Another generation takes the deep dive into experiencing their very own Batman. Robert Pattinson. Eyebrows were raised when those two words were latched onto the film. But, like when Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond, most people were wrong to doubt the judgment of producers who know which boxes to tick. The Batman will only tick a few of the conventional types, the ones that matter to the marketing department and the producers who want to turn in a respectable but interesting offering of The Caped Crusader’s next adventure. After calming the rocky waters around the potential Ben Affleck standalone film, plans fell through, but in the process opened up the chance to reinvent a character that has lived off of the Christian Bale reputation for some time now.
A beauty of nature and a passionate view of the landscape is brought to life in the opening crawl of High Life, which rides the high of life and nature with succulent colouring and a slight, eerie feel. Something is off, but it is not the vegetation in the grounds of a garden stuck in a polished and manic-looking space station. It is when Claire Denis pushes the scope of her camera around the twists of the space station that her science-fiction horror comes to life. It is not the usual aliens or bumps in the night that these characters have to worry about but the sanity of themselves and each other. Prisoners shuffling around the space station trying to extract impossibilities from a bleak black hole, it makes High Life infectiously interesting but also a delight when the horror starts to take hold.
With an economic recession on the mind, and the violent impacts of that lingering throughout Cosmopolis, David Cronenberg, once again, tries his hand at adapting a unique text. Don DeLillo has a unique style to his prose. That’s the nicest way of saying it certainly isn’t for me. A few pages into the book, and it is clear to see Cronenberg has done quite the job of hacking his way through the text and making sure the transfer to screen is as seamless as possible. Capturing the core assets and meanings DeLillo had to offer, Cronenberg paves the way to effective character destruction. Too bad, then, that the destruction of his character is something we are actively cheering for, rather than making notes about.
The various waves and styles there are to the work of director David Cronenberg make it very easy to digest his work. From his early days as a shlock creator, to the maturity he found in the body horror of his prime work, and the eventual spiral into more contemporary oriented, paranoid dramas. With such a level of consistency, it’s no surprise that every fan of his has their preferred era for his work. Me personally, I love his body horror films, and as someone that isn’t particularly fond of horror, I’d say that’s the best praise I could ever get a director. Maps to the Stars is the most recent film from Cronenberg, and by the looks of it, probably his last film. A shame to go out on a rather dud note, but there’s still merits to be found throughout.