Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, McColm Cephas Jr, Kennisha Thompson, Grover Coulson, Liz Franke, Barlow Jacobs, Richard Krause, Dagger Salazar, Sonia Acevedo, Carlos Bermudez, Yasmin Gutierrez, Kimberly Fiddes, Daniel Escudero, Kesha, Jared Kopf, Will Oldham, Brea Grant, Rob Zabrecky, Sara Tomerlin.
We are all passengers hanging on the coattails of Time, some of us though refuse to move on once the journey has ended; they hang around and experience the decay of all they ever knew, almost inevitably again and again. Death is traumatic, undoubtedly disturbing, not only for those left behind to carry on riding those flowing coattails but perhaps for those who see the battle and fight end; for life is silent and hurtful for those who see life through the dark hollow eyes of A Ghost Story.
A Ghost Story will confound some and seriously split audiences, a film in which the action is non-existent but somehow manages to keep flowing, a dichotomy in film making, of how a sheet placed over an actor can possibly keep an audience’s attention fixed and without boring them into an early grave.
Perhaps the reason it works so well could be seen in the way humanity views the experience of passing across between this reality and the next, literature, poetry, music, art and even the discussions between various faiths and beliefs cannot agree what happens to the soul, does it literary become nothing or does it wander in the echoes of its environment, of its place in time; it is a question that the team behind the film do very well to add a perspective to and doing so by alluding to how as children we pretend to play the part.
The film is slow, of that there is no getting round but it is far from dull, it is the sense of creativity that the film employs, of the abject echo that sits at the heart of existence, that makes it so real, so haunting, no need for effect or gore, a haunting is a haunting, it is the melancholy in the final act of life that can never be seen by others and the cast play it out well.
A rather well presented film which if nothing else shows that life is a series of moments strung together by random memories, not exciting, not all stars and explosions, just a life lived under the sheet of ignorance of what is to come next.
Ian D. Hall