In My Skin (2002, Marina de Van)

Marina stumbles around the backyard of a party, later realizing she’s cut her leg open, then she keeps fucking with it so it can’t heal properly. Becomes increasingly obsessed with her skin and what’s underneath – at a business dinner she’s too distracted by her own arm, has to go to a nearby hotel and cut herself up. She stages the arm injury as a car crash so her boyfriend won’t know it was done on purpose, and he acts appalled by all this, but we know actor Laurent Lucas loves it since he’d later get his own leg torn up in Calvaire then play the dad in Raw. Marina’s journey ends in disappointment that the skin she’s been removing can’t live its own life without her.

Marina also made a bodily possession movie with Monica Bellucci and one about someone’s furniture coming alive and attacking them. Her jealous coworker-friend here is Léa Drucker, the aging-backwards wife of Incredible But True.

Dennis Lim, who ties this to Cronenberg’s Crash:

Without deploying reductive backstory or simplistic psychology, this fearless movie illuminates Esther’s pathology as an extreme response to the mind-body split. Her destructive dislocation arises from perceiving her body as an external object that she also happens to inhabit … Esther recoils into herself, and the film unflinchingly follows. De Van again uses close-ups – this time split-screened – for the climactic bout of mutilation. By this point, the images are wholly abstracted and disembodied – they evoke a trancelike oblivion, a state of self-immersion so complete that all perspective vanishes.