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July 14, 2006

Mysterious Skin - 6

What I thought might be a new version of Midnight Cowboy (from the brief synopsis)turned into a Mean Creek-like story of child abuse. It is disturbing the film is not overly hopeful, but knowing the truth is really half the battle. This film is based on the book by Scott Heim, and starts with narration from the book, which is the easiest way to get a lot of information across in a short time. The subject matter is intense, and this film is not for everyone. The story is in fact two stories that lead to connection at the end. The director, Gregg Araki, does a good job of helping the viewer connect the stories, and the film, ultimately, makes sense. This is basically a vehicle for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who along with his more recent films Brick and Havoc, is trying to break away from his 3rd from the Sun comedy days. The fact that he doesn't age (ala Jena Malone) allows him to get roles as high school-aged characters. An honest story, that shows how complex the human heart is, with its mix of good and evil. The last narration of the film by Neil are a little nihilistic, but the film sets them up to show how honest they are:

And as we sat there listening to the carolers, I wanted to tell Brian it was over now and everything would be okay. But that was a lie, plus, I couldn't speak anyway. I wish there was some way for us to go back and undo the past. But there wasn't. There was nothing we could do. So I just stayed silent and trying to telepathically communicate how sorry I was about what had happened. And I thought of all the grief and sadness and fucked up suffering in the world, and it made me want to escape. I wished with all my heart that we could just leave this world behind. Rise like two angels in the night and magically... disappear.

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