One of the wonders of this or any year, David Lowery’s film takes the homeliest of images for the supernatural – a sheet with two forlorn eyeholes – and places it at the centre of a layered and piercing contemplation of existential mystery.
As the ghost of a young husband (Casey Affleck), observes the grief of his partner (Rooney Mara), and then lingers through subsequent tenancies of the house they shared, the helpless ghost’s attachment to the place he loved becomes increasingly impersonal and unsettled. Lowery’s theme is realised in delicate, folkloric images of a distinctly American paradise lost, its hushed mood disrupted by abrupt bursts of activity – notably Will Oldham on a brilliant jag as a drunken doom theorist – and radical bends in time.
“A Ghost Story has the structure and rhythm of a musical suite, with Lowery working variations on the same themes, the same characters, and the same location. The result can be lyrical and poetic, or more naturalistic and minimalist. In both cases, A Ghost Story is absolutely mesmerizing, with an anything-goes quality that’s endlessly fascinating.” — Noel Murray, The Playlist
Visit nziff.co.nz to see the full schedule of films on at the 2017 New Zealand International Film Festival.
“It’s a rare privilege to see a contemporary American film as ambitious, emotionally honest, and just-plain-breathtaking as David Lowery’s A Ghost Story.” — Dan Schoenbrun, Filmmaker