Under the Skin (2013)

29 Dec 2014


thought provoking thinking
empathy and sympathy

fresh perspective
layered meaning (good for over-thinking/multiple viewing)
multiple good interpretations

immersive atmosphere
beautiful scenes

unexpected outcome
unacceptable suspense (developments predicted too early)
exceptional suspense (developments not predicted)
intricate storyline (what the fuck just happened? have to read elsewhere or re-watch)
some characters lacking development

realistic effects

untraceable (natural) acting


This film is best compared with ones like La grande bellezza. And since I gave that one an rather arbitrary 7, I give this 6 for its inferior scenery and unwarranted slower pace.
This kind of art film belongs to a category that I would name anti-thrillers. It is the kind of film that composes one too many mystery such that it effectively become the antitheses of thrill by losing interests from the audience. The fact is that I believe to effectively absorb what the makers want us to feel, this type of film requires spoilers before proper enjoyment. And sadly exactly because of their “artist’s pretension (in trying to be real cool and ambiguous)” the trailer did a stellar job of not giving anything away while attracting viewers. So the only reason I got to semi-understand the point of this film is by acquainting myself with the above linked review half way through the film.
I believe that since cinema is inherently an art of communication, the focus should be on the storytelling. it can only be equated with writing a paper in mathematics, not doing mathematics itself; you need mathematical substance (a message/motif) AND good exposition of said points. And after reading the review and upon 1.5th watching, I can then barely pick out the vague symbolisms.
So it is seems to be about sex, compassion, and/or rape. And maybe the torturous tempo was intended to showcase the magnified time scale experienced by the victims, but I would argue there are far more effective ways to demonstrate that point with way less repetition. while the gender reversal (by the quoted reviewer) does do a reasonable job at displaying the inequalities on expectation (do not walk alone at night etc.), it is mostly irrelevant in that such inequalities are direct consequences of biology (i.e. not a problem can be solved with social constructs) (e.g. male are more susceptible to muscle growth, and higher libido).
But still the existence of motorists are still rather confusing.