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Links to our threads on David Lowery's other films Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), Pete's Dragon (2016), Peter Pan (2018), To Be Two (in development) and The Yellow Birds (in development). We don't appear to have threads on St. Nick (2009) or Old Man and the Gun (2018).


Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Full reviews are under embargo but publicist said it was okay to chat it up on social media, so I'll just say I thought this was visually rich. I haven't been a particular fan of Lowery's other work, but I thought the shot compositions and editing here was terrific. (Lowery also did film editing for Caruth's Upstream Color.)

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1 hour ago, M. Leary said:

Huh. Pretty split on this one. Any ardent fans?

I was split too, but leaning much more towards the negative/disappointed side of things. For all the critical praise this received, it was too opaque and vapid for my taste. Still, it has memorable cinematography. Here's my review.

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A good contrast to the minimalism here may be Tsai's Stray Dogs, which features similar, but even more challenging minimalist shots. A few of these are a test even for Tsai fans, yet they are so utterly captivating, even overwhelming given the context.

But the primary narrative anchors for the minimalism here are the Will Oldham soliloquy and the really nifty chronological shift toward the end. While I liked both of these elements, and the technical adventure of the latter, it still kind of falls apart (get it?) for me at the end. I am a big fan of using cinema to depict the unspeakable elements of grief and loss, which Lowery does a fine job of articulating around the various cuts of the first half of the film. This idea that both living and dead are still bound together by the same experience is something I guess we see more in Asian cinema than we do in the West.

Something just didn't connect here for me. Very similar reaction to Upstream Color.


Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I liked it for what it was. Although I wouldn't say I'm an ardent fan.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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I liked it well enough, but it won't come close to making my Best of 2017 list.  Here's my review:  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2017/06/david-lowerys-ghost-story-lures-style-though-substance-proves-tougher-grasp/

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa


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