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Beautiful things are often sad.
A few months ago I watched the movie A Ghost Story.
It wasn’t a horror movie. It wasn’t a thriller either. I don’t really know how to describe it, so here’s the synopsis:
In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.
Imagine: your deceased loved one in a sheet, following you around the house. You can’t feel them or see them. It’s not creepy. It’s not anything. You don’t vibe them or even know that they’re there.
The scenes were long and drawn out (cue Rooney Mara eating a whole pie in one shot), and could make you uncomfortable (cue the conspicuous silence in many scenes). It’s definitely not a movie for everyone. But it is purposeful. It’s a movie about a ghost, in which the ghosts life is long and drawn out and is unapologetic on if it makes you uncomfortable. To think about a dead loved one, lurking around in your house, unsure of why or how they’re still there, watching you, wanting you to notice them. Wanting to be there.
The soundtrack really helped tie this movie together. One song in particular, I Get Overwhelmed by Dark Rooms, particularly stands out. The best way that I can describe it is Cinematic. It’s Cinematic and Beautiful.
Please listen to it before reading this next bit.
All of the layers and layers of this song. All of the audio tracks playing and having their own textures. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of the first time I heard Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. You can hear and feel the depth of a song and it’s passion.
Vulgarity and beauty. To sing:
All the women
That you wanna fuck
On the internet
Wouldn’t give you a second look
Did you fool yourself?
That’s power without power
That’s a business
This brings my mind to Gaspar Noé’s film Love. A film that tells it’s story around sexual encounters. Vulgarity mixed with beauty. A lot of people say it’s just a feature film porno… but I have to disagree. I think it’s just like A Ghost Story. These are both introspective films that bring you along on a journey.
It’s been a few years since I’ve watched Love, maybe I’m remembering it incorrectly. Maybe this is the part in the blog post where I doubt myself and everything that I’ve written. Where I doubt my memory, and remember that life can only be lived by the person living it, and that your reality is drastically different than everyone else’s and this is why people remember things differently and feel things differently in the moment – why an experience can be freeing for one person, but traumatic for another. We can only truly see through our eyes. We can have others guide us into a different reality through films and books and photographs and stories and music but we’re still seeing it through our eyes, and even if we somehow lived exactly the same life as them, we still wouldn’t see it exactly the same.
How someone would feel about any of the things I’ve written tonight, is all based on personal experience, perception of beauty, judgement of art, and judgement of the artist. This is my perspective. If anyone has watched both A Ghost Story and Love, please tell me how you feel on the matter. Did you like one but not the other? Did you hate both? Did you love both? Do you feel like they’re connected? Or do you feel like the stories and movies couldn’t be further apart? I want to see it from someone else’s perspective, and I want to hear why.