Carine Adler was in her 40's when she wrote and directed "Under The Skin".
"Adler has always worked with themes of 'dramatic sexual situations' in her previous short films. One of her inspirations for Under The Skin was a book called Mother, Madonna, Whore by Dr. Estela Welldon. Instead of engaging the cast and crew in long, analytical feminist discussions, she chose actors and a DP who could instinctively gravitate to a raw, emotional style."
Released in 1997, Adler's film is structured around tropes of alienation, sexual power, and power dynamic. Emotional difficulty, insecurity, rage, and guilt drive the film's young female protagonist. Iris is essential to the film's structure, she acts as a catalyst for plot; much of the film's intrigue is constructed through the characters reactions to Iris' impulsivity to the spinning out from the film's centricity of female sexuality. "Under The Skin" deals heavily in relationships.
"Reviewers have described Under The Skin as a 'rare', unnerving, and brilliant exploration of a young woman's 'sexual odyssey' . It is woman-centered, focusing on maternal-daughter, sister-sister relations, language and the formation of the feminine subject and the female body as expressions of conflicts over femininity and social conformity."
Iris' internal struggle is the root of her attitude of the hostility and hyper sexual behavior. Though her actions are pleas for help of a scared girl, she's written off as a whore in typical tradition.
Iris' self-destruction makes her identifiable, she incites pity and empathy in the audience, and she is representative of female pain. Iris is powerful, the root of the film's drama and the reckless initiator of cinematic climax. In this way, "Under The Skin" can be interpreted as an uniquely female narrative and analyzed within the realm of 'Gynocriticism' of feminist film theory.
As feminist critic Josephine Donovan asserted;
"'Gynocriticism is a way of assessing works of art specifically in relation to the interests and desires of women...it involves a separate female way of thinking, and a recognition that woman's experience has been effectively silenced by masculine culture." (95 Humm)
"Under the Skin is her debut feature film. It's such a...new idea, to have an older woman deliver such a raw, visceral film about fucking. It's also probably one of the reasons that the film has so much depth and wisdom on the subject."
Under the Skin - All We Do is F**K