Top 5 Wong Kar-wai films

September 23, 2012

With a lengthy production and repeated delays to any public exhibition of his newest film The Grandmasters, the cinematic landscape has been sorely missing the presence of Wong Kar-wai. His last completed film – the admittedly middling English-language effort My Blueberry Nights – premiered over five years ago now at the 2007 instalment of Cannes. Arguably the most impactful Chinese director of the 1990s, Wong’s films thrive on strong primary emotions, introspective characters trying to escape their trappings, and exhilarating, kinetic forms of editing, tonal and visual mismatches, and sumptuous colours and wide-angle cinematography. They are also anchored by a frequently recurring assortment of great Asian stars. With The Grandmasters hopefully reaching cinemas sometime next year, here’s a retrospective look at a personal top five of his past works.

5. 2046 (2004)
In the way that Fallen Angels can be seen as a darker companion to Chungking Express, 2046 exists as a companion piece to (primarily) In The Mood For Love, arguably Wong Kar-wai’s most widely acclaimed film and one that only just missed the cut here. There are also musical, verbal and character name call-backs to Days Of Being Wild in 2046.

Partially operating in a science fiction framework, the film’s various continuations, revisions and re-imaginings of past works and concerns in his filmography render this as Wong’s most self-reflective work, and arguably his most personal in its examination of unfulfilled love. While a very ill-advised choice for a Wong newcomer to start with, this beautiful, unique effort is a hugely rewarding triumph…

Remainder of article at SubtitledOnline


One comment

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