Skin I Live In, The
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Skin I Live In, The

Almodovar Pedro, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, Roberto Alamo

Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed a further three things: no scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was born, is his most faithful accomplice.

Review

Like Frankenstein reassembled as a modern revenge melodrama, this is the first exercise in out-and-out sci-fi/horror from the matchless Pedro Almodóvar.

The result is expectedly baroque. Antonio Banderas – reuniting with Almodóvar for the first time in over two decades – is a plastic surgeon who’s illegally cultured a burn-resistant synthetic skin. A beautiful woman (Elena Anaya), clad invariably in a flesh-coloured body stocking, is his housebound patient. But who is she? And why does she seem like a captive?

Despite once more mining his pet themes of illicit desire and transsexual selfhood, this is perhaps Almodóvar’s most provocative film yet.

gerard Gerard Elson works at Readings St Kilda.

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