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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:25 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:35 am
Location: Fresno, CA
Over on the IMDB they listed as the movie of the day a film called The Reflecting Skin. I read some stuff about it on the user comments page, became interested with it so I called around and found a copy of it at of all places Blockbuster. After watching it I have to say that this is one of the most beautiful and narcissisic films I've ever seen. Funny to know that Philip Ridley has only made three films. Since after seeing this I would think that he would be making more since the man could be the British answer to David Lynch. I don't know much about American Gothic other than the best know film that has the look and feel of it is Night of the Hunter which I haven't seen in years. Anyone else seen this film or have anything to say about it?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:32 pm 
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I wanted to watch that film for years! Unforunately, as far as I know it has never been released on DVD in any region. Anyway... I think Philip Ridley is mostly writing theatrical plays or children's books. Anyone else knows anything about a possible DVD release of The Reflecting Skin?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:39 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:35 am
Location: Fresno, CA
It's a Miramax release but the vhs I rented was put out by Live. Which means that Lions Gate owns the rights via the Artisan deal. And so far no dvd. :( . This is one of those eveything you pretty much hear about the film is true. And I hunted down some stuff about Philip Ridley. He writes children's books which after seeing this film I'd be sorta scared to let my kids read anything by the man. After you see the film you will understand why. Best bet to find the film on vhs is call around to a mom and pop video store first and see if they have it, or you may get lucky and a Blockbuster of Hollywood Video may have it.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:10 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:01 pm
Location: London, England
THX1378 wrote:
Anyone else seen this film or have anything to say about it?


Yes, I saw this on Tv not long after it was released [FilmFour productions often came to TV a year or so later back then]. A very strange film, a little forced in places [it does seem to try to cram in as many dark downbeat ideas as possible] but still powerful. The mummified baby, and the kid thinking his dead friend was living inside it, still haunt me to this day. I've also seen another Ridley film, THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON, which is just as odd. A kind of dark-woods fairytale with extra sexual repression - well worth seeing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:26 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:35 am
Location: Fresno, CA
The fetus in the jar whom the boy thinks is an angel is one of the most haunting images I've ever seen in a film. I'm tring to hunt down the other two films that Ridley has made but I'm having no luck. Seems that none of his films are on dvd at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:08 am 
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Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
two mules wrote:
I've also seen another Ridley film, THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON, which is just as odd. A kind of dark-woods fairytale with extra sexual repression - well worth seeing.


One of the especially odd images in Darkly Noon that has stayed with me is the giant shoe floating down the river! (It does make sense in context!). Great performances and music in it as well.

Quote:
In the forest/there's a monster/and it looks so/very much like me/Won't someone hear me calling/please save me/please rescue me


The end credit song "Who will love me now" from the film was remixed into a dance track by Sunscreem V Push called "Please save me". I actually thought that the song works in both the melancholic style of the end credit song, and also as the more harder edged and fast paced dance track.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:30 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
If you have the capacity, track this down in Japan -- there's a widescreen VHS release that is better than what we currently find here... It doesn't seem to be available on Amazon Japan, so I don't know how anyone is gonna find this, but... Now you know it exists.

Allan


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:43 pm 
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Location: Athens, Greece
There is also an extremely high priced japanese DVD released by a company called Imagica. I found that in Xploited Cinema (http://www.xploitedcinema.com/dvds/dvds.asp?title=5438) and my desire to see Reflecting Skin is so strong that I would pay for it. I hesitate though, since I don't know anything about the quality and the specific company. Anyone who knows something more about it?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:52 pm 
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Super Happy Fun offer a DVD-R of the film, copied from the excellent open-matte Laserdisc HERE, which I ordered last year. Image quality is very good. Including shipping, it's $16.50.

There is a German edition of which I have heard conflicting information as to whether or not it has an anamorphic or open-matte transfer; there seems to be two editions out there, one cheaper than other, but it certainly and unforgivably only offers a German dub, not the original english dialogue - madness.

