Wong Kar Wai

Which director made the best films, made the best visuals, or smelled the best? This is the forum to find out.

Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:31 am

Ashes of Time Redux will play the Toronto Film Festival.

Dark Horizons wrote:Ashes of Time Redux
d. Wong Kar-wai
Wong Kar-wai works his magic in this long-planned "reworking" of his legendary, romantic and one and only martial arts film, previously unreleased in North America. Set in ancient China, Ouyang Feng (Leslie Cheung) is a fallen swordsman who is afraid of love after having his heart broken. But the bounty hunters that work for him, like "Blind Swordsman" (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and Hung Chi (Jacky Cheung), discover the intangible secret of true love while Ouyang retains his attitude towards his fighters and the precious lessons that they have taught.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:38 pm

Ashes of Time Redux Quicktime trailer.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Maui on Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:24 pm

It would seem that we are discussing "Ashes of Time Redux" more than "My Blueberry Nights", and rightfully so. Ashes is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen.

Wong Kar Wai is a favourite of mine, for his visual style, perfection of clouds, and long shots of moody faces. I've seen all of his films, love every single one of them, with the exception of "Blueberry". I didn't care about this woman's journey, I didn't want to invest any time in it. It just didn't seem right without Tony Leung or Maggie Cheung behind a dark, moody corner. Norah Jones was incredibly bland, really no surprise here. The only scene that was somewhat captivating with her in it, was when she was sleeping at the restaurant counter, with a bit of pie stuck to her lips. We have Wong Kar Wai's signature shots with crappy actors, with the exception of David Strathairn, the only noteworthy performance.

This movie really just fell flat for me.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Spandau Belly on Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:24 pm

Even though I thought Blueberry Nights was kind of a shitty movie, I still felt compelled to give this Wong guy a shot. I figured he's got this huge cult that love him, and even they didn't like Blueberry Nights, so I'll check out another one of his movies to try and get a better idea of what all the fuss is about.

So I checked out 2046, and it was definately a much better film. It had great atmosphere and mood and sexyness. But I'll also say I felt like the last half hour dragged like a sonofabitch. It ultimately left me kinda impatient and unsatisfied, yet strangely, having seen and ultimately not liked two of this guy's movies, I still feel compelled to see more.

I feel like this guy could make a movie I'd like. The two films of his I've seen kinda had all the same things I like about Pedro Almodovar movies such as his ability to make anybody sexy-looking and to create really absurd stories in which fate just re-shuffles the same group of beautiful people into one unlikely situation after the next. And I really like Almodovar.

So I think I'll continue to check out more of Wong's movies until I find some I can fully enjoy, or I get frustrated and realize he's just not for me.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Maui on Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:32 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:
So I think I'll continue to check out more of Wong's movies until I find some I can fully enjoy, or I get frustrated and realize he's just not for me.


Try "Chunking Express", "In the Mood for Love", and my all time WKW favourite, which will be available on DVD March 3, "Ashes of Time Redux".
You may find "In the Mood for Love" similar to "2046" - you should, there are alot of clever crossovers between these 2 films.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby stereosforgeeks on Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:23 pm

Man the Criterion Bluray of Chungking is just fantastic looking. I could stare at those frames for ages.

Chungking and Ashes Of Time make for an interesting double feature as well.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:47 pm

Kung Fu Cinema wrote:Song Hye-gyo joins ‘The Grand Master’ as shooting begins
by Mark Pollard

Korean actress Song Hye-kyo has joined the cast of Wong Kar-wai’s upcoming martial arts drama THE GRAND MASTER, a biopic of Wing Chun master Yip Man that begins production this month with leading cast Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen.

Song is a popular actress on Korean TV with her biggest hit being the series AUTUMN IN MY HEART. While not her first feature film role, it will be her first international role. According to a spokesman she has been studying Chinese and martial arts for the film.

Long in development, THE GRAND MASTER is Wong’s dramatic take on the life of Wing Chun master Yip Man, who is best known internationally for being Bruce Lee’s martial arts instructor. He has also been the topic of director Wilson Yip’s (no relation) kung fu actioner IP MAN, starring Donnie Yen. This is the first in a trilogy with IP MAN 2 expected to be released in 2010.

For his role as Yip Man, Leung has been training extensively with Yuen Woo-ping’s stunt team and Yip Man’s son, Yip Chun. Their preparation hit a setback earlier in the year when Leung broke his left arm during training but he has since recovered.

Source: The Korea Herald
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Strabo on Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:05 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:So I checked out 2046, and it was definately a much better film. It had great atmosphere and mood and sexyness. But I'll also say I felt like the last half hour dragged like a sonofabitch. It ultimately left me kinda impatient and unsatisfied, yet strangely, having seen and ultimately not liked two of this guy's movies, I still feel compelled to see more.

I feel like this guy could make a movie I'd like. The two films of his I've seen kinda had all the same things I like about Pedro Almodovar movies such as his ability to make anybody sexy-looking and to create really absurd stories in which fate just re-shuffles the same group of beautiful people into one unlikely situation after the next. And I really like Almodovar.

So I think I'll continue to check out more of Wong's movies until I find some I can fully enjoy, or I get frustrated and realize he's just not for me.


You watched the wrong films first. Blueberry is just...tepid. 2046 is glorious, but since you haven't seen the earlier films it draws on, you're missing a lot of subtext.

