Shi (Poetry) 2010 Ages 15+

2.45PM Sun 7 Apr 2019 (2hrs 19mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

Poetry will screen from an imported 35mm print.

‘If it could be reduced to anything as prosaic as a formula, this mysterious and beautiful film from Korean director Lee Chang-dong might be expressed as Ozu plus … what? It is a picture of something inexpressibly gentle and sad, something heartbreaking and absolutely normal, but something stirred up by a violent, alien incursion. Something lands with an almighty splash in this calm millpond of melancholy regret.

At the centre of the action is Yun Jung-hie, who plays sixtysomething grandma Mija, living in the sticks and getting by with a nursing job; she looks after her troubled teen grandson who lives with her in a modest apartment. His mother (Mija's daughter) now lives in Busan: it is an arrangement which has evidently been arrived at long ago, and never discussed. Mija was once a beauty, and still praised for being "pretty" and "chic", extravagant compliments which embarrass her greatly. But now Mija finds that she can no longer remember basic words and a doctor diagnoses the onset of Alzheimer's. Something in this terrible news inspires Mija to join a community education class, to learn poetry. Before the facility of language deserts her utterly, Mija wishes to write a single poem.

Mija repeatedly complains that she feels unable to write a poem, yet without realising it, she is becoming a poet; she is refining her consciousness in the shadow of death, shaping that raw poetic facility which may or may not ever break free into actual written language. She is making sense of her life: that is the "poetry" which is taking place, minute by minute, scene by scene.’ The Guardian

CREDITS

35MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 139 MINUTES, SOUTH KOREA, KOREAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: LEE CHANG-DONG / CINEMATOGRAPHER: KIM HYUN-SEOK / EDITOR: KIM HYEON / PRODUCTION CO: UNIKOREA PICTURES, PINE HOUSE FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FINECUT / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM