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Skin I Live in, The (La piel que habito )

Skin I Live in, The (La piel que habito )
Film Format: 
Almodovar, Pedro
Elena Anaya
Antonio Banderas
Film Reviews: 

The story begins in a sumptuously appointed mansion in Toledo, where pioneering plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas, reunited with Almodovar after 21 years) has a private operating theatre. The mansion is also home – or prison – to Ledgard's special patient, the beautiful Vera (Elena Anaya) who practises yoga in a flesh-coloured catsuit and creates sculptures from ripped-up dresses. Ledgard likes to watch Vera on giant surveillance screens, where she appears stretched out naked like a Bill Viola video remake of the Rokeby Venus. Vera appears to have a romantic or erotic attachment to Ledgard, yet he nervously recoils from her embrace...this hyper-designed film resembles David Cronenberg body horror reconceived to the specifications of Wallpaper* magazine. ..Hugely involving as the film is, it rather deflates (like the blow-up doll that Vera resembles) as it heads towards a bathetic final scene. It's perhaps appropriate that a film about skin should ultimately feel superficial. There's little of the emotional charge that made Volver or Talk to Her transcend the one-man genre that is Almodovar's cinema. But for sheer bewitching strangeness, The Skin I Live In is unmissable, and under your skin it will certainly get.[Jonathan Romney, IoS]

Date Arrival: 
22 December 2011

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