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Mysterious Skin back to product details

Sex itself is Mysterious
written by HNewman July 30, 2007 - 1:04 PM PDT
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Mysterious Skin breaks new ground with its marvelous & sensitive depiction of the rebounding affects of those who have experienced the tragedy of child molestation. Sex too early, any kind of sex, is bound to affect children and then the adults they become in profound ways. This is not a gay or straight issue; all children who are manipulated into this kind of exchange before they have the maturity to make their own decision, are victims. . . some survive and learn to lead productive healthy sexual lives, some do not. It's monstrous that adults often look at children, including their own, as objects rather than complicated individuals. Individual sexuality is always a complicated issue, made worse by the actions of adults who themselves were often victims of early sexual abuse. Having said this, the film itself is brilliantly cast & acted. Joseph Gordon-Levitt deserves all the accolades possible for his performanace, as does Araki for his direction.

Mysterious, and So Much More
written by talltale November 7, 2005 - 8:20 AM PST
11 out of 12 members found this review helpful
Gregg Araki goes partial mainstream with MYSTERIOUS SKIN, in terms of style, content, and accessibility to plot and characters. What most definitely is not mainstream is this director's insistence on transgression. He gives us sex from the viewpoint of a child predator, and actually turns us on in the process. This is truly shocking. The sex scenes seem as truthful as any I have seen, and yet there is nothing hard- or even soft-core here, and very little nudity. But the moment to moment intimacies--the pink shade that white skin turns when turned-on, the joy and surprise that someone who's been passive suddenly discovers when he turns active--all this and more is shown as I have never seen it.

Although many reviews were extremely positive, the box-office was remarkably small, so this must mean that audiences still cannot deal with gay sex (not to mention the mention the predatory nature of what is shown here). Too bad, because Araki has given us an amazing character study of two young men, what they experience as children and who they become. The performances are breathtaking, particularly that of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the stronger of the two young men. James Dean is his heyday did not compare with what Gordon- Levitt achieves here.

Araki does not stint on showing us the damage done by the predator, so claims that this movie is immoral strike me as vapid. The ending is particularly strong, culminating in a visual and verbal moment that is near-perfect. Time will reveal whether Mysterious Skin is a classic; for now it is certainly not to be missed.


(Average 7.57)
191 Votes
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