What Makes a Great Film? Here’s an Answer … from a Poet.

In a book called Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, by the poet Jane Hirshfield, the author takes us through a series of exemplary poems, showing us how they deliver limited information, fleeting images, and create a complex and exquisite experience for the reader.

On page 22, Hirshfield looks back at the poems for a moment, finding commonality between them. When she does, she explains why it is that they work so well.

I’m struck by the fact that her description also sums up why so many of my favorite films have become just that … my favorite films. So many of the greats work just like this:

“In each poem, the reader is given the data of image and only enough information to understand what terrain he is in, then left to complete the work himself: to furnish what has been left out with his own awareness, poetic concentration, and knowledge of inner and outer worlds.”

 

  • Facebook
The most rebellious album I've heard all year.
My 10,000th Tweet is An Announcement.
"It Can Entrance You For a Moment..."
The Quotable Renshaw
About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X