Wong Kar-wai

Discussion and info on people in film, ranging from directors to actors to cinematographers to writers.

Moderator: DarkImbecile

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
DarkImbecile
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Wong Kar-wai

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:48 am

Wong Kar-wai (b. 1956)

Image

"To me, all my works are different episodes of one movie."

Filmography

Features
Wong gok ka moon / As Tears Go By (1988)
Ah fei zing zyun / Days of Being Wild (1991)
Chung Hing sam lam / Chungking Express (1994)
Dung che sai duk / Ashes of Time (1994)
Do lok tin si / Fallen Angels (1995)
Chun gwong cha sit / Happy Together (1997)
Fa yeung nin wa / In the Mood for Love (2000)
2046 (2004)
My Blueberry Nights (2007)
Ashes of Time (Redux) (2007)
Yi dai zong shi / The Grandmaster (2014)

Shorts
"Hua yang de nian hua" (2000)
"In the Mood For Love 2001" (2001)
"The Follow" [segment from "The Hire" BMW advertising series] (2001)
"The Hand" [segment from Eros] (2004)
" I Traveled 9000km to Give It to You" [segment from Chacun son Cimema / To Each His Own Cinema] (2007)

Music Videos
Tracy Huang - "To Make You Happy" (1992)
DJ Shadow - "Six Days" (2002)

Television
Tong Wars (2019?)

Books
City on Fire: Hong Kong Cinema, by Lisa Odham Stokes and Michael Hoover (1999)
Wong Kar-wai, by Peter Brunette (2005)
Wong Kar-Wai: Auteur of Time, by Stephen Teo (2005)
Wong Kar-Wai, by Thierry Jousse [French] (2006)
The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai: Film Poetics and the Aesthetic of Disturbance, by Gary Bettinson (2015)
WKW: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wei, by Wong Kar-wai and John Powers (2016)
A Companion to Wong Kar-wai, by Martha P. Nochimson, Ed. (2016)
Wong Kar-wai: Interviews, by Silver Wai-ming Lee (2017)

Forum Discussion
Wong Kar-wai on DVD
Kino: Wong Kar-Wai films
453 Chungking Express
Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-Wai, 1995)
147 In the Mood for Love
Il filo pericoloso delle cose (Antonioni, 2004)
My Blueberry Nights (Wong Kar-wai, 2007)
Ashes of Time Redux (Wong Kar Wai, 2007)
The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai, 2013)

Web Resources
1998 interview with Han Ong, BOMB Magazine
"Ways of Seeing Wild: The Cinema of Wong Kar-wai" by Robert M. Payne, Jump Cut (2000)
2001 interview with Scott Tobias, The AV Club
2001 interview with Liza Béar, BOMB Magazine
"An Infrared Vision of the World: Deleuze, the Sign, and In the Mood For Love" by Roger Dawkins, Film Philosophy (2002)
"Ashes to Ashes (Redux)", 2008 comparison of versions of Ashes of Time, by David Bordwell
2011 conversation on Wong between Jason Bellamy and Ed Howard, Slant Magazine
2013 interview with Jake Mulligan, Slant Magazine
2013 interview with Michelle Lhooq, Interview
2014 interview with James Mottram, The Independent

User avatar
Antoine Doinel
Posts: 5356
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Contact:

#2 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:08 pm

Here is Kar-Wai's Lancome Homme advert starring Clive Owen.

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8441
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#3 Post by colinr0380 » Sat May 28, 2011 8:53 pm

A discussion of Wong Kar-wai by Ed Howard and Jason Bellamy tackling five of the director's films (Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, In The Mood For Love, 2046 and My Blueberry Nights) which I find particularly valuable for the fascinating and in many ways enlightening section devoted to the enormously complex 2046. I found this section particularly important:
Ed Howard: Chow's narrated insistence that he's the one person to ever return from 2046—implying that he's broken free of the past—is contrasted against the fact that we never actually see him breaking free of the past as the voiceover says he does. Instead, the film provides a happy ending for a character whose story parallels Chow's in many ways, and in whose life he intervenes, perhaps sensing a kindred spirit. Jing-wen (Faye Wong), the daughter of the owner of the hotel where Chow lives, has an on/off affair with a Japanese man, an affair that, like Chow's would-be romance with Mrs. Chan [in In The Mood For Love], is frustrated by circumstances. Jing-wen's father, remembering World War II and the often-barbarous Japanese occupation of China, is prejudiced against the Japanese and refuses to allow his daughter to see this man. When Chow moves into his apartment, Jing-wen is trapped, like him, in the past, hung up on a love that she just can't forget. She paces around the empty room next door to Chow—room number 2046, of course—reciting her lover's last words to her and rehearsing the words she could have said but didn't, the words that might have allowed her to avoid this heartbreak: "please take me with you." She's trapped in the past, trapped in 2046, just like Chow is.

