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Ghost Dance [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Dominique Pinon, Robbie Coltrane, Ken McMullen, Robert Llewellyn, Pascale Ogier & Leonie Mellinger
  • Directors: Ken McMullen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Cornerstone Media
  • DVD Release Date: 24 April 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000EQ454M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,630 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Through the experiences of two women in Paris and London, Ghost Dance offers a stunning analysis of the complexity of our conceptions of ghosts, memory and the past. It is an adventure film strongly influenced by the work of Jacques Rivette and Jean-Luc Godard but with a unique and artistic discourse of its own.The film focuses on philosopher Jacques Derrida who considers ghosts to be the memory of something which has never been present, a theory explored in the film.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By HJ on 18 July 2008
Format: DVD
Ken McMullen was, along with Derek Jarman, Chris Petit, Peter Greenaway et al, part of a little wave of 1980s experimental British directors who briefly found a wider audience. I've often run into other people who, like me, remember Ghost Dance fondly, so it was a pleasant surprise to find out that it's been released on DVD.
In some respects Ghost Dance is a flawed film. British & American attempts to imitate Godard are always awkward & this film falls into that derivative trap with its titled pseudo-analytical sections, its weak aphoristic dialogue, its voice-over commentary largely made up of fragmented quotes from learned books taken out of context and so on. Or, as Leonie Mellinger quips to Pascale Ogier at one point "yes but it sounds better with a French accent"!
However the strengths of Ghost Dance more than compensate. McMullen has an incredible visual sense, not only for individual images but for structuring the film around recurring images. The soundtrack is also brilliant (music by David Cunningham, Jamie Muir & Michael Giles). The images & music generally say everything much more eloquently than the dialogue. The final almost wordless 20 minutes, featuring a performance-art piece by Stuart Brisley (falling about on the waterlogged floor of a warehouse) followed by Mellinger burying photographs of images from the film in the sand to be washed away by the incoming sea, achieves a rare level of haunting cinematic poetry. The film is also blessed with an amazing cast - apart from the two leads, there are great turns from Robbie Coltrane & Dominique Pinon both giving the film some much needed humour & guts.
However the real star is undoubtedly Jacques Derrida, who plays himself but, as he points out, since this a film he is necessarily playing himself as a ghost.
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