2046 basically takes characters (and cast members), ideas, themes, and atmosphere from some of his earlier and great films and blends them together in broad strokes. In fact, if you see an actor in 2046 who was previously in one of WKW's earlier films, you can safely assume that their present character, even if it's someone different, is a composite of their earlier WKW character/s. 2046 essentially draws on characters and themes from Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, and In the Mood for Love and really suffers if you haven't seen those films. Tony Leung's character is specifically the character he played in In the Mood for Love combined with Leslie Cheung's character from Days of Being Wild (as an aside, there's an interesting story there, Leung was in that movie as well, but his 2046 character is combined with Cheung's character, rather than Leung's character in that movie, as an homage to Cheung. Cheung was a much-beloved Hong Kong actor who committed suicide in 2003). Carina Lau's character is the same character she played in Days of Being Wild. Faye Wong's character isn't specifically the same character, but she's painted with some of the same brush-strokes (incidentally, I think Amelie owes a lot to the Faye Wong segment of Chungking). Gong Li's Su Li-Zhen is a different character from Maggie Cheung's Su Li-Zhen (who is the character Tony Leung's character falls in love with in In the Mood for Love, and who also appears very briefly in 2046), but as I think is clear in 2046, you're meant to think of Cheung's character due to Tony Leung's obsession with Su Li-Zhen. As I'm sure you figured out, the whole point of the film is Leung's Chow Mo-wan is engaging in all of these relationships (he has intimate relationships with Faye Wong, Carina Lau, Gong Li, and Zhang Ziyi. In the same movie? Luckiest guy in the world? Arguably yes.) in an attempt to recapture what he felt with Cheung's Su Li-Zhen in In the Mood for Love.

From the size of the Wall-O-Text, you should have figured out that there is a lot of subtext and nuance provided by these earlier films that you will completely miss in 2046 if you're not at least passingly familiar with them. If you have the cash to spare, buy the Kino box set, the Criterion In the Mood for Love, 2046, and the recent Fallen Angels rerelease (Special Edition, Redux, whatever). You won't regret it.
There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:00 am

Kino has Fallen Angels on Blu-ray now and Happy Together out in June. I'm really tempted but I have to wonder if they're going to box them up like they did with the DVDs.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Spandau Belly on Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:48 am

CHUNGKING EXPRESS

A few years ago I wrote a gently negative review of Wong Kar Wai's American filmmaking debut, MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS. I called it corny, but said I kinda enjoyed watching it. It was the first film from Wong that I had seen. A bunch of people got pissed at me and told me I had no right to critize this film because I "know nothing about Wong Kar Wai". Even though MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS wasn't a sequel, it was a standalone film, I was told that I needed to have seen his other films to "understand" what what Wong is trying to do. This was all their cute way of saying that in order to like Wong, you have to already like Wong. But I also took it to mean that his earlier films were better and they were willing to go soft on him because he'd built up some cred with them. Now that the dust has settled, even Wong's fans seem to feel that MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS is his worst film. I got some suggestions as to which films of his to check out from his days back in China. Lots of people suggested 2046, his sci-fi film, but everybody seems to agree that CHUNGKING EXPRESS is his masterpiece.

Having now watched MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS, 2046, and CHUNGKING EXPRESS, I can say that these three films are all incredibly similiar. They deal with the same subjects of puppylove and melancholy longing. They all have the same sleepy tone and involve the same types of settings and characte typesrs. Wong definately has a trademark style both in terms of visuals and narrative. I know he's got some big kung fu movie coming out this year, but I'm going to make the guess that most of his films are similiar to the ones I've watched. So since his films are mostly re-combinations of the same elements, it's just a question of which films put them together better than others. And I would agree that CHUNGKING EXPRESS is the best of the ones I have seen and would even call it a good movie.

His characters behave like 12 year olds, but not in that bratty way that makes me want to slap them, more in a sweet inocent way that melts my heart and makes me feel bad for thinking they're kinda retarded because they're just so sweetly retarded. And I'll admit that I kinda dig that Wong's style is based entirely on breaking every rule of cinema there is. I like how he gets a third of the way through the film and is like "Alright, I've done everything I feel like doing with this protagonist, let's bring in a different one for the rest of the movie." Wong pulls off a lot of risky shit in this movie, most notably, playing the same three pre-recorded songs about 1000 times over the course of the film. And I also like the way Wong fetishizes beautiful women.

I'm glad I saw this, and I will continue to rent his movies throughout time. One definately has to be in the right mood for Wong's sleepy filmmaking, but every now and then I get in that mood. So here's to the future, Wong.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:48 am

Go straight to In The Mood For Love. You really should have seen it before 2046, but that's how I did it so I can't give you any grief.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:13 am

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE seems to be the next most highly recommended film of his, so that will probably be the next one I see. Thanks
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby BuckyO'harre on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:42 pm

Don't worry, Mr. Shoelaces, your instructions aren't wasted. I watched Chungking Express last week, and as it's the first WKW film I've seen, I shall now follow your advice and go for ITMFL next.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:17 pm

And for all the Wong lovers, here's the trailer for his kung-fu flick THE GRANDMASTER.



It's already been out in China for awhile, but it hasn't come to where I live yet.
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Al Shut on Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:30 am

Looks interesting enough but I couldn't help but womder

How the hell can they write Kungfu as one word and than say it's two words in the same sentence?
Note to myself: Fix this image shit!
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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:53 pm

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Re: My Blueberry Nights / WKW thread

Postby Spandau Belly on Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:41 am

Can one of the mods retitle this thread 'Wong Kar Wai' and move it to the directors discussion area please?

Thank you
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Re: Wong Kar Wai

Postby so sorry on Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:30 am

Done and done!
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Re: Wong Kar Wai

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:00 pm

The Grandmaster is available for streaming at Amazon.
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