1. I discuss the relation between this sort of future perfect narration and the contemporary Hollywood mode of production in Connor 2014. Much of the rest of this essay measures the distance between Hollywood’s future perfect and Under the Skin’s. [return to text]

2. The continuities between these scenes of failed consent and the scenes of failed consumption (cake eating) suggested to Osterweil (2014) that the film’s subject was “the perils of becoming female.” That is clearly so; but Laura is never victimized or punished for her consumption from the theft of the jacket through the regurgitated bite of cake. Being female in this film does not meaningfully restrict consumption; it debars consent.

3. To put it schematically: the NFFC was in the business of underwriting films the market would presumably never support; its brief assumed that there were simply things that the market got wrong. British Screen, in contrast, was in the business of coaxing the market into doing more of whatever it might want to do on its own. Whether that shift amounted to an abandonment of social democracy or whether, in contrast, social democracy was simply an interruption in a longer history of financialized, gentlemanly technocracy, is question taken up by O’Brien 2015.

4. For an overview of the past scandals of the Lottery era, see Fitzgerald 2010.

5. State funders do not expect to recoup their investments, particularly when they have a “film culture” remit. In its most commercially-focussed incarnation, the UKFC recouped about 50% of its production outlays. That figure is very high compared with its continental counterparts, but the UKFC was arguably the most interested in market success and certainly had the easiest potential access to the U.S. market. But even that figure was somewhat artificially high, boosted by the success of The King’s Speech, a film that arrived too late to save the UKFC from assimilation into the BFI. (Adams 2011). Since taking charge, the BFI has reduced the amount it expects to recover from 50% to 30%—closer to the historical average—and again to 20% when it folded its microbudget operations in with the larger scale feature support. By ratcheting down the expected returns, the BFI hoped that it will have to take fewer “impairment” charges in future years. (BFI 2015 87)

As of 2015, Under the Skin has only begun to return funds to the BFI—a mere £10,000—and that number is sure to climb. Still, barring unforeseen video success, the film will not make a net positive financial contribution. In 2016 the BFI stopped reporting remittances for individual films of less than £100,000. Under the Skin fell below that threshold (BFI 2016 100).

6. The image “incorporated 93 blended 2K layers,” each independently graded and corrected, according to VFX artist Tom Balkwill (Frazer 2014).

Works cited

Adams 2011: John, “UK Film: New Directions in the Glocal Era,” JMP Screenworks, http://jmpscreenworks.com/?pid=uk-film.

Adams 2014: Sam, “Space Oddity: Jonathan Glazer on Under the Skin,” Rolling Stone, 4/4, http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/

Arnott 2015: Margaret, “The Coalition’s Impact on Scotland,” The Conservative-Liberal Coalition: Examining the Cameron-Clegg Government, Matt Beech and Simon Lee, eds., London: Palgrave, 162–77.

BBC 2001: “White Van Man: Cut up about It,” E-Cyclopedia, 6/14, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/02/99/e-cyclopedia/1387977.stm

BFI 2012: Film Forever: Supporting UK Film, BFI Plan 2012–2017, Oct.

BFI 2013: Statistical Yearbook 2013.

BFI 2015: Annual Report 2014.

BFI 2016: Group and Lottery Annual Report and Financial Statements 2015–16.

Champion n.d. (2015): Dan, “‘White Van Dan’ Unveils his Vision for the Country,” http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/white-van-dan-unveils-

Connor 2014: J.D., “Like Some Dummy Corporation You Just Move around the Board: Contemporary Hollywood in Victual Time and Space,” Reading Capitalist Realism, Alison Shonkwiler and Leigh Claire La Berge, eds., Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 140–76.

Connor 2015: J.D., “Freaks of the Industry: Dope,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 10/17, https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/freaks-of-the-industry-dope.

Crawford, n.d. (2014): “Casting,” [interview with Kathleen Crawford] http://www.film4.com/special-features/interviews/under-the-skin-casting.

Creative Scotland 2014: Creative Scotland On Screen: Film Strategy, 2014–17.

Dickinson and Harvey 2005: Margaret and Sylvia, “Film Policy in the United Kingdom: New Labour at the Movies,” The Political Quarterly, 420–29.

Fitzgerald 2010: John, Studying British Cinema: 1999–2009, Leighton Buzzard: Auteur.

Follows 2015: Stephen, “Do BFI Backed Films Make a Profit?” 4/20 https://stephenfollows.com/bfi-backed-films-make-profit/.

Frazer 2014: Bryant, “Under the Skin’s Scarlett Johansson Hits the Streets with the One-Cam,” StudioDaily, 4/23,

Hill 2012: John, “‘This is for the Batmans as well as the Vera Drakes’: Economics, Culture and UK Government Film Production Policy in the 2000s,” Journal of British Cinema and Television 9:3, 333–56.

IMCDB n.d.: http://imcdb.org/vehicle_778016-Mercedes

Leigh 2014: Danny, “Under the Skin: Why Did This Chilling Masterpiece Take a Decade?” The Guardian, 3/6, http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/mar/06/under-the-skin-director-jonathan-glazer-scarlett-johansson.

Long and Spink 2014: Paul and Simon, “Producing the Self: The Film Producer’s Labour and Professional Identity in the UK Creative Economy,” in Andrew Spicer, A.T. McKenna, and Christopher Meir, eds. London: Bloomsbury, 95–107.

MacPherson 2014: Robin, “ How to Get More Films Like Under the Skin Made and Develop Domestic Talent,” 3/13,

Malik 2014: Kenan, “A Collision with ‘White Van Man,” New York Times, 11/28, http://nyti.ms/1txB8ef.

McClintock 2010: Pamela, “Scarlett Johansson Gets ‘Under the Skin,’” Variety, 11/3, http://variety.com/2010/film/news/

Newsinger 2012: Jack, “British Film Policy in an Age of Austerity,” Journal of British Cinema and Television, 9:1, 133–44.

O’Brien 2015: Dave, “Business as Usual: Creative Industries and the Specificity of the British State,” The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries, Kate Oakley and Justin O’Connor, eds., London: Routledge, 452–63.

Osterweil 2014: Ara, “Under the Skin: The Perils of Becoming Female,” Film Quarterly 67:4 (Summer), 44–51.

Petrie 2001: Duncan, “Devolving British Cinema: The New Scottish Cinema and the European Art Film,” Cinéaste 26:4 (October), 55–57.

Pulver and Brooks, 2011: Andrew and Xan, “How The King’s Speech Has Revived the British Film Industry,” The Guardian 2/11, http://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/feb/11/the-kings-speech-british-film

Schlesinger 2015: Philip, “The Creation and Destruction of the UK Film Council,” The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries, Kate Oakley and Justin O’Connor, eds., London: Routledge, 464–76.

SIRC 1998: Social Issues Research Centre, “Renault Master White Van Man Study,” http://www.sirc.org/publik/white_van_man.html.

Spicer 2014: Andrew, “The Independent Producer and the State: Simon Relph, Government Policy and the British Film Industry, 1980–2005,” Beyond the Bottom Line: The Producer in Film and Television Studies, Spicer, A.T. McKenna, and Christopher Meir, eds. London: Bloomsbury, 65­–93.

Dawtrey 2011: Adam, “Silver Reel Emerges as New Player,” Variety, 5/6, http://variety.com/2011/film/awards/

Weisman 2014: Andreas, “Under the Skin: At Any Cost,” ScreenDaily, 3/24, http://www.screendaily.com/features/