Wong Kar-wai

I’ve been running through a bunch of the movies of Wong Kar-wai (王家衛) recently.

In the order I saw them in:

  • I originally saw 2046 in the theater, and it was the first of his movies I saw. I liked it, but didn’t quite understand it past a superficial level. I discovered the reason only recently…
  • At some point I saw My Blueberry Nights, which, although filled with beautiful and famous young Western actors, is not very memorable. Natalie Portman steals the movie, as predicted. I originally saw this movie because of my search for Road Movies, a genre of which this is not a great example.
  • A filmmaker friend, Chris McGilvray, pointed out that 2046 is actually filled with references to In the Mood For Love… so I saw that one. 2046 makes a lot more sense now! It’s a bit slower, but paired together they are my favorites so far.
  • Days of Being Wild – a slacker playboy seduces shopkeeper Maggie Cheung and then psycho floozy Carina Lau, and then flips out and leaves for the Philippines. Not much happens in it, but the performances are interesting. I wouldn’t recommend this one except to arthouse film fans/
  • Chungking Express: Two stories. I liked the second half of this movie, the part with Faye Wong and Tony Leung, much better than the first. I’d actually recommend watching this one FIRST – it’s the lightest of all the movies so far, and the DVD release has a short review by Quentin Tarantino describing the film’s significance and who the actors are.
  • Fallen Angels, as of Oct 29, is my new favorite. It starts out with the strongest premise, and the most compelling characters. Its second half starts meandering… Wong is not real plot-focussed I guess. Still the best edited, although still better in the first half than the last. Actiony.