xan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Seen at NYFF 10.04.18
Getting into High Life, I knew I would be faced with the unexpected elements that was Claire Denis’ vision. Frankly, I thought this film was original with the scenes I was left interpreting. However, it wasn’t THE magnum opus. Some scenes did drag for the sake of being ominous while a few in particular went for FULL ON shock value (which isn’t bad until you’re left squinting and looking away while thinking “Okay, I get it, please move on.”)
I thought the characters were a bit one-sided as well (not a critique moreso an observation.) Everyone had a motive that was interrupted at some point to move the story forward, which I admired. I would’ve loved to learn more about how they ended up where they did— I’d assume would be death row. Maybe making their stories concrete to give them a more relevant role would’ve sufficed to their substance. Would I call them absurdist? I’d need time.
High Life, overall, was an experience filled with unforgettable imagery. It was admirably interpretive, despite some dragged out scenes, but it was made up for an interesting story. I was left with a big reaction afterwards not many films left me with.