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In the film, though, much of the existing plot and background details have been stripped out, and what remains is a kind of abstract film noir, in which a truly lethal femme fatale starts to feel the flicker of a soul catching inside her unfamiliar body.
The alien, played by Johansson, is now nameless, and much of her hunting has been relocated to Glasgow and various small towns along the Scottish west coast.
It was a Saturday, and Celtic Football Club supporters were filing glumly out of the team’s ground following a scoreless draw with the Edinburgh side Hibernian.
Johansson’s van pushed slowly through the crowd, which parted in front of the vehicle, and she looked at the men’s faces as they trooped past in twos and threes.
“And I told the producers, ‘Well, think of the money we’re saving on extras.’ But the story needed that texture that you only get from reality.
We couldn’t have manufactured or contrived it.” Certain key encounters involved professional actors, but most of the men who spoke to Johansson were unwitting amateurs.
Like his sentences, London-born Glazer is long and thoughtful, with a healthy, still-boyish face and a short tousled mop of dark brown hair that he wears parted in the middle.
You wouldn’t take him on sight for a master cineaste, although his adverts are amongst the most artful in the business.
His music videos include The Universal for Blur, which pastiched Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, and ‘Virtual Insanity’ for Jamiroquai, in which the band’s lead singer, Jay Kay, slipped and slid across a polished and apparently mobile grey floor, like a jazz-funk Buster Keaton.
But if any film could justify an almost decade-long gestation period, it’s this one.
It is loosely based on the science-fiction novel of the same name by Michel Faber, in which an alien called Isserley, disguised as an attractive woman, prowls the Scottish highlands for hitchhikers whom she entices, captures and butchers for their meat.
And it’s all real.” Two years and four months after Parkhead, Glazer, 48, is sitting in the office of a London film PR company, fiddling with an electronic cigarette.
In the interim, Under the Skin has had its world premiere at the 2013 Venice Film Festival, where it was met with both sustained applause and frantic booing, and reviews that strained at either end of the five-star scale.