July 15th, 2018 / 0 comments

Robert Pattinson High Life Competing for Golden Shell

 image host

To say San Sebastian Film Festival’s official announcement that “Claire Denis (Paris, 1946), the director of Beau travail or White Material, will be competing for the first time for the Golden Shell with High Life.” caused “a bit of a reaction” may be an understatement.  I did learn a new Spanish word though “bombazo” – bombshell is definitely a good way to describe the coup that the Festival is the first to announce a screening (albeit not a world premiere according to media below).  It definitely came out of left field given that Venice, Toronto or New York were much on our minds.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to also share a little background on San Sebastian from their website before providing the reactions:

This year the Festival will be celebrating its 66th consecutive edition with the same enthusiasm felt the day it first saw the light on September 21st 1953.

Conceived as an International Film Week for the purpose of screening and marketing films, it was not long before the IFFPA granted it B status (non-competitive), thanks to the success of its first edition. A year later it was called the International Film Festival, and in 1955 the IFFPA recognised the festival as competitive, specialising in colour films. In other words, it could now grant official prizes. This marked the emergence of the “Concha”, or shell – at the time only awarded in silver – determined by an international jury.

In 1957 the festival was granted “A” status and the Shell awarded in the main categories turned to gold. The festival symbols became increasingly recognisable, as did the direction the festival was aiming for and still strives for to this day. That is, a tendency towards liberalisation, shying away from the corseted censorship of the past, still alive today. The festival’s primordial role is to serve as a showcase for each year’s most disquieting and innovative films.

San Sebastian was Roman Polanski’s first festival while still at film school, the first at which Pedro Almodóvar presented a film (Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón / Pepi, Luci, Bom and other Girls Like Mom) and the one that earned their first awards in the careers of filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola (The Rain People) and Terrence Malick (Badlands). The Festival took a chance with the works of – at that time unknown moviemakers – such as Iván Zulueta, Olivier Assayas, Tsai Ming-liang, Danny Boyle, Walter Salles, Nicolas Winding Refn, Lee Daniels, Bong Joon-ho, Laurent Cantet and Lucile Hadzihalilovic.

If you want to read the entire history and see which actors have attended in the past, click on the link above.  As promised, here are a few of the reactions to the announcement and some thoughts on where the actual “world premiere” might be.  I guess we should know soon enough:


Perhaps most exciting is the news that Denis’ latest film “High Life” will be making an appearance at the fest and will compete with the coveted Golden Shell. Details of her latest film, starring Robert Pattinson, have been scarce, as we’ve only seen a few pictures and the briefest of plot descriptions. However, now we know of one of the first places you’ll be able to check out this film. It should be noted that this won’t be a world premiere for the film, as many are expecting “High Life” to have a big premiere at one of the upcoming North American festivals.

However, we did get one of the better plot descriptions for “High Life” from the festival’s announcement:

Deep space. Beyond our solar system. Monte and his infant daughter Willow live together aboard a spacecraft, in complete isolation. A solitary man, whose strict self-discipline is a protection against desire –his own and that of others– Monte fathered the girl against his will. His sperm was used to inseminate Boyse, the young woman who gave birth to her. They were members of a crew of prisoners: space convicts, death row inmates. Guinea pigs sent on a mission to the black hole closest to Earth. Now only Monte and Willow remain. And Monte is changed. Through his daughter, for the first time, he experiences the birth of an all-powerful love. Willow grows, becoming a young girl, then a young woman.


… Claire Denis’s High Life will be screening as part of its official selection, we can be fairly sure that the French director’s English-language debut and her first science fiction film is preparing for a run through the fall festival circuit. San Sebastián, whose sixty-sixth edition runs from September 21 through 29, isn’t claiming that its presentation will be a premiere of any sort. This has inspired some speculation of where the world premiere will be. Due to the timing, it’s easy to assume that Venice (August 29 through September 8) might be the place. But in a piece for Cineuropa on the likely French contenders for the Venice lineup, Fabien Lemercier suggests that the film’s team “is actually angling for a North American world premiere.” Meaning Toronto, right? Not necessarily. The Telluride Film Festival (September 1 through 4) will open and then close two days before Toronto begins on September 6.

Wherever High Life premieres, the good news is that one of this year’s most anticipated films is finally ready to roll. Many had hoped to see it in Cannes, and some even accused Cannes of shunning Denis when High Life didn’t appear in the lineup. But as Denis kept insisting, the film simply wouldn’t have been presentable in May.

