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Impromptu Wong Kar-Wai festival


roddy

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Happy Together -- This film just leaves me cold; maybe there's too much repetition without enough character growth? What I got from the documentary (Buenos Aires: Zero Degrees) is that WKW showed up in Argentina with ideas for the two main characters and no story; it shows.
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calibre2001

I wonder how most of you can appreciate Ashes of time (assuming you're not familiar with the original novel). I am not familiar with it myself, so I felt kind of loss throughout the movie although I superficially understand why it was considered a superb interpretation of the novel.

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calibre2001

Technically, it's not an adaption but more of a story created from extrapolation of Jin Yong's novel.

It's pretty much like the broadway play 'The Wicked'. While it can be appreciated on its own, it makes alot more sense when you know the Wizard of Oz. Else one wouldnt understand the cameo appearances made by that Kansas girl and her cocker spaniel.

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I wonder how most of you can appreciate Ashes of time (assuming you're not familiar with the original novel). I am not familiar with it myself, so I felt kind of loss throughout the movie although I superficially understand why it was considered a superb interpretation of the novel.

I enjoyed without having knowing anything about the Jin Yong novel.... I'm not even sure if it's helpful at all to be familar with the original story since Wong Karwai made it into his own. I took it as parable about people who aren't able to express their true feelings for each other until it's too late. A lot of Wong Karwai's movies are about that.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Let me just register I haven't forgotten about this. I haven't been doing it, but nor have I forgotten it . . .

I'm waiting for the Blu-ray of Chungking Express before watching it and Fallen Angels. I'm waiting to watch Blueberry Nights just because I'm not enthused about revisiting it.

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Just watched Ashes of Time (I've fallen out of chronological step due to not getting to chose what to watch.) Really not sure I followed what was going on very well and definitely need to go back and watch it again - this seems to be a very common opinion - but really enjoyed it and don't think the rewatching will be a chore.

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Really not sure I followed what was going on very well and definitely need to go back and watch it again - this seems to be a very common opinion [....]

Yeah. In the editing he seems to move bits of the movie "forward" which doesn't make much sense the first time one sees it, but does on subsequent viewings.

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Really not sure I followed what was going on very well and definitely need to go back and watch it again - this seems to be a very common opinion - but really enjoyed it and don't think the rewatching will be a chore.

Just go with the flow. It's trying to be Taoist. The unknowability of reality and such. Aside from that, I think it can be enjoyed simply as a love story.

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I watched Days of Being Wild yesterday. It may interest some to know that the "full length" version (ie: where the whole movie is on one posted video rather than broken up into chunks) of this movie on Tudou has English subtitles.

In 2005 the Hong Kong Film Awards rated this as the third best Chinese language film ever made, behind 小城之春 and 英雄本色. I'd previously looked up and watched those two and then stopped, so this impromptu festival was a good prompt for me to keep working down the list.

I hadn't realised that this was the original film in the "In the Mood for Love" trilogy. I watched the trilogy in reverse order - saw 2046 when it came out in cinemas, then later looked up In the Mood for Love and just now have watched Days of Being Wild. I really liked 2046 - even though I didn't know any of the backstories when I saw it I thought it stood alone as a movie about how phantoms of the past can live in a person's brain. Watching In the Mood for Love and Days of Being Wild, I saw the phantoms become real.

I don't think I would have enjoyed the trilogy as much if I had watched it in the correct order, because I enjoyed seeing phantoms become real more than I think I would have enjoyed seeing real people become phantoms.

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Just finished Days of Being Wild.

Was feeling quite on top of this one right up to the end where we suddenly get a few minutes of someone we haven't seen before (at least not if we're starting from the beginning) getting ready to go out. Hey ho.

But enjoyed it, if nothing else I've already overcome some of my Andy Lau prejudices - thought he was great in this and loved the way he spends the first half of the movie in shadow or under his policeman's cap. And am picking up threads from movies later in the set, which makes me feel I have more of a clue what's going on :mrgreen:

Chungking Express next - that's no hardship, at least I know I'm going to enjoy half of it . . .

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Chungking Express next
I hope to watch that soon as well -- supposedly the Blu-ray has shipped.
that's no hardship, at least I know I'm going to enjoy half of it . . .
See what you think of the relationship(s) between Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia and the barman.

While the Wong Faye part is a lot of fun, it is the kind of romcom which could be set anywhere. The other part seems much more HK-centric, which I enjoyed as a longtime HK cinema fan.

