Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

A Ghost Story

GHO_87_M1.2V1.2_hires

“For there is no enduring remembrance of the wise or of the fools, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 2:16)

A Ghost Story is a riveting look at humanity’s place in time. This intriguing meditation on the moments that make up a life will cause viewers to pause and appreciate what is right in front of them. This film is unlike any you have probably seen before. In an age of CGI, A Ghost Story shuns special effects and follows a ghost played by Casey Affleck who is dressed in a white sheet. For most of the film, there is little or no talking. The film relies heavily on visuals, and director David Lowery gives the viewer plenty of time to take in each scene. Not only is time at the center of A Ghost Story, but Lowery also allows the audience to feel time with the slow pacing of several scenes. This comes as a shock to viewers who are so used to the dizzying effect of multiple cuts in a brief scene, but it is evident that Lowery is up to something greater than trying to keep the attention of an audience with a very short attention span.

The film opens by focusing on a couple (Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck) who are madly in love with one another. Nothing is unusual until the character played by Affleck suddenly dies and comes back as a ghost. He takes up residence in the house they lived in, and he witnesses firsthand the grief of his widowed wife. Now that he is a ghost, all he can do is watch. He cannot speak or comfort his wife in any way. Rooney Mara is mesmerizing in these scenes.

AGhostStory-FullRes3.tif

It seems for a moment that perhaps this film is going to be an exploration of grief. Although the viewer is given a glimpse into the grieving process, the film moves forward with Affleck’s character continuing to reside in the house as various tenants take up occupancy within it.

The longest piece of dialogue comes during a party as one individual laments the fact that time will conquer all things. Eventually, all will be forgotten. This pessimistic view is proven true by the fact that Affleck’s character has had to get used to sharing the house he once enjoyed his wife. Now the people who occupy this space have no idea of who has lived here before or what has taken place. If this were the final word in the film, then it would truly be a lament, but the film has a few surprises left.

I will not give away the ending, but I will say that I loved how A Ghost Story caused me to rethink how I view time. Some may not appreciate its slow pace and may become frustrated with its lack of dialogue, but I believe the film is working on multiple levels, and it is striving to get us, the viewer, to slow down and enjoy the moment we are living in. Most modern films move at lightning pace, but this also mirrors what many people experience in their own lives. Life is busy. Life is full. We attempt to cram too much into the space we are given, and we end up missing what is important. A Ghost Story is a beautiful wake-up call in more ways than one.

A Ghost Story is a film that you will want to discuss with others after seeing it. Here’s a helpful discussion guide to assist your conversation with friends or a group.

Discussion Guide

Advertisements

No Responses to “A Ghost Story”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: