Monday, September 06, 2004

Child abuse and UFOs cast shadow over film fest
04 September 2004 - NZ

VENICE: Moviegoers expecting another feel-good Hollywood comedy at the Venice Film Festival have instead been thrown into a dark tale about paedophilia and UFO abductions in Mysterious Skin by US director Gregg Araki.

Scenes of a Little League coach seducing an eight-year-old boy and of a male teenage prostitute hustling clients are sure to shock, but the movie was applauded by critics at its world premiere on the Lido beach in Venice.

Based on the novel of the same name, Mysterious Skin traces the lives of two boys growing up in small-town America with a dark humour and irreverence that also elicited nervous laughs from the audience.

"My hope is that it will be a movie that sears itself into the audience's consciousness, that people will talk about, get emotional over and never, ever forget," Araki said yesterday.

He compared Mysterious Skin t
o Larry Clark's Kids, condemned by some for its explicit scenes of adolescent sex.
In Araki's new film starring virtually unknown young actors, one teenager turns to prostitution as he longs for the lost love he had with his Little League baseball coach as a boy.

The other tries to overcome the traumatic experience of being abducted by a UFO when he was eight. READ