To be ‘Bound’

Following on from Hannah’s post about our video essay, I wanted to share my own thoughts about our work, and why we chose to feature hands as the primary theme in Bound .

(just a quick note – this video is nsfw at all, so please don’t watch it in a public place if you are uncomfortable with sex scenes!)

bound_ver5The hands in Bound are agents of possession – conversely of desire, of destruction, of other people, of weapons. It is no surprise that the mob target people’s hands within the film, tying them up and cutting off appendages, for it is the hands within the film that hold power. They possess people, give sexual pleasure, hold guns, fix sinks, signal love, call for help. They are agents of occupation, holding onto whatever they have, signalling their own agency. No wonder then, when Caesar finds out about the romance between Corky and Violet does he target their hands – hands which act to castrate him through their sexual use.

The video essay also hints at the Grosz reading from a while back; that is, that the gun has been used as an extension of the arm, a prosthetic. We see this both in Violet’s and Caesar’s actions both within the video essay and the film – they are the only two characters who actually use the gun (despite Corky’s deployment of the weapon, she does not use it within the film). Whilst the hands need only been in their organic state to create and repair, there is a need for a prosthetic in order to actively do harm – a gun, a pair of pliers, etc. The hands then become the vessel in this sense in order for destruction to be wrought.

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One thought on “To be ‘Bound’

  1. Meg, I love that you made the above point: “No wonder then, when Caesar finds out about the romance between Corky and Violet does he target their hands – hands which act to castrate him through their sexual use.”

    I remember that we talked about Corky’s and Violet’s hands as sex organs and that we connected it with Caesar’s responsive violence then against their hands, but I like your additional point about why he does so…and that you thought about it in terms of castration. That to Caesar, Corky’s hands, especially, emasculate him or in a sense castrate him, because of their relationship to Violet’s body by giving her sexual pleasure (which he thinks is solely his role).

    Additionally, that Violet would use her hands to pleasure Corky, gives her a sexual ability/power that Caesar finds inappropriate in the terms of how he sees Violet, as passive, as his property. I think our video shows this well (if I do say so myself) in the shots where Caesar forcefully and possessively holds or squeezes Violet’s body, clearly attempting to assert his authority through displaying ownership.

    Thanks for bringing up such a good point!

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