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Goodbye my friend it's hard to die, when all the birds are singing in the sky
~ wks
śmierć nad oceanem
~ krzysiek_slejw
~ hyzenthlay
Lucky Life
dir. Lee Isaac Chung / USA 2010 / 97’
subtitles: Polish


Daniel O’Keefe, Megan McKenna, Richard Harvell, Kenyon Adams, Yohei Kawamata, Stephanie Skaff, Nancia Patterson, Kyoko Shakagori

Film description

Each year, Jason, Alex, and newlywed couple Mark and Karen, spend several days at a beach cottage. This year is different because Jason has terminal cancer, making the meeting a kind of farewell. Still, the friends try to celebrate life and enjoy being together. Though this final vacation together brims with warmth, memories, beach walks and ocean swims, the specter of imminent cancer is palpable. The same sorrow returns when, later in the film, Mark and Karen are unable to conceive a child.

Director Lee Isaac Chung manages a film about remembrance and pain without celebrating suffering – everyone bears their dramas within. As a film, Lucky Life is introverted, as sublime images saturated with muted light glimmer through spare compositions to comport with calm, reserved characters. Nevertheless, the serenity of these elegant images is merely superficial, as unusually intense emotions simmer within characters.

Chung eschews classic narration with the plot a mere starting point for questions about dealing with loss. The two dimensions, the summer meeting and attempts to conceive, interweave, linked by the experience of something gone by. The director found inspiration in the poetry of Gerald Stern, which Mark reads on screen – possibly offering a path to deeper interpretation of the film.

Karolina Kosińska

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