High Life

High Life

First saw in a Paris cinema near the Sorbonne, with one of the space suits on display in the bookshop next door ...well well well the long-in-the-making magnum weird scifi opus from maybe my favourite film maker so high expectations here folks and an inevitable initial feeling of let down. I missed the regular Denis crew though the obligitory bigger-budget A-listers did a sterling job. Still, would like to have seen Alex Descas as the stoic gardener rather than Andre whatshisname playing Descas playing him. I also missed Denis' great sense of location. I know outer space is a location but a set, a blue screen is not, or at least its a poor one. I think my partner initially loved this more than me, being more attuned to scifi dystopias than I....but when I left the cinema I could not get the atmosphere of this thing out of my head and nearly a week later I am still thinking about it and really cannot wait for a second helping. The usual Denis themes predominate - family dynamics, sex/body/dance, failed colonial enterprises - only set in the place where no-one can hear you scream. There is plenty of screaming. When the first bit of serious violence breaks out the electronic drones that make up the soundtrack are alarmingly violated by the sound of a real, close-miked drum kit, an absolutely brilliant piece of sound design that makes me think the Tindersticks guy really has his head screwed on after all. Binoche using the fuckbox really is as wonderful as everyone says and the ending which I shall not spoil was truly beautiful and moving. Rating probably will go higher when I manage to get seconds. (Actually, this reminded me of Seconds, the film, another point in its favour)