Under The Skin (2013) Directed Jonathan Glazer
Each week that passes feels like another drain on the compassion tank. I don't mean so much my own feelings but humanity's interest in caring for one another. We have developed an amazing capacity to turn on each other. Even in cases of desperation or where someone seems to be experiencing hardship we're not feeling sympathy or supportive. Generally we find annoyance (and heaven forgive if it somehow intrudes on our own space). A great example being the recent story of Jimmy Thoronka that was published by the Guardian. Some of the public comments that accompany the article sadly demonstrate the lows we've reached when it comes to caring for our fellow humans. Many people may think that Under The Skin is a sci-fi movie with the primary focus on its central alien (played brilliantly by Scarlett Johansson), but for me this film's central observation is the human race. This is Scotland through alien eyes.
|Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin|
|A lot of Under The Skin sees Scarlett driving a White Transit Van|
Most of the time I watch films that are predictable, average, there to comfort or there to entertain in a specific pre-planned manner. I watch movies to experience things that are not possible in my life and I watch them to feel something – or to feel nothing. Under The Skin is the exciting kind of film that I only come across some rare times. It inspires, moves me in my tracks and leaves me changed. I am still in awe of the simple daring and imagination this film oozes. I am in love with the mix of Hollywood and Scotland; with how the cheaply made film plays with our imagination about who Scarlett Johansson is and with the landscapes and people of Scotland.
|A scene from the film|
|Another scene with no set from Under The Skin|
Under The Skin could be deemed as a cruel film. It was certainly uncomfortable viewing at times. Still, it is important right now. Who is the other? Who am I? Is there a difference? This movie is cinema as poetry, but not really pretentious at all.