Under the Skin (2013 movie)  » Movies  »
4.5
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  • After watching I wanted right away to talk about it, but will write instead because nobody I know has seen the movie
  • I think most people will refer to it as a racy film with sexually charged images, of full-frontal nudities, though there is but one scene of intercourse
  • There’s a questioning tenderness about her, and I like that her acting was not too severe
  • If you have time I recommend you check it out


    • by RiccaBookish

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      I find that with mainstream movies there’s very little to talk about. I usually get information from the culture and arts section of many a magazine or newspaper and shy away from the hype. People continue to brood over the movie Under the Skin, despite that it was released last year. After watching I wanted right away to talk about it, but will write instead because nobody I know has seen the movie. Under the Skin is a sci-fi movie directed by Jonathan Glazer. Scarlett Johansson, hollywood’s favored star of the moment, plays a van-driving, attractive alien who baits men into dingy quarters, apparently for sex, but something else happens.

      As an alien, “she”


      assumes human form, and she goes about the business of being human in the most awkward sense, being incapable of feeling and showing emotions; she appears to be studying humans by living in their midst. For much of the screen time, she snares suspecting males in flirtatious conversations under the pretense of asking for direction. You observe that there’s a routine going on, and that her nourishment lies in the necessity of the routine. It is easy to see how the metaphor of a humanized alien, about surfaces and personal alienation may point to a soul-searching agenda of knowing what it really means to be human. The movie for me succeeds on that point.

      Watching a woman casually picking up young men along streets, and going about this procedure over and over, I don’t remember having seen anything like it in cinema, so much as to think it so radical and liberal. Is it feminist? But it’s not even a decadent movie about passions. I think most people will refer to it as a racy film with sexually charged images, of full-frontal nudities, though there is but one scene of intercourse. As the couple enters the void the man disappears, and afterwards the woman is left picking up her clothes. The tracking shots of driving behind the steering wheel, of looking out from that perspective, make a statement ...


      • Under the Skin (2013 movie)
      about life. The camerawork is bleak and seemingly obsessed with speed, until the main character leaves behind her van, and the style becomes slow burning.

      When she encounters a physically deformed guy, the “eclipse” happens, which causes her to abandon her “occupation,” and showed for the first time that she could care for a human being. This is where her personal alienation starts, as she encounters strangers and discovers ironically her “humanity” as well as her capacity to love. In one scene, she can’t bear to consume a slice of cake. She observes how others eat. She hesitates, eats it, only to spit it out of her mouth. Scarlett Johansson doesn’t talk

      much in this movie, but what a brave actress! She understands that her body is but a mere tool, which is part of its vision. There’s a questioning tenderness about her, and I like that her acting was not too severe.

      The alien is repulsed with humankind, with herself. The last scene shows her finally capable of emotion (it shows the disembodied “mask”, as in Scarlett’s eyes, shedding tears), and then sums up beautifully the essence of the film as black smoke rises up to the sky, as if to suggest the human soul. I liked this movie a lot. It’s a head trip. If you have time I recommend you check it out.




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