Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lucky Life (2010, Chung)

Rating: ***

In Lucky Life (2010), Lee Isaac Chung’s quietly accomplished second feature, the camera often abandons the characters to ponder their surroundings in a free-flowing (yet somber) manner that seems to owe a lot to the work of Terrence Malick. Shifting freely between tightly structured dialogue and seemingly improvised scenes of friendly badinage, the movie is quite formidable in asserting it slow pace and making the viewer respect its rhythms – as well as respond to them.

A story of a loss as much as it is a chronicle of a budding commitment, Lucky Life takes an unflinching look at the process of forgetting, or rather replacing memories with fresh perceptions. The death of a friend is interwoven into the whole structure in a recurrent fashion, so that is seems less a singular event, and more a dream that will remain dormant for years, only to seep into one’s thoughts years later.

Overall, it’s a sustained piece of work that makes me look forward to Chung’s future projects.

[The film will be presented as a part of the American Film Festival in Wrocław]

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