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Mysterious Skin

Directed by Gregg Araki


Mysterious Skin
Directed by: Directed by Gregg Araki
This brutal, dread-infused, well-made movie from Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation) has been touted as his most mature film yet, which is debatable, but it’s certainly his most assured and deliberately photographed. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbett as Neil and Brian, respectively, who were Little League teammates molested by their coach. Neil, now a teenage prostitute, believes the experience was one of the most important in his life. Brian has repressed those five hours and believes that he was abducted by aliens. Their stories run separately for most of the film and are twinned at the end for an unsettling climax. Gordon-Levitt, oozing sex, obliterates all evidence of his stupid Third Rock from the Sun persona, re-inventing himself as an indie upstart. Corbett is less impressive but equally belivable as the alien-obsessed nerd, and Elisabeth Shue makes a welcome appearance as Neil’s waitress mother. You probably won’t be able to stomach the special features, but they’re typical — on the commentary Araki and his stars speak of the difficult subject matter, how hard it was to get the movie made, and the rest of the requisite indie complaints.
—Tara Thorne

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