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NYFF: Claire Denis and the "High Life"

Jason Adams here reporting from the New York Film Festival...

We're all dying. That's the grand rule of everything that we do all we can to distract ourselves from. It might seem like some of us are dying faster than others from the position we're standing in at any precise moment, but time is, as the saying goes, relative. We're all of us on track to stardust, circling the drain of a black hole out here, hair stiff on end.

Leave it to Claire Denis to dream-weave a perverse space opera all about that stuff, then. Who else, really? High Life on its gorgeous scuffed up Rothko painting of a surface has all sorts of distractions from that central mission statement - Horny convicts in outer space! Juliette Binoche's infinite ponytail! Something called a "Fuck Box!" - that a smaller-minded filmmaker would've gotten caught up on...

But Denis matter-of-factly keeps her ice cool eyes on the prize. Even in the Fuck Box. Especially in the Fuck Box.

Juliette BInoche and Robert Pattinson are oblivion bound in "High Life"

Denis drops her characters at the edge of oblivion, as go we all, and pokes at 'em stick-like. Science like. What madness lay where the spear pierces the pitch black veil? Dirt and molecules, birth canals a Milky Way wide. We can walk the rim like acrobats, we can build rocket-boxes or adorable babies that extend our infinitesimal grasps a mite's length more than infinitesimal. But space, a sparkling tar, will swallow us all. Bring on the fuck boxes!

As time shuffles fore and back gray blooms in and out across Robert Pattinson's hair, like the bone beneath it is sneaking forward to take a curious peek. The actor makes a fine match for Denis' skullduggery, all improbable angles jutting off in entirely particular directions. He has a profile like waves of light, like the spectrum. He reflects and refracts her concerns in perfect, precise movements, the void made flesh, delicious, stretched to its breaking point.

High Life screens one more time on October 4th at 9:15pm.

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Reader Comments (3)

I heard awesome things about this film and glad to see what Robert Pattinson has been doing in recent years as he's just destroyed his Twilight image like that to do other things. He and Kristen Stewart will be fine. BTW, wasn't there some other guy in that movie that became famous by taking his shirt off all the time?

October 4, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

this review helped me to understand the film so thank you, Jason - signed, a bewildered colleague.

October 4, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Claire Denis for Best Director

October 4, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

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