Later, Chow will explore Jing-wen's story—and by extension his own—through the sci-fi fiction he writes, in which a man takes a long train ride away from 2046, away from the past, accompanied only by androids, versions of the various women in Chow's life. The android played by Faye Wong, a version of Jing-wen, has delayed reactions and can't express what she feels until long after the moment has passed. It's a very clever metaphor for the inability to connect in the present that leads to the backward-looking obsession with missed opportunities, like Chow's fixation on Mrs. Chan or like Jing-wen pacing around the empty apartment 2046, telling the space, yes I'll leave with you, long after the man she should have said it to had left. These people are out of sync with each other, like androids with faulty programming, like Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan who could never quite get beyond their circumstances to express their real feelings to one another. Chow invents the concept of delayed reactions in his story ostensibly as a metaphor for Jing-wen and her Japanese boyfriend, but the story becomes about his own life too, reflecting his past with Mrs. Chan. It's also a kind of wish fulfillment for Chow: he sees Jing-wen broken up by her failure to say what she really wanted to say to her boyfriend, and he imagines that the same condition may have afflicted Mrs. Chan, that she too wishes she had said, "take me with you."

Chow's fiction is thus a way of rationalizing these failures to connect. People are out of sync with one another because they're malfunctioning, maintaining stoic, unrevealing expressions in front of those they care about, only smiling and crying later, only later saying the things they'd wanted to say when their loved ones were there. Chow himself, whispering his secret into a hole in the wall at the end of In the Mood for Love, is indulging in this temporal disconnection, expressing his feelings only when it's too late. Chow's sci-fi writing is another way of trying to work out the problems of the past, though again he can only express his feelings indirectly, by constructing androids who stand in for real women. By the end of the film, Chow, in the back of a cab alone, leaning against the door the way he'd once leaned on both Bai Ling and Mrs. Chan, hasn't quite decided to return from 2046 for good, but it's clear that he wants to, very badly, and that his stories are attempts to deal with the past, to close it off into a metaphorical fiction and write a happy ending.

The problem is that he doesn't know what that happy ending could possibly be, and it's telling that the one example of a happy ending that the film provides—Jing-wen finally moving to Japan and marrying her boyfriend, with her father's grudging acquiescence—involves not forgetting about the past but correcting the mistakes made in the past and being reunited with one's true love. Chow still can't imagine a happy ending that's not romantic. He can't imagine the happy ending where the gloomy romantic finally cuts ties with the heartbreak of the past and moves forward into a different life. Maybe that's the answer to your original question: Chow, as much as he might want to escape 2046, still isn't quite ready to do it by the end of the film.

Jason Bellamy:That's pretty much the way I see it, too. In the Mood for Love has an ostensibly heartbreaking conclusion with the scene at the temple wall, because Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan are alone and, we know, don't need to be, and yet the conviction of Mr. Chow's love, evoked so well by the way he whispers into the wall, is so touching that it adds some sweet to the bitter. It's a textually sad scene that I find subtextually uplifting, suggesting a man who holds onto the past not because of an inability to escape it but out of respect for its significance. The conclusion of 2046, on the other hand, is textually hopeful, because Chow claims to have escaped 2046, but it's subtextually depressing, suggesting a man who has been inside his fantasy for so long that he can't distinguish between it and reality. The actual final shot, coming just after the shot of Chow slumped against the cab door, is a slow zoom toward what Manohla Dargis perfectly described as "a large cavity that looks at once like the amplifying horn of a Victrola and a sexual orifice of unknown provenance." Dargis argued that Wong "never explains the significance of the cavity because, like Kim Novak's blond twist of hair in Hitchcock's Vertigo, the image has a power that renders further explanation superfluous," and she might be right. But to me the zoom suggests a move into darkness, as if leaving reality to reenter the coziness of the womb [colinr0380 note: maybe this could provide a strange linkage to Enter The Void!]

