Karina saw and reviewed Mysterious Skin at the Tribeca Film Festival. This is her original review, with a couple of minor tweaks. The film opens today in Manhattan and will move to other cities in the coming weeks.
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With his sixth feature, Mysterious Skin, Gregg Araki has lept out of underground semi-obscurity and towards the forefront of American indie cinema. A deeply affecting adaptation of Scott Heim's 1995 novel, Skin is the perfect "comeback" project for the filmmaker: it allows him to show off his brilliant sense of design and expert handling of acid-tinged humor within the confines of a solid structure and fully-realised characters. In other words, the stuff he's not always so great at has already been laid out for him by someone else, giving him room to play. The result is a kind of emo-epic, a psychologically complex, morally difficult, and ultimately heartbreaking work that works on an extraordinary scale of emotionality.