Monday, November 03, 2008


My poll 37 is inspired by the fact that many films have ghosts in them, though these films are not horrors. Many Thai comedies have ghosts as supporting characters, such as LUANG PEE TENG II (2008, Note Chernyim, A-). In this film, we can see the ghosts of people killed in a car in one scene. THREE MONKEYS (2008, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, A) also have a child ghost in them. In A CHRISTMAS TALE, there’s a brief scene in which Elizabeth (Anne Consigny) thought she heard the sound caused by her dead brother. Everyone knows romantic ghost films, such as GHOST (1990, Jerry Zucker), though I much prefer ALWAYS (1989, Steven Spielberg) to GHOST for a simple reason that Brad Johnson in ALWAYS is very desirable.

Some films in the list are debatable, because the ghosts in these films may not be real ghosts, but just the imagination of some living characters

(My memory is not trustworthy. I apologize in advance if I remember some details wrongly.)


1.ACTRESSES (2007, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, France)
The heroine of this film talks with the ghosts of her father and her ex-boyfriend.

2.ALWAYS (1989, Steven Spielberg, USA)

3.ANASTASIA (2005, Dimitris Apostolou, Greece)
This film is a guilty pleasure. It is about a horny female ghost who wants to have sex with a handsome garbage man. I can easily identify myself with the ghost in this film.

4.THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY (2007, Prap Boonpan, Thailand)
This is a political film. The ghost in this film may be the conscience or the moral which the Thai bourgeois people try to suppress or ignore.

5.CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette, France)

6.CHASING BUTTERFLIES (1992, Otar Iosseliani, France)
I think the ghosts of the characters’ ancestors appear in one scene.

7.THE FACE OF JIZO (2004, Kazuo Kuroki, Japan)
This is a very powerful anti-war film.

8.FUSE (2003, Pjer Zalica, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The ghost of a handsome dead son (Fedja Stukan) visits his father in this film. It reminds me of the ghost of a dead son who visits his mother in THE BET COLLECTOR (2006, Jeffrey Jeturian, Philippines).

9.GABON (CLOUD) (2007, Emmanuel Dela Cruz, Philippines)
I don’t know what is the right feeling for this short film. The tone of the film is a little bit serious and sad, though its idea is funny to think about. It is about the ghost of a little girl who keeps on going to school after she is dead.

Oggs Cruz wrote about this film here:

10.GOOD BYE FOR TOMORROW (1995, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Japan)
This film is very touching.

11.HUSH UP (2007, Sophon Sakdaphisit, Thailand)
This is a short film about a paralyzed man. The ghost scene in this film is very scary, though the main story is not a horror one.

12.I KNOW THE WAY TO THE HOFBRAUHAUS (1992, Herbert Achternbusch, Germany)
This is the synopsis of this great surreal comedy film from Goethe Instititut’s catalogue:

“In the Egyptian Collection in Munich, Hick is cleaning the statue of Osiris with soap and hand towels; he dries the figure’s head with a hair-dryer and puts cream on it. Hick wants the favour from the deity—a rendezvous with the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut. A mummy climbs out of its sarcophagus, starts to move by itself and, a little stiff about the hips, leaves the museam. Osiris, presented ironically as the god of the sleepyheads, is also the ruler of the underworld; his servant Hick first has to enter the afterlife if his request is to be fulfilled. The bite of a snake, a symbol of the Fall of Man and of the healing Aesculapius, sends him to the hereafter. Hick comes back as one of the un-dead and proceeds to search for the Egyptian queen. Again and again the mummy appears near him, and finally they meet in the Hofbrauhaus, where everyone is having a gruesomely jolly time and the beer steins are bursting on the heads of the guests. The two of them return to the Hofgarten, in front of the doors of the Egyptian Collection. Hick unwraps the mummy and at last the sought-after Hatshepsut is standing before him. She wants to go back to the museum again, because she has forgotten her handbag. Will she come back to Hick?”

