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Planet of Snail

By MITCH LILLIE
[FOUR DAYS ONLY] South Korean director Yi Seung-jun has created Planet of Snail, a dreamy documentary, out of everyday lives. Of course, they’re not your usual lives: Young-chan has been deaf and blind since birth, and his wife, Soon-ho, has a severe spinal disability that limits her height. The film’s title refers to the way snails haphazardly feel their way through the world. This is just one of the striking metaphors Young-chan has written and reads aloud at intervals during Planet of Snail. As Soon-ho guides her husband’s hands to various plates of food, tapping on his fingers in tactile communication, it’s hard not to feel their love. And when Young-chan finally installs a complicated light bulb as his wife looks on, their celebratory hug is warm enough to melt away any voyeuristic awkwardness. The sensitive sound and the portraitlike photography make clear what Young-chan lacks, as when his face moves in and out of the frame, each huff and puff audible as he exercises. But for all the beauty of this film and its characters, Planet of Snail is anticlimactic: It glosses over Young-chan’s day spent without Soon-ho, as well as the couple’s background and livelihood. For better or worse, it crawls deep into your heart and avoids your mind.
 

Special Note

Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Friday-Tuesday, no showing Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 4
 
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Running Time: 87 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, June 22, 2012
  • Country: Korea, Republic of
  • Language: Korean
  • Critic's Score: B
  • Directed by: Yi Seung-jun [Director], Kim Min-chul [Producer], Gary Kam [Producer], Cho Dong-sung [Executive Producer], Yi Seung-jun [Cinematographer], Simon Habre [Film Editor], Yi Seung-jun [Film Editor]
  • Watch the trailer
 

Show Times

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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