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In My Skin

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It might resemble a morbid psychodrama, but the best way to regard this film about a case of self-mutilation in the new corporate Europe is probably as a comedy so dark you'll forget to laugh. Esther, young, healthy and in love, is a rising star at her marketing firm; one night she trips on some metal junk, fails to notice she's badly injured her leg, and goes to the hospital only hours later. It's like a lycanthropic transformation, without the extra fur: She commences an obsession with deepening and even causing her own wounds, which director and star Marina de Van presents as a function of progressive disassociation from her own body. Rather than explicitly offering any explanation for Esther's self-abuse, de Van focuses on the disgust it produces in Esther's best pal and boyfriend. But it's safe to assume Esther's tenuous climb up the corporate ladder has at least something to do with what eventually evolves into autocannibalism. De Van is compelling as Esther; as a director, her Buñuelian wit and near-clinical detachment make for a film that's both graphically disturbing and bitingly funny. In French, with subtitles. Three cameras

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