Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ben Wheatley's High Rise


My buddy Scott told me today that my favourite director is making a film of a book by my favourite author. This has got me pretty excited. My favourite director at the moment is Ben Wheatley who is one of the best British directors of his generation. He's made 4 films, 2 of which are utterly brilliant and the other 2 aren't bad. The brilliant ones are Kill List and Sightseers. 
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My favourite author, of course, is JG Ballard who also just happens to be the greatest English novelist since WW2. A surrealist satiric poet often pigeon holed as a science fiction author, Ballard's reputation has only grown since his death five years ago. When you read Graham Greene or Kingsley Amis or Ballard's other contemporaries these days their novels feel like period pieces whereas Ballard somehow is as fresh and exciting as ever. That's a clue that he's the real deal. 
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The great Ballard period was 1972 - 1979 when he produced award winning collections of short stories and a run of novels, all of which became classics: Crash, Concrete Island, High Rise and The Unlimited Dream Company. Ben Wheatley is making a film out of High Rise and if he's allowed a good budget it could be one of the great British films of this decade. A great film like Sightseers or Fish Tank I mean not tourist board rubbish like the Kings Speech. High Rise is the story of a group of people who live in a high rise apartment building that gradually descends into civil war between floors while the inhabitants at least initially continue to commute to their day jobs in the city of London. Its a classic Ballard conceit carried out with all the iron logic you'd expect from a master surrealist with a sense of humour, qualities Wheatley has in abundance too. Please don't let me down Ben.    

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ha! Thanks for reminding me of Sightseers, wanted to see after reading reviews but it never came to my little town and I forgot the title. Maybe n-flix? Just listened to Falling Glass, thanks it was great.
Will try High Rise. Appreciate you opening my eyes to new books and movies
paula

Anonymous said...

Ha! Thanks for reminding me of Sightseers, wanted to see after reading reviews but it never came to my little town and I forgot the title. Maybe n-flix? Just listened to Falling Glass, thanks it was great.
Will try High Rise. Appreciate you opening my eyes to new books and movies
paula

Anonymous said...

Ha! Thanks for reminding me of Sightseers, wanted to see after reading reviews but it never came to my little town and I forgot the title. Maybe n-flix? Just listened to Falling Glass, thanks it was great. Will try High Rise. Appreciate you opening my eyes to new books and movies
paula
sorry if this posted 3 times. apparently i AM a robot

seana graham said...

It must be coming out pretty soon if they already have the poster.

As someone who has had my share of annoying neighbors,though fortunately not right now, I like the sound of the premise. I could easily see getting into a full scale battle that distracted me from all other things. It would probably be good to read the book first, but I'll probably just go see the movie.

Alan said...

Adrian,Sounds like an adult version "Lord Of The Flies"and an interesting premise.I wonder how truly thin is the veneer of internalized ethics and civilized behavior with all the horrific global atrocities perpetrated today.I keep thinking about the Nazi Jewish"genocide" and how few groups other than the Danes actively stopped this event.I will see it and I will look for the book.I am reading a South African Roger Smith who ,I think.writes well and makes very vivid the underside of humanity.Best Alan

adrian mckinty said...

Anon

Sightseers is great and definitely worth a watch. Kill List really disturbed me though. Not for the faint of heart.

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

There is a Lord of the Flies vibe definitely, which reminds me that Golding has aged pretty well too.

Brendan O'Leary said...

I've only tried Ballard once - Supercannes. Didn't find it very convincing. Maybe I would like one of the earlier ones.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

The poster is very cool. Its a pastiche of a 1970's Ballard cover with the correct font and everything. Its that kind of attention to detail that gives me encouragement that the film makers know what they are doing.

adrian mckinty said...

Brendan

Try a Ballard from the classic period or the early science fiction period or just Empire of the Sun - you wont be disappointed.

optim23 said...

Tom Hiddleston aka Magnus from Wallander, could be very good.

But I really didn't get Kill List. I was so excited for it but utterly confused by the mish mash of genres and film references.

adrian mckinty said...

Optim

I can't honestly say that I enjoyed Kill List and I'll never watch it again. It was a very good film but it disturbed the hell out of me. I was not expecting the

SPOILER ALERT

Wicker Man style turn of events.

Frederic Wright said...

"tourist board rubbish" is funny...and accurate...not too familiar with Ballard and am going to order "High Rise" on your recommendation...

Frederic Wright said...

"tourist board rubbish" is funny...and accurate...not too familiar with Ballard and am going to order "High Rise" on your recommendation...