Truly, Madly, Deeply
1990
Dir: Anthony Minghella
Ghost films do not have to be about horrific spiritual entities jumping out at us in the cinematic equivalent of 'Boo!'.
Every culture has different ideas of what ghosts are:

Thus we get the Japanese girls with long black hair and sunken eyes. Apparently there are no combs in the Japanese afterlife.

We get the absurd Chinese ghosts who bunny-hop around. Although now all ghost films are banned in China.

Thai ghosts come in many different shapes and forms - from the 'graseur' whose head comes off from its body, and floats around, dragging its innards beneath - to the 'brairt' which is a big, hungry ghost but has a tiny mouth, and will come to you at night, and nibble on your toes. But the overwhelming theme of Thai ghosts is that they're not something you want to encounter.

I have met many Thais who are terrified that after someone close has passed away that they will return as a ghost to visit the living, because they do not yet understand that they have died.

I have never quite understood this. If you loved someone in life, why should they suddenly become so terrifying just because they have died?

That is the concept behind 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'. It is a ghost film, but I can promise you that no ghost ever jumps out at you, climbs on the ceiling, or attacks anyone with poltergeistial abilities.

The concept of a ghost, and our reaction to it is clearly deep and complex. We have an instinctive fear of death and all that is related to it. I suspect that a graveyard is a scary place even to those who have no belief in ghosts.

Anthony Minghella made 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' as a play for BBC 2 television. However, it was clearly something quite exceptional, and its broadcast date was set back to allow it to be released theatrically. It managed to be both romantic and touching, whilst also saying something about how death affects us. It was released in the US, and was well-received.

It won a BAFTA for best screenplay, and catapulted Minghella from being a British television writer to being an international film director.

Some people compared it with the 1990 film with Patrick Swayze - 'Ghost'. Roger Ebert described it as 'Ghost for adults'.
And that's not a bad way of describing it.

We hope that at the FGC we not only show films that people remember, but that you can sometimes find a great little gem of a film that you have never heard of.

'Truly, Madly, Deeply' is certainly one of those.

Paul Spurrier