One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Friday, November 11, 2005

Getting Under My Skin

Iranian artist Shirin Neshat's latest film, called "Zarin" (pictured above) at Gladstone Gallery documents a prostitute who psychologically unravels. She sees men's faces as masked by an extra layer of flesh, and takes to the public baths where she literally scrubs her skin off. These gutteral-moan-inducing images reminded me of a French theatrical film called "In My Skin." In this movie, the lead character (pictured right) accidentally cuts herself but then comes to half-worship and savor mutilating herself. (This sounds like a slasher film, but it is definitely a psychological study rather than a gross-out fest.) As an audience member, I find it deeply disturbing when the protagonist harms herself. I cannot emotionally tolerate a film in which the lead character commits suicide. (I'm thinking specifically of David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive.") This is certainly not to say that these films are bad; in fact, they're all amazing works of art. But such images affect me so deeply that they really get under my skin and haunt me long afterwards. (Images via Gladstone Gallery and