View Poll Results: A GHOST STORY

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Thread: A Ghost Story (David Lowery)

  1. #1
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    A Ghost Story (David Lowery)

    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  2. #2
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    One of the more enchanting and inexplicable movies to attempt to describe in recent memory. I knew a bunch of things about it going in, but even then descriptions of how certain things factor into it as something greater and more alluring than the sum of those parts just illustrates how uniquely cinematic it is as an experience. It's both short and sweet and endless in its scope. It's modern "Slow Cinema" done at its most thematically and structurally effective. It's barely 90 minutes, but it allows you to feel time and space more fully and intrinsically than longform television that might center around characters and locations for years.

    It's also a film that might also be totally emotionally, philosophically, and tonally subjective, but much of that is more or less addressed by the film itself in unexpected ways too. In a full audience, there were laughs in places I was confused by, and silences in moments I found beautifully funny.

    Lowery's film treats lives and deaths as the universe's greatest tragi-comedies as much as it also feels they are most profound things we have the ability to experience, while also tapping into our greatest fears about the unknown. It takes all of that it enhances it before you as something so filmically unique, that's as much poetry as it is instrumental music, a fable and a provocation, something terrifying and beautiful, all at once.

    At this moment I'm not sure if it's my favourite film of the year so far, but it's definitely the one that stands out on its own the most from everything else.
    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  3. #3
    Evil mind, evil sword. Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    As great as it looks, I'm worried it might come off as self-parody. Of course that only stems from a time when the trailer played before a movie once and three people sitting next to me were laughing all throughout it. I'm excited, but with reservations.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    Deep Red (Argento, 1975) 5
    Flee (Rasmussen, 2021) 4.5
    The Power of the Dog (Campion, 2021) 4.5
    Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Reitman, 2021) 3.5
    The Tragedy of Macbeth (Coen, 2021) TBD

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  4. #4
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Ivan Drago (view post)
    As great as it looks, I'm worried it might come off as self-parody. Of course that only stems from a time when the trailer played before a movie once and three people sitting next to me were laughing all throughout it. I'm excited, but with reservations.
    If you think it looks great then I'd say you're already further along than I was, because though the trailer had its beautiful imagery I don't think it did a very good job of selling me on its pretty singular tone (which isn't insular to breezes of comedic absurdity), and I had similar fears going in.

    In the end if you already want to be on-board with it then that's half the battle. Don't worry about what those others might think, it was likely never going to be for them anyway.

    Even in our screening people were making noises and laughing in annoying ways because they clearly just wanted to get attention or find some emotional kinship in their dissonant reactions (to everyone else's silence) because they didn't know what to think or feel. A bunch of people left before the Q&A with Lowery too, but at least most of those people knew to remain quiet during it.

    And it's clear from his conversation after it that for all his wild artful ambitions, Lowery is a really aware guy with a strong sense of humour, as dry as it may be. A further example being that early on in that Q&A they had someone silently walk out on stage in the ghost get-up behind them and remain there the entire time. And in the way Lowery played it totally straight, at first acting like he couldn't see what we could see, then eventually transitioning into acknowledging it, even giving a fashion rundown of how the one on the TIFF stage currently compared once questions became about the film's ghost costume, it all only further confirmed my own tonal reading and reaction to the film in how it really synced up with his amiable and layered personality.

    Really looking forward to what he does next and even just listening to him talk about films in general in the future.
    Last edited by Henry Gale; 07-19-2017 at 05:31 PM.
    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  5. #5
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    Wait, this was at TIFF? How did you see it? A preview screening?

    I didn't see anything about this online outside of the announcement of its commercial release (starting on the 21st).
    Giving up in 2020. Who cares.

    maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore (Sky Hopinka) ***½
    Without Remorse (Stefano Sollima) *½
    The Marksman (Robert Lorenz) **
    Beckett (Ferdinando Cito Filomarino) *½
    Night Hunter (David Raymond) *

  6. #6
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Ah yeah, sorry, in my mind I thought I mentioned it was an advanced screening, but it was definitely the rare one to be at the Lightbox. I was lucky to win tickets but more and more with these things I realize just showing up and having an impromptu rush-line conversation with the people there there's a better chance than not you can get in if/when there are extra spots.

    I mean, I can never get enough of just how lucky we are to live on such a big, film-ingrained city to casually have largely unannounced Q&A screenings with people like Lowery, Edgar Wright or even marquee movie stars for the big studio ones all the time open to the public. Sure it's promo rollout for the movie, but when it's free and as fun as it is, I cannot complain.
    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  7. #7
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    It was me, Rooney. I was your ghost.

    [
    ]
    Giving up in 2020. Who cares.

    maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore (Sky Hopinka) ***½
    Without Remorse (Stefano Sollima) *½
    The Marksman (Robert Lorenz) **
    Beckett (Ferdinando Cito Filomarino) *½
    Night Hunter (David Raymond) *

  8. #8
    Evil mind, evil sword. Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this movie ever since I saw it last Friday and while I liked it, I'm not sure how much I did. I felt like a lot of the themes at play were expressed in better movies, and I saw [
    ] coming right from the get-go. However, it works in a different context the more I think about it, and as soon as I got home from the movie I realized it had a poignant message about how what we obsess over isn't worth the time. I have a feeling I'll like it a lot more when I see it again.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    Deep Red (Argento, 1975) 5
    Flee (Rasmussen, 2021) 4.5
    The Power of the Dog (Campion, 2021) 4.5
    Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Reitman, 2021) 3.5
    The Tragedy of Macbeth (Coen, 2021) TBD

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  9. #9
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    I really liked the middle part, the haunted house stuff with the new family moving in. It's a fun variation on the genre, and I loved how it took some familiar clichés and made them resonate in both logical and emotional ways (e.g. a ghost knocking over pictures and throwing dishes at the wall makes sense for the first time ever!).

    I also loved the subplot with the ghost in the other house. That was adorable.

    I still don't know how to make any of this add up to anything, though. I definitely need to watch it again.
    Giving up in 2020. Who cares.

    maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore (Sky Hopinka) ***½
    Without Remorse (Stefano Sollima) *½
    The Marksman (Robert Lorenz) **
    Beckett (Ferdinando Cito Filomarino) *½
    Night Hunter (David Raymond) *

  10. #10
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Stay Puft (view post)
    I still don't know how to make any of this add up to anything, though. I definitely need to watch it again.
    That's life!
    Last 11 things I really enjoyed:

    Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008)
    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Parker, 1999)
    Beastie Boys Story (Jonze, 2020)
    Bad Trip (Sakurai, 2020)
    What's Up Doc? (Bogdanovich, 1972)
    Diva (Beineix, 1981)
    Delicatessen (Caro/Jeunet, 1991)
    The Hunger (Scott, 1983)
    Pineapple Express (Green, 2008)
    Chungking Express (Wong, 1994)

  11. #11
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    So this finally released here, but holy shit is it only playing at the most inconvenient of times. Really hope I'll actually be able to get around to it, 'cause I've really been looking forward to this one, but damn dude...

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Hippie Watashi's Avatar
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    That pie scene...

    Sure why not?

    STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Rian Johnson) - 9
    STRONGER (David Gordon Green) - 6
    THE DISASTER ARTIST (James Franco) - 7
    THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Sean Baker) - 9
    LADY BIRD (Greta Gerwig) - 8


    "Hitchcock is really bad at suspense."
    - Stay Puft

  13. #13
    Screenwriter
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    Amidst the tranfixing quiet and the beautiful sublime, the film also has a tendency for banality to creep in and take over at various points. The push-and-pull between these two modes can be exasperating, but then frequently thrilling as well, as you can feel caution being thrown to the wind as Lowery reaches, sometimes strains, towards the profound. That is best encapsulated in the party scene where a man's monologue baldly and almost wholly wraps up the entire mission statement of the film, but is then complicated by his own ranting, drunk, tinfoil-hat-man rhythm and ghost figure's presence. If nothing else, there might not be a more moving achievement this year in this film's inverse use of 'empty space', where the extreme blankness of central ghost figure (save for one or two huge crucial instincts) is contrasted with the ever-changing environment around its place, so all the passages of time -- ellipses, drawn-out moments, being unmoored in when -- can feel so momentous, both soothingly reassuring and utterly devastating at the same time. 9/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  14. #14
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Wow, this was so unexpectedly great. It's the kind of art film that's just not seen as much anymore, specially starring Hollywood actors. I love that a film about the passage of time so cleverly uses Tarkovsky-like shot lenghts combined with jarring cuts with ellipsis of up to hundreds of years. The framing of the film is beautiful in itself - there are countless shots of this I'd print and hang on my wall. And the concept is just awesome. I look forward to seeing this again and it's the most recent film I've seen where I feel the need to recommend it to everybody I know.

    By the way, there's a short story called The Ghost by Argentine writer Enrique Anderson Imbert which has the same idea. I should make clear I'm not accusing Lowery of anything, it's clearly the case of two people who thought to subvert a classic trope in similar ways, just thought I'd mention it in case one of you thinks to check it out.

  15. #15
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
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    Didn't need a 5 minute scene of a lady eating a whole pie by herself. It's only slightly more interesting than the car scene in Solaris.

  16. #16
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Rico (view post)
    Didn't need a 5 minute scene of a lady eating a whole pie by herself. It's only slightly more interesting than the car scene in Solaris.
    Suddenly I need to see this.
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

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  17. #17
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Melville (view post)
    Suddenly I need to see this.
    Yeah, your avatar says the same.

  18. #18
    Evil mind, evil sword. Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    I ended up seeing this for a second time. Maybe it's because I've seen movies with the themes that this has on a much grander scale (e.g. Malick's filmography), or maybe it was the exposition dump of a monologue in the 2nd act, but this didn't do anything for me. I do like its story, and how it tackles those themes in a pretty much dialogue-free film, it just didn't move me like I thought it would.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

    Deep Red (Argento, 1975) 5
    Flee (Rasmussen, 2021) 4.5
    The Power of the Dog (Campion, 2021) 4.5
    Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Reitman, 2021) 3.5
    The Tragedy of Macbeth (Coen, 2021) TBD

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  19. #19
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
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    It's hard to take a film serious when the main character is a guy in white sheets with holes cut out for eyes.

  20. #20
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Watashi (view post)
    That pie scene...

    Seriously?
    Twitch / Youtube / Film Diary

    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies
    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I work in grocery. I have not gotten sick. My fellow employees have not gotten sick. If the virus were even remotely as contagious as its being presented as, why haven’t entire store staffs who come into contact with hundreds of people per day, thousands per week, all falling ill in mass nationwide?

  21. #21
    Cinematographer Mal's Avatar
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    It aims to be evocative and its about as dull and flat as that damn sheet.

  22. #22
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    I gathered from the trailer what it's likely going for. I don't need 90 minutes of that in my life.

    No Time to Die - ** 1/2
    Black Widow - *
    Nobody - ***


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  23. #23
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    Maybe the message, but the trailer is rather... misleading execution-wise.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  24. #24
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Ezee E (view post)
    I gathered from the trailer what it's likely going for. I don't need 90 minutes of that in my life.
    I should've listened to myself.

    No Time to Die - ** 1/2
    Black Widow - *
    Nobody - ***


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