Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ROPE and Sexual Asphyxia

In Alfred Hitchcock's ROPE, the murder weapon used by the two gay co-conspirators is, of course, a rope. Later, however, as an "artistic flourish," one of them, Brandon (John Dall), ties up a set up first edition books with the same length of rope. It also happens to be tied into a loop, which is suggestive of the film's "undending" quality -- its appearance of being filmed in one long, unending "take."

I recently learned that "rope" and "ropes" is a slang term in the gay community that refers to ejaculation/ejaculated semen. There is, however, at least one shot in ROPE in which Brandon is holding the loosely coiled rope in his hands, which could suggest such a thing. And it would have been just like H to do so!

With sexual asphyxia, mild strangulation, often with a rope, is used to enhance the orgasm. Sometimes people die from it.

Hitch, an expert on all things squeamish, violent and sexual, was surely aware of all this. I think it shows up in ROPE.

Just a curious tidbit.

Joel Gunz

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