13.MAE NAK (1997, Pimpaka Towira, Thailand)
This is a surreal film in Tarkovsky style. It may also be a feminist film.

14.NOODLE BOXER (แสบสนิท ศิษย์ส่ายหน้า) (2006, Rerkchai Paungpetch, Thailand)
The most memorable scene in this film is the one in which a character quarrels for a long time with a ghost in a toilet.

15.THE RETURN (2008, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Thailand)
The voiceover in this film is supposed to be from a dead father talking about the family he left behind. I think it is inspired by Tulapop’s real family.

16.ROGELIO (2000, Guillermo Arriaga, Mexico)

17.SACH’S DISEASE (1999, Michel Deville, France)
I think the person who keeps calling the doctor’s secretary (Dominique Reymond) in this film is actually a ghost.

18.SHADOWS (2007, Milcho Manchevski, Macedonia)
Arguably, this can be called a horror film, though it is not a typical horror.

Richard Jenkins plays a ghost here.

20.TRULY MADLY DEEPLY (1991, Anthony Minghella, UK)

You can cast mulitiple votes.

--The theme song of this poll is YOUR GHOST by Kristin Hersh. You can watch its music video here:

Photo from NOODLE BOXER:


celinejulie said...


Anonymous said...


i like ghost scene in THREE MONKEYS alot 9maybe more than the rest) i think it was effective when the ghost came it's the true secret of the family

Matthew Hunt said...

GHOST used to be one of my favourite films when I was a child, because I was a fan of Whoopi Goldberg, but I haven't seen it in many years.

The Japanese Kaidan film UGETSU is also a ghost film but not a horror film.

celinejulie said...

--I forgot UGETSU. I think I saw some films by Mizoguchi when I was too young to appreciate them. I saw UGETSU (1953) and THE CRUCIFIED LOVERS (1954) many years ago. I like them but they don’t have any profound effects on me. But I just saw A GEISHA (1953) earlier this year and like it a lot. It seems to have some delicate, tender touches or feelings which I might have overlooked if I had seen the film many years ago.

--One of my most favorite films of Whoopi Goldberg is CORRINA CORRINA (1994, Jessie Nelson, A+), because it fulfills my romantic fantasy. I think Ray Liotta looks the most desirable in this film, compared to his other films.

--Filmsick, I’m glad you like TRULY MADLY DEEPLY. Actually, I give the film only A- when I saw it many years ago. However, I think the reason why I didn’t enjoy it extremely is because the film has some strange, unique wavelengths to which I couldn’t attune myself in the first viewing. I add this film to this list because I think it has something strange which makes it stand out from other films in the list or from most films in general.

Anonymous said...

My best scene from TRULY MADLY DEEPLY was the scene that the husband's ghost always whisper to his wife but not the eord like LOVE YOU but he try to warn her that she was forgot to lock the door or help her when she cross the street . It was romantic and so real to me.

Anonymous said...

I almost feel bad about missing Noodle Boxer when I could have seen it in Chiang Mail

celinejulie said...

Hahaha. I'm not sure if NOODLE BOXER is a good film or not, but I enjoy it very much, compared to other Thai comedies. It makes me laugh and I like its ending very much. But I think many viewers who like classical storytelling may hate it, because the structure of NOODLE BOXER is very Thai. I mean its structure is like many Thai comedies--it doesn't have unity or a coherent story. This kind of Thai comedies are made by putting joking scenes one after another, though these joking scenes are barely connected to each other. Most of these joking scenes are created just to make people laugh. They don't advance the story or connect to the film's theme, message, or lesson. The stories in this kind of Thai comedies can digress in any which way it can, just to make the audience laugh. Some of these Thai comedies don't make me laugh, but NOODLE BOXER is very enjoyable for me. I don't mind it at all that the film is nonsensical and its storytelling may be called very bad, because I don't think films, especially Thai comedies, have to tell stories or have to have unity. :-)