under the skin

being a bit dumb,i thought we were watching an art house film knee deep in metaphor,but the next day i learn it was actually a sci-fi movie. had i known that,i’d probably not have gone in the first place,but i’m glad i did. for me it was more about human alienation rather than mere aliens.

have you seen it?…if you have, i’d love to know your interpretation.even though pinned to the wall, i wasn’t completely sure what was going on. it seems it’s a girl on a highly sexualised journey of sorts. some of the movie is real actors, while some of the men she attempts to pick up in her white van are true to life people on the streets of glasgow.i now read scarlett johanssen practiced picking up hitchhikers to play her role convincingly.


she starts out as a predator of solitary men, then mid flight is made vulnerable by love,and then finally raped of something…or maybe it was herself shedding a skin.i could easily be wrong about this. a bright lady who i talk to on the internet says it’s about a journey of disintegration. she calls it ‘an internal piece’,and that definition helped a lot.honestly dear reader,if you have seen this film,i’d truly love to know what you think. aside from the actual meaning,it had a breathtaking beauty about it.located in scotland, it taps into the tough look of the more downbeat side of the country,the extreme weather…the miserable side of things rendered in deeply poetic visuals….i loved how the makers had taken a natural sea storm and added subtle effects that maybe weren’t effects at all..it’s hard to tell,and the bits that were unabashed effects were startling … it was a stunner,even if the cinema was indeed nearly empty. often things that aren’t big mainstream hits at the time, turn out to be classics in the end. the soundtrack alone was noteworthy.

that film left me feeling so odd and strange as we drifted back out into the evening air…it was that curzon venue in mayfair that i’ve written about before…i always bleat on about how RCA records was housed on that street in the 1970’s..i only know this cause of the bowie,sweet and nilsson singles i bought as a kid in portrush..the address was always on the paper sleeves….and i’m forever aware how keith moon and mama cass both died in harry nilssons apartment on the same street,but last night when leaving the cinema i clocked a convoy of rolls royces parked outside…it occurred to me how flushed that part of town is,and because of that it’s been diligently preserved…i get the feeling it was pretty much the same there decades ago…money maintaining money…on the way back to the car we passed those cute mews houses that highly privileged gentry live in..i notice they actually have potted plants on either side of their front doors right there on the pavement in the middle of london…no fear of them being vandalised due to the heavy presence of night time cops. inner city civilisation for those that can afford it.

dear reader…all my loving

mary mcwilderness


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4 Responses to under the skin

  1. m says:

    i haven’t seen it… i note the most of your observations about the guarded greenery on your way out! can i take you home, if i only had a car n learned to drive! ; )


  2. Carlos Gurgel says:

    Hi GG
    I am from Brazil. Yesterday I was driving home, late in the evening. Turned on the radio and there was a very touching song playing. I call the radio station, no one there to identify the song. Then, I sent an e-mail to the station. This morning I got the song: Gregory Gray, “Don’t walk away from love”. So, I passed by to congratulate you for this very nice piece of work. I even sent to a friend (beautiful young lady, who works like a hell trying conquer the world). She replied me: Do this guy know me?

    One last word:
    Are you still composing, playing,.. giving shows?


    Carlos Gurgel
    You freshest fan from sunny Brazil


  3. Kyra Ormston says:

    This film blew me away on every level.

    I love it.

    I’m a transsexual woman, I just went full time three months ago…
    “Under The Skin” is like a reflection of so many things related to my experience in life.

    I went from being the sexually (perceived) gay male , a role that felt kind of equal to men and almost predatory, then in to my transition , and being very vulnerable, is something I deeply relate to.

    Thanks to the loss of male social priveledge (not missing it tbh, but life is hard without it).
    Its like I’ve gone from being a hunter, to being the prey now.

    When I walk down the street for about 30 sec’s ,when most men see me , I’m a potential fuck, I’m meat.
    Then, they read my “transness” and I get a weird transphobic flip-side. Its a process that really reminds me of the end of the film, although thank fuck *that* hasn’t happened to me yet, (not wanting to spoil anything for anyone reading this…) But repulsion from others/rape /murder is such a part of our lives as trans woman.

    The biggest thing about the film though, which I related to,was as you mention, the kind of introspective beauty of the film. I guess that’s the main thing as a trans person I relate to.

    That kind of sense of being alien, an outsider, and alone is to much for many to bare… but I see a beauty and clarity in the separation to other people and “otherness” to being me.

    Ironically, I only know one other trans person who “got it”, all my other trans friends think its pretentious wank.
    🙂 ❤


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