Pedro Almodóvar is a fascinating filmmaker. One of the most successful directors to come out of Spain, his films are often darkly comic and usually revolve around themes of sexuality: “Matador” explores quite literally the juxtaposition of sex and violence; “Talk to Her” tells the story of a man who falls in hopelessly in love with a woman in a coma; “Bad Education” is about a transgendered individual who was raped by his priest as a child; “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down,” a disturbing look at the phenomenon known as Stockholm Syndrome, was instrumental in the invention of the NC-17 rating to denote films too intense to be rated R but not quite at the level required for an X rating.
Almodóvar returns to the screen with a new film: “The Skin I live In” (Spanish title “La Piel Que Habito") which is loosely based on the novel “Tarantula” by French author Thierry Jonquet and stars Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, and Jan Cornet.
On the surface “The Skin I live In” is about a brilliant doctor (Banderas) who is attempting to create a synthetic human skin impervious to cuts, burns, and bug bites. To the scientific community he claims to be experimenting on mice, while in reality he is operating on a human guinea pig named Vera (Anaya). A dark enough premise as it is, the film travels down a twisted and bizarre road when we begin to learn exactly who this woman is, where she came from, and why Dr. Ledgard is keeping her captive.
Village 8 presents “The Skin I Live In” for a limited one-week run as part of their Louisville Exclusive series. It is an incredibly well-crafted and disturbing film which will leave you simultaneously enthralled and sick to your stomach; the experience of seeing it on the big screen is not to be missed. The film shows for only four more days, leaving the theater after Thursday. Theater information and show times can be found at the Village 8 website.
Image courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.