High Life | Chicago Reader
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High Life

One reason why every Claire Denis film requires multiple viewings to reveal its true nature is that the French writer-director refuses to repeat herself—her movies may share certain ideas and stylistic tendencies, but each one is elusive in its own way. This English-language sci-fi drama is no exception. The plot moves freely between sequences of an astronaut (Robert Pattinson) caring for a baby girl on an empty space station, flashbacks depicting the astronaut’s relationships with his crew mates (who are seen dead at the beginning of the film), and flashes of the characters’ lives on earth. As usual Denis circles around her themes (in this case, imprisonment, sexuality, and parenthood) without connecting them in a readily legible manner, forcing viewers to sculpt the poetic associations into a coherent narrative shape. Yet those associations are exciting, beguiling, and sometimes quite moving. Not surprisingly Denis cites Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) as one of the science-fiction films that inspired her. With Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth, and André Benjamin.

Credits

Director:

  • Claire Denis

Cast:

  • Robert Pattinson
  • Juliette Binoche
  • André Benjamin
  • Mia Goth
  • Lars Eidinger

Writers:

  • Claire Denis
  • Geoff Cox
  • Jean-Pol Fargeau
  • Nick Laird
  • Zadie Smith

Producers:

  • Andrew Lauren
  • Anna Rozalska
  • Beata Rzezniczek
  • Christoph Friedel
  • Claudia Steffen
  • D.J. Gugenheim
  • Klaudia Smieja
  • Laurence Clerc
  • Oliver Dungey
  • Olivier Père
  • Olivier Thery Lapiney

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