High Life


2019 | 113 minutes | Rated R

Claire Denis’s High Life is the French art-house director’s first science-fiction film and her first English script. It depicts outer space in a way we’re not used to seeing on-screen: through the utter absence of visual information. The spaceship is a clunky rectangular box, its interiors are shabby and grimy, and the cosmos is represented by a few sprinkles of light on a black background. Denis’s story is abstract and nonlinear, and her characters function like allegorical symbols rather than humans. Some will be impressed by the weightiness of Denis’s jag into zero gravity, but for me, High Life was a frustrating experience, a collection of half-developed ideas being sucked into an unfocused void. The nature of Denis’s provocations is clear: With High Life, she’s drawing a parallel between the desperate boredom of life and its ceaseless ability to perpetuate itself, even amid the most dire of circumstances.

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Film Credits
Claire Denis
Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, Mia Goth, Lars Eidinger, Agata Buzek, Ewan Mitchell, Scarlett Lindsey, Jessie Ross