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Bored of the current glut of bigger-is-better prequels, sequels, and remakes at cinemas? Miss the days of Cinema Nouveau, when art-house movies were actually available in South Africa?
Then we have good news for you: A Ghost Story and RAW are coming first and only to Showmax in South Africa this October, just in time for Halloween. Both arthouse favourites have a 91% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
RAW shocked Cannes in 2016, winning the FIPRESCI Critics Prize, then became the talk of Toronto, where audiences reportedly walked out, threw up, and fainted.
The no-under-18 horror movie went on to win 16 more awards for 30-something French writer-director Julia Ducournau. It was the fourth highest-ranked foreign film and the fifth highest-ranked first feature in Indiewire’s Critics Poll last year.
Garance Marillier stars as Justine, a brilliant 16-year-old student starting out at veterinary school. Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet. And a vegetarian. After Justine is forced to eat raw meat for the first time as part of a first-year hazing routine, she starts to explore the pleasures of the flesh – in all its forms…
At Cannes, the FIPRESCI jury hailed it as “an impressive debut with a strong visual language. The director tells a dark coming-of-age story and uses themes from horror movies to express the solitude and sexual awakening of a troubled teenage girl.”
The New York Times described it as the story of “a scared teenager with the world’s worst eating disorder”; Screen Daily called it “a feminist take on body horror”; Indiewire labeled it ”David Cronenberg for teen feminists”; and Rolling Stone hailed it “a modern horror masterpiece… a clever feminist parable – and a contender for best horror movie for the decade.”
Days after wrapping the critically acclaimed Pete’s Dragon remake for The Walt Disney Company in the summer of 2016, writer-director David Lowery was already immersed in his next project—an independently produced, micro-budget ghost story set in his native Texas.
“We finished one movie on June 10 and by the morning of June 12 we were shooting the new one,” he explains. “Having just spent three years on a big production, it felt good to do something spontaneous, operating on very little other than gut instinct.”
A Ghost Story reunites the stars of Lowery’s breakout feature, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: Oscar winner Casey Affleck stars as a recently deceased man, now a ghost shrouded in a white sheet, while Oscar nominee Rooney Mara plays his grieving widow.
After premiering at Sundance, A Ghost Story won 11 international awards and was named one of the top 10 independent films last year by the National Board of Review in America.
Lowery cites the suburban photographs of Gregory Crewdson and the slow-cinema masterworks of Asian director Tsai Ming-Liang (Stray Dogs) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) as key inspirations for A Ghost Story.
Rolling Stone hailed it as “one of the most moving films of the year… Hypnotic and haunting… You’ve never seen anything like it.”
Vanity Fair echoed this, calling it “strange and thrilling… like nothing you’ve ever seen.”
And Variety wrote, “While Lowery’s actual method of delivery may not be scary, it’s sure to haunt those who open themselves up to the experience.”
A Ghost Story is coming first and only to Showmax on 18 October 2018.
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