French audiences have already gotten their first eyeful of High Life, the new sci-fi opus from master director Claire Denis. But for Americans and English-speakers the rest of the world over, this much-murmured-about film has remained an enigma. (Though it has also remained an enigma to many of the festival audiences that have already attended screenings, too.)
That changes at least a little today, as distributor A24 has released their first US trailer for what is sure to be one of 2019’s finest films. The trailer plays it rather close to the vest in terms of what is going on, but one thing’s for certain: All is not well in deep space.
We’re treated to context-free images of stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth, and Andre “3000” Benjamin as they mill about their prison complex among the stars, where lawbreakers serve as test subjects in dark biological experiments.
Also in the mix: gynaecological exams, a babbling infant, some light gardening, a “witch” who’s foxy and knows it, and a generalized atmosphere of eroticism and dread.
Being rooted mostly in the abstract and expressionistic, this particular acquisition must have been difficult for A24 to advertise, and it’s to their credit that they’re only slightly trying to trick the public into perceiving this as a straight-up horror film. (Also to their credit: that they chose an extremely handsome film critic to provide their leadoff pull-quote.)
The ticking sound effects punctuating each shot call to mind their spot for Hereditary, a far cry from Denis’ cerebral space odyssey. But if that association is what fills the seats, then so be it.
Published 16 Jan 2019
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