Ghost Town Anthology

Denis Coté’s latest uses superb camerawork, imaginative sound and pleasing narrative ambiguities to explore a community’s response to a local’s death.

Dir-Scr Denis Côté
Prod Ziad Touma
With Robert Naylor, Josée Deschênes, Jean-Michel Anctil
Sales Film Boutique
With English subtitles

The latest feature from acclaimed French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Coté – whose documentary A Skin So Soft graced the 2017 LFF – is an intriguing, insightful look at the effects of an unexpected death on a remote rural community. After a popular 21-year-old crashes his car, his brother, bored with country life, suspects it was suicide. His mother and the mayor, however, preferring to flag resilience, reject such ideas. Meanwhile, other locals start hearing strange sounds, glimpsing strange figures… Steering clear of horror tropes, Coté conjures enough deeply unsettling moments – real or imagined – to suggest the dead never wholly desert the living. Peppered with pleasing ambiguities, and shot on faintly grainy 16mm to create a mood at once utterly naturalistic and vividly hallucinatory, this exploration of how we respond to loss, grief and mortality is fresh, thought-provoking and engrossing throughout.

Geoff Andrew