high life review

(This review originally ran during our coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018. High Life is in theaters today.)

In High Life, Claire Denis heads to space, and brings Robert Pattinson with her. The result is a strange, surreal, often indecipherable trip into the darkest recess of the galaxy, and beyond. But what does it all mean?

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high life trailer new

Claire Denis‘ High Life generated a lot of buzz at TIFF in 2018, primarily due to how weird it was. Audiences everywhere will soon get to see just how weird when A24 distributes the movie in April of this year. Denis, making her English language debut, directs Robert PattinsonJuliette Binoche and more in a sci-fi story about a space ship heading towards a black hole. But what does it all mean? You’ll have to figure that out for yourself. For now, watch the High Life trailer below.

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18 Movies Directed By Women in 2018 You Should Watch

movies directed by women in 2018

At the beginning of 2018, Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman in history to be nominated for a Best Director award at the Oscars. “That’s one hand!” she enumerated to USA Today following her indoctrination into the sadly small mile-high club. It’s a club that unfortunately looks to remain small as most female directors remain out of the awards conversation and new reports emerge that female filmmakers saw their numbers shrink in 2018.

But before you write off 2018 as a bad year for women — or at least a step backwards after 2017’s industry-shattering breakthrough success with Gerwig, Patty Jenkins, and more — I implore you to take a closer look. Last year saw Anna Boden, along with Ryan Fleck, taking the helm for Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel, and the announcement of Cathy Yan directing Birds of Prey for DC and Warner Bros. And the slate of Sundance darlings were overwhelmingly female-fronted — from Sarah Colangelo‘s unnerving The Kindergarten Teacher, to Desiree Akhavan‘s ebullient The Miseducation of Cameron Post, to Jennifer Fox‘s harrowing abuse drama The Tale. Lynne Ramsay, Josephine Drecker, and Chloe Zhao achieved some of the highest critical acclaim of the year for their films You Were Never Really HereMadeline’s Madeline, and The Rider, respectively. Hell, there were two movies about Ruth Bader Ginsburg directed by women in 2018.

The numbers may not be speaking, but the quality remains unquestionable. Female directors are slowly making inroads in Hollywood, and while they may not be breaking the Top 100 — or may get unjustly snubbed by the Oscars yet again — don’t believe anyone when they say there are no female directors. Here 18 movies directed by women in 2018 that you should watch.

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VOTD: Are These the 20 Greatest Films by Women Directors?

Bright Star

It’s no secret that filmmaking tends to be a boys’ club. Just today, USC released a study of 109 movies put out by major studios in 2014; just 3.4% of movie directors represented were female. But it’s a mistake to overlook or ignore the major contributions women have made to the medium, as evidenced by this elegant video essay of the best female-directed films of all time. The titles were pulled from a survey of 50 critics, and they all sorts of genres and topics across seven decades. Watch “The 20 Greatest Films by Women Directors” after the jump.
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