Lost in the Movies: High-Rise (LEFT OF THE MOVIES podcast #4/LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #23)

High-Rise (LEFT OF THE MOVIES podcast #4/LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #23)

For what will hopefully be the last time (I think it's only happened once before) my podcast was a little late this week. This cross-post went up as scheduled but with a notice that the actual episode would appear sometime in the next few days. Having just started my new "Path back to JOURNEY THROUGH TWIN PEAKS" (a methodical approach to the next year and a half of online work), I wanted to stubbornly stick to it, even if that made me miss a few deadlines initially. Now I am on track to catch up with everything and actually be a fair amount ahead of schedule within the week.

So here is that delayed episode, a bit of a hybrid featuring my 2018 discussion of the British satire High-Rise, an exchange between myself and the listener who recommended it, and also an addendum in which I discuss the British election of 2019, among other issues. High-Rise depicts the seventies UK (or at least the British middle class) as a towering monstrosity of a society in which everyone is at war with everyone else in the building, while the clueless architect sits in his penthouse and ponders his grand plan. I frankly didn't care for the film much at all, which actually made it even more fascinating to pick apart - what was I turned off by in Ben Wheatley's directorial vision, Wheatley's and Amy Jump's adaptation, and/or J.G. Ballard's source material? Aside from aesthetic and narrative frustrations, which I spend a good deal of time discussing, does the story endorse a proto-Thatcheresque cynical dismissal of "utopian" social planning? Or is it a more left-leaning critique of bourgeois foibles, or a more ostensibly apolitical work which defaults toward the conservative status quo? This led to some thoughts about the broader phenomenon of creative types kicking against a materialist, collective politics in a way that may undercut the association we often make between artists and the left.

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(mentioned other 2020-21 updates on older reviews...)


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