On Wednesday, A24 released the first trailer for director Claire Denis's new film High Life, and the thing looks like it's gearing up to be the biggest sci-fi mindfuck of 2019.
The thriller stars Robert Pattinson and André 3000 as death row inmates in some far-flung future who have to serve their sentences on a one-way expedition to a black hole. "We’re scum. Trash. Refuse that didn’t fit into the system," Pattinson says in the trailer, "until someone had the bright idea of recycling us to serve science."
From the look of the clip, there's more happening on the ship than just a quick jaunt to a black hole. Juliette Binoche, who plays a doctor overseeing the prisoners, appears to have some ulterior motives and is generally just creepy as all hell.
High Life premiered at TIFF last year to rapturous reviews: Critics heralded the movie as "audacious," "heavenly," and weird in the best possible way. There was also a lot of buzz about the so-called "Fuckbox" scene, in which Binoche's character apparently "straddles a giant dildo chair and violently masturbates in a scene that’s endowed with the tortured energy of a Cirque du Soleil routine," as IndieWire's David Ehrlich so poetically described it—but sadly, the first trailer devotes most of its runtime to Pattinson, not the Fuckbox. We'll apparently have to wait to see the movie in theaters for a real look at whatever the hell that thing is.
High Life is Denis's first English-language film and her first foray into sci-fi, but the French director has repeatedly proven her ability to bend and fracture genre forms in brilliant ways, both in her horror experiment Trouble Every Day and her 1999 masterpiece, Beau Travail, which is, uh, probably the only war movie in the history of cinema to end with a long dance scene set to "Rhythm of the Night."
High Life is set to hit theaters on April 12 via A24. Until then, give the absolutely bananas trailer a watch above.
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