Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
Days of Being Wild
The movie is set in Hong Kong and the Philippines in 1960. Yuddy, or 'York' in English (Leslie Cheung), is a playboy in Hong Kong and is well-known for stealing girls' hearts and breaking them. His first victim is Li Zhen (Maggie Cheung) who suffered emotional and mental depression as a result of Yuddy's wayward attitude. Li Zhen eventually seeks much-needed solace from a sympathetic policeman named Tide (Andy Lau). Their near-romance is often hinted at but never materialises.
“ I’ve heard there’s a kind of bird with no legs. All it can do is fly and fly. And when it gets tired it sleeps on the wind. This bird can only land once in its whole life.”
Nothing describes better the series of beautiful films that Wong Kar-wai has made than this piece of poetic philosophy. When you, I or anybody experience the sheer magic of these works and then take a moment to understand what it has all been about, the result of a careful observance would be the enlightenment of the flightless bird.
We are all flightless birds who go through the motions of life waiting all the while for the indescribable enigma of the elusive…
Having seen and loved 2046 and In the Mood for Love, I was excited about finally seeing the first of the trilogy. I expected it to be good, but not as good as the other two. Well, it turns out I was right, but just barely.
Wong Kar-Wai is the master of loneliness and longing. No one does it better. It is not the easiest thing to film, this inner life, but he does it brilliantly. One of his ways is to show rain. He doesn't use rain in that typical way where the character is looking out the window at the bleakness of it all. He doesn't do it to set a tone or a mood. He does it…
There is a danger in not letting things go. In holding onto love (or its emotional siblings) past the expiration date until it spoils. It turns sour. It rots. It starts to change the meaning of love from the inside out for the person who won't give up the ghost. As much of a bum York is, he's a victim of this decay through his thwarted attempts to find his birth parents, and it's catching. Li Zhen and Mimi both find themselves in the quarantine zone at different times. In the end, the sickness gets York, and we're left to wonder if the same fate awaits Mimi and Li Zhen (or did Li Zhen take the antidote in time thanks…
What a Wonderful World Challenge Film #2
My third film by Wong Kar-Wai (Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love), and it is a testament to his outrageous talent that this would rank as my least favorite of the three. The man has an amazing ability to really bring out the humanity in the human beings his camera studies, with every frame exuding an authenticity that removes the idea of the subjects on screen merely being actors playing characters. From what I have seen during my three experiences with his work, while he deals with the loneliness and depression that can be associated with relationships, I also sense a tenderness and decency to the people he films and the…
Film #3 of Project 90
”16th... April the 16th. At one minute before 3pm on April the 16th, 1960, you're together with me. Because of you, I'll remember that one minute. From now on, we're friends for one minute. This is a fact, you can't deny. It's done.”
The story of people who can’t experience a pleasurable romantic relationship with spiritual gains seems to fascinate Wong Kar-Wai, like his In the Mood for Love (which sadly I wasn’t able to adore) here he portrays people who suffer from not being able to enjoy their relationships with each other, people who seem to be in a vicious cycle of human relationships where whatever they do to make things better only makes…
"Wong Kar-Wai's second feature is a brilliant dream of Hong Kong life in 1960. A young man of Shanghainese descent drifts through a series of casual friendships and uncommitted affairs, unconsciously pining for a relationship with his mother, who has started a new life in Manila. He finally takes off for the Philippines, where he sets himself up for the ultimate fall... The terrific, all-star cast enacts this as a series of emotionally unresolved encounters; the swooningly beautiful camera and design work takes its hallucinatory tone from the protagonist's own uncertainties. The mysterious appearance of Tony Leung only in the closing scene heralds a sequel that will sadly never be made. But this is already some kind of masterpiece." (Tony Rayns)
I just couldn't really connect with this one. I was much more interested in the Maggie Cheung/Andy Lau romance than anything happening to Leslie Cheung. I'm not sure if I've seen him in anything else but his performance just felt a little flat to me. It seems like a part that Tony Leung could ace (because he could and did and does) who incidentally shows up at the end for seemingly no reason. Maybe I just didn't get it. I'd consider a rewatch way down the line but it's Kar-Wai's weakest at the moment for me.
It's a really good Wong Kar Wai movie--possibly great! It's just that what's good about it is done even better in some of his later movies, but honestly, this might very well deserve a higher rating than I'm giving it.
In Wong's contemporary movies--Chungking Express comes to mind--He often has his characters travel through the packed streets of Hong Kong. In this and In the Mood for Love, I think, there are more interiors, which is necessitated by the period setting and lack of a huge budget. Many of the scenes involve less than four people and take place in a single room, but the movie maintains a weird sort of period feel through the costumes, music, and to some extent behavior. It's an intimate period piece--not a costume drama, but a bedroom drama.
This film is so painfully emotional. Never completely a romance, the film keeps hinting at relationships that never pan out to amount to anything, but in a skillful way in which we wonder what might have been. It's sort of a tragedy and it's definitely heartbreaking.
Film #2 in My Wong Kar-Wai Series
For a movie with much more emotional subject matter than Wong Kar-Wai's previous feature As Tears Go By, Days of Being Wild is not shot very emotionally. The aesthetic pleasures I have already come to expect from Wong's filmography (granted, my sample size is small) are nearly lacking from this film, which is much more shrouded in darkness. Despite the reduction in titillation, however, Days of Being Wild is still a very good film. It studies a number of people who all contend with their desires and realities differently: a playboy who seems to feel an absence in his life, two women who are led on by him and seek something more, his…
Wong Kar Wai's Days of Being Wild worked so well for me on the second watch. Back, a few years ago, this was my first Wong film. But now that I've gone through much of his filmography (Chungking Express is one of my favorite films, as is In the Mood for Love. Then there are 2046 and The Grandmaster, etc) I knew this was due for a revisit.
The atmosphere was easier for me to enter, and that is why I love Wong's films so much. I love how he and Doyle shoot these claustrophobic apartments and stairwells and train cars. The skeeziness of it all provides the perfect backdrop for these disparate characters--connected in ambiguous ways sometimes--to navigate…
Roommate Challenge April 2015: China
An early Wai film, that has escaped my viewing for far too long. His second feature and certainly more standard than his later stylistic films. The characters and interweaving story were both good, but nothing that really strikes me as a viewer. There were definitely some elements that stood out; the voiceover sections were one example I loved. But overall, this is one of the weaker of Wai's films that I have seen to date.
Why do I think it's like a better version of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960)?
My second Wong Kar-wai after Chungking Express, and this one is very different, tonally speaking.
Loved how claustrophobic everything feels when Wong Kar-wai is shooting handheld, especially when Maggie Cheung/Carina Lau share the frame with Leslie Cheung (Wai does this to maybe help us understand York's worldview a bit better?)
Not my favorite thing in the world (that fight scene felt totally unnecessary), but it's worth revisiting someday.
Pointless drama... But still rather moody and beautifully shot. Great lounge music.