Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 04 April 2011 16:19

"Poetry" Delivers Pure Poetry

asiancinefest.blogspot.com asiancinefest.blogspot.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

South Korean director Lee Chang-dong quietly but effectively documents the struggles of Mija, a sweet grandmother who cares for her teenage grandson. Poetry doesn't move quickly, but it lives up to its title for every carefully observed episode in Mija's life eloquently and lovingly reveals a complex individual confronting ageing.

Intensely aware, 66-year-old Mija fears some signs she's noticed of her own forgetfulness might signal more serious trouble. Still she calmly goes about her daily chores, primarily caring for an elderly man who has suffered a stroke. More distressing, Mija must grapple with the knowledge that her grandson Jongwook, along with five classmates, may have been involved in the rape and death of another student. A contrast to Mija in behavior and values, Wook is the product of the modern age, attached to his iPod and computer games. The five students' parents' response to the tragedy further alarms Mija as it reveals a sickness at society's core.

Yearning to express her thoughts and feelings about her world's challenges, Mija enrolls in a continuing education class in writing poetry, hence the title. If not now, she figures, then when? Unexpectedly, the shrewd teacher directs students to write one poem only, adding that to do so they must learn to see truly and honestly. This film provides that opportunity as few movies ever have.

At 2 ¼ hours, unhurried in its pace, Poetry details the multiple layers of Mija's emotional and psychological existence, and she is fascinating. I became her friend, her confidant, her admirer. As Mija, the exquisite South Korean actress Yun Jung-hee holds the screen with the force of an unyielding anchor, buffeted by troubles but solid in her moorings. A veteran of over 300 movies, Yun models a master class of acting.

Maximizing her impact, writer/director Lee lets his camera linger on finely detailed, revealing compositions with a script that won best screenplay honors at last year's Cannes festival. Events unfold slowly, with precision. For example, in the opening scene the dead girl's body floats on the river from the distance into the foreground as we comprehend with incredulity. Throughout, particularizing the pain as well as the beauty, the disappointments and the delicate triumphs, Poetry invites a much greater appreciation of the lives we all too often take for granted. In Korean with English subtitles. At a Landmark Cinema.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. Don't Hide is full of high energy jams and groovey improves that gives them a good time vibe. Download their song "Don't Hide"…

Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

KDHX Recommends

July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


August
Saturday
02

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014 The Aching Hearts are the husband and wife duo of Ryan Spearman and Kelly Wells (host of Steam-Powered Radio on 88.1 KDHX), who recently released the CD "Just a Habit." Join them and KDHX for a morning of classic, old-time...


August
Wednesday
06

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange KDHX presents Mandolin Orange as part of the Discovery Series on Wednesday August 6 at 7:30 p.m. The North Carolina-based duo combines bluegrass, rock and country, providing a modern take on age-old styles. Tickets available...


Online Users

5 users and 8830 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook