How do you switch from producing Disney movie Pete Dragon to directing Casey Affleck under a blanket for ‘A Ghost Story’? We are not too sure, but talented filmmaker David Lowery accomplished both tasks. IndieWire gave it the first spot on their list of the best independent films of 2017, even though the movie officially premieres in France today. Rotten Tomatoes also praised it and said that: ”A Ghost Story deftly manages its ambitious themes through an inventive, artful, and ultimately poignant exploration of love and loss.” David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter also gave the film a positive review, describing it as: “A poetic meditation on time, memory and spiritual connection that is utterly true to its title.” The cinematography and music beautifully complement the narration, making it a must see film before the end of the year. If you’re in Paris, we encourage you to head to the movie theatre for this one.
The tone of the film is slightly serious and introspective, but the concept that the director took for its ghost costume is comical indeed. Casey Affleck wakes up at the morgue embodying the same white blanket that was covering his body. With the addition of two black patches to represent his eyes, he starts wandering around unnoticed. We see him spying on his lover, Rooney Mara, and though we cannot see his expressions we can imagine his desperation at his inability to console her. The movie relies a lot on the actions of the unknowing passers to keep the story flowing, as the majority of the time the main character will be stripped of facial expressions to convey his emotions. This places a greater emphasis on the timing of his every movement though, and with the help of the superb soundtrack from Daniel Hart the character’s trajectory runs smoothly.
A Ghost Story introduces us to a world where spirits with unresolved matters on Earth stay behind dressed in halloween-like ghost costumes. At one point in the film we realize that the main character is not the only ghost strolling around, as he encounters what he could at first have deemed a window reflection of himself, until he obviously realizes that this is not possible. We also see another ghost finally registering that he no longer remembers the reason why he is still around, and suddenly disappearing after his epiphany. We will advance that the main character’s ghost eventually does fulfil his purpose, but we never get to read the tiny paper that made him feel at peace and finally disappear. It is up to the viewer to imagine what words could comfort a ghost, or exactly what meaning these characters could be longing for in their lives. Ultimately, the film ends up being an ode to relationships, and the yearned meaning these bring into our lives.