The Japanese edition is single layer, but the anamorphic transfer is said to be excellent.

Philip Ridley is that rarest of artists: A novelist/playwrite who has wrote and directed his own feature films with artistic success. He is also a superb painter, photographer, songwriter and has been described as something of a polymath. The Reflecting Skin is an astounding piece of cinematic storytelling, that's for sure.

There is probably a rights issue with the film in USA, Canada and the UK. The film was produced by eight companies, including the BBC. The UK theatrical showings and VHS were distributed by the now-defunct Virgin Vision. The 1992 LD was from Live Home Video and the 1993 U.S. VHS from Lions Gate - they are now the same company, right? Miramax was the U.S. theatical distributor, of course. With Viggo as a 'big name' now, you'd have thought that a DVD would have appeared in the US and/or UK, but something must surely be holding the release up.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:23 am 
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Being released on cheapo DVD by Echo Bridge in December.

There go all my dreams of a stacked Criterion... :cry:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:27 pm
This has been released in Germany on Blu-ray.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:27 am 
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Yes, I have that BD - while the transfer is not quite as horrible as some of the German reviews have pointed out (many of which have referred to the picture quality as "VHS-like"), it's not much better. And it really deserves an SE with Philip Ridley commentary, etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:55 am
Location: New Avalon KY
I watched this one and quite enjoyed. It can overwrought in the manner of southern gothic melodrama, but that worked for the story. The menacing adults; decay, death, and destruction all around; the people trapped in this miserable place; and the rural expanses. It's like God forgot about the place. I was pleased that the cinematography tried to evoke a Days of Heaven look because the wide shots of the country are truly haunting. The music was the emotional highlight as I found it consistently exquisite. Truly, one of the best scores that I've heard in some time. I was expecting the movie to go in the direction either of Celia or The Butcher Boy so I was pleased by the ending.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The boy running away only to drop exhausted and scream his lungs out. It stopped in the right place and in the right way so as to let out the emotions bottled up in the child finally explode. I was impressed by the actor as a whole. His early glee in destruction (the frog, the gas station fire, the bedroom) ebbing away as the emotional noose tightens around him. For all the emotional violence inflicted on the kid, I was impressed by his resilience as he moved through the second half of the film. His interactions with the fetus - the weakest scenes, in my opinion, though interesting - were the only point where his acting felt a little threadbare. Otherwise, he carried his scenes very well.
I was impressed by the tone throughout and how the feelings of dread suffused each scene. It was a fascinating look at how kids see the world, but as a picture of a world in utter confusion I was also impressed by how the acting drew me closer rather repulsed me. I look forward to watching this one again.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:35 pm
I like Jean Luc's comment about how "feelings of dread suffused every scene". Philip Ridley is incredibly good at making you utterly terrified when virtually nothing is happening - almost in the David Lynch class at unnerving the viewer. "The Reflecting Skin" terrified me when I first saw it - admittedly alone and late at night - and there are memorable examples in "Heartless" - a much underrated film I think - and "The Passion of Darkly Noon" too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:14 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
Ridley is certainly a true auteur in at least two senses. He creates both images and words and his work across various forms has recognisable continuities of moods, themes and symbols. Even The Krays - for which he only wrote the screenplay and with factual constraints - feels very much his film. As far back as 1989, when I reviewed his radio play October Scars the Skin, I wrote: "his carefully constructed narratives are intricate webs of stories, dreams, visions and memories that mirror and illuminate each other." I remember he was kind enough to call and thank me for the review (I'd also visited one of his art exhibitions), the only time I can recall that happening from anyone during my six-year stint.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:09 am 
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Forgot this thread was here - for anyone who's interested, I interviewed Philip Ridley and the film's composer, Nick Bicat, after a double bill screening of this and Passion of Darkly Noon in London last September. Here's the full video of the Q&A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjNs93EIMGY


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:07 am 
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filmghost wrote:
There is also an extremely high priced japanese DVD released by a company called Imagica. I found that in Xploited Cinema (http://www.xploitedcinema.com/dvds/dvds.asp?title=5438) and my desire to see Reflecting Skin is so strong that I would pay for it. I hesitate though, since I don't know anything about the quality and the specific company. Anyone who knows something more about it?

