Aug 22, 2014
Mainstream big budget arthouse films are certainly a strange and mostly oxymoronic anomaly of cinema, with Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013) and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin (2013) being more recent examples of this bastard cinematic breed that is known to divide filmgoers of all different types. Unquestionably, Judaic Brit Glazer’s film has probably managed to divide viewers more than any other film of 2013 as an artsy fartsy sci-fi flick that features seductive ½ Nordic Jewess Scarlett Johansson as an oftentimes naked femalien fatale who harvests the bodies of mostly ugly and short Scotsmen by luring them to her deadly apartment with her busty body and tricking them into walking into an innards-and-bones-draining abyss. Directed by a man who got his first big break in filmmaking by directing music videos and adverts, Under the Skin is naturally big on aesthetics and style and low on emotion, subtext, and nuance, yet a good portion of filmgoers and film critics have treated it as the most innately baffling, arcane, and inexplicable films ever made, thus demonstrating the complete and utter lack of cinematic literacy among the general public. Indeed, Glazer’s work seems like it was directed by the bastard broad of a rape committed by a senile Tarkovsky against the philistine daughter of Kubrick, as an undeniably aesthetically striking and ethereally atmospheric work with about as much emotional depth as the truly inhuman erotic extraterrestrial played by Ms. Johansson. Partially experimental in the sense that Johansson went driving around in a van with hidden cameras and hit on random unwitting Scottish men in what are ultimately totally unscripted scenes that capture that rather rare event of average-to-ugly men being seduced by a somewhat wanton woman that is considered one of Hollywood's top sex icons, Under the Skin is a film that manages to combine cinéma vérité and Candid Camera with a sort of pseudo-Kubrickian technical perfectionism and marginally philosophical pessimism for mankind. Loosely based on the 2000 surrealist sci-fi novel of the same name written by wandering Dutch novelist Michel Faber (who, although currently residing in Scotland, is 100% Dutch), Under the Skin is a work of modernist sci-fi (post)folk horror that manages to mix contemporary special effects with Heimat-like landscape scenes in a work that makes Glasgow, Scotland seem like a scenic and beauteous yet mostly melancholy and decidedly dispiriting place that is inhabited by a surplus of physical and emotional cripples who would bring great disgrace to their ancestors. By no means anything resembling a masterpiece, Glazer’s film is a sort of blueprint for what Hollywood should (but never would) strive for if they wanted to create more demanding audiences, as a work that straddles a reasonably healthy line between cinematic art and accessible entertainment. Indeed, I must admit that coercing Johansson into getting completely unclad for the film was a clever way to con normal people into seeing a patently pretentious arthouse science fiction flick. While Under the Skin may not be anywhere near as great as Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), it is certainly the most innately idiosyncratic and (anti)erotic mainstream sci-fi flick since Nicholas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) starring David Bowie, which also deals with the central theme of an alien coming to earth and ultimately becoming debased by mankind.
Although never actually revealed in the film, Faber’s book is about aliens that are sent to earth by a wealthy extraterrestrial corporation to lure in lonely hitchhikers whose flesh is sold as a delicacy on the alien mother planet (in that sense, the film had the potential to vaguely resemble Peter Jackson's early darkly comedic splatter flick Bad Taste (1987)). After a long and rather pretentious close-up shots of eyeballs juxtaposed with the unsettling sounds of an alien attempting to learn the English language, Under the Skin begins with an alien motorcyclist (played by real-life British champion motorcycle road racer Jeremy McWilliams)—a sort of ruthless extraterrestrial overseer who makes sure that female aliens successfully execute their jobs regarding the hunting and procuring male earthlings—scooping up the seemingly dead body of a young woman off the side of a road and putting it in the back of a van. Although never clearly indicated, the lifeless woman is an alien who has assumedly failed at her mission, as she has done the unthinkable by developing human emotions like empathy and sadness, as indicated when she sheds a tear (the sole indication that she is not completely dead). An unclad buxom alien babe (Scarlett Johansson) strips her corpse-like alien comrade and puts on her clothes, as she has replaced the disgraced extraterrestrial femme fatale predator as a superficially salacious spacewoman whose is main mission is to procure young, lonely, and horny Scotsmen via her glaring streetwalker chic sexual appeal. To complete her already alluring femme fatale uniform, the alien seductress drives to a mall in her van and buys some pink lipstick. The first young man the Alien attempts to pickup is so intimated by her out-of-the-world beauty and uncommonly aggressive advances that he declines her offer for a free ride, thereupon unwittingly saving his own life in the process. Of course, most of the men the Alien encounters are not so lucky and not a single one of them gets to probe her pussy. Indeed, aside from being a cold and calculating extraterrestrial cunt killer, the pseudo-amorous Alien is a genuine cocktease who does not even give her victims a free sample of her flesh before killing them, as she is seemingly asexual, at least when it comes to alien species.
