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High Rise - J G Ballard Adaptation


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  • 3 weeks later...

Just seen this as well. Really, really enjoyed it. As K said, it's beautifully produced and everything looks gorgeous. I agree that something of the plot was lost in the adaptation, but I thought the montages handled it well; it added to the dreamlike atmosphere of the film, which reminds me of the sensation of reading Ballard; this sense of being caught up with the protagonist as he gives in to the impulses of the situation he's found himself in, be it a high-rise block of flats or a drowned city. I kept waiting to see if I could identify a clear point where the film began its descent into insanity but it happened so smoothly that the sense of madness was upon me before I knew it.

 

Also, as K said, the black humour leapt out in a far stronger manner than on the page, a testament I think to the wholly committed performances throughout, particularly Tom Hiddleston's increasing calm and contentment as the situation around him deteriorates. What Ben Wheatley does very well is portray the surreality of Ballard's vision; the garden on the rooftop, along with Keeley Hawes on horseback, all give flesh to the bizarre images that Ballard describes in his books and really bring it to the fore. I'd like to see him tackle some more Ballard; I'd love to see the Drought adapted, for instance.

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I've been desperate to see this since it was first announced so I was gutted last week when not a single cinema in Cornwall was showing it. However, as luck would have it a new independent cinema opened up yesterday just around the corner from me in Newlyn, and had this as their opening film.

 

well worth the wait, loved ever Minute. Ben Wheatley delivers every time for me.

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On 3/13/2016 at 0:07 PM, K said:

 It feels like a series of vignettes where you occasionally check in on how each character is doing without there being much in the way of connecting tissue between each one, and while that was interesting for the most part, it did have a distancing effect, and left me feeling a bit nonplussed by the conclusion.

 

This nails it. It was a very pretty looking and sounding film and I enjoyed all the montages, but the whole thing didn't set together as well as it could have. 

 

I did enjoy it though!

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Big disappointment for me. The whole thing seemed to be trying so desperately hard to be cool and shocking that it ended up feeling empty, disjointed and, ironically, completely overfamiliar.  I gave up on it at the snogging scene with the stringy bits of saliva on show for all to enjoy.  I've seen stringy bits of saliva in films before and I'm just a bit bored of it now.

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  • 3 months later...

It's main problem for me is that it peaked too early. The descent into chaos and savagery happened half an hour in, portrayed by a 5-minute montage, and the rest of the film was treading water with nowhere to really go.

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I enjoyed it, thought it looked great, but... it did sometimes just feel like a series of beautiful montages stitched together with too little plot to make enough sense them. I'm tempted to read the book now, as it'll probably fill in all the details that seemed to be missing.

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  • 1 month later...

I watched this on Blue Ray last night.  I will definitely watch it again because it is, as @K points out, a true ensemble piece and all the introductions are made quickly at the beginning so I lost track of the identities of some of the male cast fairly early on. 

 

However, as a Ballard adaptation I thought it was excellent, totalling nailing several of the central Ballardian motifs - the man (and it is always a man) who adjusts to his radically changing circumstances and, by the end of the book faces the future with equanimity or even eager anticipation, the general coldness of tone (all the men always referred to by their surnames for example), the quasi-surrealism.   More please!

 

I caught a few nods to early Greenaway and the Prisoner (both maybes), appreciated the sound track and period setting generally, and the ironic closing shot (I assume the Thatcher speech extract pre-dated the novel).

 

So, a thumbs up here.:)

 

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Khrushchev said:

I was never really able to get into much of Ballard's writing.Excellent at the sentence level of course, but often far too much creepy lumpen nihilism.

 

Why do you think Ballard is a nihilist? He celebrates the unstoppable force of human life, in my opinion. Even his darkest works are pretty much riffs on our irrepressible animal natures.

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  • 4 months later...

Watched this via Amazon video tonight. Thought it was really good. Hypnotically captivating but it ran out of steam before the end. Sort of meanders off in an unfulfilled direction. Nonetheless it's an interesting film that is certainly applicable to modern society. Them and us I guess. 

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  • 2 months later...

Just saw an ad saying the "network premiere" is on Film 4 on Wednesday. Must admit I didn't realise it had been released yet, having heard it was being made a couple of years and somehow missing the cinema (and presumably also DVD) release.

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On 11/02/2016 at 21:14, DukeOfEarlsfield said:

Those are all official.

 

Also official is the fact that the film features a new track from Portishead. It's a cover. Of SOS. By ABBA.

 

Portishead.

 

Are.

 

Covering.

 

ABBA.

 

I only caught this recently on prime.  Had no idea this cover was in it. Bloody awesome. (And I quite liked the film)

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  • 1 year later...

Watched this today as part of a Wheatley triple bill and I thought this was a great start and a terrible ending. It really lost me about half way through. 

 

I think  of the four films I have now seen of his, this was the weakest so far. 

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1 hour ago, sandman said:

Watched this today as part of a Wheatley triple bill and I thought this was a great start and a terrible ending. It really lost me about half way through. 

 

I think  of the four films I have now seen of his, this was the weakest so far. 


Down Terrace and Kill List are the only ones I like. Sightseers is 'fine, I guess'. 

Freefire I fucking hated and this was just a mess.

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8 hours ago, kerraig UK said:


Down Terrace and Kill List are the only ones I like. Sightseers is 'fine, I guess'. 

Freefire I fucking hated and this was just a mess.

 

Agree, although A Field in England is pretty good too. That said, I've only seen it once and can't remember it in huge detail beyond it being extremely trippy.

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I think Ballard’s stuff like this is fairly unfilmable. So much of the ‘story’ relies on his descriptions of the motivations for protagonists and events, when you remove that commentary is what’s left even a story?

 

Having said that, someone please film The Unlimited Dream Company.

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Ballard's novels tend to feel like short stories stretched out beyond their natural length, and in that regard the film is a pretty faithful adaption.

 

I liked Freefire way more than I was expecting though. Action films are so overblown now that the more modest scale went a long way with me.

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12 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

 

Nah, I will one day, but these two films turned me off BW so wasn't in any rush.


Night and day mate. Couldn't be more different. Kill List is genuine nightmare fuel. My flatmate Becky actually punched me after I made her watch it.

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