High-Rise, a film adaptation of the novel by J.G. Ballard from 1975. The story is set entirely in an elegant forty-storey tower block, an isolated community that has cut itself off from the rest of society.
Drama by Ben Wheatley. Including Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss.
As a god in the penthouse
The architect of the building, Anthony Royal, sits like a god in the penthouse, where he holds on to his utopian ideas, while the unceasing parties beneath him increasingly degenerate into fights. In the meantime, the dirt is piling up in the corridors, lifts are not working and residents are struggling for the latest food. Yet nobody wants to flee the flat or warn the police. Own animal laws apply in this mini-society.
True to Ballard’s cool, distant style, Wheatley shows no moral indignation about his derailed characters. He seems to enjoy it sooner, with the diabolical, a touch of sadistic pleasure that also characterized his earlier films. No one is free from sin in this paradise of destruction, not even Robert Laing. A young doctor who moves in on the twenty-fifth floor and discovers a world of complex loyalties. He emerges – nicely slipped by Hiddleston – into a sinister, unreliable narrator.
The fantastic design is the most striking quality of High-Rise. The strong acting and the ingenious music choices also make the film a party. Wheatley did not want to burn his fingers at engagement: the deeper meaning of all violent orgies is shadowy. That noncommittalism is the weakness of High-Rise, but it also has its charm. The craziness in the flat remains elusive and emotionless, and that is so disturbing.
In September 2015, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The European premiere took place at the 63rd San Sebastian Film Festival. In 2016 he was shown for the first time in the United Kingdom where in 2017 the film was nominated for the Empire Award for Best British Film.
We are looking forward to a pleasant film evening to close the richly filled Archipel year 2019.