The High Life

Ah, Claire Denis. You carry on making films. I love some of them, others bore me rigid, but I keep on coming back. At least the soundtracks are always reliable (this time it’s not Tindersticks but their singer Stuart Staples who does the honours).

This is Denis’s first English-language film and it stars that Robert Pattison. It’s not the sort of film you’d exactly expect him to star in – unless you’ve been following his post-Twilight career. Accessible is not really the world.

So here’s the high concept. A group of criminals have been sent on a suicide space mission. They’ll save the earth, but as the mission will take several generations they’re not going to reap the glory. They’re supposed to report back every day to ensure their survival but as both the technics and order breaks down, chaos rules.

There is a lot of playing around with the film’s chronology, a lot of nothing happening (followed by brief spurts of lots happening all at once), and a lot of conversations that noone ever has in real life. In short, it’s a film that a certain sort of film critic will really love. Unlike the couple sat on my row who left well before the end.

I found it ok, I guess, but I’m not a great fan of films set on spaceships which may be full of meaningful metaphors but are mainly too remote from real life for me. But if it’s kind it was good. I may even try and see it again, if only to make sense of half of what was happening.

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