Bound Joins the Criterion Collection, a Win for Sapphic Cinephiles

In a fitting development for Pride month, Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s 1996 lesbian classic Bound will enter the Criterion Collection in June this year. That’s a win for sapphic cinephiles and also for those of us who were forever changed by the queer sex scenes in Bound. Listen, I know this is important for Cinema reasons, but it’s important for Horny reasons, too. To be able to watch those sex scenes in 4K UHD?

The special blu-ray release will feature commentary from directors Lana and Lilly as well as actors Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, and Jennifer Tilly, editor Zach Staenberg, and Susie Bright, who Criterion refers to by her official credited title as “technical consultant” but who those of us here at Autostraddle regard as Bound‘s “lesbian sexpert.” The sex scenes were indeed choreographed by Bright, a prolific feminist writer and sex educator.

Bound‘s addition increases injects some still much needed queer women representation to the ever-expanding Criterion canon. Back in 2020, Autostraddle’s Drew Burnett Gregory wrote on the significance of Portrait of a Lady on Fire‘s addition to the collection. At the time, Drew identified Portrait as the fourth film in the massive collection about queer women and also directed by a queer woman. Since then, additional films have been added that fit this distinction: The Watermelon WomanPariah, and Working Girls. Recently, the Chantal Akerman set was also upgraded. This makes Bound the ninth film about queer women and directed by out queer women to enter the main collection.

My love of this film, dare I say it, has no bounds. Drew said it best in our conversation about the film for Anatomy of a Queer Sex Scene: Bound was so ahead of its time it would still be ahead of its time if it came out today. Its inclusion in the Criterion Collection isn’t just deserved; it’s vital. Lana and Lilly Wachowski are strikingly ambitious queer and trans filmmakers and have taken big swings for the entirety of their careers. With Bound, they created a lesbian classic that stands the test of time. They redefined the femme fatale and made a crime noir that was not only sexy but smart and subversive.

Here’s a peek at the cover for the Criterion release:

the cover for the Criterion Collection version of Bound has Corkie and Violet kissing in silhouette

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 814 articles for us.

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