Saturday, 10 December 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 353: Mon Dec 19

Inside (Maury, 2007) & In My Skin (De Van, 2002): Picturehouse Central, 6.30pm

Between the films, in this Picturehouse double-bill the feminist horror collective, The Final Girls, will host a panel discussion about the way the films of the New French Extremity tackled body horror, female psyschosis and the slasher tropes.

Here is the Picturehouse introduction:
There was a brief, bloody moment in the mid-2000s, when French film turned bloodthirsty. We pay homage to that gruesome period dubbed New French Extremity with a double dose of body horror with A l’interieur (Inside) and Dans ma peau (In my skin). Both films have the female neuroses at its core, and peel back (sometimes, literally) every layer of it until the core is left exposed. Inside follows a young pregnant widow who must deal with a relentless woman that appears one night in her home. In My Skin while not strictly a horror film, goes deep inside the psyche of a woman obsessed with inflicting damage to her own body. Both films push boundaries of what we expect from women in horror, and confront the anxieties of the female body with vivid detail.

Here is a Jonathan Romney article from the Independent in 2004 on New French Extremity.

In My Skin review (from Time Out):
When businesswoman Esther (de Van) accidentally cuts her leg, she discovers that the wound is a source of pleasure as well as pain. Soon she is inflicting further blessures, neglecting her job and her relationship with her nice-guy boyfriend (Laurent Lucas), and sliding slowly into dementia… At last year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, de Van’s film provoked a steady stream of walkouts as ‘disturbing images and themes’ started to unfold. But, despite several grisly moments, it never delivers anything truly grotesque. Instead, de Van always seems about to show us something awful. There’s no shortage of stuff to chew on, however, in this most graceful and poised of ‘skin-flicks’ – one which, like ‘Secretary’, shows scarification as a direct response to reification. The most remarkable scene sees Esther slowly threatening various parts of her body with a knife, making it perhaps the first stalk-and-slash film in which victim and assailant are the same person. 
Neil Young

Here (and above) is the trailer for Inside.

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