A Ghost Story – the Byron Yee review

So I had the pleasure tonight to watch an Adobe sponsored screening of A Ghost Story with Q&A afterwards by writer/director David Lowrey.  BTW, thanks Adobe for the hot dog, popcorn, candy and diet coke. Very welcome to a broke filmmaker.

I actually saw Ain’t Them Bodies Saints at Sundance several years ago, a film that liked very much. He made a big movie for Disney, Pete’s Dragon (which I did not see) and he returned back to his indie roots with A Ghost Story, reuniting him with two of the stars of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

My first comment will go with what most people will have trouble with, particularly with the opening act and a very, very, very long take with Rooney Mara eating a pie.. This is a strange, long, and challenging but it is there for a reason. In a way, it is a test to the audience, to see if they are willing to go where Lowrey wants to take them.

It is the image, that of a white sheet over someone, that is classic image of ghosts that has captured the imagination of kids at a young age. And that’s further reinforced by a quick and easy Halloween costume. It is funny. But it also symbolic and as the film develops, it become poignant and sad.

This is a very reflective film of mood and tone. In some ways, it’s the type of film that Terence Malick should be making instead of the inaccessible and unconnected films that he’s made lately.

There is great craft and forethought into nearly every frame, frame in 4:3 ratio which is certainly a nostalgic throwback.

A Ghost Story will certainly not appeal to a wide audience. But if you appreciate a visual story that will perhaps touch deeper issues of loss and life and mortality, then take the time to really, really see this in a theatre. And bring your patience.

Three and a half pies out of four.


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