Here’s What We Know About A Ghost Story, Dallas Director David Lowery’s Irving-Shot, Latest Talk-Of-Sundance Feature Film.
David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks aren’t so much as haunted by their past as they are just living it again.
Four years after being the talk of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival thanks to their breakthrough Ain’t Them Bodies Saints work, the Dallas-based director-and-producer-and-screenwriting team of Lowery and Halbrooks was once again the toast of the Park City press last month thanks to their efforts on a new film called A Ghost Story that they quietly shot in Irving last summer.
Of course, Lowery and Halbrooks aren’t quite the unknowns these days that they were four years back. Last year in particular, they leveled up with their well-received Pete’s Dragon remake for Disney. At this point, their calendar is full: Next, they’re shooting a Robert Redford bank-robbing movie and, oh no biggie, tackling the next Disney Peter Pan reboot. Eye-grabbing as those jobs may be, their latest Sundance Cinderella is actually movie that they shot in “secret”.
Here’s what we know about it.
- The “near-wordless” film finds Lowery and Halbrooks reuniting with their Ain’t Them Bodies Saints stars, Rooney Mara and the (now-controversial) Oscar front-runner Casey Affleck. In this film, their characters are only identified as “M” and “C”, respectively.
- Its title, A Ghost Story, isn’t a metaphor; that’s exactly what this is, with Affleck literally playing as rudimentary an idea of a ghost as possible, wearing a sheet with cut-out eyeholes.
- According to IndieWire, Affleck plays a Dallas musician before he dies. Fun fact: Halbrooks used to be in the Polyphonic Spree.
- Speaking of Dallas musicians: Dark Rooms frontman Daniel Hart, long a collaborator of Lowery and Halbrooks’, is once again scoring this effort from the film-making team.
- According to Variety, Lowery started work on A Ghost Story just two days after he wrapped production on Pete’s Dragon.
- In a Sundance interview with the Dallas Morning News‘ Chris Vognar, Lowery admitted that the film might not be for everyone: “It’s not traditional in any shape or form,” Lowery told Vognar. “It’s probably the most abstract thing I’ve ever done, and it’ll provoke some interesting reactions. I think it will frustrate a lot of people, I think some people will walk out of it, but I think there are a small number of people who will love it, and I am excited for them to see it.”
- Despite Lowery’s efforts at tempering audience expectations, Sundance critics ate A Ghost Story up, with IndieWire calling it “Lowery’s best movie”, SlashFilm calling it “astounding” and Filmmaker Magazine calling it “a major achievement”.
- Critics also ate up a scene where Mara does some eating up of her own. Here’s Vulture describing that scene: “She finds a pie in the kitchen left by a well-meaning friend, retrieves a fork, and stress-eats nearly the entire pie in two long shots — one where she’s standing, and one where she’s slumped on the floor — that total about five minutes.” In his Dallas Morning News interview, Lowery confirmed that the pie is a vegan chocolate cream pie from Spiral Diner, and that it was made by James M. Johnston, who is both a co-owner of that adored restaurant and a co-producer on the film. Mara, for her part, did not enjoy Johnston’s pie, telling IndieWire: “It was some disgusting sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan chocolate pie. It was really gross.”
- There’s no word at the moment on when A Ghost Story will break from the festival circuit and receive a wide release, but that much seems destined to happen at some point or another: The Hollywood Reporter says A24 purchased the worldwide rights to the film at Sundance.
- Still wanna know more? Us too! We’ll keep you posted, no doubt, as more information becomes available. In the meantime, here’s a clip of Lowery at Sundance, explaining more about the film in
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