×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

High Life

"High Life" is a slice of Brooklynite life that might easily have turned pat or stagey, yet emerges a razor-sharp miniature, capturing the precise moment when prolonged adolescence surrenders to sober adulthood. Fest item won't be an easy commercial sell, but bodes well for the future of director Lila Yomtoob and her collaborators.

With:
With: Michael Wiener, Priscilla Holbrook, Sam Marks, Max Faugno, Sharon Eisman, James Ford, Doug Paulson, Sunah Biltsted.

Made on a microbudget, DV feature “High Life” is a slice of twentysomething Brooklynite life that might easily have turned pat or stagey, yet emerges a razor-sharp miniature, capturing the precise moment when prolonged adolescence surrenders to sober adulthood. Solid fest item won’t be an easy commercial sell, but certainly bodes well for the future of director Lila Yomtoob and her collaborators.

Helmer and cast worked up the script during an intensive three-month rehearsal period, improvising all dialogue. Often this sort of path leads toward actorish indulgence, but not here. Young artist Sy (Michael Wiener) has recently acquired a live-in girlfriend in slightly older, much more together Melissa (Priscilla Holbrook). She urges him to get serious about his career, a notion he views with ambivalence, and which in any case looks unlikely to happen so long as junior sib Satchel (Sam Marks) and pals use the expansive loft space as their permanent party pad. During the course of a single day, all tensions come to the fore, with some surprising results. Perfs, language, and tech/design aspects are perfectly honed (albeit with a near-excess of jump-cutting) to mine situation’s naturalistic seriocomedy.

Popular on Variety

High Life

Production: A Day and Night Sweatshops production. Produced, directed, edited by Lila Yomtoob. Screenplay by cast, from a story by Yomtoob.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Brian Newman; music, Douce; production designer, Brit Till. Reviewed at San Francisco Indie Film Festival, Feb. 6, 2005. Running time: 72 MIN.

With: With: Michael Wiener, Priscilla Holbrook, Sam Marks, Max Faugno, Sharon Eisman, James Ford, Doug Paulson, Sunah Biltsted.

More Film

  • Jon Voight'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' film

    President Trump to Award Jon Voight the National Medal of Arts

    President Trump will present actor Jon Voight, musician Allison Krauss, and mystery writer James Patterson with the national medal of arts. Voight is one of few in Hollywood who has been vocal about his support of President Trump in the past, calling him “the greatest president of this century.” The White House announced four recipients [...]

  • Zack Snyder arrives at the 2018

    'Justice League': Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder Support Release of 'Snyder Cut'

    Zack Snyder, Gal Gadot, and Ben Affleck have taken to social media to request that Warner Bros. release the Snyder cut of “Justice League.” Snyder, who helmed “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” and was “Justice League’s” original director, had to leave production on the film partway through after his daughter died, with Joss [...]

  • Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On?

    Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On? (Column)

    Do we choose sides when we watch “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s brilliant and wrenching drama of divorce? The question, on the face of it, sounds facile in a dozen ways the movie isn’t. Rarely are there winners in divorce, and there are two sides to every breakup. “Marriage Story” is a movie that reflects that [...]

  • The Letter

    IDFA: Kenyan Documentary ‘The Letter’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given access to the trailer for Kenyan documentary “The Letter,” by producer-director duo Christopher King and Maia Lekow, which world premieres Nov. 23 at IDFA. The film follows a young man who travels to his grandmother’s rural home when he learns she’s been accused of witchcraft. He soon discovers that the threatening letter she [...]

  • Warner Bros. Box Office

    With 'Good Liar' and 'Doctor Sleep,' Warner Bros.' Box Office Misfortunes Mount

    When Warner Bros. was crafting its 2019 slate, the studio took pains to offer more than just superhero movies. To be sure, there were lots of masked vigilantes too, but more than any of its big studio brethren, Warner Bros. was willing to take a risk on the kinds of thrillers, adult dramas, coming-of-age stories, [...]

  • Constance Wu

    Will Constance Wu Ever Watch 'Hustlers'?

    Despite her leading role, Constance Wu has never seen “Hustlers” and, spoiler alert, it’s very unlikely that she will. Wu explained why she doesn’t want to watch the film to Mindy Kaling (“Late Night”) during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” “This is crazy,” Kaling said in the beginning of the interview. “I [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    'Ford v Ferrari' Outmatches 'Charlie's Angels' at International Box Office

    Disney and 20th Century Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” sped ahead of fellow new release, Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels,” at the international box office. Director James Mangold’s racing drama collected $21.4 million from 41 foreign markets, representing 67% of its overseas rollout. “Ford v Ferrari” also kicked off with $31 million in North America, bringing its global [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content