Hipster Hollywood descended on Downtown L.A.’s Ace Hotel on Tuesday night for the A24 premiere of Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin,” which drew a decidedly Eastside crowd that was more boho than boffo. The venue took advantage of the rechristened United Artists Theater, a gloriously preserved movie cathedral that anchored the Broadway Theater district back in the day. It was the first film shown in the Spanish Gothic landmark, built in 1927, in a quarter century.
Despite the setting, the only thing Golden Age about the affair was vintage accessorizing by the rather youthful attendees, one of whom proceeded to vape as the house lights dimmed for the movie. The artful experimentalism of Glazer’s sci-fi opus, in which Scarlett Johansson plays an alien predator, attracted the industry’s more maverick personalities, like filmmakers Vincent Gallo and Catherine Hardwicke, actress Chloe Sevigny, musician Beck and Cinespia founder John Wyatt, who introduced the film. While ScarJo was a no-show, Wyatt was followed by Glazer and the film’s avant-garde composer Mica Levi, who appeared reluctant to get on stage.
Glazer, whose films — including “Sexy Beast” and “Birth” — have become more enigmatic with each outing, addressed the film’s unorthodox narrative, in which the power of suggestion takes precedence over conventional storytelling. “There’s quite a rigorous logic to it,” he said at the after-party at nearby Umami Burger. “It’s just not the top layer.”