This month's Critics Night guest, Adam Nayman (Cinema Scope), introduces our May 25, 6:30pm screening of High-Rise.
Based on J.G. Ballard's 1975 novel, the startlingly imaginative new film from Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers) is a retro-futuristic, dystopian phantasmagoria that unleashes the British director's wicked satiric powers on our 21st-century world by revisiting the book's pre-Thatcher-era milieu. The film centres on a young doctor, Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston), who moves into a new luxury apartment building designed by the eccentric architect Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons), who occupies the paradisiacal penthouse suite. Though Royal says he built the high-rise as "an agent for change," the Brutalist block of concrete has instead bred an atmosphere of incipient class strife between residents of the upper and lower floors — and what starts out as competitive hijinks between the segregated groups takes a turn toward tribalism and anarchy as the whole edifice begins to rot from within.