Jonathan Glazer is a director that hasn’t made many movies, but his visual style and language is both memorable and palpable. In 2000, he released his debut film Sexy Beast, a strange comedy of sorts starring Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley. A few years later in 2004, he released the divisive movie Birth starring Nicole Kidman. It has been more than 10 years since the release of Birth, but Glazer’s new science fiction movie, Under The Skin, is finally set for release this spring.
According to IndieWire, A24 Films will release the new strange alien invasion movie on April 4, 2014 in select cities. That will most likely mean New York City and Los Angeles will get the sci-fi film first, while the rest of the country will have to wait. Considering the scale of the film, it would make sense of A24 Films also released Under The Skin onVideo On Demand and iTunes as well as the limited theatrical release.
Based on the novel of the same name, Under the Skin follows an Isserley (Scarlett Johansson), an alien being who is sent to Earth to pick up careless hitchhikers in Northern Scotland. Once she seduces the weary travelers, Isserley drugs, fattens, and mutilates her victims to turn them into meat for an evil corporation back on her home planet. Appearently human flesh is a delicacy for her race. Under The Skin certainly looks like a strange one, but who doesn’t want to see Scarlett Johansson seduce men, only to kill and mutilate for them meat. I know I do. Check out the trailer.
Under The Skin got fantastic early reviews from film critics during the Toronto Film Festival last September. Jordan Hoffman from ScreenCrush.com called the film a “pure cinema trance that Jonathan Glazer’s film puts you under,” while also he compares the film to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. He also compared it to Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, which stars David Bowie as an alien who crashes on Earth. With no way to return to his family or home planet, he uses his alien technology to become a millionaire. It’s an odd sci-fi film that offers more in visuals and tone than story or narrative.
Dutch author Michel Faber wrote the novel Under the Skin. It’s a dark social satire that lampoons big business and corporate farming, while it also reaches into themes of sexual identity, humanity, and mercy. The sci-fi novel was also on the prestigious Whitbread Awards shortlist for Best First Novel in 2000.
Glazer was one of the premiere music video directors in the ’90s before making the leap to feature films. He helmed videos for British rock bands like Radiohead, Blur, and Jamiroquai. Since Birth> in 2004, Glazer has directed TV commercials for Sony, Motorola, and Stella Artois.
Under The Skin hits theaters on April 4, 2014. Watch the music video for Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” below. It’s one of my favorites from Glazer.