This Sunday, “Hereafter,” Eastwood’s 32nd feature film as a director, will premiere at 35th Toronto International Film Festival. This is his sixth film in less than four years, the production spanned four countries and it represents Eastwood’s biggest foray into digital visual effects; it also happens to be a startling tale about the afterlife that is spiritual instead of merely supernatural.
“At the age I am now, I just don’t have any interest in going back and doing the same sort of thing over and over, that’s one of the reasons I moved away from westerns,” said Eastwood, who started his career as a later-model John Wayne and will finish it as something close to a modern John Ford. “The question about what happens after we die is something that we all ask, and when I read the script by Peter Morgan it was so intelligent and I knew right away that I wanted to do it.”
“Hereafter,” which opens wide on Oct. 22, is a cinematic triptych with the separate stories of battered souls searching for answers about the afterlife — there’s a reluctant Bay Area psychic (Matt Damon), a London youngster grieving the death of his twin brother (the two roles are shared by Frankie and George McLaren) and a French journalist (Belgium-born actress Cécile de France) who was caught up in a tsunami, killed by the raging water and then revived after a strange, spectral experience.