When the Alien does finally manage to lure a man into her van, she coerces him into following her back to her ‘apartment’, which is nothing more than a perfectly pitch black room with a sinking abyss-like floor, which imprisons the prey in a manner not that unlike a spiderweb. Like the prey of a spider, the men are not killed instantly but most bide their time in almost darkness. When the unlucky hitchhiker follows the undressing Alien through her apartment as if he is completely possessed and has tapped into the most archaic part of his brain during some sort of atavistic awakening, he strips off his clothes (with his erect penis literally guiding the way!) and eventually sinks into the floor and disappears without even attempting to put up a fight. The next day, the Alien goes to a rocky beach and approaches a Czech man (Kryštof Hádek) who seems somewhat disinterested in her, as if he can sense that she is an evil succubus bitch. When the Czech man attempts to save a drowning couple, the emotionless Alien watches the totally tragic scenario in a completely unmoved fashion while a baby screams hysterically in the background, thus demonstrating her complete and utter incapacity for empathizing with humans. When the Czech man washes up on the shore half-drowned after failing to rescue the couple, the Alien cravenly hits him on the head with a rock and takes his inanimate body with her. Later that night, the motorcycle-riding Overseer comes back to the beach and collects everything at the scene of the tragedy except the drowned couple’s baby, who continues to wail in the darkness (interestingly, the Alien later hears on the radio that although the husband’s corpse was found, the baby and wife are still missing). When the Alien goes to a club and procures a sleazy Chav-like scumbug, the macabre mechanism of the extraterrestrial’s killer apartment is eventually revealed. Indeed, after a human falls through the liquid abyss located on the apartment’s floor, their blood, guts, and bones are eventually sucked out and sent down a large conveyor belt, with the deflated skin of the victim being the only thing that remains. Undoubtedly, these gutless pieces of floating epidermis resemble the sort of grotesquely distorted human figures that you might expect Irish-born Figurative painter Francis Bacon to have painted.
Eventually, everything comes falling apart for the femalien fatale when she begins doing what led to her predecessor's downfall by developing human emotions and feelings of empathy for her human prey. It is the job of motorcyclist Overseer to inspect the female alien to see if she is beginning to develop any human emotions, which he does by staring deeply into her cold and seemingly lifeless pupils. One night while prowling the streets in her van, the Alien spots and picks up a horribly disfigured fellow of the friendless and assumedly virginal sort that looks like the Elephant Man (the role was played by a real-life disfigured man named Adam Pearson who works in TV production and suffers from facial neurofibromatosis) and she eventually manages to swoon him by complimenting his “beautiful hands” (notably, Pearson apparently suggested to Glazer how a woman might successfully seduce him, which was ultimately incorporated into the film's screenplay). While the Alien also lures the Elephant Man back to her extraterrestrial murder factory of an apartment and seduces the poor disfigured man into being consumed by the abyss (he states, “...dream, yes, dreaming...” while in a seemingly hypnotized state as the Alien takes her clothes off), she later has second thoughts after noticing a trapped fly and decides to let her prey go, though she does not bother to give him his clothes back, thus the deformed monster mensch must suffer the public humiliation of going au naturel in the countryside. Indeed, the disfigured dude escapes to the Scottish Highlands but unfortunately the crotch-rocket-riding Overseer decides to hunt him down and catches him just as he makes way into the backyard of his suburban home.
Meanwhile, the Alien decides to ditch her job, so she abandons her van and attempts to live like a normal human being. Of course, nothing quite works, as the Alien lacks both the psychological and biological characteristic of a real human. Aside from gagging/choking upon attempting to eat like humans do by taking a bite out of a pie, the Alien makes for a rather pathetic lover. Indeed, after meeting a guy at a bus stop whose home she temporarily stays in, the Alien attempts to consummate coitus for the first time, but freaks out when the man’s member gets too close to her nether-regions. After spreading her legs and holding a lamp over her bearded clam to get a good look at what is inside, the Alien flees the man’s home out of assumed fear and embarrassment and seeks isolation in a 2,000 acre forest where she finds a bothy to sleep in. Not long after arriving in the forest, the Alien runs into a low-class middle-aged Logger who warns her to watch her step, though he adds regarding the area, “It’s a nice place if you want some solitude.” Of course, the Alien learns otherwise when she is rudely awakened the next morning to the same Logger molesting her body with his sneaky hands. Needless to say, the Logger subsequently attempts to violently rape the Alien but he is quite taken aback after accidentally ripping the extraterrestrial’s fake white girl epidermis, thus revealing that “under the skin” she is not actually human, but a dark phantom-like being. Indeed, after the Alien decides to tear off the rest of the skin off, a svelte and featureless black body is revealed that completely lacks all the warm positive qualities one associates with the physique of mankind. Before she knows it, the Logger returns and doses the Alien with gasoline and lights her on fire. In the end, the Alien burns alive, with her ashes floating back to the sky where she once came from. As for the motorcycling Overseer, he stands stoically on a hill while looking for his missing space slut in a rather aesthetically pleasing shot that resembles a landscape painting by German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich.
