Beneath the Skin

1981, 12:05 min, color, sound

Horror and humor merge in Condit's incredulous, wide-eyed narration of a bizarre and lurid tale, which unfolds as a subterranean nightmare of male/female relationships. Condit's account of her discovery that her boyfriend had killed his former girlfriend and hidden the mummified body in their bedroom closet propels an intricate collage of dreamlike, almost hallucinatory visions. Violence and innocence, the macabre and the witty, the grotesque and the beautiful coexist in what Condit terms "a murder story told by a girl on a swing." Swaying between fantasy and reality, images of a decaying mummy and a distorted female face are accompanied by a girlish song about Barbie and Ken. In this uncanny exercise in storytelling as psychological exorcism, Condit hauntingly probes "beneath the skin" — beneath narrative and representation — to disrupt the surface and unearth the subconscious of her female subject.

Music: Malloy and Skladany. With: Jill Sands, Jennifer Dunegan, Marian Condit, Mary Jo Toles, Stephen Vogel, Robert Biederman, Lisa Kohn, Judith Allston.