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Watched Chungking Express for the nth time. It's been years since 9/11, but as an American, watching some of the "waving the plane models around" is a little uncomfortable.

I guess this is my first time watching it since starting to study Mandarin, so now I can get more out of some of Takeshi/Brigitte's scenes.

The movie In the Mood for Love was originally going to be a light film focused on food (IIRC), which is interesting because CE is such a film in many ways.

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Fallen Angels -- See link for a review. Like the reviewer, my opinion of the film has changed after several viewings. I always liked it, but originally I thought it was just a slapped-together attempt to cash in on the success of Chungking Express. That may be the case, :) but it seems to have more going for it than that. It feels like more of a collaboration between WKW and Christopher Doyle. The interactions between He Zhiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his father are touching. The actresses have different roles than they do normally. The movie captures a lot of the coolness of HK "heroic bloodshed" films. Awesome soundtrack.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, the impromptu and yet somehow dragged out Wong Kar-Wai festival continues.

Watched Chongqing Express again today. I had this filed away under 'already watched' but I'm left wondering under what circumstances I watched it, as I might as well have not seen it before. Previously I would have said the first segment is a bit strange and confusing, while the second is really good. Although by really good I think I might have meant 'has Faye Wong and nice music'.

This time round I found myself enjoying the first piece much more. While watching it I kept on thinking of things I should mention this post. However that was some hours ago now and I've forgotten it all. I think perhaps the key is that while 223 and his tinned goods might get most of the attention, Brigitte Lin's got a hell of a little story happening.

In contrast the second one seemed almost too light, and I found myself (whisper it) getting annoyed by Faye Wong. Perhaps now I'm older I prefer drug-smugglers, I don't know. It's still a fantastic piece of course, and utterly watchable, but I didn't find myself staring at the screen thinking 'Damn this is good'. Or perhaps more accurately, I did, but I was suffixing 'but not quite as good . . .'

Have just started the second batch downloading, and if you'll excuse me my laptop is complaining of low disk space. Or perhaps Faye will pop round to empty my recycle bin.

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This time round I found myself enjoying the first piece much more. [...] I think perhaps the key is that while 223 and his tinned goods might get most of the attention, Brigitte Lin's got a hell of a little story happening.
I've read some versions cut out the kidnapping, but that may have been just the US release.

Not only is it quite a story, it's a change from her most famous roles. She's portraying a very average person (albeit with a tough occupation) and without her normal poise or her trademark stare/look. Supposedly her character was inspired by the title character in the movie Gloria.

In contrast the second one seemed almost too light, and I found myself (whisper it) getting annoyed by Faye Wong. Perhaps now I'm older I prefer drug-smugglers, I don't know.
It's strange how the easily accessible parts of a WKW film don't hold up as well, and other parts become more interesting on repeated viewings. Though personally I remain fairly enchanted by her, perhaps because of her entire body of work.

---

My Blueberry Nights See link for a review. Definitely liked it better this time around; really the only sore point remains Rachel Weisz, who I haven't liked since the first Mummy film. The rest of the cast is OK to good, other than Natalie Portman, who just isn't much of an actress. And yes, for English speakers, the dialog is too on-the-nose. But it's a pretty film with a nice soundtrack, and as the review speculates, perhaps this is a take on the wander year of Faye Wong's character in CE.

I turned on the Chinese subs to get some educational value out of watching.

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I'm not sure my ranking has changed after rewatching, though I appreciate most of the films more.

Films I really enjoy:

Chungking Express

Ashes of Time (can't really rank Ashes of Time Redux at this point)

Days of Being Wild

Fallen Angels

In the Mood For Love

Films I don't enjoy as much:

2046

As Tears Go By

Happy Together

My Blueberry Nights

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Watched Fallen Angels last night. I think I liked the scenes, but get confused when I try to put them together and think of it as a movie. I'm going to have to go back to this one - hopefully it'll grow on me too . . .

Happy Together next. . .

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  • 3 months later...
roddy

So you all thought I'd forgotten this. And you were all right.

Watched Happy Together yesterday. Got to say it didn't hold my attention right the way through and I can't really find much to say about it. But I did watch it.

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  • 1 year later...
roddy
One every couple of days for two and a bit weeks - maybe one every three days would be wiser.

Point and laugh folks, point and laugh.

Anyway, just watched In The Mood For Love. And damn, but it's gorgeous. There's no need for me to add anything - if you haven't watched it watch it, if you have watched it watch it again.

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