For her entranced victims, shown wading up to their chests in a consuming black void, the end is at hand. Dispatched to Earth, she picks up muscular men who are fattened and turned into high-end meat delicacies for domestic consumption on her home planet.
The story is so stripped down that at a certain point its lack of clarity will frustrate viewers wanting more information. The van was equipped with tiny surveillance cameras to capture her interactions with the victims, real-life hitchhikers unaware that they were being filmed. Because the men have thick Scottish brogues that render much of what they say unintelligible, they seem as alien as she does, and you begin to see these earthlings through her eyes. In an early scene on a beach, she observes the attempted rescue of a swimmer buffeted in heavy surf as a baby at the far end of the sand cries.
Once the couples step through, we don't see any sex, just nudity plus movement, in what might be a musical number choreographed by performance artists. The frame is completely black except for the woman and her prey.
Under The Skin
They both take their clothes off, item by item. The woman always backs away from the man, slowly, confidently, but with an eerily blank expression most of Johansson's expressions are eerily blank, except when she's unexpectedly laughing or showing confusion or fear. The man walks forward, but seems to trudge lower and lower into a black pool.
The heroine, meanwhile, continues to walk backward on the pool's undisturbed surface. The leading lady gives a performance different from any you've seen from her. It's keenly attuned to the movie's aesthetic. It's more about intuition and gesture than dialogue.
Johansson has to be at once achingly specific and so general that you can hang symbols on her. She pulls it off. And somehow Johansson, Glazer and his cinematographer Daniel Landin transform how we think of this star. They've taken one of the most glamorous actresses of the modern era—a woman whose looks have been abstracted into hubba-hubba caricature in most films, and on awards shows—and ironically restored her earthliness by having her play a creature not of this earth. They've made her beautiful in a real way, with hips and blemishes and folds in her skin.
- The leisure society;
- Under the Skin - All 4;
- Troubleshooting remote access networks!
There are hints of an unspoken psychic bond between the woman driving around in the white van picking up men and the mysterious motorcyclist zipping around Glasgow, hugging the curves of hilly roads that dip and snake like the ones in the opening sequence of " The Shining "—but we never find out precisely what the connection is. There are times when the heroine is a vessel emptied of meaning.
Other times she seems like a human struggling to learn the subtle everyday details of a new culture.
She speaks in an English accent, the men in thick Scottish accents. The absence of subtitles adds to the feeling that she's a stranger in a strange land, and makes us empathize with her as we try to understand the men. We study their facial expressions and gestures to plug gaps in meaning.
She's the woman as Other, yet she's also "just" a woman, or "just" an alien creature. She is everything and nothing. There are times when the film seems to be too freighted with meaning, as if inviting scholars to write thesis papers analyzing its masculine and feminine symbols. At other times it seems to be deliberately mocking such impulses, giving false clues to literal-minded viewers who insist on trying to "solve" movies like equations.
People also watched
First it removes all doubt as to who the heroine is—what her "secret" is. Movies like this don't find their way into commercial cinemas very often. When they do, they don't tend to star anyone you've heard of. When a film comes along that doesn't fit the usual marketplace paradigms, such as " The Tree of Life " or " Upstream Color " or " Spring Breakers ," you take notice. Those who agreed signed a release form, and Glazer was surprised at the range of reactions these men gave him to work with.
Two years and four months after Parkhead, Glazer, 48, is sitting in the office of a London film PR company, fiddling with an electronic cigarette. In the interim, Under the Skin has had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival , where it was met with both sustained applause and frantic booing, and reviews that strained at either end of the five-star scale. Like his sentences, London-born Glazer is long and thoughtful, with a healthy, still-boyish face and a short tousled mop of dark brown hair that he wears parted in the middle. That was where I learned one end of a camera from the other.
In the late Nineties he wrote a thriller script called The Metal Forest, and James Belushi and Jennifer Jason Leigh came on board, but the shoot collapsed three weeks before its start date. By then, however, the British public were tiring of gangster antics, and the film struggled at the box office.
But it led to a second feature, Birth , a psychological thriller starring Nicole Kidman as a Manhattan socialite who becomes increasingly convinced that her dead husband has been reincarnated in the body of a year-old boy. Like Under the Skin, Birth had its world premiere at Venice, where it too was noisily booed. It was , and cinema was reaching the end of a boom in spooky-kid movies that began five years earlier with The Sixth Sense, and critics hastily and incorrectly slotted Birth into that already well-stuffed genre.
Away from the picture: Mica Levi on her Under the Skin soundtrack | Sight & Sound | BFI
So you can be knocked off-course and be quite wounded by it. Was he? But from day one it had been a difficult film. One scene in which Kidman shares a bath with her year-old ex-husband caused uproar at Venice.
- You are here.
- Russell Brand | Under The Skin | Official Site.
- March to the Stars (Empire of Man, Book 3).
- Under the Skin review – 'Very erotic, very scary' | Peter Bradshaw | Film | The Guardian!
- The Deductive Spreadsheet?
- Thermodynamics and energy conversion?
- Sports Medicine: A Comprehensive Approach, Second Edition!
And I was committed to that for as long as it would take.