Wednesday, December 31, 2014

7. Under The Skin

Jonathan Glazer's sci-fi horror is loosely adapted from the novel from the novel by Michel Faber. The result is visually stunning and deeply disturbing: very freaky, very scary and very erotic. It also comes with a sense of the absurd.

The heroine is an alien predator in Scotland. Maybe you have to be a Scottish to appreciate Glazer's masterstroke in casting Scarlett Johansson as the exotic alien in humanoid form, with her soft accent, black wig and sexy fake fur, driving a beat up white van around the tough streets of Glasgow, picking up men. She winds down the passenger-side window, skillfully engages them in conversation, and takes them back to her place. Between encounters, she roams, gazing at streetscapes, and making them alien with that gaze. There is pure situation genius in the bizarre spectacle of sleek Johansson being placed in this context, with lots of hidden-camera shots of real passers-by in real Glasgow streets and real Glasgow shopping centers, It is a a bizarre film but it is totally worth seeing.

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