Chou Meng-Tieh is a 90-year-old Taiwanese poet, and the subject of this film. We learn, very very slowly, aspects of his life and poetry. We even get to see him eating a bowl of soup and witness the excruciating amount of time it takes him to eat this bowl of soup — in complete silence! (with the exception of the natural sloshing of the broth)
Chou bathes, practices calligraphy for 55 minutes a day and cherishes karmic connections. There is nothing violent or unkind about the man, yet he served in the Taiwanese military for seven years. After returning to his normal non-military life, Chou became a book vendor to pay his bills and spent those days studying classical Taiwanese and Chinese poetry. Although he was strongly influenced by that, considers himself to be a modern poet. Chou defines modern-day poetry as containing both beauty and force, making use of modern language and discussing the notions and feelings of the modern person. Although Chou is considered a modern poet, he feels that he is not able to produce a “typical” modern poem because of his strong foundation in classical poetry.
This film forces you to meditate along with Chou and shows his slow daily routine of walking and sitting and bathing… yes, even bathing! Mister Meng-Tieh may describe himself as always feverishly producing poetry, but there is nothing feverish about this man. His life is slow, as the film accurately depicts.
If you have insomnia, suffer from masochism, or are studying the art of meditation this is the film for you!
Showtimes for The Coming of Tulku:
Sunday, October 16th, 1:00pm (SFFS/New People Cinema)