The Cosmic & The Corporeal

Audiovision in Under the Skin

  • Cameron Macaulay
Keywords: Under the Skin, Mica Levy, Jonathan Glazer, Audiovision, Michel Chion, Alien Lens


Under the Skin is a film deeply preoccupied with the human experience. Our protagonist is ‘Laura,’ an alien in disguise who stalks Glasgow in search of male prey. We are entirely situated with her throughout — seeing the streets through her eyes, sitting with her in the van during each hunt. Our proximity to her complicates the ontological question beyond a blunt dichotomy of Laura and the human subjects. Rather, it’s a dynamic continuum whereby Laura might glean empathy while ordinary people are estranged. The article argues that audiovision is the primary channel through which entanglements between the cosmic and the corporeal are explored in the film. Through director Jonathan Glazer and composer Mica Levy’s maintaining of the ‘alien lens’ (as well as an alien audition) the subject of humanity is ravelled.