In the Dark

Bitten and Smitten

Produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Sam Raimi
Screenplay by David Koepp

Y Tu Mamá También
Produced by Besame Mucho Productions
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Screenplay by Alfonso and Carlos Cuarón
Released by Twentieth Century Fox

Where would we be without eros?  Would Antony have thrown away an empire?  Would Dante have written The Divine Comedy?  Would Bill Clinton have scuttled his ambitions so shamefully?  Would Peter Parker have become Spider-Man?  Depending on our character, eros can lead us to greatness or reduce us to squalor, as this month’s films amply illustrate.  

In Spider-Man, director Sam Raimi understands the role eros can play even—maybe especially—in a comic-book fantasy.  He proved this 12 years ago with his low-budget Darkman, a wonderfully stylish and inventive compendium of superhero tropes.  In Spider-Man, he has been given a much larger budget and the special effects to go with it, but it’s his comic-book hero sensibility that really carries the day.  Take the scene in which the 17-year-old orphan Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is about to be spider-bitten into a wholly new existence.  Until...

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