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A Skin so Soft

Filmmaker : Denis Côté Québec, 2017 PRODUCTION : Denis Côté, Jeanne-Marie Poulain
94'
French English

About this film

Synopsis

Denis Côté enters the world of bodybuilding and takes a benevolent gaze at these men with oversized bodies. Men of few words and of many muscles. They are bodybuilders, wrestlers or trainers and share the same passion for the extreme development of their biceps. A foray into the hyper-controlled routines of these modern-day gladiators that captures their entire human dimension.

Tënk's opinion

In A Skin So Soft, Denis Côté explores the body: the one we shape and sculpt to present to the outside world, the one we offer up for others’ eyes. By following strongmen even in their most raw and intimate moments, he creates a sweeping ode to their muscle-bound and outsized bodies. Through his refined observations, with all their sensuality and moments of humour, a surprising sensitivity is revealed. They stand before us, offering themselves up to a patient and static camera, far from the brutish stereotypes that their colossal bodies may lead one to imagine. Their constant, meticulous and painful work of transformation takes form and action in each gesture, each pained expression and each daily sacrifice. In this way, beauty arises in surprising ways. It’s not in their forced smiles, in their gleaming curves or in skin stretched to the limits of its tautness, but in moments when they are gathered together in an Edenlike natural setting, fragile yet powerful demigods, clothed only in their skin. While their dreams of stepping up to the podium to receive the fruits of their superhuman labour sometimes seem unattainable, it would appear that this grueling effort could simply be an excuse to care for oneself and for others. With A Skin So Soft, Denis Côté offers us a generous work filled with respect and tenderness for the giants who walk among us and have fascinated us since the dawn of time.

Nadine Gomez
Filmmaker

Filmmaker

Denis Côté

Denis Côté was born in 1973 in New-Brunswick. He founded Nihilproductions in the 90's and shot multiple short length films. He was a journalist and cinema critic before he directed his first feature film Drifting States in 2005. He signed Our Privates Lives in 2007 and then Curling in 2010, which was awarded at Locarno Film Festival and shown in more than seventy festivals worldwide. More recently, he directed Wilcox, a no dialogue essay on liberty and wandering, and Social Hygiene, a radical and offbeat comedy, shot in the middle of the pandemic. His films, marked with a strong formal research and a sharp spirit of independence, have beens shown in dozens of cinematographic events.