A Ghost Story ★★★★★

Small Excerpt from a paper I am writing on this film:

Portraying the immensity of existence in relationship to one, or a small group of individuals is the burden that is placed on the film, and by stripping all identity from the characters we watch on screen, we are able to better relate these two concepts. Each character in the film acts less to an actual person, but rather more to an archetypal state of being. C, Casey Affleck’s ghost is given no name and no story other than the music he creates, the fact that he is in a relationship with M (Rooney Mara), and that he passes away. Just as swiftly one might argue the nature of humanity is, Casey Affleck is brought to life (in the sense of our relationship with the character), there so briefly, and taken away almost as quickly as he enters. And for the audience, his ghost is left to vessel us through the human retrospective reflection into this very idea. We are there, we are gone. Were we ever really there? Will we be remembered or chosen to be forgotten? This is the algorithm and thematic pretenses that the entire film is based on. An argumentative state of being is a lot for most viewers, let alone people to grasp, and if you can buy into the fact that the film offers less of an opinion, and rather small assertions meant to propel you into coming to your own conclusions and resolutions.
David Lowery has armed this film with not only the most beautiful camera work I have seen in the past few years, but a stage of sound design that so is so effortless quiet and breathtakingly loud. The beautifully written, heart-breakingly performed “I Get Overwhelmed”, by Dark Rooms, anchors as the films climactic center staged piece of music. Matched with intentionally quiet and life like audio settings, and a score as cosmic and airy as the film itself. Andrew Droz Palermo, who has earned himself a bit of recognition with a few interesting titles under his belt, holds the viewership to a sense of honesty I have not quite seen in any other film. His camera is always as careful with it's observations as the ghost is. The positioning and tilting of the frame, shrunken to a cumbersome 1:33:1 aspect ratio, in an understanding and contemplative angle. Each shot is meant for the audience to feel and draw their own conclusions from what had just transpired, not offer its own. The camera does no more then consistently lay out the true gravity of what is unfolding in front of us, with ques as simple as just letting the scene run its course until we’ve felt it's intended emotion (i.e. the pie scene).

PAt Dort liked these reviews