Personal Shopper (2016)
April 16, 2017 9:36 AM - Subscribe

A personal shopper in Paris refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message.
posted by komara (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm very interested in your interpretations of the final scene.
posted by komara at 9:36 AM on April 16

I feel like who the text messages were from was fairly obvious -- but I realized after the movie ended, the mystery of that wasn't the point. It wasn't really meant to be a mystery. It was just about how Maureen reacted to them.

I feel conflicted about the supernatural elements of this movie. I think some of the stuff in her brother's house could be seen as her delusions (especially the way she described the ghost later -- it sounded ridiculous and I think that was intentional). But some of the final scenes -- her brother's ghost dropping the glass in her sister-in-law's house, the scene at the end -- made it seem like, well, Maureen might be delusional but that doesn't mean ghosts aren't real. I like how many of the things are left up to the viewer to decide.

I really enjoyed watching this. I'm not sure if I liked it (although I'm pretty sure I did) but I'm glad I experienced it, if that makes sense. I would like to see it again.
posted by darksong at 6:46 AM on April 17

The swirly ectoplasm ghost in the brother's house seemed so different from the glass-dropping ghost at the end that I definitely think the first one was a hallucination. I totally cracked up at the brother's ghost sliding across the kitchen in the background, as if on roller skates.
posted by zeptoweasel at 2:06 PM on April 17

Just saw it, first thought: Nothing in this film can be trusted. This film cannot be trusted, because it refuses to be anything definable. Which makes it kind of perfect, I think. Otherwise it'd be just another split personality film.

Or is it just me?

(have to think about it for a while, perhaps have more to say later on.)
posted by sapagan at 2:36 PM on April 17

No, I agree nothing can be trusted, really -- I think the shot in the hotel where we followed "nothing" out the door (including the automatic doors) was interesting. Was that Maureen's brother's ghost protecting her? Just a misdirection? Something else completely? I don't know. I don't need to know.

I guess that's sort of what I mean by that I'm glad I experienced this movie. It moves outside of "good" or "bad" or "like" or "dislike" for me. It's just its own thing and I have a lot of respect for it because of that.

(I like the Olivier Assayas movies I've seen -- I need to see more, though. They all seem to have their own rhythms and logic that makes them feel like they occupy their own reality.)
posted by darksong at 3:08 PM on April 17

If you want more Olivier Assayas, Kristen Stewart, and the possibility of the supernatural, then Clouds of Sils Maria is on Netflix and there's even a FanFare thread coughcough
posted by fleacircus at 7:34 PM on April 18

This, I thought, was a good article: The Spirit of Things: On Personal Shopper. On the scene where we follow the movement of nothing:
One way to read this scene is as indirect evidence of the presence of the ghost, invisible yet not undetectable. Another option is to see this sequence as studying the uncanny responsiveness, the sensitivity, of our various human products. There is something strangely vital in their repetitive automatism: the way the doors gasp open and the elevator announces its arrival. The camera, too, is a machine of human making, automatically registering the presences around it. In this way, the scene unfolds like a private interchange, a silent acknowledgment, between camera and objects, a glimpse of our world without us, the queer spiritualism of our objects.
posted by sapagan at 6:47 AM on April 25

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