I have this DVD and it's strong. I don't think there's many extras and what is there is probably just in Japanese. But the transfer is excellent and it even comes with a great miniature Japanese poster of the film!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:30 am 
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The only extra on the Japanese DVD is the trailer, which is still more than any other release! The German BD has a totally unrelated short film in German-language only.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:35 am 
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Really hard to find any screenshots or proper technical reviews of these releases - is the German BD really so bad that it's not worth going for that over the R1 DVD?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:51 am 
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Oh no, the BD's certainly better than the US DVD (which is a travesty) - it's just not very good. It's a wobbly telecine off a quite dark German theatrical print (possibly 16mm), so while it's serviceable, the film really does deserve much better.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:17 am 
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Thanks! I'm quite anxious to see this, so will get the German Blu for now. (Easier to get rid of that here in Europe as well should a remastered upgrade ever appear)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:57 pm
Was just at a Q&A with Viggo Mortensen for Jauja, they were talking about Soda Pictures and other labels that were helping to get little known films distributed when Mortensen brought up that The Reflecting Skin had recently been remastered and that there should be a new blu-ray and dvd out soon, he also mentioned The Passion of Darkly Noon is getting the same treatment.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:07 am 
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It took all of my willpower not to reply to that last post a few months ago...

... no more!

Quote:
Soda Pictures has acquired UK & Irish home video rights to Philip Ridley’s 1990 cult classic The Reflecting Skin, featuring Viggo Mortensen in one of his first starring roles and Scottish actress Lindsay Duncan.

The UK/Canada co-production, which has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray in the UK before, will be released by the Anglo-Canadian distributor in a special edition later this year.

This release will be the worldwide video premiere of a new, director-approved high-definition transfer. Exclusive bonus material is currently in production, including newly-filmed interviews with Ridley and Mortensen.

Further details, including release dates, will be announced in the lead-up to the restoration’s UK premiere at Film4 Frightfest in August, which was announced yesterday.

The Reflecting Skin played at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival and went on to win 11 international awards.

Set in the Idaho farmlands of the 1950s, the film follows eight year-old Seth through a summer where reality is heightened to the level of a hallucinogenic quasi-fantasy.

As mysterious deaths plague the rural community, Seth comes to believe that the pale, reclusive widow living next door (Lindsay Duncan) is a vampire. Seth’s worst nightmare comes true when his older brother Cameron (Mortensen) returns home from abroad and falls in love with the widow.

Speaking about the remastered version, Ridley said: “Earlier this year I saw something I hadn’t seen for over 20 years. A beast so rare I thought it extinct. I saw The Reflecting Skin looking exactly as it was meant to look.

“Somehow – by some miracle! – all the original elements have been found. Every frame has now been made a scratch-free zone. I sat in the grading room with some of the best technicians in the world and, scene-by-scene, shot-by-shot, guided them through how everything should look.

“So here it is… the exploding frog, the shiniest of Cadillacs, the yellowest of wheat fields, the bluest of skies, the reddest of sunsets, the whole hall-of-mirrors, teeth ‘n’ claws ‘n’ roar caboodle… all looking and sounding exactly as they did when the world was still young.”

Soda Pictures’ MD Edward Fletcher negotiated the deal with Clare Crean from The Works International.


And just to address something in the previous post... Viggo was mistaken when he said The Passion Of Darkly Noon was being re-released as well. Sadly the rights are held up between two companies who don't care enough about it. So on the shelf it stays - for now...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:10 pm 
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That's great news, been waiting ages for this film to be released. Ridley's such a terrific playwright, but films seem to be completely obscure.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am
Very possibly the first 35mm screening of this film in North America since the 1990's.

\:D/


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