Geoffrey Wright is one of the most talented, exciting and unpredictable filmmakers around these days. Each of his films has taken an unusual approach to material that movies generally don't touch. Remember Lover Boy (1988)? It was an unsensationally realistic 40-minute film about a kid who came to cut the grass and stayed after hours to learn about booze and sex from a much older woman. The controversial Romper Stomper (1992) took on skinheads from the inside with intoxinating violence and cliche-skewering cinematic iconography. The one thing you could say these tales from the suburban backyard have in common is a stance of moral neutrality.Metal Skin is about teenagers from horrible families and shitty neighbourhoods who have learned to beat poverty and boredom with fast cars, booze and sex. Joe is ratty-looking loser, a soup-can-labeler in a supermarket, who admires his good-looking co-worker Dazey. Dazey, whose main assets are snakeskin boots and an easy laugh, is seducing every girl in sight, though he ''loves'' the beautiful broken-spirited hair-dresser Roslyn. Into their orbit comes Savina, a black-eyed witch. Joe is so desperate to be loved that he lets Savina possess him with her satanic spell. little do they know that her purpose is darker than their souls can withstand.Designed to match the aggressive emotions, the film has a strong, lurid look of wet Melbourne winter night-exteriors and cinematography stylish angles and constant tracking. But it's the editing that is searingly original. Visceral and unconventual, it turns the narrative inside out.Hot cars, psycho characters, Satanism and mayhem combined with brilliant filmmaking; who could ask for anything more?KAY ARMITAGE

Title
Metal Skin
Director
Geoffrey Wright
Country
Australia
Length
112 min
Festival
1994
Section
Competition
Language
English
Production year
1994
Cast
Aden Young, Tara Morice, Ben Mendelsohn
Producer
Daniel Scharf
Script
Geoffrey Wright
Music
John Clifford White

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