'A Ghost Story' Trailer: Instagram Frames Death And Your Soul's Slow Erasure

  • Theatrical
  • Drama
  • Horror
The first trailer for 'A Ghost Story' has arrived.
The first trailer for 'A Ghost Story' has arrived. A24

Right now, just like Casey Affleck’s ghost, we’re on the outside looking in on A Ghost Story, a mysterious, meditative movie on death and the passage of time that had people doing their damnedest to invent new hyperboles after its Sundance premiere. The new movie from writer/director David Lowery — who successfully jumped from rural neo-noir Ain’t Them Bodies Saints to the live-action Disney kids movie Pete’s Dragon and returns again to the indie scene — stars Casey Affleck under a sheet, as a ghost. He dies and haunts the house he shared with M (Rooney Mara) and haunts the space forward and backward in time, gradually witnessing the dissolution of everything that had attached him to life. If the rapturous reviews weren’t enough to convince that A Ghost Story is a unique and potentially very special film, maybe the first trailer will.

But what’s most surprising may be the aspect ratio. A Ghost Story is presented entirely in squared-off Instagram vision.

Beginning with Edison’s Motion Picture Patent Company, film was presented in 1.33:1, an aspect ratio we associate today with full-screen TVs and old episodes of The Simpsons. Aside from a minor change in the frame size to accommodate sound in the 1930s, the shape of the film frame didn’t change again until TV became ubiquitous. To offer an experience worth leaving your home, a decade of aspect ratio experimentation was born, such as the ultra-wide Cinerama format. Other than 70mm IMAX film, typically used for big-ass action sequences, modern movies have largely settled on a 1.85:1 widescreen frame and the 2.39:1 “Scope” format (named after Cinemascope lenses that first allowed for anamorphic techniques to offer a wider image on a standard 35mm film strip), used in more “epic” or large scale movies like The Lord of the Rings.

So that’s my ass-covering for the cinephile set, because it could be said that A Ghost Story harkens back to an earlier film format. But get real, this thing looks like Instagram. We’ll be experiencing the slow dissolution of Casey Affleck’s soul with a rounded corners Instagram filter set to “sad.”

A Ghost Story comes out July 7.

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