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First trailer for High Life sees Robert Pattinson embark on a creepy, kinky space voyage

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The first full trailer has finally dropped for Claire Denis’ psychosexual space odyssey High Life, and it looks just as sinister and perplexing as was promised.

Starring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, the film focuses on a group of death-row inmates sent into deep space towards a black hole, with the hope of investigating its potential to provide an alternate energy source. All the while, the prisoners are subject to bizarre sexual experimentation at the hands of Dr Dibs (Binoche), who becomes obsessed with the celibate, reclusive Monte (Pattinson). Think Interstellar’s evil, perverted twin.

High Life is celebrated French filmmaker Claire Denis’ (Beau Travail, White Material) first English-language film, and has reportedly been in the works for fifteen years or so. For Pattinson, it’s another intriguing, challenging role – following The Childhood of a Leader, The Lost City of Z and Good Time – that will further consolidate his move from tween Twilight pinup to one of the most exciting actors working today.

The trailer keeps things refreshingly vague. We get a glimpse at the spaceship’s eerie, neon-lit corridors, their design reminiscent of Solaris or Alien, and rooms that ominously resemble padded cells. We see Monte looking after his baby daughter Willow, fellow inmate Boyse (Mia Goth, Nymphomaniac) having a terrible time, Tchemy (André Benjamin AKA André 3000 AKA one half of Outkast) tending to plants in the ship’s lush garden and Binoche’s creepy Dr Dibs at work in the lab and, uh, the bedroom.

The film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival prompted walkouts, and early critical reactions were no less divisive, no doubt owing to some reportedly extreme content. Charles Bramesco’s five-star review for The Guardian claimed that it ‘contains the single greatest one-person sex scene in the history of cinema’, while Andy Howell of Film Threat wrote that ‘High Life is intellectual masturbation — devoid of human engagement’. Jessica Kiang of Variety called it ‘extraordinary, difficult, hypnotic, and repulsive’, and IndieWire’s David Ehrlich described it as ‘haunting and sublime’.

High Life will be released in UK cinemas in early 2019, distributed by Wild Bunch. 

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