EH:I want to stick with 2046 for a moment, since you brought up the very provocative image of the mysterious horn/hole that appears at both the beginning and the end of 2046. Obviously, that image is connected back to the hole into which Chow whispers his secret at the end of In the Mood for Love, so in that sense it's both a descent into darkness—because Chow has allowed his past to envelop him and overshadow his present—and a repository for passionate emotions. The presence of this mysterious horn suggests that in many ways 2046 is a feature-length expansion of that haunting scene from the end of In the Mood for Love. Throughout 2046, Chow is haunted by the secret he whispered at the end of the previous film, the secret that echoes through the bottomless chamber of that horn. At one point, the Faye Wong android tells the train passenger fleeing from 2046 that she will be his tree, that she'll hold his secrets for him, and this is a potent metaphor for Chow's cavalier treatment of women as a way of holding back the pain of the past.

The androids connect Wong's film to some of the 1960s films of one of his most obvious influences, Jean-Luc Godard, whose Alphaville and Anticipation both end with women—brainwashed, robot-like inhabitants of futuristic societies where emotion has been suppressed—rediscovering love and emotion, relearning how to express one's deepest desires both verbally and physically. Although 2046 ends with several nods in that direction, it doesn't quite strike such an optimistic note. At the end of the film, Chow is still out of sync with his present.

Moreover, Chow often doesn't treat the women in his life as people, but as objects. He'll attach himself to a woman to pass the time or to distract him from his pain, but he intentionally keeps these relationships casual and transitory—which is why he can so easily dehumanize these women by casting them as robots in his fiction. He occasionally connects with a woman at a deeper level, as he arguably does with Jing-wen, but not in a romantic way. In fact, the poetic idea of whispering a secret in a hole actually has vulgar, unpoetic connotations when the repository for the secret is a woman, an alternate meaning that Wong toys with several times here. For all the ways in which Wong is sympathetic to Chow's heartache in 2046, he's also fairly critical of the character's misogyny and self-absorption, his tendency to treat women as interchangeable stand-ins for the one woman who really meant something to him.
The pair then go on to discuss their problems with My Blueberry Nights. While I also find My Blueberry Nights to be a problematic film in some respects, I'm finding that I am really warming to it on repeated viewings and would not see it in quite so harsh terms as talked about in the article (I'd even tentatively try to argue against calling it a 'minor' work!) I particularly liked the use of 'original' and 'translated' music cues being switched up from In The Mood For Love. There is also a theme of being a 'settled foreigner' in a different country (as opposed to being a visitor, where a foreign trip can lead to a potentially liberating/traumatising confrontation with the past as in Days of Being Wild, In The Mood For Love or 2046) which seems to tie in more with Happy Together, which unfortunately is a film not focused on too much in the discussion. I found Norah Jones's rather open central character was used in an interesting manner too, acting as a kind of emotional vessel soaking up knowledge from the flawed but still understandable characters she meets on her long, looping journey, which works well when combined with the structure of her character moving from the fringes of a community to centre stage and being shown confidently applying the previous knowledge she has picked up during each section of the film at the beginning of the next one until she can, to refer back to the quote relating to 2046 above, get the chance to reconfront her own past and create her own happy ending.

In a sense My Blueberry Nights is a discreetly segmented tri-partite film similar to previous Wong Kar-wai films except with a central through line character involved throughout, witnessing and learning, whereas in previous films such as the separate sections of ChungKing Express (and Fallen Angels if we consider this to be the third story given its own release) or in the inter-relationship of characters between Days of Being Wild, In The Mood For Love and 2046 there is a complete break between bunches of characters existing in the same universe (or alternative universes!) but playing out different stories or only a very oblique connection to suggest a character continuing on into a different story - either way the sense of connection is often left in the eye of the beholder/audience to make the connections or see the resonances that the characters within the films cannot. My Blueberry Nights is fascinating for the way that the Norah Jones central character is taking on this role of witness and then using the lessons that she has learnt on her travels and applying them back to her potential relationship with Jude Law's bartender once she returns to New York.

User avatar
SamLowry
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:14 pm
Location: California

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#4 Post by SamLowry » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:50 am

Any word on Blu Ray releases for Days of Being Wild (Kino) or In The Mood For Love? (Criterion)

Zot!
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#5 Post by Zot! » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:20 pm

Anybody own the HK (Megastar) Blu-Rays of Days of Being Wild or As Tears Go By? From what I've heard they're pretty decent. A strong improvement on previous DVDs and even if a forthcoming discs by a Kino or otherwise would be announced, they would have a hard outdoing them. Just curious if there were any strong feelings otherwise.

zeroman987
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:17 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#6 Post by zeroman987 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:46 pm

I have As Tears Go By. The picture is pretty "ok" but I am not an expert by any means. I think it looks better than a dvd but I can't really be sure. I really doubt there was any sort of restoration. The translation is supposedly decent and I was able to follow the movie just fine. However, I read that the Day of Being Wild translation is god awful, so I held off on getting it in anticipation of a Kino release. (Maybe Criterion will license 2046 from SPC and get the rights to Days and release a box set ala 3 colors trilogy - which would be awesome.) The reviewer said the picture quality was pretty darn good on that blu-ray.

