Subtitled “Tales of Love for Our Time,” Fantômes is a new kind of ghost story, set in a millennial world where the dead seem to freely intermingle with the living. After breaking up with his girlfriend, acting student Antoine (Mods star Guillaume Verdier) goes to stay with his bon vivant cousin (Bozon) in Paris, where, in addition to a rash of strange disappearances, there are nightly visitations by the spirits of departed loved ones. Soon the line blurs between the real and the imaginary, this world and the next, in this hypnotic, ethereally beautiful early feature by Jean-Paul Civeyrac (Through the Forest, 2005 New York Film Festival).
“At the core of Civeyrac’s allusive and resonant, if opaque, subverted ghost story is the integral anxiety of illusive love, the regret of missed opportunity, and the fear of being ordinary and anonymous…Framed against Antoine’s diverted journey towards self-discovery near the sea—an image that is underscored by his encounter with an alluring, siren-like woman in the water—Fantômes presents a reconstituted contemporary mythology of human desire and frailty, where limbo is the banal reality of unreconciled memories, and immortal love exists only in the illusion of an irretrievable, transitory bliss.”
—Acquarello, Strictly Film School