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‘High Life’ Explores the Prison of the Human Body [The Lady Killers Podcast]

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“She’s mine, and I’m hers.”

The prison movie is a cornerstone of the cinematic landscape. Often adjacent to Horror, there’s something inherently horrific about a building full of “convicts” jockeying for power. Criminal masterminds and the wrongfully convicted alike become pawns in a dehumanizing system and struggle to stay alive in the restrictive environment. Claire Denis pushes this genre to its outer limits with sci-fi and Horror elements comparing incarceration to the prison of the human body. Her 2018 film High Life follows a group of prisoners turned astronauts who struggle to retain their humanity after the world has cast them out.

When we first meet Monte (Robert Pattinson), he’s raising a toddler on an isolated space station in the galaxy’s outer reaches. His daughter Willow was conceived through assault by fellow inmate Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche) as a part of her mission to reproduce in space. As Denis unpacks the story of this troubled crew, they slowly realize they have been discarded and forgotten. Some find freedom to enact their violent agendas while others try to retain a semblance of normalcy in the extreme environment. Essentially guinea pigs, Monte and his crewmates hurtle through space and grope for a reason to keep existing.

The Lady Killers continue Killer Moms Month with Claire Denis’ beautifully complex film. Co-hosts Jenn AdamsMae Shults, Rocco T. Thompson, and Sammie Kuykendall chart the mysteries of the cosmos in their quest to understand the glacial plot. They’ll chat about screaming babies, space gardens, black holes and spaghetti along with heavier themes like reproduction and bodily autonomy. Why is Dr. Dibbs so obsessed with pregnancy? Why doesn’t Monte partake of the sex box? Does Mia Goth actually have a big booty and what really happened on that spaceship filled with dogs? They’ll approach the black hole and try to withstand spaghettification while zeroing in on the unpleasant themes of this exceptional film.

Stream below and subscribe now via Apple Podcasts and Spotify for future episodes that drop every Thursday.

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