The Other Molina

Jean-Louis Trintignat


“Ahora yo…soy tū”
(Now I…am you”)
—Manuel Puig
Kiss of the Spider Woman

“Puig had definite ideas—
about the kind of actor
who should play Molina.
His first choice was Jean-
Louis Trintignant” 
—Suzanne Jill Levine
Manuel Puig and the
Spider Woman: His
Life and Fictions

Just because La Hurt gets—
awarded the Cannes Palme d’Or
as well as the first Oscar for
Best Actor playing a faggy queen,
Manuel knew that such str8t
recognition was just a facade

It was the way that “La Metro”—
Hollywood posed & pretended
to be tres avant garde, rolling 
out the red carpet for itself to
be God’s gift to the queers.

"I found myself getting
used to watching Hurt
playing Hurt playing
Molina"—Manuel Puig

When really it was just simply—
Gloria Swanson doing her tacky
old Norma Desmond routine all
over again like “Sunset Boulevard”
with another great comeback as
she descends the spiral staircase
ready for her DeMille close-up again.

Glorious gauche Silver Screen—
tragic tacky Technicolor so very
crummy with Cinemascope and
syrupy Stereophonic kitsch with
lewd vapid VistaVision schmaltz,
butchy reverberations and dark
sinister faggoty misgivings

"Between Molina's
earthy levity and
Hurt's neurotic
intensity yawned
a huge abyss."
—Suzanne Levine
Manuel Puig and Kiss
of the Spider Woman

La Hurt playing maudlin Molina—
masculinized ersatz muy macho
dying for a heroic political cause,
missing the while point Puig was
making: that effeminate queens
aren’t necessarily cowardly when
it comes to being gay and proud

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