The Authors & Auteurs Book Club is looking at one truly abstract adaptation of a novel with Under the Skin. Michael Faber’s novel is one of tight plotting about the experience of an other-worldly being disguised as a human and her experience as she struggles to cope with her identity, empathy for humans, and the politics of meat.
Jonathan Glazer’s cinematic adaptation of Faber’s novel is sparse and abstract, residing in the subtext of every image. Faber’s novel explains each situation through his prose and the dialogue to convey his themes. Glazer rests solely on the image.
Here’s an example how the mediums differ in explaining how the central character became disguised as a human.
Faber describes Isserley’s original form as being four-legged and six fingered. Removal of one finger per hand and spinal reconstruction with metal pins, Isserley becomes a two-legged being. The inclusions of breasts and genital mutilation make Isserley a near-perfectly disguised human woman.
Glazer uses this sequence of images to possibly explain the creation of the central character of the picture. Although, it is never clear if this exactly what is being conveyed to the audience.
Join us on Sunday, April 3rd, for what will be our most divisive discussion yet, as we examine this abstract adaptation of one straightforward novel.