Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


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

I'm surprised to see that I've never featured this quote for this series before. Anyway today is the 10th anniversary of Gregg Araki's best movie (so far, but probably, let's be honest, ever) and over at The Film Experience our pal Glenn related his trip to see the movie in the theater at that time and how it affected him...

... it reminded me I had quite an affecting experience myself with this film. Skin was the very first movie that I reviewed here at the blog and I've told this story a million times but here, I'll quote myself from 2005:

"I saw the film a second time here in NYC at Film Forum, and during an especially intense scene (you'll know it once you see it, believe me), a woman in the audience literally began to shriek and ran sobbing out of the theater. I don't know if that will make anyone want to go see the movie or will keep you away, but I myself have never seen anyone ever react like that in a theater and was pretty much in awe of it. It's the sort of thing you hear about, a woman fainting during Passion of the Christ, or the old waivers you have to sign to watch some schlocky horror movie of the fifties that the theater wouldn't be held responsible for trauma inflicted by the film... but to actually see and hear someone react so strongly..."

Since we're ten years on I don't consider it a spoiler anymore so I'll just go ahead and say it was the scene where Joseph Gordon Levitt gets beaten and raped in the shower that sent the woman screaming; it remains the most dramatic thing I've ever witnessed in a movie theater to this day. It is of course a purposeful moment of awfulness, and the passage I quoted up top, which is from the end of the film, shows that healing, not horror, is Araki's ultimate intent. I hope that woman, where ever she is, found her own way through.
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5 comments:

Joey said...

I saw this in a tiny theater in Pittsburgh by myself surrounded by older gay couples and I had such a strong reaction to it.

mangrove said...

The French distributor for the movie decided to mess with Araki and actually played the movie off Beta tapes in theaters, not even using HD projectors!

So it ended up looking even seedier than it should have. I was pretty angry during the whole screening.

The good thing that came out of the whole mess is that you can't distribute a movie in a non director-approved format in France anymore I think.

scottheim said...

Cool! Thanks for this post!

JA said...

THANK YOU for writing such a brilliant book, Scott!

Jacques Dillinger said...

My wildest cinema reaction experience was at Revolutionary Road, when a man in the audience two seats from me passed out. The movie continued without stop, while my dad, a doctor, saw to him and called for an ambulance. The man was taken out of the cinema, while we continued watching the film. I thought it was so good that it wasn't till a bit later that I realized what had happened.