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Skins (2002)

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Okay, I’m definitely not a reviewer or much of a writer either for that matter… but I felt a need to say something about this one so please bear with me…



Directed by Chris Eyre
Written by Jennifer D. Lyne
Based on the novel by Adrian C. Louis
Mogie Yellow Lodge: Graham Greene
Rudy Yellow Lodge: Eric Schweig


After hearing quiet a bit about Skins, I finally had a chance to watch this movie and was completely blown away...

Skins tells the story of two Oglala Sioux brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota… The youngest, Rudy (Eric Schweig), is a Tribal Police Officer beginning to feel the effects of a never-ending battle against crime and alcoholism on the Reservation… and the eldest, Mogie (Graham Greene), traumatized by a brutal tour of duty in Viet Nam (where he earned three Purple Hearts), spends his days drinking and getting into mischief whenever the opportunity arises… which is the majority of the time and only adds to the frustration his brother feels toward the horrors he combats daily as part cop - part social worker… I don’t want to give too much away, but when Rudy discovers a youth senselessly beaten to death, his frustration gives way to a rage that only leads to tragic consequences…

Although the main focus of this film is on the relationship between the brothers, there is much more going on here… Historically, resting in the shadows of Mt. Rushmore, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is the largest tract of land set aside by the US Government for use by Native Americans… but it is also the poorest community in the US with an average family income of 3,700 per year… unemployment rates 80% above average… crime and substance abuse 9 times above average… life expectancy 20 years below average… and the highest infant mortality rate in the US… Filmed entirely on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Chris Eyre does a wonderful job touching on the majority of those problems in a matter-of-fact way that never once asks for pity… only awareness…

Skins screened in June 2002 in New York City as part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival co-presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Human Rights Watch.

__________________
You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough.
~William Blake ~

AiSv Nv wa do hi ya do...
(Walk in Peace)




Thank you Caitlyn. I'll put this on order and make a more thorough post after viewing it.
__________________
"Today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."



Mother! Oh, God! Mother! Blood!
Thanks Cait! Sounds interesting. My list keeps growing and growing!
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NEW (as of 1/24/05): Quick Reviews #10



I am having a nervous breakdance
Chris Eyre is a director who I have been curious about for a long time now. I have yet to see Smoke Signals and now this one as well. And you are a lot better than a lot of others calling themselves "reviewers" on this board, Cait. More, please!
__________________
The novelist does not long to see the lion eat grass. He realizes that one and the same God created the wolf and the lamb, then smiled, "seeing that his work was good".

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They had temporarily escaped the factories, the warehouses, the slaughterhouses, the car washes - they'd be back in captivity the next day but
now they were out - they were wild with freedom. They weren't thinking about the slavery of poverty. Or the slavery of welfare and food stamps. The rest of us would be all right until the poor learned how to make atom bombs in their basements.



Mother! Oh, God! Mother! Blood!
Originally Posted by Piddzilla
And you are a lot better than a lot of others calling themselves "reviewers" on this board
Ouch!



I am having a nervous breakdance
Originally Posted by Mark
Ouch!
I am not talking about the "serious" reviewers. But a lot of times you see a new post in the Movie Reviews place and it's like fifteen words long. Not a review if you ask me...



Put me in your pocket...
Nice review Caity. Sounds like a real tearjerker. I'll have to put this one on my list also.


Originally Posted by Piddzilla
I am not talking about the "serious" reviewers. But a lot of times you see a new post in the Movie Reviews place and it's like fifteen words long. Not a review if you ask me...
Not everyone has a talent for serious writing, but they still want to contribute when they're excited about a movie. You're one tough pumpkin.



I saw Skins at a movie theatre in late September 2002. It was one of those rare occasions where I see a movie in a theatre that isn't mainstream. I liked it a lot and have been interested in seeing it again, actually. I didn't know what I was really going to witness when I went into it; I hadn't seen Smoke Signals, and still haven't, and basically didn't know the plot. It kept my attention and I found myself laughing over some things (the Madonna t-shirt that drunk man was wearing, for instance).

WARNING: "reveals the end of the movie" spoilers below
When I saw it, there was an unexpected surprise during the screening. During the funeral scene for the older brother, close up on his face in the coffin... the film burned in half before our eyes and broke. I had never seen that happen before, it was hysterical to me, other people were pissed, but I enjoyed it and the movie did return... of course, nobody saw a refund. In fact, it was a small movie theatre, late at night. Everyone was hiding.



I am having a nervous breakdance
Originally Posted by Aniko
Not everyone has a talent for serious writing, but they still want to contribute when they're excited about a movie. You're one tough pumpkin.
No, I am not!! What I meant was that Cait's review is high above average. Every contribution to these discussions are welcome!



Put me in your pocket...
Originally Posted by Piddzilla
No, I am not!! What I meant was that Cait's review is high above average. Every contribution to these discussions are welcome!
Awww....I know you're not. You're a sweetie with a soft heart. I was just playing with ya'.

And, you're right Cait's review is high above average.



It occurred to me that I had never thanked you guys for all your kind words… I’m sorry… your words meant a lot to me… (and the fact none of you mentioned I had a typo in my original post shows how big of sweethearts you all are )

I finally had time to read some of the 'professional' reviewers thoughts on this movie the other day and wasn’t too surprised that several of them panned it… however, most of their reviews still touched on the very things that I think Eyre was trying to bring awareness to… so in the end, I would say, he accomplished what he set out to do…

Sexy, I know what you mean about the t-shirt… there are a lot of lighthearted/humorous moments in the mix and I found myself smiling or laughing outright several times… what did you think about the very end?



Caity has a review thread? Sweet! So, you started this in 2004. Obviously you're on the 5 year review plan yeah? So by my math skills (which are totally suspect) I gather you're due for another one some time this year right?
__________________
We are both the source of the problem and the solution, yet we do not see ourselves in this light...



Originally Posted by Caitlyn
Sexy, I know what you mean about the t-shirt… there are a lot of lighthearted/humorous moments in the mix and I found myself smiling or laughing outright several times… what did you think about the very end?
Sorry that it's been 5 years. Let me finally get to my reply...

Well, I've seen the film again since I saw it in the movie theatre back in 2002, and I'm thinking that I might go and pick it up on DVD cause I've seen it in a store around here for a decent price.

From what I remember about the ending...

WARNING: "Skins" spoilers below
He sees his dead brother's spirit walking along a road by a mountain.


I think it's a very good spiritual film. I came out of it surprised that I liked it the first time I saw it because I had absolutely zero idea what it would be about going in.

Chris Eyre, the director, also directed a short feature at the Native American Museum in Washington D.C., which, if I remember corrected, featured a few short stories about Native Americans in different parts of the world. The first story was about a little girl in Alaska... another was about some teenage boy... anyway, it's been awhile since I've seen that as well, but I think he's a very moving director. I think he could come up with something brilliant one day... something that everyone would take notice of.



Caity has a review thread? Sweet! So, you started this in 2004. Obviously you're on the 5 year review plan yeah? So by my math skills (which are totally suspect) I gather you're due for another one some time this year right?


I definitely seem to be on the 5 year or so review plan... and who knows, I might dust off my brain and try my hand at a few more soon...


Thanks for reading...