Soderbergh tells a ghost story from the ghost’s point of view| Trending Viral hub

Presence”, a ghost story directed by Steven Soderbergh, takes place entirely inside a beautiful, renovated 100-year-old suburban house, and before the characters have a chance to move in, the place is already occupied. The camera literally seems to be looking looking at things, looking out the second-floor windows, then downstairs to witness the arrival of a harried real estate agent, and then the family of four he’s about to sell the house to. Jumping from one room to another in an uninterrupted shot with a wide-angle lens, the camera offers us an improvised tour of the house, letting us enjoy the fresh mint green walls, the antique wood that covers everything (windows, doors, stairs , fireplace), the antique smoked glass mirror, the polished oak plank floors and the elegant and spacious kitchen. However, this is not mere real estate pornography. For the rest of the film, Soderbergh never abandons that voyeuristic, swinging camera view. “Presence” might be the first ghost story in which the ghost turns out to be Brian De Palma’s cinematographer.

I exaggerate, although not by much. In “Presence,” we are actually looking at the entire film from the point of view of the invisible spirit that has taken over the house. The spirit floats and watches and always seems to know where the action is; nothing escapes his sight. However, in this case, the cinematographer is Soderbergh himself (filming under the pseudonym Peter Andrews), and although he has filmed many of his own films, returning to “Traffic”, one gets the feeling that part of The fun of “Presence” for Soderbergh was literally, through the ghost’s vanity, finding a way to join the action, to become a part of it and merge with it.

However, one might well ask: if the audience sees everything the ghost sees, then how can the ghost scare us? That’s a very good question, and while “Presence” sinks into a genuine family drama whose tentacles of intrigue are dark enough to draw us in, it’s not a particularly scary movie, at least not by megaplex horror standards. . The ghost in “Presence” likes to watch, but after a while he also does some things, like picking up books and carrying them to a desk (the lifting of a paperback seems to have been achieved with special effects borrowed from a teenage magician). ), or knocking down a shelf from the top of a bedroom closet. These moments of teasing encourage you to think that we might be in for some nerves on the level of a good “Paranormal Activity” sequel.

But not. Presence in “Presence” is mostly –simply– a presence, and for long periods we almost forget that it is there; we’re just watching a very stripped-down film shot in a rather intrusive and extravagant visual style. Soderberg stages each scene in one long, uninterrupted take, ending each with a cut to black. All very elegant and percussive. But if he had made a version of this movie without the conceit of the ghost as the camera’s eye, would have been more or less the same film.

Paranormal activity aside, this family has enough ghosts of their own. The mother, Rebecca (Lucy Liu), is a control freak who runs everything and plays favorites with her children (she’s the one who decides, in five minutes, to buy the house, especially since it’s in the coveted district that will allow her adoring teenage son to attend to North High School). Rebecca works in an indirect high finance position where she has committed a mysterious illegal action that could get them in trouble. Tyler (Eddy Maday), the son, is sweet on the surface, but a bad boy deep down, and his sister, Chloe (Calliana Liang), is falling into a depression, although not just because she has entered the blues tunnel Teen. Her best friend, Nadia, died a few months earlier from a drug overdose. Her (she is the second girl at her school to die that way). Chloe is the only member of the family who can sense the ghost’s presence, and Soderbergh doesn’t waste much time revealing why. It turns out that the ghost is not there to haunt but to protect.

The thing about Soderbergh’s “little films” is that they are bold, inventive, and superior to what so many directors could simply say. But it feels like the main reason they exist is so Soderbergh can enjoy playing with them. That doesn’t sound like a bad philosophy of art or filmmaking, however, he tends to put these films together in a way that “works” (they take you away) but doesn’t leave an impression. It’s like he’s putting together a puzzle by inventing pieces on the spot.

This one has a script by David Koepp, who also wrote Soderbergh’s “Kimi” (2022), which was a better film. In “Presence,” the idea of ​​the ghost is a foreground backdrop that produces no major scares or startling revelations. Instead, the film places its heart of darkness squarely in the human world, especially when Chloe finds herself drawn into a sexualized friendship with Tyler’s friend, played with deceptively creepy masochism by West Mullholland. He is a very good young actor and, in fact, all the performances in “Presence” are excellent. Calliana Liang completes Chloe’s desperation, Lucy Liu turns Rebecca into a troublemaker who keeps encouraging you to see what’s behind the intrigues, and I especially liked Chris Sullivan, who plays the beleaguered father like a puritanical Louis CK, with a character that falls apart. extreme desperation that speaks of a time when families do not talk to each other.

“Presence,” in its colorful anguish, nods to today, in the same way that it nods to many other things (like things that happen in the night, or the rise of mental illness in teenagers, or serial killers). But it’s just flirting with all of them. You want the movie to add up to something, but what it adds up to is another half-entertaining, half-satisfying Soderbergh trinket, only this time he’s the ghost in the machine.

Check Also

‘KGF’ Star Yash Teams Prime Focus on Nitesh Tiwari’s ‘Ramayana’| Trending Viral hub

Indian actor and producer yashMonster Mind Creations and producer of Namit Malhotra‘s Main focus The …

On Thursday he releases the new song ‘Dream Release Request’| Trending Viral hub

It’s been 13 years since the post-hardcore band Thursday released their most recent album, “No …

The Broadway musical has heart but little impact| Trending Viral hub

Tough guys with a soft side have long maintained a firm grip on the American …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *