My Left Eye Sees Ghosts

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Incorrectly described by Netflix as a "horror-film," My Left Eye Sees Ghosts is more along the lines of a light romantic comedy with ghosts.

After a car accident, May suffers from a blood clot that allows her to see ghosts--out of her left eye only. Once the ghostly realm is aware of her she is barraged by a panoply of ghosts who simply want to be seen, or who want something. For example the ghost of an overweight woman wants to know what it is like to be thin if only for a moment.

The only ghost she cannot see is the ghost she most wants to--her husband.

If you want an idea of what this film is like, think 30s screwball comedy (á la Topper) made in 1990s Hong Kong. The film production value is high and I'm beginning to see that Hollywood may be losing its monopolistic grip on the film media. I'm seeing more and more films from Asia that have themes and presentations that make them not only palatable but popular among western Audiences. Witness the success of Ringu and Gu-On not to mention works like Bollywood Hollywood and Bride and Prejudice. This is a welcome relief as an industry without any competition tends to stagnate, and we've been mired in the entrenched mindset of Hollywood far too long. It's about time that the doors opened up and allowed in a breath of sweet fresh air.

And that is exactly what My Left Eye Sees Ghosts is--sweet and while not absolutely fresh (we must remember that "there is nothing new under the sun") certainly with a fresh presentation.

I don't recall anything that would preclude teens to adults from enjoying this film. Younger children may be put off by having to read it and by some of the conventions of Chinese film.

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Dear Steven,

I'm a huge fan of Bollywood/Hollywood -- but always thought of it as a Canadian movie, not an Asian one. Deepa Mehta has lived in Canada since the seventies and Lisa Ray (who played Sue/Sunita) was born here. It was all filmed in Canada as well.

Bride and Prejudice, too was made by an Indian emigrant: Gurinder Chadha, who is Anglo-Indian and also made Bend it Like Beckham.

Even Monsoon Wedding, which has portions filmed in Indian languages was directed by Mira Nair, who lives in New York and has directed quite a few Hollywood movies.

I can't decide whether it is western audiences appreciating Asian themes or that "western" society is no longer as "western" as it used to be.

Multi-cultural societies produce multi-cultural art. Aren't these essentially western films that bring in strong elements from the film-makers' own backgrounds?

Not that it makes a difference to your conclusion -- it's still working to open Hollywood's eyes to see how the ROW (rest of the world) lives.

And that's a good thing.


Dear Talmida,

Thank you for the insights. I often forget that one of my favorite Indian Authors, Rohinton Mistry, lives in one of the major cities of Canada.

And yes. I think that anything that can make inroads into the Hollywood monopoly can be a good thing. I'm seeing a lot of good stuff out of Japan, Korea, and China in recent days. I've watched some real Bollywood films, such as the adaptation of E.T. and Lagaan. And I'm thrilled to see things like Lagaan showing up frequently on the "premium movie channels." Anything that broadens our range of choices is a good thing. And strangely, I don't think that the masters of Hollywood would necessarily disagree.



This sounds like a wonderful movie and I hadn't heard of it. Thanks for the review!

Just FYI, I sent this review to a friend who also loves Asian movies. He said it made him think of The Frighteners (an early Peter Jackson movie) which he recommended as entertaining. If you haven't heard of it and run out of Asian ghost movies you might want to give it a try.

Dear Julie,

Thank you. The Frighteners was a Michael J. Fox Vehicle directed by Peter Jackson before LOtR. And there are some similarities. My Left Eye Sees Ghosts is a much more gentle vision of the material (PG as opposed to R) and I think that there is a lot of resemblance between the mechanisms of the two. Thanks for noting and suggesting it.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 25, 2006 8:46 AM.

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