since I'm in a complete Assayas mood, here are his favourite films that I've taken from a couple sources (top…
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…
It is difficult to explain the experience of watching a Wong Kar-Wai film. It's like finding yourself inside a melancholy dream that, despite making you sad, you don't want to wake up from. His films seem to clutch longingly for something, some indescribable element of human relationships, that can sometimes be touched, but remains forever just out of reach. Being an early work, Days of Being Wild may not be as perfectly realized as some of his more recent films, but it is a crucial part of his filmography and lays the foundation for later masterpieces In the Mood for Love and 2046.
one of the best films of the 90s
Solid precursor to a much better film. Maybe would've liked this more if my expectations were different. I do plan on rewatching at some point.
Nice reflection of the difficulties in life that come from "not being tied down". Drifting turns into aimlessness and purposelessness very quickly.
Most impressive aspect for me (aside from the Li-zhen/Tide scene) is the cinematography, which stresses skin. The camera does not shy away from their faces, and it makes distance shots thematically important by how jarring they are to see. This movie is also edited absolutely perfectly, never leaving a shot for too long, but resisting the shot-reverse shot rapid fire that a lot of character dramas turn back to.
I have serious questions about the gender politics of the movie, especially Zeb, who apparently is allowed to beat the shit out of some poor woman just because?…
| Part of Second Chances |
Look, a great moment, hear, that's fine music, feel, masterful portrayal of love, fear, nothing lasts. This right here is a genuinely sad moment in my life to rate a WKW film this low. Some sense that feels real is soon lost into out of place action and baseless characters. So Yuddy is someone I have to feel sympathy for, two girls I have to forgive for constantly making wrong choices, two kind guys for whom I have to feel nothing.
The film is similar to the kid around the who's constantly making promises in return for a treat but in the heart of the kid, he's not even thinking to reimburse the favour.…
Very well shot and directed, but fundamentally different from the other WKW films I've seen, in that the characters aren't particularly likeable. I am aware that this was the point, but I didn't have the same connection to it in the way I have for his other films; I was left feeling a bit detached and unsatisfied.
Getting some back story on Mrs Chan did make In The Mood Love even more enjoyable though.
Revisited the 1st Wong Kar Wai film I ever watched, Days of Being Wild (阿飛正傳), again for the first time in years, last night, and it was pretty good. Has a very dreary, humid atmosphere, and filled to the brim with characters who are unsure of who they are and what they want in their lives.
Not top tier WKW, but solid. Not a review, but definitely recommend people revisiting or seeing it in general. Maybe not a great starting point, and definitely won't convert any non-enthusiasts, but it's worth scoping out.
Leslie Cheung is fantastic as usual!!!
I guess chronologically this is the first "real" Wong Kar Wai movie, and it starts off great. The further away from Maggie Cheung the narrative moves, the less I really give a shit, tho. Some powerful moments, but a lot more meandering than I would like. In later works, that restless pace would be put to better use. If this were a dish, it'd get more points for mouth feel than taste.
Until yesterday I had only seen one Wong Kar-Wai movie, which was Chungking express. But yesterday evening me and two friends had a marathon night were we watched the full love-trilogy. I loved all three movies and was astonished by the ways Wong Kar-Wai tells his stories with both such romantic atmospheres and still being so innovative and groundbreaking in his camera placements and editing.
This film was probably for me the one I least enjoyed. Maybe it was because I was just not prepared for what I was going to watch. Maybe I felt kind of underwhelmed because of the toned down colors that are used.
Overall though i was very amazed by this first installment in the trilogy,…
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…