Richard Lowery’s new little “horror” film and Sundance hit, “A Ghost Story”, does indeed provide an interesting theory about the afterlife. In a sense, heaven is for real, and not just in the Christian sense.
The basic idea here is that C (Casey Affleck, covered in an inexpensive bedsheet as a prop, right out of the morgue) goes through a “life review” (the Monroe Institute talks about this) first, experiencing his widow’s (Rooney Mara) grief as he mopes in their rented house in exurban Dallas. But, since they weren’t together long enough to have kids, he has to find some other chains of “space-time boxes” to connect his own lifeline to. These tesseracts are connected to the rural house itself, it’s history (back to the days of the pioneers and Indian attack) to the future, when the house is torn down and replaced by commercial real estate as the Dallas area keeps expanding. The same fate as the gay club Town DC a year from now.
The film has a bare-bones look in the beginning, shot 1.37:1, to create the feel of old movies (though in color) and enable closeups, At a critical point in the screenplay, twenty minutes into the film, we see the aftermath of C’s fatal car wreck in front of his house (he was T-boned getting out of his driveway, but we don’t see the accident in motion). But toward the end, as M does his time travel, the visuals get quite impressive.
There are some other social gatherings, as the Hispanic family that rents the house after M leaves, and the kids play with Brio toys – and people try the out-of-tune piano that never leaves the house (right out of Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck”). Then there is a pot party with some other people, where Prognosticator (Will Oldham) gives a monologue on whether consciousness lives forever through music – using Beethoven’s Ninth as an example. I thought he could try the completed Bruckner Ninth as an example (Dec 3 posting).
I thought particularly about Casey Affleck’s earlier tragic film “Gerry” (2002) , Gus Van Sant’s film where he and a friend played by Matt Damon face loss in the Mojave Desert.
Also, I remember Peter Straub’s mammoth 70s novel “Ghost Story”, with its long middle section about Anna Mobley, and the character Stringer Dedham, who didn’t die when the “life ran out of him”. The movie (1981, John Irwin) was underwhelming.
|Name:||“A Ghost Story“|
|Director, writer:||Richard Lowery|
|Format:||1.37:1 (old-time aspect for close-ups)|
|When and how viewed:||Angelika Mosaic Fairfax VA 2017/7/14 late night small audience|
(Posted: Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 2:30 PM EDT)