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September 24, 2015

20 Films You Won’t Want to Miss at VIFF 2015


Shane Scott-Travis / Taste of Cinema

1. High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, UK)

That High-Rise is based off of JG Ballard’s bleak, cynical, societal piss-take novel from 1975, is one reason to madly anticipate this film. Ballard, after all, is the same man of letters who wrote The Atrocity Exhibition and Crash (the basis for David Cronenberg’s controversial film of the same name), both artful and rash novels detailing sex, violence, and morally bankrupt cultural malaise.

Another great reason to lose one’s shit over High-Rise is that it’s coming from UK dissident director Ben Wheatley, who’s recent spate of eye-opening and utterly stunning cinema includes such jaw-droppers as Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England. If Wheatley isn’t at the top of your list of best directors currently working in the industry, toss that list in the dust bin and start over.

High-Rise, Wheatley’s first film on a larger scale, provides A-list talent in a tale of sweltering satire and jet black comedy set in an elegant forty-storey tower block. Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans, and Sienna Miller are amongst the denizens warped by ostentatious amenities, technological troubles, and class polemic.

Can cannibalistic liturgy, literal dog-eat-dog contempt, delirious orgies, and more result in the apocalyptic perversions perched to supervene? High-Rise is a charcoal colored fable, most assuredly, and from the likes of Wheatley, it’s certain to leave a lasting, and persistent impression, and one brutally marked with social relevancy and macabre comedy.