Aliens and Humans in the Films of Nicholas Roeg and Jonathan Glazer

The Man Who Fell to Earth, January 9, 2011 | © Courtesy of dmboyd1/Flickr.
The Man Who Fell to Earth, January 9, 2011 | © Courtesy of dmboyd1/Flickr.

On October 18, 2018, Alfredo Suppia and Ewa Mazierska have published an article entitled “Aliens in an Alien World: The Portrayal of the Aliens and Humans in the Man Who Fell to Earth by Nicholas Roeg and Under the Skin by Jonathan Glazer” in Open Cultural Studies.

A Blog Post by Pablo Markin.


In their study, Alfredo Suppia and Ewa Mazierska have compared these cinematic works, “in order to establish how aliens and humans are represented in these”  While focusing “on the problems of identity,” Suppia and Mazierska argue that, “while Roeg’s film, in common with its original, […] criticize[s] corporate capitalism, Glazer’s film plays down the […] exploitation of the underclass by the political elites, pertaining to neoliberalism.”

The authors explore interrelations between Walter Tevis’s (1963) novel The Man Who Fell to Earth and its film adaptation by Nicolas Roeg (1976), as well as the book Under the Skin written by Michel Faber (2000) in the context of its cinematic version directed by Jonathan Glazer (2013). This article, thus, compares “the novels (hypotexts) and the films (hypertexts) from the perspective of their take on representation of aliens and humans, especially their attitude to ecological problems, facing the Earth and class politics, trying to assess the impact of the times and circumstances of their productions on the depiction of these issues.”

As the authors contend, “[t]o a large extent, the two books are concerned with the class structures dominating Earth and the far-away planet.” Consequently, this paper concludes that, “while these two pairs of artworks clearly mirror their respective zeitgeist, it might also be worth noting how they demonstrate some “torsions” and “fissures” in their own discourses, possibly rendered by ideologically contradictory readings.”

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: The Man Who Fell to Earth, January 9, 2011 | © Courtesy of dmboyd1/Flickr.

Cite this article as: Pablo Markin, "Aliens and Humans in the Films of Nicholas Roeg and Jonathan Glazer," in Open Culture, 20/01/2019, https://oc.hypotheses.org/2021.

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