I’ve heard of Claire Denis but shamefully have never seen any of her work. I liked the trailer for this film. It seemed like a high concept space thriller, which as you know is something that is in my wheelhouse. I also have faith in everything A24 produces so I had to see this as soon as it came out. Having watched it the film is certainly visually arresting and quite disturbing. I’m not sure it fully meets what I was hoping for but Denis’s film is thought provoking and asks questions of what humans in loneliness would do when on the brink of madness.
The film is about a space crew consisting of criminals and their mission of going towards a black hole to find a new energy source. The space crew soon realize that the doctor on the ship has some alternative ideas that include invasive sexual procedures meant to create life. I’m still not exactly certain on the solidity of that plot but this is the general gist. Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche lead with supporting performances from Andre 3000 and the always lovely Mia Goth.
There’s talent on display in High Life. Pattinson is a very solid actor as could be seen from his other A24 feature, Good Time. The film looks like an authentic look into a space ship and I thought the film possessed some brilliant cinematography and camera handling. I especially liked the look of the black hole and the actions that occurred when approaching the black hole. I like when science fiction films (space ones namely) maintain the integrity of science and that seemed to be the case here.
The film borders on being very out there almost drifting off in plot like the bodies in space. What we see though is a fairly disturbing sexually charged mission in space with characters descending into utter madness and chaos. The film is definitely reminiscent of other space films before it but Denis strives to set it apart. I think its an impressively made film though it doesn’t always work for me. It may require another watch to fully grasp and comprehend what Denis tried to go for.