LADY IN WHITE
Lady in White is a remarkable and haunting ghost story. Frank La Loggia acting as director, writer, producer and composer creates a beautiful and charming American nostalgia film. LaLoggias evocations of a smalltown childhood blowing leaves, happy small businessmen, the nearby city on the horizon stretching away around the bay is almost pure Ray Bradbury. There is a bicycle ride through the town early in the film with the two brothers dodging braking cars at an intersection, being followed by a horde of dogs and careening through a Catholic school outing where the Mother Superiors glare is enough to turn the dogs, which is absolutely joyous. The characterisations of the Italian family, particularly the running gag about the grandfathers sneaking away to smoke, is very well done.
LaLoggia also knows how to turn the childs eye viewpoint in on itself to remarkable effect the strangling of Lukas Haas in the cloakroom and the climactic fight on the cliff-edge are extremely tense and well sustained scenes. LaLoggias imagery can be both tender and frightening at the same time toy windmills are suddenly transposed with life-size ones on the cliffside, a collection of Famous Monsters models suddenly becomes scary when silhouetted against a billowing curtain. Even when LaLoggia is kidding, like the reading of the story The Beast That Destroyed London, a marvellous piece of mimicry of a childs writing, Lady in White achieves a remarkable balance between the deliberate effect it is inviting while gently poking fun at it at the same time.
Most haunting of all is the imagery when La Loggia leaps off into what might be almost termed divine surrealism his solarized flight into the sun and visions of the future, meetings with Joelle Jacobi in off-colour cemeteries; of the sequence where the Lady in White jumps from the cliff, sprouting angel wings and the image becomes transposed over Lukas Haass eyes and dramatically intercut with that of Katharine Helmond reaching out. A beautifully tender and haunting ghost story.
Full film available online here:-