Undoubtedly, I would be lying if I did not admit that I was reasonably entertained by Under the Skin, even if it is a purely aesthetic-driven work of the rather shallow sort that ironically critiques the supposed innate shallowness of human beings, especially males, which is made most clear at the end of the film when the rapist Logger kills the femalien fatale played by Scarlett Johansson that he previously wanted to fuck after it is revealed that her human pulchritude is only skin-deep and is purely counterfeit. Admittedly, I have read various interpretations of the film, especially of the frigid feminist and male cuckold sort, and I have found most of these critiques to be complete and utter bollocks (to borrow a goofy word from where the film was set), yet reading these reviews/articles made me realize that Under the Skin has gotten people thinking, which is quite a rarity in cinema nowadays. While I somewhat doubt it was the director's conscious decision, I personally interpreted the film as a tragic metaphysical horror depiction of the archetypical ‘Seductive Jewess’—a descendent of Salome and every Rothschild daughter—as a work where a true racial outsider seduces and kills dumb European goy boys for the benefit of her kinfolk. Of course, what better Seductive Jewess than Scarlett Johansson for the role as someone that is proudly Hebraic yet looks rather Aryan due to the fact that she is the progeny of a Swedish man (isn't it ironic that virtually all of the most attractive Israelites have mixed blood and look the least stereotypically Jewish?!), even if her behavior and the expressions in her eyes say otherwise. It should be noted that ‘British’ director Jonathan Glazer is not only Jewish, but proudly so, with him once stating in a June 7, 2001 interview for the JewishJournal.com, “Cinema, synagogue, what's the difference? […] You get fairly dominant Jewish personalities in both.” Of course, had Glazer been a goy and stated the same thing, he would probably been instantly blacklisted from Hollywood, but I digress. In addition to tribe members Johansson and Glazer, the film was co-produced by American Hebrew Nick Wechsler and the musical score was composed by English bull-dyke-like Jewess Mica Levi, thus making it a largely Semitic sci-fi creation.
Like the stupid male pawns featured in Under the Skin, countless culturally cuckolded males from America and Europe (and pretty much everywhere else) worship Johansson while being totally oblivious to the open secret that her tribesmen pollute peoples’ minds via Hollywood and countless media outlets, destroy their countries by de-industrializing them and flooding them with mostly hostile and uneducated aliens from the third world, and start seemingly perennial doomed-to-fail wars in the Middle East and elsewhere that are fought by mostly white males in what is ultimately a real-life dystopian scenario that is more or less reflected in John Carpenter's cult sci-fi flick They Live (1988). Indeed, Johansson’s character’s succubus-like seduction powers are so great in the film that she merely needs to strip and a character looses all capacity for rational though and conscious thinking and subsequently walks into a dark abyss to his own death. And, of course, like the wandering Jew in a foreign land, Johansson’s character only faces true conflict when she begins to empathize with humanity and attempts to live the life of a normal human being, which one can argue is an allegorical reference to Jewish assimilation (which has been described as the “Silent Holocaust” among certain hysterical Jewish groups and leaders). Either way, whatever way you approach Under the Skin, one gets the feeling that the root of all female evil is pussy, which is a message that virtually any man can relate to. With that being said, one can also argue that the film carries the message that if women actually learned to empathize with males instead of being completely self-absorbed and oftentimes scheming opportunists, they would perish just as Johansson’s character does. Somewhat notably, Under the Skin is oftentimes compared to the films of Stanley Kubrick who, like Glazer, was a Judaic who was not big on emotional depth but was certainly keen on cultural pessimism, especially within a post-WWII Western context. While I am not exactly sure the sort of cultural pessimism, if any, that Glazer was trying to disseminate with his film aside from the obvious, Under the Skin is certainly a foreboding and apocalyptic work where, somewhat absurdly, the most stunning person is a Jewess and most of the whites seem like the distantly related kinfolk of the cast of Judaic junky auteur Harmony Korine’s cinematic debut Gummo (1997), which is also a work that makes it seem like the Occident is taking its last gasp.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 5:35 AM
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