User avatar
R0lf
Posts: 348
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:25 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#7 Post by R0lf » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:59 pm

zeroman987 wrote:Maybe Criterion will license 2046 from SPC and get the rights to Days and release a box set ala 3 colors trilogy - which would be awesome.
Cars going the wrong way in the new year clue = WONG KAR-WAI.

:P

mrmarbach
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:16 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#8 Post by mrmarbach » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:53 am

Is all of Wong's work in Cantonese?

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10339
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#9 Post by zedz » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:10 pm

mrmarbach wrote:Is all of Wong's work in Cantonese?
No.

User avatar
The Fanciful Norwegian
Posts: 1636
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#10 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:03 am

mrmarbach wrote:Is all of Wong's work in Cantonese?
"The Hand" (his segment from Eros) is entirely in Mandarin, IIRC.

Wong's only completely monolingual films are As Tears Go By (Cantonese), the original version of Ashes of Time (Cantonese), and My Blueberry Nights. The others all incorporate at least one other Chinese language (usually Mandarin, occasionally Shanghainese) and sometimes a non-Chinese language like Japanese or Filipino. For example, Zhang Ziyi's dialogue in 2046 is all Mandarin, and so is Chang Chen's in Happy Together.

User avatar
chatterjees
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:08 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#11 Post by chatterjees » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:30 am

Wong's two early films are getting BD treatments in Korea. Both are provided with English subtitle. Here are the kimchidvd.com links -
As Tears Go By http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20181
Days Of Being Wild http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20178

Zot!
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#12 Post by Zot! » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:56 am

chatterjees wrote:Wong's two early films are getting BD treatments in Korea. Both are provided with English subtitle. Here are the kimchidvd.com links -
As Tears Go By http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20181
Days Of Being Wild http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20178
I like the packaging, but these are likely just ports of the existant HK releases, no?

User avatar
chatterjees
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:08 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#13 Post by chatterjees » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:19 pm

Zot! wrote:
chatterjees wrote:Wong's two early films are getting BD treatments in Korea. Both are provided with English subtitle. Here are the kimchidvd.com links -
As Tears Go By http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20181
Days Of Being Wild http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20178
I like the packaging, but these are likely just ports of the existant HK releases, no?
It could be possible. I have never checked the existing BDs. I don't see a point to wait for proper US or UK releases for these films too. I will probably pick them up when I place an order at Kimchi for the other releases I am planning to get (the new Hong, B/W version of The Mother, The Dreamers and Two Sisters).

zeroman987
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:17 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#14 Post by zeroman987 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:16 pm

chatterjees wrote:
Zot! wrote:
chatterjees wrote:Wong's two early films are getting BD treatments in Korea. Both are provided with English subtitle. Here are the kimchidvd.com links -
As Tears Go By http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20181
Days Of Being Wild http://kimchidvd.com/en/good/goods.jsp?good_seq=20178
I like the packaging, but these are likely just ports of the existant HK releases, no?
It could be possible. I have never checked the existing BDs. I don't see a point to wait for proper US or UK releases for these films too. I will probably pick them up when I place an order at Kimchi for the other releases I am planning to get (the new Hong, B/W version of The Mother, The Dreamers and Two Sisters).
Please report back if/when you get them. I would be willing to rebuy ATGB if it looks better than the HK release, and would be interested in buying DoBW if the translation is better than the megastar blu-ray. I could bundle it with the new Hong release and the B/W version of the Mother.

User avatar
The Fanciful Norwegian
Posts: 1636
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#15 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:23 am

I'm expecting these to be mostly ported from the HK discs, which is what most of the Korean WKW DVDs were as well. (The Korean DVDs added critics' commentaries that have evidently been carried over to the Blus.) My confidence isn't boosted by the huge and repeated typo on the As Tears Go By art—the Chinese title is 旺角卡門 ("Mongkok Carmen," as in Bizet), not 旺角下問. It's not a case of the Korean title using different characters, since the actual Korean title is totally different (열혈남아 "Hot-Blooded Men and Women," which appears below the Chinese characters in smaller type).

