It’s a Long Way Down in the New ‘High-Rise’ Theatrical Poster
Among the sequels and reboots and remakes and re-quels (a word I just made up, but will inevitably be real one day), one of 2016’s most hotly anticipated releases is Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel High-Rise. Wheatley impressed genre cultists with his highly idiosyncratic The Kill List and A Field in England, and so when he was able to secure a high-profile cast including Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, and Luke Evans for his latest and most involved undertaking, all eyes were on the young English director. The film made its world debut last September at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it polarized the critics in attendance. Some hailed the baroque language and blackly comic satire on British class differences as the strengths of a new cult classic in the making, while others dismissed the script as overblown and the performances as stilted. In a time where the verdict on new films seems to be out between a month and two weeks prior to their actual release, it’s thrilling to see a real live wild card on the docket for 2016.
For what it’s worth, I was fortunate enough to secure a spot at the TIFF screening of High-Rise, and I’d probably fall somewhere between the two camps. Parts of the film are hypnotically intense, others are incomprehensible and sort of alienating, but it definitely merits a re-watch, and so it was still exciting to see the gorgeous new theatrical poster surface online earlier today. The U.K.-release poster evokes the sense of trendy nihilism we now associate with Mad Men in its image of a man falling from a skyscaper, and the blood-red sky behind hints at the tribal spirit of violence that takes hold of the film. It’s a phenomenal visual, and that tagline, cheeky and inviting, is great as well. Magnet Releasing has yet to name a domestic release date for this buzzy property, but theaters across the Atlantic will begin showing it on March 18.