My fourth screening at TIFF was by Olivier Assayas with his newest movie starring Kristen Stewart, called Personal Shopper. I’ve never been familiar with Olivier Assayas’ work, so this was definitely a testing experience of what his movies conjure. I was excited to realize Personal Shopper is an observant venture that begs you to take from what you’re experiencing, and as much as it proves enthusiasm towards making a statement; it’s as enthused to have you piece together your own with unconventional attributes to a ghost story.
Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, a personal shopper to a celebrity in Paris, buying her boss dresses, necklaces and anything else needed within the fashion world. Part time Maureen is a medium, escorting ghost from newly bought homes. Maureen’s deceased older brother Lewis was a medium, which leaves Maureen to believe she made have conjured his abilities to speak to ghosts, but what confirms she’s capable is her recent encounters with her brother from the spirit world to the present world.
Personal Shopper is a deliberately stagnant observation of our connection to technology and our subconscious desire to relate to something from a pre-technological age that requires only the human soul to get in contact of; IE ghosts. Olivier Assayas does a neat uncalculated view on how someone in modern times does research, through watching videos on Youtube and searching online on an iphone, creating a visually absurd display of disconnect and commerce with advancement and convenience; the result could be that our minds could develop
Personal Shopper also delves into the fact that fashion and material items have gone up in interest in recent years (due to technology), and with the advent of online dating turning relations into order, inanimate objects have replaced sex and intimacy, and being current Is what now excites people the most. The connection with ghosts in Personal Shopper and fashion has to do with Assayas suggests how easily technology can trick us into thinking we’re experiencing something organic, the more we rely on it to get us by, the more we can forget it’s a machine and capable of dysfunction. The idea that technology can erode a soul by making everything so service based and instant, to the point where one loses their imagination and one’s sense of wonder of a natural world, with an obsession of wealth where you can change one’s self with clothing and shiny items in place of a self core.
Kristen Stewart is a great choice to play Maureen, as a subtly manic reserved actor as she easily portrays the symbolization of a personal shopper: the link between tech capital and the self, as she Is the medium between her boss and her bosses self, therefore Maureen also being a mundane machine who transfers an item to another, like an iphone.
Personal Shopper has some strong intriguing themes, and just when you think it doesn’t know what it’s doing as a movie, it waits for you to realize it’s intentions by giving you straight ideas purposely distracted with a ghost tale, all-the-while being truly frightening with the reality it suggests of our present day.
- Maurice Jones