Incidentally, a poster at Blu-ray.com claimed The Grandmaster would get a Korean BD this month as well. There's already a DVD, which is currently the only English-subbed edition of the "international" (122-minute) cut. Perhaps these two other releases are meant to tie in with it. I keep checking KimchiDVD every few days to see if it's finally shown up.

shadedpain4
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:47 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#16 Post by shadedpain4 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:33 pm

To update some information and answer some questions:

As far as I know the Korean blu-rays of As Tears Go By and Days Of Being Wild are indeed just ports of the Hong Kong blu- rays (including Days' less than spectacular subtitles).

2046 is finally on blu-ray with a Korean edition. Most seem to think it is a very small improvement over dvd releases, if any improvement at all. (I've yet to view my copy to verify the quality).

The Grandmaster now has blu-rays available for all three versions of the film. There is a Hong Kong blu of the 130 min version, a Korean blu of the 122 min version, and the US version of the 108 min version. There is also a 3D version of the film being produced that will either be, or be most like, the US 108 min version of the film.

His next film looks to be "Ferryman", though when it would actually be completed/released is anyone's guess.

AnamorphicWidescreen
Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#17 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:55 am

Just re-watched Wong Kar Wai's 2046...This is truly a masterpiece; liked the going back & forth between the "fantasy" world of the futuristic 2046 story re: the trains, androids, etc. & the real-life story taking place in 1960's Asia. I felt the fantasy story was a kind of metaphor for what was going on in the actual characters' lives in the "real" part of the movie....

And, as I mentioned in the ITMFL Criterion thread, I also liked how 2046 takes place over several Christmas Eve's & there are many references to Christmas in the film, including holiday lights/decorations, the famous Nat King Cole Christmas song, green & red Christmas lights reflected in a window, etc.
Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen on Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
feihong
Posts: 879
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#18 Post by feihong » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:10 am

shadedpain4 wrote: 2046 is finally on blu-ray with a Korean edition. Most seem to think it is a very small improvement over dvd releases, if any improvement at all. (I've yet to view my copy to verify the quality).
I bought that Korean edition. It is not an improvement. The DNR and the interlacing are both so aggressive that the disc actually looks like a downgrade from the Sony r1 DVD.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28723
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#19 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:15 am

If anyone's wondering what happened to the 2046 thread, it got lost in the board update a few years back, a sad casualty though you can see glimpses of the returned posts from it when searching the board

EDIT: Here's some of the first page via Internet Archive

nolanoe
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#20 Post by nolanoe » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:35 pm

2046 is my favorite Wong Kar Wai. I remember when it was shown at Cannes, and there was this TV commentary about it. A female critic went to great length to deride it, saying things like: "Well, Wong Kar Wai mentioned it's a work in progress - and it shows." "It's a step down from what he used to do." etc etc

Right after, a male critic was asked to give his opinion, and he basically said: "Everything you said was wrong! This movie is a masterpiece, and in ten years, we'll all agree it's one of the best films to ever play Cannes."

I think the film summarizes every other film he's ever made, and is incredibly brave. As much as I love Happy Together, Chungking Express, Days of Beign Wild and Fallen Angels, 2046 has Wong abandon the Nouvelle Vague influence while simultaneously further enforcing it (those Sci-Fi sequences could be right out of a Rivette or Godard movie). Lovely, lovely film! It's sad he hasn't done anything similar since.

Which reminds me: SOMEBODY TELL HIM TO RELEASE THE 4 HOUR GRANDMASTER VERSION!!

AnamorphicWidescreen
Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#21 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:19 pm

nolanoe wrote:2046 is my favorite Wong Kar Wai. I remember when it was shown at Cannes, and there was this TV commentary about it. A female critic went to great length to deride it, saying things like: "Well, Wong Kar Wai mentioned it's a work in progress - and it shows." "It's a step down from what he used to do." etc etc

Right after, a male critic was asked to give his opinion, and he basically said: "Everything you said was wrong! This movie is a masterpiece, and in ten years, we'll all agree it's one of the best films to ever play Cannes."

