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‘High Life’ First Trailer: Robert Pattinson Blasts Off in Claire Denis’ Erotic Space Thriller — Watch

The singular filmmaker's first English-language feature follows a group of criminals traveling through space (and beyond, way beyond).

Claire Denis High Life

In many respects, the mesmerizing and elusive “High Life” was a first for writer-director Claire Denis: The first of her films to be shot primarily in English, the first of her films to be set in space, and the first of her films to follow Juliette Binoche inside a metal chamber that’s referred to as “The Fuckbox,” where the world’s finest actress — playing a mad scientist aboard an intergalactic prison ship on a one-way trip to Earth’s nearest black hole — straddles a giant dildo chair and violently masturbates in a scene that’s endowed with the tortured energy of a Cirque du Soleil routine.

An oblique and freeze-dried hunk of sci-fi that’s wrestling with the future (or the lack of it) and preoccupied with the obsidian darkness that stretches out before us all, “High Life” is as horrifying and monolith-black a space odyssey as you might expect from the mind behind “Trouble Every Day” and “Beau Travail.” But Denis’ genius is in her ability to find the tender spots in even the most apocalyptic of circumstances, and her best film of the last decade is all the more powerful for how it finds light and hope as it soars towards oblivion. Plus, it features a scene in which Pattinson warns us about the dangers of eating our own shit. The more you know!


Never fear, director Claire Denis’ first foray into English-language filmmaking doesn’t appear to have put any kind of hitch in her unique step. The “Chocolat” and “Trouble Every Day” filmmaker has turned her attention to the wilds of space with her Robert Pattinson-starring “High Life.” The ambitious sci-fi thriller puts a twist on classic space films like “2001” and “Alien,” unspooling a strange and sexy exploration of both the human condition and the universe itself.

The film follows a group of prisoners, including Pattinson and Mia Goth, in the midst of a journey that will most likely not ever bring them back home. Juliette Binoche is also on deck as the nefarious Dr. Dibs, who has her own reasons for traveling on the black hole-bound spaceship, mainly centered around performing shocking and bizarre experiments on the ship’s criminal inhabitants.

In his glowing IndieWire review of the film from TIFF, David Ehrlich wrote, “‘High Life’ isn’t your average science-fiction movie. In fact, Denis rejects the genre designation outright, insisting that her latest and most elliptical opus is far too grounded to be lumped in with the likes of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Solaris.’ That logic doesn’t quite hold up to scrutiny in a film where Robert Pattinson and Andre 3000 ride a flying matchbox past the outer limits of our solar system, but no matter. The results are heavenly all the same.”

A24 will release “High Life” in 2019. Check out the first trailer for the film below.

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