After making the festival rounds last fall, the Jonathan Glazer-directed Scarlett Johansson-starring Under the Skin is set to premiere in U.S. theaters on April 4. Which makes it high time for an official U.S. trailer. For a movie that's been described as "a deliberately oblique work that prizes textures above answers" and conceived, formally and dramatically, from an alien perspective — and those were the raves — it's going to be a tough sell, even with a face as commercial as ScarJo's upfront. She plays an alien of some sort, sent to Earth to gather information on humanity ... with sexy results.
So what exactly is she learning in her travels among the humanfolk? With only the new trailer for evidence, here are some best guesses:
Eyeballs are cinematic.
Very cinematic. Eyeballs transition into things that are not eyeballs very easily, particularly if those things are circular. Humanfolk use these transitions to create a sense that everything is watching you. Paranoia is a big one with humans.
So are dead women. Dead women are very cinematic. They represent both death and women, two things that frighten and fascinate men in equal measure, or so the symbolism goes.
Fur coats and red lipstick are the epitome of female glamour. This is why the alien voting bloc will be going hard for Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle to win the Oscar.
Men sure like to walk places, don't they? Silly human walking men. Haven't yet mastered the futuristic technologies of teleportation or Segways.
Men also appear to be a lot cooler with submerging themselves into a pool of black goo than you might expect. Particularly when calmed by the presence of a female resembling Scarlett Johansson in her underwear.
Walking on a beach is hard. Walking on a beach is one of the suckier aspects of human life.
Human film criticism machines are still looking for the next Kubrick.
Human film criticism machines are still fond of the word "sublime," despite intense research revealing it to be a word with no recorded meaning.
Sometimes, humans like to recreate shots like remind them of X2: X-Men United.
Human women will try to take your fur if you walk past them wearing it like you're the Duchess of Wales or something. (Aliens haven't entirely mastered knowledge of the intricacies of the British royals yet, so bear with them.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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