I think the film summarizes every other film he's ever made, and is incredibly brave. As much as I love Happy Together, Chungking Express, Days of Beign Wild and Fallen Angels, 2046 has Wong abandon the Nouvelle Vague influence while simultaneously further enforcing it (those Sci-Fi sequences could be right out of a Rivette or Godard movie). Lovely, lovely film! It's sad he hasn't done anything similar since.
I end up liking 2046 a little more each time I watch it. When I first saw this, I found the sci-fi elements somewhat off-putting (even though I'm a huge sci-fi fan); but, on repeat viewings I feel this really works for the film & gives it a poignancy that it wouldn't have (as much) otherwise...

Not sure where I'd put this in in my ranking when comparing it to other Kar-wai films, but I will say that I think it's superior to In the Mood for Love - and, that's saying a lot since I'm a big fan of ITMFL...

Raymond Marble
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:48 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#22 Post by Raymond Marble » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:34 pm

nolanoe wrote:2046 is my favorite Wong Kar Wai. I remember when it was shown at Cannes, and there was this TV commentary about it. A female critic went to great length to deride it, saying things like: "Well, Wong Kar Wai mentioned it's a work in progress - and it shows." "It's a step down from what he used to do." etc etc

Right after, a male critic was asked to give his opinion, and he basically said: "Everything you said was wrong! This movie is a masterpiece, and in ten years, we'll all agree it's one of the best films to ever play Cannes."

I think the film summarizes every other film he's ever made, and is incredibly brave. As much as I love Happy Together, Chungking Express, Days of Beign Wild and Fallen Angels, 2046 has Wong abandon the Nouvelle Vague influence while simultaneously further enforcing it (those Sci-Fi sequences could be right out of a Rivette or Godard movie). Lovely, lovely film! It's sad he hasn't done anything similar since.

Which reminds me: SOMEBODY TELL HIM TO RELEASE THE 4 HOUR GRANDMASTER VERSION!!
It's worth pointing out that the version of 2046 that showed at Cannes was a work in progress version; I was fortunate in seeing it there, and I've seen the general release cut several times since, and can attest that there were some fairly noteworthy differences between the two.

Though I like both versions a whole lot, I often think I liked the Cannes cut better. Among other things, "The Christmas Song" was in heavy rotation in it, not unlike "California Dreamin'" is in Chungking Express, and I've gotten to the point where I get all gooey-kneed when wkw overuses a song in a film. (Seriously.)

nolanoe
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#23 Post by nolanoe » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:16 pm

Could you elaborate a bit on the differences?

AnamorphicWidescreen
Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#24 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:44 pm

Raymond Marble wrote:It's worth pointing out that the version of 2046 that showed at Cannes was a work in progress version; I was fortunate in seeing it there, and I've seen the general release cut several times since, and can attest that there were some fairly noteworthy differences between the two.

Though I like both versions a whole lot, I often think I liked the Cannes cut better. Among other things, "The Christmas Song" was in heavy rotation in it, not unlike "California Dreamin'" is in Chungking Express, and I've gotten to the point where I get all gooey-kneed when wkw overuses a song in a film. (Seriously.)
Haven't seen the Cannes version of 2046, just the regular film version (on the DVD). And, IMHO the iconic Nat King Cole Christmas song was used extremely effectively in the film - i.e., it was played at least 2-3 times over several Christmas scenes. In fact, these Christmas scenes with the decorations, music, and overall festive mood are, IMHO, one of the best depictions of these holidays in cinema...even though they're not the focal point of the film.

The comparison to Chungking Express (probably my favorite WKW film) & the continuous - but not overly done - re-playing of California Dreamin' in that film is not quite the same thing.....In CE, the CD song was used organically...

While, in 2046, I'm not sure the Christmas song would have worked - other than when it was being played over a Christmas scene....unless it was meant to signify that the characters were thinking about Christmas and/or about events that took place during that time...

This is just my .02, however...since I haven't actually seen the Cannes cut of the film I don't know if I would have liked that better....It would be great to see a future release of the film include both the regular cut & the Cannes cut - however, since the Cannes cut was "unfinished", not sure if that would ever happen....

Raymond Marble
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:48 pm

Re: Wong Kar-wai

#25 Post by Raymond Marble » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:21 am

nolanoe wrote:Could you elaborate a bit on the differences?
I'll get back to you on that one--I've been out all day and my brain's feeling kind of fuzzy. I'll try to post a somewhat more thorough answer when I have a little more time and mental capability.

In the meantime, Christopher Doyle has a Kickstarter going right now for a project he's working on. Some of the rewards are books and things related to the work he did with Wong Kar-wai. (Doyle of course being the DP on Wong's films from Days of Being Wild through 2046.)

Post Reply