High-Rise

Preview: High-Rise 18

Festival of the Future City

Film

Please note: This was screened in Nov 2015

Director:
Ben Wheatley
Cast:
Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller
Duration:
112 mins, 2015, UK

Cult British director Ben Wheatley meets JG Ballard head-on in this savage and utterly brilliant adaptation of Ballard’s novel about a London apartment tower that becomes a battlefield in a literal class war and a glorious cacophony of excess.

Dr Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston), has just taken ownership of a luxurious apartment whose lofty location places him amongst the upper echelons. The building, a Brutalist concrete tower block, is inhabited by a plethora of eccentric tenants who like to let off steam via endless rounds of themed parties and raucous, drink-and-drug-fuelled orgies. Laing is immediately drawn into and seduced by the louche culture of these nightly parties, where conversation seemingly always comes back to one man - the high-rise's enigmatic architect and owner, Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons). Sitting literally atop this insular society, Royal’s penthouse suite beggars description and has nothing to do with the rest of his design. Royal says he built the high-rise as "an agent for change," but class strife is brewing between residents of the upper and lower floors. And what starts out as competitive hijinks takes a turn toward tribalism and anarchy as the whole edifice begins to rot from within.

Combining Ballard's dark vision with Wheatley’s wicked satiric visual style everything in this parallel-reality vision of the 1970s is recognizable but exaggerated from the sets and costumes to the score which includes a spellbinding reworking of Abba's S.O.S by Portishead. This stylisation of the past creates what is perhaps a stunning parable about what may be our future.

Introduced by Producer Jeremy Thomas and Will Self.

Preview courtesy of STUDIOCANAL and Jeremy Thomas. High-Rise will then open from 11 March.