Mysterious Skin ★★★ 2004 (NC-17)
As 8-year-olds in 1981, clumsy Brian and athletic Neil both play for the same Kansas Little League team. They have something else in common; both are sexually abused by their Coach (Sage). By 1991, Neil (Gordon-Levitt) has become a reckless hustler—first in his dull hometown and later in New York, where he's followed his best friend Wendy (Trachtenberg). Brian (Corbet) has grown into an awkward misfit who (having suppressed the abuse) believes he was abducted and experimented upon by aliens. He has a vague memory of Neil and decides to track the other teen down to find out what really happened—a confrontation that takes place in a challenging scene set on Christmas Eve. Araki displays a fearless candor in showing the damage that was wrought without exploiting his inflammatory subject matter Both leads give strong, gut-wrenching performances. Based on the 1995 novel by Scott Heims. 103m/C DVD . US Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michelle Trachtenberg, Elisabeth Shue, Jeff(rey) Licon, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Chris Mulkey, Richard Riehle, Lisa Long, Billy Drago, William Sage, George Webster, Chase Ellison; D: Gregg Araki; W: Gregg Araki; C: Steve Gainer; M: Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie.