Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TIFF Review: Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

 I wasn't the biggest fan of Birth, as this blog will attest, but I found Jonathan Glazer's return to feature filmmaking one of the year's most exciting events. In a time when an enjoyable trifle like the derivative Moon can be hoisted up as great conceptual sci-fi, Under the Skin appears as a singular object, stark to the point of being surreal even before it steps into sequences of inky voids and doomed, horny men. Admittedly, the film comes with its own reference points (chief among them The Man Who Fell to Earth), but what's remarkable is how many of the films that come to mind have little to do with sci-fi, instead recalling the work of Abbas Kiarostami or Morvern Collar. And as its hypnotic rhythms are disrupted in a final act of intimate chaos, it becomes clear that the film stands as one of the finest explorations of female sexuality and society's shaping of it. Women taught about sex as an external process learn the hard way about its actual, physical properties in ways both benign and terrifying.

Check out my full review at Movie Mezzanine.

1 comment:

  1. I understand that some may find it boring or confusing, but Under The Skin is a very beautiful film. A lot of the film is up to your interpretation. I thought it was about a sexy alien sent to earth to lure men to their death. I also thought it to be a critique on our society and how we still hold beauty on such a high scale. Its ending especially shows this. Under The Skin is one of the best films I've seen in a really long time.