On Jonathan Glazer's 'Under the Skin'

Episode 40 · February 13th, 2019 · 1 hr 17 mins

About this Episode

In Jonathan Glazer's loose screen adaptation of Michel Faber's novel Under the Skin, a creature of mysterious origin drives around Scotland in a white van, collecting lonely men and spiriting them away to an otherworld where they are turned into food.... or something. Drawing on a deep well of literary, visual, and musical tradition, Glazer (with help from his score composer Mica Levi) create a vivid work of tragedy and horror, masterfully executed for maximal weirdness and unwaveringly true to the auteur's intent to reveal our world from an "alien perspective." In this episode, Phil and JF discuss some themes and ideas they've pried from this exquisite tangle of image and sound. Along the way, they discuss the role that serendipity, coincidence, and fate play in both art-making and scholarship.


Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
Other films by Glazer: Sexy Beast (2000), Birth (2004)

Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
Iannis Xenakis, Greek composer
Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch, 2017)
Ligeti, Atmosphères
Stranger Things (The Duffer Brothers, 2016)
Screen shot of "Space Invader" Easter egg in Under the Skin
Weird Studies Episode 37: Entities, with Stuart Davis
John August, American screenwriter
Phil Ford, "The Devil's On Your Side: A Meditation on the Perennially Disreputable Business of Hermeneutics" (unpublished)
Room 237 (Rodney Ascher, 2013)
William Irwin Thompson, Imaginary Landscape: Making Worlds of Myth and Science
Interview with Mica Levi, who composed the score for Under the Skin
Atar Arad, American violist
David Caspar Friedrich, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog