David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is a unique movie-going experience that will haunt you long after the credits finish rolling.
The movie closed out the Chicago Critics Film Festival this past May with a nearly sold out crowd in attendance.
Reuniting his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints co-stars, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, writer-director Lowery returned to Sundance this year with a film that could only be made as such. A story of this nature could not possibly be done in any other medium, be it print or visual, and knowing this only adds to the movie-going experience. Don’t bother waiting for it to hit Digital HD because this is the type of movie that one needs to see in theaters.
Affleck stars as a white-sheeted ghost, C, who returns to his home with hope of consoling his wife, M (Mara). Unfortunately for the now-departed C, M is unable to see him and there’s nothing he can really do other than just watch as life slips away in front of him. C is unable to accept the gravity of the situation even as more people move in, the house gets destroyed, a huge complex is built, and he’s still there journeying through time. The part that I really didn’t understand was how the C somehow manages to go back in time but it happens and eventually, he finds what he’s looking for and moves on.
Lowery’s fourth feature explores the themes of our need for love and connection. It’s truly an unforgettable meditation if you want to put it that way.
Lowery is a rather quick filmmaker when it comes to starting projects following the completion of a new project. He quietly filmed A Ghost Story over the summer of 2016–taking a ten page outline and turning it into a 40 page screenplay.
“We finished one movie on June 10 and by the morning of June 12 we were shooting the new one,” Lowery said. “Having just spent three years on a big production, it felt good to do something spontaneous, operating on very little other than gut instinct. It wasn’t like I needed to refresh myself after finishing a studio movie, but I took what I learned on Pete’s Dragon and applied in a completely different way — on a smaller scale.”
The Chicago audience was the first to see it since playing Sundance. A24 opened A Ghost Story in New York and Los Angeles on July 7, 2017 before its expansion this weekend as the indie expands to Chicago. There will be another two rounds of expansions on July 21st and 28th.