Under the Skin

Discussion in 'General' started by marcx, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    A dimension of sight, sound and mind.
    Here are my thoughts (SPOILERS):

    Scarlett takes over for the woman who we see at the beginning of the film. Scarlett instantly begins to hunt her prey after she is provided with a van by the motorcycle men. They are there to clean up after the men she has seduced (such as the tent at the beach, the deformed man, etc.) as well as ensure that she is doing what must be done (there's a scene where one of the men stares at her intently, as if to ensure she has not become like her predecessor). She lures the unsuspecting men into the liquid without remorse. When she falls in the street later in the film and is helped up by several people, she begins to discover humanity. The gentlemen that she sets free because she empathizes with him changes her completely. Now she is the same as the woman whose place she has taken. We see the dark side of humanity when it is discovered that Scarlett is not human, terrifying her attacker at the end, thus he kills her. The only thing I am unsure of is why these men (and women?) are lured into the liquid. Is it for the meat for food (since chocolate cake doesn't suffice), or is for the skin, which the aliens wear?

    I haven't been able to stop thinking about the film. The soundtrack is perfect. Scarlett Johansson is mesmerizing to watch. With little dialogue, she gave a wonderful performance. This will be a film that I will enjoy for many years to come.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  2. soxfan666

    soxfan666 Well-Known Member

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    In the book her motivation is to bring humans back to her planet as meat.
     
  3. Cydeous

    Cydeous Axxon N

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    I really enjoyed this as well. It kind of reminded me of The Man Who Fell To Earth in a way. SJ was great in it.
     
  4. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Ah. There you have it. Thanks soxfan666.
     
  5. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for filling some of the gaps in for me. I think I'll have to give this another watch sometime soon :)
    So it's based on a book? There you go :lol:
     
  6. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

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    Saw this over the weekend, and wow, what a different film. Beautiful, quiet, and haunting--such a relief after all the bombastic blockbusters. This one creeps.

    Loved that so much was left unexplained but that close viewing allows for multiple interpretations. More films should be so ambitious and trust the audience to figure it out without resorting to exposition explosion. Recommended for a late night viewing.
     
  7. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

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    from the wiki:

    fascinating.

    And here's the novel by Michael Faber
     
  8. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    I know this sounds like an interesting experiment on paper, but I kind of hate the fuck out of it once I know that they did it that way. You can't have reality TV movies. I say fuck that idea. It's like contempt for the art of it. Think back to Messiah of Evil where the albino guy mispronounces "Wagner". If it's a subtlety that works and they go with it, I'm cool with it. In fact I love those parts and wait for them on repeat viewing, but to try and force subtlety, it's really annoying and there's no need for it aside from laziness. Think of when he asks the gas station attendant for, "$2, no knock." It achieves a similar tone of creepiness that Under the Skin was aiming at without being cheap.

    There is a trend of mockumentary horror films like, "The Tunnel" and "Lake Mungo" where the actors are trying too hard to be natural. They force-stutter their words and whatnot. Like on Family Guy how every so often they break into Bob Newhart mode to be "natural" sounding. I hate that and I lop what they did in Under The Skin in with that kind of contrived false realism.

    Write a fucking script! Be passionate about good dialogue and quit trying to force reality into movies!

    PS: I love Blair Witch. They got away with it. And I would be tempted to say they were lucky it turned out so great, if only it weren't for the elaborate lengths they went to to achieve realism. It also made more sense for a film like that to go that route whereas most films that try it nowadays could have just as easily wrote better/compelling/interesting dialogue.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  9. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen this particular film, so I can't really comment on that. But, I did want to throw out that this sounds very much like the way Godard worked, particularly for Breathless and that came out pretty spectacularly.
     
  10. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    ^ Yeah, I really hate the whole mumblecore thing too. Bunch of hipster twits babbling on about nothing. I find it really grating. That aspect of Under The Skin didn't bother me at all though. I think it's far from the worst offender. The movie really isn't dialogue heavy.

    But for that approach to work, you need people who are interesting, creative, and fun to watch. And the movies that are currently cluttering up IFC and Sundance Channels... aren't.

    The best example of how to do it well is Curb Your Enthusiasm, but the dialogue there is so fast-paced and hilarious that you'd never know it wasn't scripted. Another great example is Mark Duplass in the recent film Creep.

    But when they're done poorly, as they so often are... boy, are they a chore to sit through!
     
  11. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    I guess it can work sometimes, but knowing it is all from the hip diminishes it for me. I still like Under the Skin, only now I know whatever is said in the car is improv for the sake of improv and can be only taken at face value.
     
  12. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

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    Well, it's not "all," and the scenes with the handicapped man were informed by the actor in the script, which I think is a pretty great way to craft such an interaction.

    Nevertheless, I agree with the gist of your point, Mok. I don't want to see "reality films," where a camera is turned on two people (non-actors) and they are given free reign, and they we pay to see it under the guise of fiction. I don't think that's what happened here, however.
     

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