{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Monday, January 17, 2005

Wong Kar-Wai's Movies

I missed to write about two of the Wong Kar-Wai films, I have seen. In the mood for love and Chungking Express. Wong Kar-wai is one of those directors who doesn't work with a script on hand (There is a anecdote about it too, he moved the location of In the mood for love from Beijing to Macau after Chinese authorities demanded to see the completed script, which the director didn't have). He starts with 2 to 3 stories and start making the movie and edit it in the end ( He shot about 3 hours of movie for In the mood for love and later on edited it to just 98 mins, actually if you see the deleted scenes it looks that at least one movie can be made out of it and the movie could have had the possibility of several endings on the editing table). Usually Kar-wai use 2 out of 3 stories in mind and take third one for the next movie. Sounds interesting.

Now coming to movies, Chungking express is one of those movies which are made of more than one stories and more than one main characters and there is almost no effort to connect them in any artificial way. Its a movie about the interactions we have in our day to day life and how many of them stay with us. How we react to similar situations. How we express love. How we deal with lost love. How we all connect with very common emotions in very uncommon ways. This film was shot in 23 days and the kinetic power of this shows on screen. You need to see this movie to appreciate it ( actually this is true for all 'good' movies). And this movie require an attentive viewing and with time you just gel with characters, showing all your vigilance to it. This a mix of style, music, like-you-characters and vibrant image. Go see it.

Now Wong war-kai is such a amazing film maker that he surprises with a volte face of genre. In the mood for love is all about mood. A simple story about love, the inability to gather the courage to express the feelings and the internal emotional drama of longing are underlying currents that make this movie so electrifying, even though the pace is like a cool breeze. Also the music is haunting to an extent that it almost synchronizes with every camera moment, every expression and to the emotional trauma faced/concealed by the leading pair. The peeping camera angles, the minimal (sometimes even faceless) characters and locations and the soulful music gives this movie what I can call an 'uplifting' experience. It is one of those things where the aftertaste exceeds the taste itself. It took 15 month to shot it, lot of which was sacrificed on editing table. But the final piece is nothing short of amazing.

There are lot more Wong Kar wai movies on my to-see list. I think next will be Fallen Angels.


antickpix said...


WKW is definitely a great director (and one of all time favs).

One of his best films IMO, other than the two you've mentioned is 'Happy Together'.

Nice blog (usually i just say that, but I'm a movie buff too, and I really mean it here). :)

anurag said...

Thanks antickpix. Will check out 'Happy Together' soon.