Flying saucers, an amoral gay hustler, and squeaky-clean TV actors looking to change their image-sounds like your usual Gregg Araki movie. But nothing will prepare you for Mysterious Skin, Araki's first theatrical release in five years. In this stunning, uncompromising film, faithfully adapted from Scott Heim's acclaimed 1995 novel, two Kansas teenagers (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet) come to terms with their molestation a decade earlier by their handsome Little League coach (Bill Sage) in radically different ways. Araki's gutsy screenplay turns a fresh eye to a subject raked over daily in the newspapers, reveling in both its seductive mystery and its utter banality. They take their sordid subject as far as it can go-and then keep going. One thing is for sure-you will never look at Kellogg's Snack Packs the same way again. The director of The Living End and The Doom Generation unwinds his flashy style for a leisurely reverie-aided by Steve Gainer's lush cinematography and a dreamlike score by Harold Budd and the Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie-that reveals a new maturity and as yet unplumbed depths of empathy. With Elisabeth Shue as a slutty, pot-smoking mom, Mary Lynn Rajskub as an alien abductee, Jeff Licon as a sensitive goth kid, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Michelle Trachtenberg as the fag hag next door, and stunning performances by the very young George Webster and Chase Ellison as eight-year-olds caught up in a world they are ill-equipped to understand.
Greg Araki was born in Los Angeles and received his B.A. in film studies from UC Santa Barbara and his M.F.A. in film
production from USC. His critically acclaimed and award-winning films include, The Long Weekend (O'Despair), The Living End, Totally F***ed Up, The Doom Generation, Nowhere, and Splendor.