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.
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

Somalia: No Popular Elections in 2016

In interview Wednesday with VOA, President Mohamud says 'one person, one vote' elections will not be possible due to continuing insecurity More

Scientists Predict Climate Change Will Increase Child Malnutrition

Public health expert in Germany says that by 2050, 25 million more children's lives will be put at risk because of lack of nutrients tied to climate change More

Erdogan in China Amid Tensions on Uighurs, Missile System

Turkey's president has criticized China's heavy-handed policies toward Uighurs in violence-plagued Xinjiang region, where China says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”