Comedian Todd Barry used to joke that the one thing he learned on the Internet was that “‘Donnie Darko” is the greatest film ever made. If I was a teenager right now I’d be tweeting the same thing about Jonathan Glazer’s new film “Under the Skin.” Years later I might be embarrassed by my hyperbolic outburst but not by my enthusiasm. This film rewards those who are willing to watch it with the kind of immersive attention it invites and cultivates. It provides a stunning re-education of the senses; it’s mysterious, scary, and beyond good and evil.
The film is based on a cult science fiction novel of the same name, written by Michael Faber. The story is about an alien creature played by Scarlett Johansson who cruises the streets of Glasgow, luring young single men into her van initially with her charm and then with her lithe, nude body into a pool of amniotic black fluid. Glazer uses a technique in these sequences that adds to the creepiness: many of these scenes were shot with hidden cameras while Johannsson drove around, approaching these unsuspecting Scottish lads for help. Read more