The first trailer for Scarlett Johansson's upcoming film Under the Skin just hit the web, and it's definitely worth checking out. For one thing, the premise of the movie is quite the eyebrow-raiser: adapted from Michel Faber's 2000 novel of the same name, Under the Skin shows Johansson sexually preying on male hitchhikers in Glasgow. She then lures them back home and traps them in mysterious black goo, because guess what? SHE'S AN ALIEN.
If that doesn't pique your interest, the gorgeous Kubrick-esque visuals we get a hint of in the trailer might, or perhaps the rave reviews that are already piling up for Johansson's "career-defining" performance. What really got my attention, though, is the utterly jaw-dropping way Under the Skin was filmed.
Under the Skin was adapted for the big screen by writer-director Jonathan Glazer. Glazer's background is in music videos and commercials, but he also earned major accolades for his films Sexy Beast and Birth. Under the Skin is described as "examining human experience from the perspective of an unforgettable heroine who grows too comfortable in her borrowed skin, until she is abducted into humanity with devastating results" -- and amazingly, it was shot with hidden cameras, using non-actors.
Apparently Johansson -- sporting a black wig and fake Scottish accent -- would drive up to real, unwary guys on the street in order to proposition them. So some of the footage we'll see in the movie is real, in the sense that the men didn't realize they were being filmed (until afterwards, when they presumably signed an ironclad contract).
I think there was just a moment when we realized that’s how the movie had to be made. It was with Scarlett disguised in the real world with hidden camera. That’s how it would work. As soon as aI discovered that and understood that was my compass then everything had to serve that idea. It meant we were shooting real people and people who didn’t even know they were being filmed. Then of course there are characters in the film who are written and can’t be random in the same way. I have to cast those parts. Those guys have to sync and take direction, but they have to feel the same as the people who didn’t know. So you can’t use actors. You have to stay in the world of non-actors or lesser known actors who come from the same textural place as the random men that she picked up.
(...) A couple of people clued in, absolutely. But she doesn’t really look that familiar. And also you’re in Glasgow and she’s driving a van. People just aren’t going to expect Scarlett Johansson to show up and ask for directions. A couple of people who were suspicious and there was one guy who said, “are you a movie star?” You know, in the nightclub scene was all hidden cameras as well. In the street when she falls down and people pick her up. No one ever knew they were being filmed or anything. It’s all about circumstance, I think.
Amazing. Check out the super-trippy trailer:
I love that final haunting line: "You don't want to wake up, do you?" It seems exactly right for what looks like a strange, spooky, sad, and ultimately dream-like movie.
What do you think of Under the Skin's trailer? Are you interested in seeing it when it hits theaters in April?
Image via YouTube