Sunday, August 2, 2009

GHOSTED: Another failed lesbian movie? Yes and no.

No -- not a lesbian who has failed. But another movie about/made by lesbians that doesn't rise above the level of time-waster. Or does it? I'm of two minds about GHOSTED, the new film from Monika Treut (pictured below, in shades). This is the first of her films I've seen, though, according to the IMDB, it's already her 16th. Ghosted, which opened theatrically in New York City this past Friday, is definitely a ghost story, but it's also a thriller, love story, mystery, character study, and culture-clash/east-meets-west/spiritual-growth number -- though not a particularly good example of any of those genres.

The movie meanders, telling its story in rather obvous fashion with some clunky exposition and ends so loose, you're not sure to what they're actually attached. Yet, if you stick it out, you may find yourself moved by the finale -- I was, and this surprised me -- which brings us, and the film's main character, full circle. The story -- once you get past the would-be mystery and killing -- is actually rather sweet. There are some lovely shots of Asia (the countryside of Taiwan, I am guessing) and some gloomy ones of Germany (the two locations the movies travels between). And the cast is attractive and relatively strong, particularly the two young and quite beautiful Asian actresses Huan-Ru Ke (pictured center on the poster above) and Ting-Ting Hu (shown right), and the somewhat horsey-looking Inga Busch (shown at left on the poster) who, in the lead role, grows on you, albeit slowly.

I think I must have been expecting more art and less clunk, particularly from a film distributed by First Run Features, which has so many wonderful movies in its roster. I would have imagined this one to have come from the Wolfe Releasing stable, but instead Wolfe is giving us a terrific film like The New Twenty, while First Run is perhaps pandering to a certain audience. Still, that audience is likely to enjoy -- and forgive.

Ghosted is currently playing at NYC's Quad Cinemas and elsewhere -- and will no doubt appear on DVD before too long.

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