Archive for September 9th, 2016

41. Under the Skin (2013)


by Pedro Camolas

“My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddle strings and harps, drums and tambourines I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony. “- Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet.

An old proverb says “The eyes are the window to the soul”. The opening shot of Under the Skin shows an infinite void thru an artificial human eye, giving us an early clue to the film’s theme. Masterfully done in Kubrick’s 2001 style.

Under the Skin, or The girl who fell to earth as Allan Fish would call it, follows the emotional journey of an alien invader. Jonathan Glazer brings Abbas Kiarostami style into the science fiction genre.

The main character, Laura (Scarlett Johansson), is a soulless alien. Disguised with a woman’s body, she introduces herself anonymously in our planet. A dead body tell us it’s an ongoing process, they are constantly present among us and this story is not an isolated event. Ants and flies appear has symbolic elements to give us a glance of how human beings are seen by those alien creatures. Laura meant to be a sort of black widow, attracting lonely men for dubious reasons, on the service of their civilization. In a recurrent scene, inside a house, those men get trapped on the spiders net, a mysterious black fluid. We also see a man on a motorbike, played by Jeremy McWilliams, a professional rider who delivers some wonderful images driving on Scottish wet roads. His character is a kind of foremen, who examines Laura’s eyes constantly, looking for the threatening awakening of a soul. It happened before with other girls, and with it comes rebellion.

At first is not easy to connect with the film, events unfold slowly and ambiguously. Wonderment only emerge when we start to put our attention where the action in fact relies, the eyes of the alien girl, where a soul tries to breakthrough. (more…)

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