound and discussing it with the class. These women are bound by two things, their lifestyles, and audiences. There are plenty of examples where these women are literally being bound whether they are tied up or being strangled. It is the metaphorical confinement that had the most powerful hold on my mind.

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The literal bindings in Bound

These women in the beginning of Bound are very different from where they end up in the end of the film. These changes are consistent to the concept of being bound. The story begins with Violet being bound to a boyfriend and his work within the mafia. Here her gender is the source of her confines. As a woman she is unable to make decisions-as is the case in the scene where a man is being brutally beaten in her bathroom, yet she can’t leave without first getting permission. She is also bound to her heterosexual performance, although some people know that she is a lesbian, she can’t fully come out because of her relationship to Caesar. Heterosexuality and Caesar’s male panic create Violet’s bindings. We see the angry reaction in the end that Violet had always anticipated were Caesar to find out Violet’s true sexuality.

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b-b-b-bound to the bone, b-b-b-b-b-bound

In Bound, each character was ruled and limited by one main element, whether metaphorical or concrete. In terms of the blog question, it made sense to me to explore the ways the two main characters are bound and how the confinement of individuals intertwined to bind the whole cast. In the title credits the imagery of black and white bars and then a cut to corky hints at what binds her primarily throughout the film: the law. he majority of the characters in Bound act independently from the law (excluding the characters from the girl bar scene). Corky, on the other hand, has been to prison and is ever aware that the authorities are on to her (again as in the girl bar scene). We see that Corky has picked up a legal form of employment (renovations), and that she is trying to stay out of trouble. However, her new relationship with Violet ( and with organized crime) effectively cuts away the law's repression of Corky's thieving ways. In Violet's case, in the first several scenes we find that she is bound (for whatever reason) to Ceasar and organized crime.

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November 30, 2008

Bound 2 each other

Bound opens with Corky being bound physically in the closet of Caesar’s apartment. The location of the binding is significant because we know that the issue of being “out? of the closet plays an important role in the way the characters interact with each other. Violet and Corky are clearly “out? to each other, but Violet chooses to keep Caesar in the dark so she can continue to use him for his power and lifestyle. Caesar uses Violet to mark himself as desirable – he isn’t married to her, but she is his symbol of status. In this way they are “bound? to each other, not by marriage or love but by mutual need and desire.

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November 29, 2008

on being "fucked"

In terms of heterosexuality and male panic, one of the ongoing concepts in the film is being “fucked.? For example Caeser says “Johnnie ain't going to fuck me!? and Johnie says “Nobody fucks me!? While the word “fuck? is applied generously throughout the film in variety of contexts, we can also see how being “fucked? in the hypermasculine context operates to illustrate constructedness of heterosexual regime and fragile nature of masculinity. (The sex scene with Corky and Violet clearly subverts this idea.) Being “fucked? signifies simultaneous failure of heterosexuality and masculinity. It also refers back to idea/function of “roles? – the “real man? should never be “fucked?/penetrated/bottom/passive/etc. What Caeser fears, despite obvious outcome of being killed, is to lose his masculinity and the place in the symbolic order of heteropatriarchy.

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In the opening sequence of Bound we hear Violet’s voice whisper, “like a part of me..? when the camera shows Corky for the very first time. This is just the first of many literal and figurative references that pertain to the idea of being bound by a person, place, or thing. Through out the film we see many people bound to one another through the element of sex. An obvious example of this would be Corky and Violet’s relationship. Right after the sex scene between the women, the girl are constantly seen together and never leave each other, even in moment of danger. Many of the men in the film also appear to be bound to Violet and it is known that she has sex with many of the characters as part of her job. These men are shown as dangerous with no emotions in most of the scenes however when Violet is around they seem soft and appear as if they would do anything for her. It is as if they are trapped by her beauty and sex appeal. A good example of this is in one of the last scenes, when Mickey is saying goodbye to Violet. She kisses him and he lets her go with out asking any questions about Caesar’s murder or the money. I also saw a confinement between Violet and her heterosexuality lifestyle. This confinement could be seen through her relationship with Caesar.

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November 28, 2008

Bound 2

Many of the characters in the film Bound are, in fact, “bound? in some way. Violet is bound to her relationship with Caesar for 5 years. She can no longer stand the confinement of Caesar’s oppression and his connection to the mob. She recognizes Corky as her ticket out. Corky spent 5 years in prison, legally bound to time behind bars. She is fairly guarded and continues to isolate herself even after she is released from prison. Violet provides an opportunity for Corky to trust again and challenges many of her boundaries. Corky is also bound to society’s idea of what it means to be a queer woman. She is very masculine and therefore is almost automatically “outed? as a queer woman. Violet is also bound to her sexuality and seductive nature. She uses her body as a tool to get what she wants (with both men and women). She also does a very convincing job of appearing helpless and incapable. This tactic has worked for her for so long that it is difficult for her to give up. In the end, however, the way she is perceived by men allows her plan to be carried about flawlessly. Ironically, it also grants her freedom from Caesar and the mob. Caesar and his mob buddies are bound to each other in a tangled web of distrust and fear. There is always suspicion and accusation, even among family and long-time friends. These bindings eventually lead to Caesar’s demise. Violet is also bound to her heterosexual façade. She has to put on a performance in the bedroom and in her relationship with Caesar. She must hide her encounters with Corky and cannot publicly reveal her true self. Through the death of Caesar, severing ties to the mob, and lasting relationship with Corky, Violet can finally remove her mask and be seen.

Metaphorically Bound

Throughout the film Bound there were several references of the characters being metaphorically bound in someway or another. Many of them seem to be bound to stereotypes. The two that seem to be most bound are Violet and Corky both feel the need to escape so much that they try to rob the mafia. Although they get away with it they would have faced severe consequences.

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November 23, 2008

Confinement in Bound

In an interview the Wachowski brothers say that the film Bound is about how people become imprisoned by the “boxes [they] make of their lives?. And it is true that throughout the entire film there is evidence of physical and metaphorical confinements imprisoning characters. In the opening scene Corky is bound at the feet, hands, and mouth, locked inside of a closet by Violet’s homophobic boyfriend, Caesar. Not only does this scene provide evidence of physical confinement (feet, hands, and mouth tied up), but also metaphorical confinement (inside of the closet). By having the opening scene show Corky locked in a closet, it is able to “stage the performative act of ‘coming out of the closet’? and therefore it is also able to “establish the desire to come out as Bound’s subtextual femme quest narrative? (Noble 3).

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November 20, 2008


While watching the film Bound, I noticed the title was very relevant because throughout the film each character was getting trapped or bounded into something by other various characters and objects. Violet signifies doubly as film noir's powerful, dangerous femme fatale but also as femme, thereby outing femme as a lesbian subject (Noble 2). Violet almost traps all the male characters alone with Corky by using her sexuality and body as her trap. She trapped Corky into the plan of stealing money from the Mafia; something once you get yourself into you must not turn back. Violet also manipulates Caesar’s quest in this film to second guess Johnnie’s supposed play against him in order to recover the money and restore order, when in reality when it really was Violet and Corky who took the money.

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