A Ghost Story 2017 ****

David Lowery has covered a number of bases with his output so far, from nihilistic romance (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) to children’s adventure (Peter’s Dragon). A Ghost Story is an experimental piece of work that announces its art-house pretentions with a squared-off Academy ratio. Trapping the image in the centre of the screen works for this transcendental meditation of life and death; Casey Affleck plays C, whose relationship with M (Rooney Mara) is cut short abruptly by a car accident. C gets up from the mortician’s slab, and returns home under the white-sheet and eyeholes garb of a ghost, only to find that she cannot see him. Even after M moves on and moves out, C remains doomed to haunt the same space he lived in, until he spots another ghost in a neighbouring house. A Ghost Story is a mood piece and not for everyone, but it’s also a brave and original piece of cinema that muses thoughtful on the big issues; a party scene with Will Oldham talking about the universe is the closest we get to any kind of expository explanation. Scary, but in a philosophical way, A Ghost Story is a film to be savoured for its offbeat charm.


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