J.G. Ballard’s novel High Rise has struggled to find its way to the big screen since its release in 1975. Producer Jeremy Thomas tried to get an adaptation going for years, with Nicolas Roeg set to direct at one point. David Cronenberg may have been a good choice, seeing as he adapted Ballard’s Crash in 1996 and has shown in his films similar themes and ideas to the author. It may have been too familiar, as Cronenberg’s Shivers also explored an outbreak of violence and hedonism in an apartment building, a film that oddly enough was released the same year as Ballard’s book. Jeremy Thomas saw Ben Wheatley’s 2013 film Sightseers, another film about ordinary people revealing a darker primal intent, before he was approached by the director to bring the long-gestating project to life.
At 10:30 AM on 26th March, I entered Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Britain’s oldest cinema in continuous use. At 19:30 PM on 27th March, I left. I’d just spent 33 hours drinking coffee, eating doughnuts, and watching Twin Peaks. I wouldn’t commit myself to a marathon screening of any other show – in fact, up until this point the longest I’d spent in the cinema was to see Nymphomaniac parts 1 & 2 back-to-back. But Twin Peaks is different.