claire denis

The High Life Trailer Gives Us Moody French Space Sex Drama With Robert Pattinson

This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information

Recommended Videos

Are you in the mood for a trippy psycho-sexual space drama? Then you’re going to want to check out the stylish trailer for High Life, which stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000), and Mia Goth (Suspiria).

The film, directed by French auteur Claire Denis (Beau Travail, White Material), follows a group of death row inmates aboard a space ship headed towards a black hole. During the journey, the convicts are experimented on by a mad fertility scientist, Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche) against their will. But of course, everything isn’t as it seems. The official synopsis for the film reads:

Deep space. Beyond our solar system. Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his infant daughter Willow live together aboard a spacecraft, in complete isolation. A solitary man, whose strict self-discipline is a protection against desire –his own and that of others– Monte fathered the girl against his will. His sperm was used to inseminate Boyse (Mia Goth), the young woman who gave birth to her. They were members of a crew of prisoners: space convicts, death row inmates. Guinea pigs sent on a mission to the black hole closest to Earth. Now only Monte and Willow remain. And Monte is changed. Through his daughter, for the first time, he experiences the birth of an all-powerful love. Willow grows, becoming a young girl, then a young woman.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was met with mostly positive reviews. Variety’s Jessica Kiang called it “extraordinary, difficult, hypnotic, and repulsive,” while other reviewers were disturbed by the graphic sex, gore, and sexual violence in the film.

The film has had a circuitous path to production: Denis, who has been working on the film for years, originally enlisted novelist Nick Laird (Modern Gods) and his wife Zadie Smith (White Teeth) to write the script, but creative differences eventually led the couple to leave the project (Laird stayed on as a consultant).

From the trailer, the vibes of the film are very 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Nymphomaniac, so depending on your personal preferences you may be running to/away from your local art house theater when it premieres in 2019.

(via /Film, image: screengrab)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.