I’m not a WKW expert but I’ve seen a bit of his work (Chungking Express, 2046, In The Mood For Love, Ashes of Time Redux, Happy Together) & I believe he has not had a single screenplay that has shown off his true talent. He is certain a visual stylist (he loves using saturated colours, rapid editing & I like particularly his use of slow motion in Chungking) but sometimes I feel as if he’s devising shots & scenes only show off visually. Some of his movies have scenes that just drag on too long for no symbolic or thematic purpose (e.g. the ending of In The Mood For Love with the camera shot of the temple or Happy Together with the shot of the waterfall) & dialogue certainly needs some revision (especially in the first act of Chungking with Takeshi Kaneshiro and his narration).
It seems as if he devises his scenes to amaze us on a visual scale (especially Ashes of Time Redux) but does his style support the movie’s plot or character development? IMO, every great director must devise a strategy, a style that conforms or supports its screenplay (which is why I admire Scorsese so much). And I’ve rewatched much of his work and I just don’t see WKW doing that at all, he places style over substance, which makes the experience special the first time around. The next viewing just dims down.
If anyone thinks differently, just tell me. But I’ve seen quite a bit of his work & I don’t think he’s a master. I like his occasional imagination but I’d really like to see more human insight in his characters. I was nearly bored to death in my first viewing of In The Mood For Love, got frustrated at the lack of cohesion in Ashes of Time Redux & didn’t see anything special about the homosexual relationship in Happy Together. The only work of his I liked was Chungking but he can do better. He needs more substance & better control in his style.
I hope that his movie ‘The Grand Master’ is good though. Cos Ip Man didn’t treat the script seriously. And his cinematographer, Christopher Doyle deserves far more attention than he’s been received.
Liz, re-watch In the Mood For Love, I felt the same way about it on my first viewing but when re-watching it I realized that WKW had found such a perfect harmony of form and content. I know consider it a flawless film and one of the best of the decade, if not the best.
what movie of Wong Kar-wai do you think have the feminist in it ? the feminist as of Laura Mulvet or Tania Modelski ?
His films are to be felt, not so much followed. His tennis volley narrations materialize the beautiful imagery together. I do believe he is capable of doing a straight ahead film but why? There are so many three act plotted films every year. I also think his films are meant for the theater, not a television. Its an experience to see his work in the theater instead of dvd.
Happy Together is my favorite, but I don’t see any connection to it and Brokeback Muntain
I love his work. He has an amazing ability that I’d almost equate with Ophuls to find objects that define turning points in a characters life. The wall in In the Mood for Love (a shot that is repeated that seems to slowly encroach on the lovers throughout the film). The handjob in Eros that doesn’t just begin a crush in a young man’s life but becomes a moment that allows him to mature and see the world with more intelligent eyes. The various pies in My Blueberry Nights. The idea of sight in Ashes of Time as downfall and victory. And finally the bachelor pad in Days of Being Wild that goes on even as the hero lies dead, only to be occupied by another bachelor…possibly the Man from In the Mood for Love.
His composition is gorgeous, but textured filled with a sense of the crowds of his locales and the atmosphere around the characters. Of his films, I’ve only failed to be involved by As Tears Go By, but that was an early film and I’ve only sen it once.