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A Brilliantly Complex 'Kiss'

by  Michael Blowen

In this brilliant adaptation of Manuel Puig’s "Kiss of the Spider Woman" the marriage of art and politics is as subtle as the relationship between two men who are bound together by prison, and figuratively related by their inability to see beyond each other’s psychological masks ... "Spider Woman" creates a film-within-a film that is both a marvelous parody of B-movies and a fantastic counterpoint to the harsh realities of a prison ... It is a brilliant, provacative account of what happens when two people find a strange form of love while helplessly trapped in the enveloping web suggested by the title. "Kiss of the Spider Woman" is one of the best directed, best written and best acted films of this, or any year.