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Mysterious Skin

mysterious mskin

Scott Heim's unconventional and erotic 1996 novel of sexual abuse at the hands of a Little League coach has been brought to the screen by Gregg Araki, one of gay cinema's most edgy and controversial directors. It recently debuted at the Venice International Film Festival.

Araki told the Hollywood Reporter, "When I read Mysterious Skin years ago, it made me cry. I understand that some of the film can be uncomfortable or hard to watch, but the reason I had to do the movie is because of the journey these two characters go through..." The book follows the journey of two boys who are seduced by their coach at an early age. One of them experiences amnesia and substitutes a UFO abduction in place of the actual truth. The other becomes a hustler. A decade later, the memories are reconciled.

From what I remember of the book (which I read eight years ago),mysskinbook Araki has suitably-edgy material for his sensibilities. He's also directed controversy well in The Doom Generation, Nowhere, and The Living End. On cinematographer Steve Gainer's site there's a "coming soon" link to his reel on the film. I was able to get access to it by downloading this link [] and removing an invisible .txt. extension. You can try that but I can't guarantee success.

There have been other recent films about pedophilia. L.I.E. is a film I strongly recommend. Beautifully directed and acted, fair and even-handed in its presentation, the film is moving and shocking in its truth. I expect Mysterious Skin to be far more theatrical a production in the Araki vein.

"Child Abuse and UFOs Cast Shadow Over Venice Fest" <Reuters>

"Ruffled a few feathers with its subject matter" <Premiere>

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  1. I remember watching L.I.E. a month after I had come out and man, was it difficult to watch. Having lived in the closet and hookin up anonymously with older men who stayed in the closet, the pain and tragedy typical in these stories was all to real for me. I kept thinkin that if I had not come out, I would have ended up like the characters on the screen. Thank God, I am now out and proud.

    Posted by: thatmattdude | Sep 9, 2004 8:44:25 PM

  2. EXCITING!!!!

    i LOVE 'mysterious skin.' and 'in awe' is equally moving.

    excellent news.

    Posted by: joe | Sep 9, 2004 9:36:06 PM

  3. Gregg Araki is just on the edge. All his movies are not just "cool", they are on a very specific "edge". The cinematography, lighting, acting, casting, writing and general "feel" are all amazing. I love his work. Speaking of L.I.E., I just rented it from NetFlix. It's a cool movie. I liked the relationships the characters developed.

    Posted by: Stevie | Sep 10, 2004 2:36:13 AM

  4. I read Mysterious Skin years ago & ever so often I bump into it on my bookshelf hoping to read it again...guys if you haven't read this book yet now's the time.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 10, 2004 12:25:36 PM

  5. Hey Andy & everybody else... thanks for posting this on your site. The movie just had its North American premiere this week at the Toronto Film Festival, and it was really well received. Yesterday the New York Times wrote some nice words about it, so we're all psyched about that. I'll be posting updates about the film's eventual release on my own website & blog soon. Hope all is well, and have a great autumn-- Scott

    Posted by: Scott | Sep 17, 2004 2:10:46 PM

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