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March 13, 2006



Beautifully written, as always Rich. If your goal was to make your readers want to rush out and rent this unseen gem, you've totally achieved that with me. Thanks for broadening my film horizons. (By the way, I have always thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt was hot. Even when he was a stringy-haired teen alien).


Yeah, my favorite book and movie of last year. I've been an Araki fan forever and I always appreciated the distance he kept from his characters. I liked how when a TV star rapes a girl, there is no emotional connection to her as she stumbles between cars afterward with a bloody nose.
Mysterious Skin took me off-guard a bit because there was SO much Araki in it, but also a weight to the subject matter and an actual narrative arc. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be connected to Neil and Brian, and found quickly that I was invensted in them. Araki has never made a film with any sort of catharsis, yet this film produces an immense emotional payoff. After I saw the film, I had to read the book to be able to separate what was Araki and what was Heim. The cereal was reminiscent of the Barbie cereal in The Living End. Brady Corbett was channeling Nathan Bexton from Nowhere. UFOlogists, homoeroticism, violence. I wasn't sure where the line between film and book was. They are both hugely influential and important works and should be read/viewed by all fags.


you know after reading many of your posts. i think to myself, "id fuck him for free."


I saw this movie in the theatre and I absolutely loved it. I'm so glad you took the time to bring this story to your readers.


i think of return of the king all the time.


p.s. the look on Bill Sage's face when he's being fisted is *priceless*

The NB

The NB concurs wholeheartedly.


multo bravo - do i get bonus cred for having seen it when it first came out?


Great post. I saw this movie not too long ago and couldn't look away. It was difficult to watch but definately something i'd never seen.


It made quite a few critics' personal top ten lists - also, the Indy Award isn't the only place it got a nomination. It's up for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay this weekend at the Chlotrudis Awards.


Thanks for that -- I fixed the post to include the info.


hey. I look at your blog for the cats & ANTM posts (which are better than watching the show) but had to comment on your Brokeback/Crash comparison. Absolutely hilarious and right on. Also right on regarding Mysterious Skin..this film lingered in my mind like nothing else I saw this year and I wanted to talk about it constantly.
The British Film Institute critics put it at #5 with Brokeback #1; here's their year end list with introduction:


and an article on Mysterious Skin & queer cinema:


you might be interesed in reading both. thanks!

t kitty

i got to see this film at the film festival here in seattle, and damn, that gregg araki is hot! also, it should be mentioned that brady corbett is a real life fag! and hot!

more cerebrally: scott heim (author of the novel) tracks the film's progress on his sweetly personal blog:


That Joseph Gordeon Levitt didn't win an acting nomination from the Independent Spirit folks is appalling. While I'm never going to look at deer the same way way again, any movie that uses Sigur Ros to such powerful effect deserves a rave.


Oooh, I love the MILF-WING thing. If I send you a photo, will you tell me if I'm MILF-WING material?

(Better yet, will you lie just to make me happy if I'm not?) ;D


i never even heard of this movie, it looks really good tho, might have to check it out...but have to disagree with you about brokeback, it wasn't the most deserving for an oscar win, none of the nominees were actually, but thats the oscars for you

Gayest Neil

Incredible. Only 16 comments! This is a freakin' beautiful film. I wept at Two Boots Pizza as Bryce and I ate lunch after seeing this movie. I wept for the beauty of it and the painfulness of it.

Insipid ANTM gets 230,492,340,923 comments a day (well deserved...but c'mon) and this brilliant post about a brilliant film gets blah from the readers...

Four shame fourfournatics, four shame!
(did I just coin "fourfournatic"?)

Anyways - about this movie, yeah Rich, you summed it up so succinctly regarding the Coach. He's so sexy, but so predatory at the same time. He has that blond hair, little tight moustache thing going... He actually looks alot like my pee wee football coach - (yes who I had a tremendous crush on as a kid.)

And Elizabeth Shue was indeed incredible. The movie wasn't about the mom. Neil's life wasn't about his mom either, or vice versa. Her subtle (but still loving) performance was spot on.

And Chloe from 24 is hilarious and tragic too. Oh what a great movie.

So much about Mysterious Skin rang true to me. Being a gay teen (also sexually informed by abuse) living in a small town with a single mom.

The movie really affected me and this was a great post worthy of a great movie. I'm so proud and pleased you took the time to write this Rich.


"Part of it's that it just doesn't happen a lot (though it's absolutely possible to have intense sexual feelings way before puberty is supposed to set in..."

This is actually common in molested kids.

Another great book, about a girl victimized by mom's boyfriend, is 'Bastard Out of Carolina', which also includes this sexualization of a prepubescent, even how the victim becomes a sexual aggressor, too.


I love you. This blog entry has shoved a permanent shining light into my heart forever. Thanx.


Rich! Have you seen "Bad Education"? I thought that it came out around the same time as this movie. More gay themes for your pleasure.


Mysterious Skin was Araki's first real adult movie, and it was wonderful. If you had told me ten years ago that Araki was going to make quite possibly the best film of 2005, I would have asked you to pass the bong. But...he just may have. It's a gorgeous, uncomfortable, thought (and boner) provoking film.


I am now very anxious to see this. Previous reviews I've read of it were purposefully vague, so I assumed it was just another dysfunctional family/ coming out film. Looks like I have some catching up to do.


Just watched it based on your recommendation, Rich. Thanks--such a tough experience, but well worth the discomfort. The final scene destroyed me.


Oh, one other thing. We never find out what happened to Brian on Halloween two years later, though he says that he thinks the coach was there that night, too. Just a question I had after the movie was over...

You realize you have an ad running on your site that boasts the headline, "Brokeback Rocco"? It is accompanied by a tasteful shot of a man in heels and handcuffs bending over. It's like they did it just to illustrate your point.

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