High Life

Claire Denis, Germany, France, UK, Poland, USA 2018, 110’
Halloween Suspiria

The English-language debut of Claire Denis has long aroused understandable excitement. All the more so in Poland, because the film is co-produced by native Madants, with Agata Buzek starring alongside Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche. Pattinson plays a young criminal sent to an impenetrable, boundless cosmos. He shares the rocket that catapults him across the galaxy with a fairly unique cast - dangerous convicts with nothing to lose (especially the women) who hide their true motivations but are willing to carry them out at any cost. Denis proves once again that she is a master of topics out of this world - mixing genres, using fascinating charades and filmographic clues, making each of her latest films a unique mystery. High Life shocks and astounds to the extent that the conservative "Guardian" called the work orgasmic brilliance in deepest space with Robert Pattinson. In short: a little Kubrick, a bit of Tarkovski, a lot of Pattinson and a mysterious chamber that is the center of the universe.

Magdalena Maksymiuk

Claire Denis

French director and screenwriter Claire Denis is one of the most important auteurs of modern film. She gained much experience assisting Rivette, Costa-Gavras, Jarmusch and Wenders. Already in her debut, Chocolat (1988), she dealt with issues of racial and intercultural tensions, a topic she experienced in her childhood as the daughter of a colonial civil servant in Africa. The problem of colonialism and inequality in access to goods and education are leitmotifs in her work, which is also fueled by ideals of Paris '68. This is most powerfully expressed in Good Work (1999) starring Denis Lavant and White Material (2009) featuring Isabelle Huppert. In portraying her homeland, she is sensitive to social issues such as the situation of immigrants, which she took on in I Can't Sleep (1994), the frustrations of civil servants - Friday Night (2002), or family relationships, as in The Intruder (2004). Against that background, Denis often sketches the erotic character of French society, as is evident in Trouble Every Day (2001) starring Béatrice Dalle, one of her favorite actresses. She also frequently casts Isaach de Bankole and Grégoire Colin. Denis works regularly with cinematographer Agnès Godard, whom she met in the 1970s at La Fmis, the French state film school in Paris, where Denis currently teaches film directing. The 2013 documentary Trespassing Bergman by Jane Magnusson and Hynek Pallas indicates that even the great Ingmar Bergman prized the films of Claire Denis.

Selected filmography

1988 Czekolada / Chocolat / Chocolate

1999 Piękna praca / Beau travail / Good Work

2004 Intruz / L’intrus / The intruder

2008 35 kieliszków rumu / 35 rhums / 35 Shots of Rum

2009 Biała Afryka / White Material

2013 Les salauds / Bastards

Cast & Crew

director Claire Denis
screenplay Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, Geoff Cox
cinematography Yorick Le Saux, Tomasz Naumiuk
editing Guy Lecorne
music Stuart Staples Tindersticks
cast Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Agata Buzek, Andre Benjamin, Mia Goth
producer Beata Rzeźniczek, Klaudia Śmieja, Laurence Clerc, Oliver Dungey, Christoph Friedel, D.J. Gugenheim, Andrew Lauren, Claudia Steffen, Olivier Thery Lapiney
production Madants, Alcatraz Films, ALP, Arte France Cinema, BFI Film Fund, Canal+, Pandora Filmproduktion, The Apocalypse Films Company
Polish distributor Against Gravity
language English
coloration colour
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