Under the Skin (2013)

In: Film and Music

Submitted By jdudley
Words 926
Pages 4
In the avant-garde, science fiction film, Under The Skin (2014), Jonathan Glazer utilizes vivid visual language and an alien femme fatale to explore themes of sexuality, strongly commenting on anthropological gender relations of the 21st century. Glazer creates the anti-feminine—a woman, fully in control and wholly unemotional— played by Scarlett Johansson, who can also be best described as an alien siren. Guised to be irresistible to the opposite sex, she is trained at reeling in humans. Her swinging sex pad is in reality a lair where she lures her victims into a black abyss. He does not censor Johansson’s nude body in order to convey that she outwardly appears human to these men, despite what is underneath. Glazer finds a way to desexualize Johansson, undoubtedly a sex symbol in our society. He accomplishes this through lighting, unflattering camera angles, and helping her perfect an unconfident and awkward physicality to demonstrate how new and unfamiliar she is in her human form. Glazer doesn’t hold too long on the sexual mechanics of the alien’s ploy. After the men are brought to the black void and swallowed beneath the surface, she exits, returns to her van, and drives onward. His focus is on objectively showing the woman’s growing understanding of human emotion and what it means to be human. Our femme-fetale’s turning point occurs when she picks up a disfigured man walking in the shadows alongside the road. To show this impact, he uses a black creature, which is later revealed as her alien self outside of her human shell. Intercut with the disfigured man being seduced and entering the black liquid, the woman stares deeply at her reflection in a dirty, broken mirror. The ghoulish black creature lurks behind her to remind her of the monster within, a monster she no longer wishes to be. The disfigured man sets something off in her. She empathizes with someone who…...

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