Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 303: Wed Oct 30

Under The Skin (Glazer, 2013): Regent Street Cinema, 6.15pm

This modern classic, one of the best films of this century, is part of the Ink On Screen programme at Regent Street Cinema. The other movie being shown under the Ink On Screen banner is Don't Look Now, showing on October 28th. You can find the full details of that screening here.
Regent Street Cinema introduction:
INK ON SCREEN launches the Mayfair and St James festival with a double bill of films curated by remarkable British actor, Tobias Menzies (soon to star as Prince Phillip in The Crown, and star of Casino Royale, Outlander, Game of Thrones and others). Spotlighting the indelible link between cinema and the written word Tobias has chosen two of his favourite films, Jonathan Glazer’s haunting Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson, and chilling 70’s classic Don’t Look Now with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland helmed by famed director Nicholas Roeg. Both books are based on novels and explore the indelible link between cinema and the written word, Under the Skin being penned by Michael Faber (The Crimson Petal and the White) and Don’t Look Now an adaptation from Daphne Du Maurier. With introductory speeches and Q&As with key creative contributors to both films, this is an opportunity to delve into the world of word and moving image, and enjoy the fiercely personal film choices of one of our most talented and versatile actors.
Chicago Reader review:
This arty sci-fi thriller, adapted from a 2000 novel by Michael Faber, raises far more questions than it answers, yet that enigmatic quality is central to its appeal. Like Birth (2004)—the previous feature of director Jonathan Glazer, with Nicole Kidman as a woman convinced that her dead lover has been reincarnated as a preteen boy—Under the Skin hints at several different readings without confirming any of them. That makes for an occasionally frustrating viewing experience, yet it also ensures that the film stays with you. If the gradual critical reevaluation of Birth is any indication, this new release may look better the longer we stew over it. Jonathan Glazer reportedly spent ten years developing Under the Skin, and some aspects of it are so immaculately realized that they seem eerily inevitable. The audio design immerses the listener, its layered soundscapes suggesting how overwhelmed the alien might feel on earth. Glazer disorients the viewer through his use of the Steadicam, exploiting its uncannily smooth movement to suggest, as Stanley Kubrick did in The Shining, the perspective of a superhuman voyeur. The most impressive effects come during the seduction sequences, as Glazer creates the blank, ever-shifting environment of a nightmare. And just as Kubrick did from 2001: A Space Odyssey onward, Glazer offsets the immaculacy of the effects with moments of spontaneity. The scenes of Johansson picking up strange men, for instance, were all unstaged; Glazer instructed the actress to offer rides to random men and shot these encounters with a hidden camera. Remarkably, these scenes fit right in with the rest of the movie—amid the meticulous filmmaking, the banal conversations seem uncanny too. Like its protagonist, Under the Skin effectively draws us in while managing to stay beyond our grasp.
Ben Sachs
Here (and above) is the trailer.

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