A Ghost Story

Watch List: The World of Marcel the Shell


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Aug 19 9:00 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):David Lowery


With A Ghost Story, acclaimed director David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon) returns with a singular exploration of legacy, loss and the essential human longing for meaning and connection. Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Academy Award winner Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life’s ineffable questions and the enormity of existence. An unforgettable meditation on love and grief, A Ghost Story emerges ecstatic and surreal—a wholly unique experience that lingers long after the credits roll.

Tickets: $15 (Members from $10)

“As I was watching down the live-action cut of Marcel the Shell, before we’d shot even a frame of animation, I was shocked to find that what I’d created wasn’t a family-friendly comedy about a talking shell, but a creepy experimental film about a haunted house: A book (puppeted to interact with animated characters who were yet to come) flies off a shelf. The blinds creak open, seemingly on their own. A shot lingers on an empty space on the floor, but the focus racks as if following an unseen subject. It was Marcel without Marcel, and the film it reminded me of most was David Lowery’s incredible 2017 film, A Ghost Story.

By turns dreamy and dryly funny, A Ghost Story is a gorgeously shot elegy that sucks you in with its proximity to genre before delivering a gut-punch meditation on loss, loneliness and the dispassionate march of time. In a way, Marcel might also be considered a “ghost story told from the perspective of the ghost,” and not unlike the protagonist of A Ghost Story, Marcel is living in the ruins of his former life, making it all the harder to let go of what once was.

Watching this film informed some of the creative and technical challenges I was negotiating with Marcel, and it was a great model for the kind of film my team and I hoped to make: A visually striking, broadly appealing film that doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, and gives audiences space to contemplate some of life's difficult questions."

- Dean Fleischer-Camp, director of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Want more? Check out The World of Marcel the Shell, a special film series that tours the offbeat inspiration and influences behind the iconic stop-motion character Marcel the Shell. Curated in partnership with director Dean Fleischer-Camp.

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