For Denis and Pattinson, a cosmic connection in 'High Life'

This April 4, 2019 photo shows filmmaker Claire Denis, left, and actor Robert Pattinson posing for a portrait to promote their film, "High Life" in New York. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
This April 4, 2019 photo shows filmmaker Claire Denis, left, and actor Robert Pattinson posing for a portrait to promote their film, "High Life" in New York. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
This April 4, 2019 photo shows filmmaker Claire Denis, left, and actor Robert Pattinson posing for a portrait to promote their film, "High Life" in New York. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
This image released by A24 Films shows Robert Pattinson in a scene from "High Life." (Martin Valentin Menke/A24 Films via AP)
This image released by A24 Films shows Robert Pattinson in a scene from "High Life." (A24 Films via AP)
This April 4, 2019 photo shows filmmaker Claire Denis, left, and actor Robert Pattinson posing for a portrait to promote their film, "High Life" in New York. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
This April 4, 2019 photo shows filmmaker Claire Denis, left, and actor Robert Pattinson posing for a portrait to promote their film, "High Life" in New York. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK — Robert Pattinson has been willing to be stretched and contorted by some of the most adventurous directors in film. But even for him, "High Life" is a new frontier.

Directed by the French filmmaker Claire Denis, "High Life" is about a ship full of convicts hurtling through space. It's Denis' first English language movie and it's been hailed as one of the best of the year.

It was Pattinson who pursued Denis. A fan of her films, he tried for years to get a meeting with her. Eventually, Pattinson landed one and happily signed up even though, he acknowledges in an interview, he had "no idea" what Denis' treatment meant.

"High Life" expands nationwide in theaters this Friday.

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