News / Arts & Entertainment

Eastwood Reaches Beyond Shadowy Boundary Between Life, Death in 'Hereafter'

MATT DAMON as George Lonegan in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
MATT DAMON as George Lonegan in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Multimedia

Audio
Alan Silverman

Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood reunites with his Invictus star Matt Damon for a new drama that explores the ages-old mystery of what happens after death. Here's a look at Hereafter.

Marie is a French TV reporter who drowned in the 2004 tsunami, but was later revived and then is haunted by the puzzling images she recalls. While she tries to find answers as a journalist, an English youngster turns to the paranormal in search of a way to contact his dead twin brother.

The two quests lead them both to George Lonegan, a lonely San Francisco recluse who, it turns out, is really able to communicate with the recently departed …albeit reluctantly.

Matt Damon stars as George, whose psychic abilities were awakened by his own near-death experience.

"My character, when you discover him, is a guy who actually does have this ability," explains Damon, "but doesn't want it because it is ruining any chance he has at having a normal life."

MATT DAMON as George Lonegan in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
MATT DAMON as George Lonegan in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.


Damon admits to being a skeptic and did not seek out psychics to help him research the role; but he is intrigued by the idea of seeing and speaking with dead people.

"If someone could do what George did and connect you to somebody who passed on, I'd be very interested in it," admits Damon. "I think everyone, when you get to my age, has lost friends and family members …so yes, I'd be open to that."

Director Clint Eastwood, now 80 years old, is twice Damon's age and his take on mortality and the afterlife comes from a different perspective. However he says the Hereafter script has room for many points of view.

Director CLINT EASTWOOD and CÉCILE de FRANCE on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Director CLINT EASTWOOD and CÉCILE de FRANCE on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

"Most religions seem to ponder the afterlife, but I thought this was interesting because it wasn't really a religious project," explains Eastwood. "It had spirituality about it, but it was not necessarily tied in with any particular organized thought. Certainly I think everyone has thought about it at some point or another in time; and it's a fantasy that, if there is anything out there like that, it would be just terrific, but that remains to be seen."

Screenwriter Peter Morgan, whose films include the recent fact-based dramas The Queen, Frost/Nixon and The Last King of Scotland, recalls being ambivalent while writing how Hereafter portrays the hereafter.

"I don't want this film to become a film in which we have the answer and we've got a 'scoop' here, because that is not what the film is," notes Morgan. "The film is really a story of inquiry and curiosity and a feeling of incompleteness and of living with mystery. It's something that unites every one of us …none of us know where we're going and we're going to do all of it alone. I thought it would be quite interesting just to provoke those questions, but without offering any answers because it is very private."

Director and producer Eastwood believes each person in the audience can come away from the film with his or her own interpretation.

FRANKIE and GEORGE McLAREN as Marcus and Jason in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
FRANKIE and GEORGE McLAREN as Marcus and Jason in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “HEREAFTER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

"Yes, it raises a lot of questions, but that is where it ends," Eastwood says. "The questions are there. You pose the questions and then it is up to the audience to meet you halfway and think about it in terms of their own lives and what their thoughts are and what experiences they might have had. It would be interesting to see what answers are, but they are going to have to come up with those answers."

The international cast of Hereafter also features French screen star Cécile De France as tsunami survivor Marie. American actress Bryce Dallas Howard is a potential partner for George; and young British newcomers Frankie and George McLaren play the twin brothers reaching across the shadowy boundary between life and death. As he has done for most of his recent films, director Clint Eastwood also composed the musical soundtrack.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."