Thoughts on High/Life

High/Life is a polarizing movie to say the least. It is a movie directed by Claire Denis and stars are new Batman, Robert Pattinson. Claire Denis is a director who does not shy away from the uncomfortable or perverse. One of her earlier films, Trouble Every Day, dealt with cannibalistic vampire sexuality. Yes, the film was as weird as it sounds and was part of the French Extremity sub genre of horror films. This is important to know going into High/Life because it is also a movie that pushed boundaries and does so in a way few American movies ever do. To talk to much about this movie would be to rob the viewer of the feelings of isolation and confusion they may feel while watching the film. I did not see any trailers or learn anything prior about this movie before watching. This proved for me, to be the best way to engage with it. If you are in the mood for a cerebral and disturbing horror film, then read no further and check it out. If you need a bit more convincing, well, read on. The film takes its time establishing plot. The film also doesn’t hold your hand at all. The movie unfolds much like someone trying to do a puzzle, long stretches interconnect but it isn’t always clear how they relate. The singular scope of the film, it all taking place on a spaceship with small cuts to Earth helps focus the film. When the movie begins we are confronted with a man, played wonderfully by Robert Pattinson, as he struggles to fix his spaceship as he also watches a baby being on a monitor who is set up in a makeshift play pin. As the movie unfolds we learn about his relationship to the baby and why they are along together. The basics of the plot are as follows, convicts are given a choice of staying in prison or taking part in a scientific experiment out in space. The experiment has to do with artificial insemination. One of the convicts on the ship is a scientist who’s job it is to artificially inseminate the female prisoners. If this plot feels a bit too much, then know it’s probably not for you. This film is high on the don’t watch with your parents list. There were even a few scenes that made me feel I couldn’t recommend this movie to anyone I know. Overall, I felt that the film made me think about the ethical treatment of prisoners, as well as the redemptive arc of bad people. Robert Pattinson, through caring for the baby changes who he is. It’s a movie that really stuck with me.

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