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Rooney Mara

Ever since Sundance earlier this year, the song I Get Overwhelmed by Dark Rooms has been on high rotation on my list of favourite songs. In the film, Casey Affleck plays a music producer who makes this track and then plays it for his wife, Rooney Mara. The images of him giving her his headphones to let her in on his creation is one of the intimate moments they share during the film – before he dies in a car accident. The film only plays snippets of it, but they were enough to burrow into my mind and come along with me when I left the cinema, and Utah itself. For me, the song was one tangible thing to hold onto after seeing the film, which is about all things intangible.

 

At its basic premise, after he dies, Affleck’s character becomes a ghost, who haunts the house he and his wife lived in. It’s such a simple premise that the ghost even looks like one a little kid would dress up as. A big, thick sheet, with two eyes cut out – no fancy film tricks at play. And yet the sheet acts as a blank canvass for director David Lowery’s meditation on life – on love and time and memories and hardships and joy.
I struggled to describe this film then, and I still struggle somewhat now. I remember walking out the cinema and bumping into a friend who didn’t like it, and I physically had to turn away from her because I couldn’t bear to hear that she didn’t get it. I had such a visceral response to this film – in as much as it is an ephemeral film. It’s the kind that needs to be experienced to be appreciated – in a way, to let the spirit of it take hold of you. Its final moment quite literally took my breathe away.
But it remains a film made up of things hard to describe, hard to grab a hold of. That the film’s distributor A24 has created A Ghost Store, in a small building on NYC’s Lower East Side, feels like a way to make the intangible a little less so. I do feel the mini-ad for the store does somewhat give away a little of the film’s magic, but it’s nonetheless a memorable experience to take part in – and, just like experiencing the film, very personal. You go in and literally “get fitted” for a sheet of your own, by answering questions. It’s a clever way for the film to team up with a brand, yes, but it’s also a great way to build up anticipation ahead of the film’s release, when it comes to life on big screens across cinemas.

Me, “checking out” the store.

A Ghost Store is currently open in NYC and you can find out more about visiting it here. In the meantime, the film comes out July 7th. 

cory monteith

* It may still be a few days before we know what killed actor Cory Monteith, as Monday’s autopsy may prove to be inconclusive. In the meantime, there have been some touching tributes to him, like this one from NPR.

* True Blood has been renewed for a seventh season. The show is doing incredibly well, despite the hiccup of losing showrunner Alan Ball before this season hit the airwaves. It’s averaging better than 10 million an episode across all plays.

* David Bowie’s new music video – for Valentine’s Day – is far more tame than the previous two off of The Next Day. Pleasant, even!

* Justin Timberlake announced the first single off the follow-up to The 20/20 Experience. Take Back the Night has, understandably, already courted controversy for its title, which even I, as a foreigner in this country, know is the name of a sexual assault awareness group.

* And if you haven’t yet seen it, watch Rooney Mara’s ad with her Girl With the Dragon Tattoo director David Fincher for Calvin Klein. It’s her first foray into the designer perfume world, in which she does a lot of running around town.