Before he turned to film, British director Jonathan Glazer’s calling card was the stunning how-did-he-do-that? music video for Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” (see below) — for which he once told this writer that if he had a British pound for every time he’d been asked to explain the tricks involved, he could have retired (the answer is that the walls move, not the floor). Glazer has also directed commercials, most notably “Guinness Surfer,” which was voted the best ad of all time in a 2002 U.K. poll.
This was all a good grounding for Glazer’s entry into movies, and his debut was so impressive, he may be unable to top it. Sexy Beast is a genuinely engaging British gangster movie (despite being mainly set in Spain), in which Ray Winstone takes on Ben Kingsley’s menacing (a word that barely begins to describe the intense performance) Don Logan. Glazer’s follow-up, Birth, starring Nicole Kidman, wasn’t well received, though history may look upon it kindly one day, what with its distinctly Kubrickian tones. No surprise, then, that Glazer’s next movie a the sci-fi thriller, Under the Skin, which will reportedly star Scarlett Johansson.
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