As for the cast, Denis originally thought of Vincent Gallo for the lead—she’d worked with him on Trouble Every Day in 2001—before deciding that Philip Seymour Hoffman would be a better fit. When Hoffman died in 2014, Denis had no one in mind to replace him until Robert Pattinson approached her. “It’s strange,” she told Vogue Hommes in 2016, “because it would be difficult to imagine anyone more unlike Philip Seymour Hoffman physically, but Robert is very enigmatic, with a powerful presence. He gives off an aura that immediately makes you want to film him.” …


Claire Denis’ “High Life,” Kim Jee-woon’s “Illang: the Wolf Brigade” and Naomi Kawase’s “Vision” feature among the first seven titles competing for the San Sebastian Festival’s top Golden Shell.

Denis (“Beau Travail,” “White Material”) –  pretty much a legend, a Directors’ Fortnight co-winner last year for “Let the Sunshine In” but still one of Europe’s great movie mavericks –  will present “High Life,” which was not ready for Cannes, she has explained. It marks a step up in budget, and her first English-language and sci-fi film, starring Robert Pattinson in a deep space father-daughter relationship drama.


Not too sure about reference to “world premiere”

image host


Time for line-up announcements for autumn festivals, and while waiting for the prestigious festivals of Venice, Toronto and Telluride, the San Sebastian Film Festival moves in the forefront , in recent years a point of passage not to be underestimated for the most films applauded the season.
Undoubtedly the names of Claire Denis and Naomi Kawase undoubtedly stand out , for their latest highly anticipated films, as well as those of  Kim Jee-woon with Illang: the Wolf Brigade and Valeria Sarmiento with The Black Book . The strong female presence is unmistakable.


Leave a Reply

Current Mood
image host
Rob’s Promo Schedule
  • No Upcoming Appearances
  • Rob’s Film Schedule
    The Batman Role: Bruce Wayne | Batman
    Director: Matt Reeves
    Release Date: 1 October 2021. Filming commenced 27 Jan 2020 | Filming suspended 14 March 2020 due to COVID-19. Production rumoured to recommence September 2020. Stay tuned for DCFanDome with exclusive content - 22 August 2020

    Tenet Role: TBA
    Director: Christopher Nolan
    Release Date: 26 August 2020 - check out our film page for all confirmed release dates by clicking on "News" below

    Waiting for the Barbarians Role: Warrant Officer Mandel
    Director: Ciro Guerra
    Release Date: World Premiere Venice FF 6 Sept 2019 | Opening film Cartagena FF 11 March 2020. Releasing digitally in US on 7 August 2020

    The Devil All the Time Role: Preston Teagardin
    Director: Antonio Campos
    Release Date: 16 September 2020.

    The Stars at Noon Role: TBA
    Director: Claire Denis
    Release Date: 2021 - Pre-Production: 18 February 2020 (Rumoured to be filming September 2020 in South America).

    The Lighthouse Role: Ephraim Winslow
    Director: Robert Eggers
    Release Date: Screening at TIFF Sept 2019 | US 18 Oct 2019 - DVD releases at Film Page - click News below

    The King Role: The Dauphin of France
    Director: David Michôd
    Release Date: World Premiere (Out of Competition) Venice Film Festival 2019 2 Sept 2019 | Now on Netflix.

    Information for all of Robert's past films can also be found at RPAU's individual film pages by clicking photo below.
    RPAU Exclusives
    RPAU's Exclusive Interview with Robert Pattinson on the Red Carpet at The Rover Premiere Sydney Film Festival 2014.

    Robert Pattinson and David Michôd respond to RPAU's Question at the Official Sydney Press Conference for The Rover June 2014.

    Other interviews with RPAU on the Red Carpet at The Rover Premiere Sydney Film Festival 2014 can be found at The Rover Master Post.
    RPAustralia Twitter
    RPAustralia Calendar
    image host

    Free Download 2020 RPAU Calendar

    Thanks to Suze
    Rob’s Fanmail Address
    UK Address
    Robert Pattinson
    c/o Curtis Brown Group Ltd.
    Haymarket House
    5th Floor, 28-29
    Haymarket London, SW1Y 4SP

    US Address
    Robert Pattinson
    c/o William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment
    Stephanie Ritz
    9601 Wilshire Blvd. Floor 3
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
    Site Meter
    Rob Fans Online: 134,016
    Total Views: 6,808,757
    About Us
  • Site Opened: 4 November 2008
  • Email Us: robertpattinsonau@gmail.com (for tips & suggestions) & robertpattinsonau@hotmail.com
  • Hosted by: Dreamhost
  • Designed by: GratrixDesigns.co.uk

  • Follow us on Twitter

    Robert Pattinson Australia is not affiliated with Robert Pattinson or his management in any way. Any form of copyright infringement is unintended. We respect Robert's right to privacy and do not post intrusive photos or information about his private life. Respecting Robert because actions speak louder than words.