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Directed by Gregg Araki
USA / Netherlands 2004

 

Director Gregg Araki's MYSTERIOUS SKIN, adapted from Scott Heim's acclaimed novel, is an intensely powerful chronicle of childhood innocence lost. The film features starmaking turns from Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon, Inception) and Brady Corbet (Simon Killer, Martha Marcy May Marlene) alongside outstanding performance from co-stars Michelle Trachtenberg (2006 Black Christmas, 17 Again), Mary Lynn Rajskub (TV's 24) and Academy Award nominee Elizabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas).

At the age of eight, Kansas youngsters Neil and Brian played on the same little league baseball team. Now, ten years later, the two boys couldn't be more different. Neil is a charismatic but emotionally aloof male hustler while Brian is a nervous introvert obsessed with the idea that he has been abducted by a UFO. When the boys parallel lives inevitably intersect, the pair unearth dark, repressed secrets on a harrowing and unforgettable journey of self discovery.

***

Based on a 1995 novel by Scott Heim, “Mysterious Skin” reflects upon how one childhood event shape the lives of two boys. At the age of eight, Brian (Brady Corbett) passed out during a little league game and was out for five hours, which he contributes to alien abduction, while Neil (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) sought out an early sexual experience with his coach. Young adults, Brian is alienated and spends most of his time at the library reading and writing about alien abductions, while Neil has become a male prostitute.

When they finally unite, their suppressed memories and emotions come out, and they realize how different they have become by what once happened.

 

With almost lyrical simplicity, Gregg Araki has created one incredible powerful film about sexual trauma and how they shape our lives. Beautifully acted by Corbett and Gordon-Levitt, as well as great supporting roles by especially Elisabeth Shue, "Mysterious Skin" is a film first and foremost to experience, at the same time brutal and tender, toying with our perception of things, provokes and seduces. One of the best films of the year.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 3rd, 2004 (Venice Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Tartan - Region 2 - PAL vs. Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

 

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Tartan - Region 2 - PAL Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:40:49 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:45:07.217  1:45:08.302 
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.27 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
 

1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,013,144,300 bytes

Feature: 32,340,934,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.10 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,527,411,035 bytes

Feature: 35,143,216,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Strand Blu-ray:

Bitrate Camera Obscura Blu-ray:

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, DTS English

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3986 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3986 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Isolated Score: DTS-HD Master Audio English 2525 kbps 2.1 / 48 kHz / 2525 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2148 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2148 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 2042 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2042 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1663 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1663 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English, None English (SDH), none German, English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Gregg Araki, Brady Corbett and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
• Interviews
• - Gregg Araki (21:46 / 16x9)
• - Scott Heim (25:16 / 16x9)
• - Brady Corbett and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (15:28 / 16x9)
• - London Film Festival Q&A: Araki and Heim (13:04 / 16x9)
• Original Trailer (1:49 / 4:3)

DVD Release Date: October 24, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Strand Releasing

 

1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,013,144,300 bytes

Feature: 32,340,934,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.10 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

d ational Trailer (2:03)


Blu-ray
Release Date: March 18th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Camera Obscura

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,527,411,035 bytes

Feature: 35,143,216,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with director Gregg Araki and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet
• Director Intro (0:33)

• English trailer 1 (2:03), English trailer 2 (1:47) (complete bonus material with optional German subtitles)
 

Second Disc DVD
• Interview with director Gregg Araki (24:56), novelist Scott Heim (8:05), Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet (22:16)
Book reading with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet (54:41)
• Omitted scenes (5:49)
• Audition tapes (8:05)
• Essay by Sofia Glasl (in German)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 21st, 2020
Media-book Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Camera Obscura Blu-ray (October 2020): Camera Obscura have transferred Gregg Araki's masterful Mysterious Skin to Blu-ray. We have reviewed the DVD from 2005 HERE and the Strand Blu-ray HERE. The Camera Obscura, with a max'ed out bitrate, and in the proper 1.85:1 aspect ratio (showing slightly less than Strand's 'opened-up' 1.78:1), looks the best. All visual facets improve - including slightly superior detail and contrast. It's better - and to what degree will depends on your system or discerning eye. It looked quite impressive on my system.

NOTE: We have added 42 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Camera Obscura also use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track - but only 16-bit, in the original English language and a German DUB option. It still sound excellent with the score credited to Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie (they worked together again in Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard). The film is augmented with samplings of Slowdive's Golden Hair, Dagger and Game Show, Curve's Galaxy, Samskeyti performed by Sigur Rós and other music. Camera Obscura offer optional German and English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Camera Obscura Blu-ray has many of the same extras as the Strand, and a few newer additions. They repeat the audio commentary with Araki, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Brady Corbet (with optional German subtitles), they also have a director's introduction - but a newer, and shorter, one - and duplicate the deleted scenes, 55-minutre book reading, auditions, and trailers (although theirs has German subtitles). We lose the isolated score & effects track found on the Strand. Camera Obscura add a second disc DVD with an hour's worth of interviews with director Araki, novelist Scott Heim plus Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet together. Being a Media-book case it has photos and an essay by Sofia Glasl (in German.) 

Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin is a highly impacting film. It's has similar very uncomfortable (nay shocking and repulsive) scenes to Todd Solondz's Happiness from 1998 - regarding child abuse. Despite the disturbing nature, Araki realizes his own screenplay in a remarkable fashion. It leaves you kind of hollow. Certainly not to all tastes but this raw examination of a little-discussed cinema topic is unforgettable.. and devastating. The Camera Obscura Blu-ray package is the best way to watch the film, and it has the commentary, other 'previously unseen' extras and a smart media-book case. Double-dipping is for true fans of the film, but region 'B'ers should be all over this.

Gary Tooze

 


Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

 

Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

DVD included with Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

 

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Tartan - Region 2 - PAL Strand Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray Camera Obscura - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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