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The Life of High Rises




Open City Docs Fest in partnership with UCL’s Urban Laboratory present our May screening all about vertical city living. Join us for Gabriel Mascaro’s Brazilian feature High-Rise about elite penthouse residents looking down on life below them and festival juror Marc Isaacs’ observational Lift following residents of a London high-rise as they go about their daily business...


Followed by a discussion with director Marc Isaacs (Lift), Luciana Martins (Birkbeck University), Tom Cordell (dir. Utopia London) and Richard Baxter (Queen Mary University), chaired by Andrew Harris (UCL Urban Laboratory).




High Rise

Dir. Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil, 2009


What does it mean to live in a penthouse inpoverty-filled Brazil? Interweaving resident interviews and vistas from above, High-Riseis a hypnotic and revealing examination of the real view from the top. This feature length doc presents the inhabitants of nine penthouse apartments in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Recife. High-Rise is a film aboutheight, status and power that questions the elite in a way that has never beendone before in Brazilian cinema. 

“Innovative and risky film making, bringing us closer to asocial group that is rarely seen in cinema.” 





Dir. Marc Isaacs / UK / 2002

A quietly fascinating meditation on the mundanities of London life. Installing himself inside the lift of a high-rise block of council flats, Isaacs and his camera patiently observe the residents as they go about their daily business. As each of his subjects enters the lift, it's interesting to note their reactions to him being there; some are suspicious, others curious, and then there are those who seem more comfortable in his presence. Tickets £4 available from RADA.