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September 19 2004

Video/Interview Regarding 'Mysterious Skin' (Featuring Michelle Trachtenberg). Comments from the director as well as potential distributors of the movie. The RealPlayer version of the interview also features scenes of Michelle's role in the movie...

So if anyone wants a sampling of MT's character in this flick, I recommend watching the RealPlayer video file rather than just reading the text-version of the interview.

Because as said above, a few of her scenes are interspersed throughout the video version. And I found that they provided a nice indication of the grittier role she's playing.

The interview also focuses on potential Australian distributors of the film. Interestingly enough, they provide some insight into the obstacles the movie will face in terms of widespread distribution. i.e., its subject matter is very dark and controversial, and thus distributors are somewhat hesitant to feature it before a mass audience. Which is too bad, as I hear it's generating a lot of positive buzz.

There were no reviews of the film during the Toronto International Film Festival this past week that I could find. Looks like no one saw it or thought it was worth reporting on. It turns out The Hollywood Reporter did see it at Venice and published a review on Sept. 8, which I just turned up via Google. It's a very unflattering review sorry to report. This link should take you direct without the need for registration, I guess because it's a Google link.
Here in Toronto, was the Toronto Film Festival.I watched the A-List, a canadian version of Extra, to get full coverage of the celebs, and movie premieres.A-List celebrities, such as Orlando Blooms, Nicholas Cage, Helen Hunt, Jamie Fox, and Penelope Cruz, attended the event.One of the movies, being premiered was "Mysterious Skin".Michelle Trachtenberg, the cast, and the director, of the movie attended the festival.I was lucky enough to be able to tape the press conference for "Mysterious Skin".Michelle Trachtenberg was looking very pretty.This isn't the first time she came here, to Toronto.During the 2004 Much Music Video Awards, Buffy stars Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), and Lalaine (Chloe) were invited.Here's a quick fact.Michelle and Lalaine, weren't the only Buffy stars who attended an MMVA.Ashanti (Lissa), attended the 2003 MMVA's where she performed.Nicholas Brendon, & Amber Benson attended the 2002 MMVA's where they were presenters.The MuchMusic VJ's interviewed them about Buffy.They asked the stars, about the future of Tara, and Buffy.Nicholas also complained that they weren't being payed enough money, for starring in the sci-fi series.
I also saw that Hollywood Reporter review, Drifter :)

And to a certain degree, that type of review is expected. Because from what I hear, Gregg Araki films tend to have a very polarizing effect. There's usually not much middle ground: A person either really, really loves his work and his directorial style, or they simply don't like it at all.

The actors themselves have said the same thing. Brady Corbet was mentioning that the director has a very specific style, which isn't for everybody: but he notes that those who 'get it' tend to really, really love it. From what I've read about the director, that sounds rather true. Gregg Araki himself is somewhat of a reknowned name in the independant film world. However, a lot of more mainstream reviewers won't be attuned to his directorial sensibilities.

It would seem the polarizing effect is already coming through in a handful of reviews: the Variety review was quite positive and laudatory. Where as the Hollywood Reporter review was quite negative.

That being said, the film was reportedly very well received at the Venice Film festival. And in independant film circles, it's generating acclaim as well. You can read up on that at the following links...

Reuters - Mysterious Skin applauded in Venice.
IndieWire - Surveying the Hits at Toronto (Mysterious Skin mentioned).
The Boston Herald - Mysterious Skin generates 'killer buzz' (Noted at the end of the article).
The BBC - Mysterious Skin worth watching (brief mention).
Venice - Mysterious Skin well received (brief mention).

Other links also tend to say the same thing: that the film is apparently generating a lot of positive buzz. That said, I'm not sure what its chances of distribution are. And if it were to hit the mainstream, I'm not sure how people would react to it. It seems to be the type of film that is appreciated by the indie crowd, but wouldn't float the boat of a more commercial audience. Which is a situation a lot of movies seem to face these days :)

TheSlayer246: thanks for the additional info :)

[ edited by inverse on 2004-09-19 21:07 ]
Inverse , thanks for all those links! I checked them all out and it seems THR's negative review is out all on its own. But, as I said, it seems none of the four English dailies or two major weeklies reviewed the film here in Toronto.
My friend just got back from Toronto and he saw Mysterious Skin, gave it a 7/10. No mention of Michelle Trachtenberg, but you can read the comments here, at our group's website.
Drifter: glad to be of service :) And you're right that the major Toronto-based newspapers don't seem to have reviewed the film. Which is a shame, as I would've liked hearing their viewpoints. That said, I hear that the average critic only manages to see about 60 of the 328 films that are screened at the festival.

So maybe that helps explain why Mysterious Skin didn't get much print coverage. i.e., critics have to be rather choosy about which movies they see and review: and since Mysterious Skin isn't a sure-fire bet for landing a distribution deal, critics may have focused their attention elsewhere.

That said, the movie apparently got a rather decent dose of television media coverage. I hear through the grapevine that the press conferences for certain festival films would air on Toronto television. Only a handful of the films garnered this treatment, and apparently Mysterious Skin was one of them. I'm also told that Gregg Araki was featured in an hour-long 'industry session' that was likewise aired on television. So in terms of TV, there was somewhat of a media spotlight being shone on this film :)

Shroomy: That was an interesting read. Your friend mentions Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance in 'Manic': which reminds me that I have that DVD and that I really ought to watch it :)

[ edited by inverse on 2004-09-20 08:16 ]
Inverse:The press conferences for the movies being played at festival, were all aired on tv.I was lucky enough to watch most of them.
TheSlayer246: you're indeed quite lucky to have seen that sort of festival coverage :)

To clarify something, though: if what I'm told is correct, only a certain selection of films had their press conferences shown on TV. i.e., the higher profile films like 'Hotel Rwanda', got their press conferences aired. But out of the 328 films at the festival, only a select few were given that type of televised press conference coverage.

So I thought it was interesting that 'Mysterious Skin' was one of the few films that got that sort of attention. Because from what I hear, the films that got televised conferences were some of the best films at the festival :)

[ edited by inverse on 2004-09-21 00:22 ]

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