em High Life /em 's Claire Denis on Designing a "Pro-Sex" Space Prison


Most of Claire Denis' High Life takes place on a spaceship far outside the solar system. Its inhabitants, who include Robert Pattinson and André 3000, are convicts, audacious men and women who evaded Earthly prison time by volunteering for a kamikaze mission to gather data about distant black holes. Confined on the ship, the prisoners wander among a cluster of spaces: dimly lit bedrooms and corridors; a lush greenhouse garden; a lab; and finally an austere room known as the "fuckbox," where Juliette Binoche's doctor enjoys time with a severe-looking dildo apparatus. Slate sat down with Denis to discuss how she designed the film's elegantly lo-fi aesthetic, including her "pro-sex" approach to the fuckbox. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.