Author Topic: WONG KAR-WAI  (Read 18833 times)

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takitani

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #60 on: February 04, 2006, 05:57:48 AM »
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Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai (Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, In the Mood for Love, 2046, etc.,) wants to make a film on the human tragedy that transpired in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last August. Filming will take place mostly in New York City due to the heavy damage still in New Orleans and will have a budget of $50 million. Wong Kar Wai is eyeing Adrien Brody for the lead role.
http://www.cinemastrikesback.com/?p=928

This is so WTF? There goes Shanghai  :yabbse-sad:

modage

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #61 on: February 04, 2006, 10:40:02 AM »
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really? cause Rachel Weisz had just mentioned that she was doing his next movie? 
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

takitani

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #62 on: February 16, 2006, 08:53:16 PM »
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Hooray, the Hurricane Katrina project is scrapped!  :yabbse-thumbup: WKW is doing a film about a guy who falls in love with a gal who eats blueberry pies with Norah Jones (yups, the singer). It's official.

kotte

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2006, 05:24:51 PM »
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I never knew this but...

my friend met WKWs producer in China and he tried set up a meeting with him. His producer told him he was busy closing a deal...a real estate deal. Apparently real estate is his main source of income and is where he spends most of his time: Buying and selling houses.

...no wonder he doesn't have time to write scripts.

Pubrick

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #64 on: February 19, 2006, 10:00:41 PM »
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my friend met WKWs producer in China and he tried set up a meeting with him. His producer told him he was busy closing a deal...a real estate deal. Apparently real estate is his main source of income and is where he spends most of his time: Buying and selling houses.
did you think all directors live off the movies they make? WKW would be W.I.P.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

kotte

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2006, 02:31:55 PM »
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my friend met WKWs producer in China and he tried set up a meeting with him. His producer told him he was busy closing a deal...a real estate deal. Apparently real estate is his main source of income and is where he spends most of his time: Buying and selling houses.
did you think all directors live off the movies they make? WKW would be W.I.P.

Yeah, maybe, I don't know...I certainly don't see WKW working in a cubicle on weekdays, shooting film in weekends and yearly vacations...

takitani

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2006, 11:51:30 PM »
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I never knew this but...

my friend met WKWs producer in China and he tried set up a meeting with him. His producer told him he was busy closing a deal...a real estate deal. Apparently real estate is his main source of income and is where he spends most of his time: Buying and selling houses.
:shock:

Pubrick

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2006, 01:14:12 AM »
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I certainly don't see WKW working in a cubicle on weekdays, shooting film in weekends and yearly vacations...
you don't need a cubicle or a 9-5 weekday schedule to sell houses. he's not a real estate agent, he just sells and buys his own property. i think all smart investors do this, i'm pretty sure GZA does this.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

kotte

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2006, 08:56:25 AM »
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I certainly don't see WKW working in a cubicle on weekdays, shooting film in weekends and yearly vacations...
you don't need a cubicle or a 9-5 weekday schedule to sell houses. he's not a real estate agent, he just sells and buys his own property. i think all smart investors do this, i'm pretty sure GZA does this.

I under stand that. It was an exaggeration because real estate doesn't fit in mith my image of WKW...as it does in yours.

SiliasRuby

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2006, 09:25:57 PM »
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I just 2046 today again, and it's absolutely brillant. Everything about it screams cinema and it might be his best and my fav.
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MacGuffin

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #70 on: May 11, 2006, 09:19:04 PM »
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Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai finds success easier abroad

HONG KONG (AFP) - Chinese director Wong Kar-wai has proved a revelation in the Hong Kong cinema world known for its bloody gangster and martial arts flicks, yet his unique style has won him more fans overseas than at home.
 
The 48-year-old auteur, who this month becomes the first Chinese filmmaker to head the jury at the Cannes film festival, has won praise for his stunning visual style and sensual art films as well as a clutch of international awards.

He was the first Chinese to win the best director award at Cannes in 1997 for "Happy Together", the tale of a strained relationship between two Chinese gay lovers living in Buenos Aires.

But it was his later film "In The Mood For Love" released in 2000 which earned him wider international plaudits, nominated for a Golden Palm at Cannes and going on to earn some 2.7 million dollars at the US box office.

Despite the global recognition, Wong's films are hardly box-office hits back home, where the local media prefers to dwell on his reputation for being eccentric and laborious, working without a script or even sometimes a plot outline.

"His films don't do so well in the local box office. Most of them watch Wong Kar-wai's film and don't understand what he's trying to say," said local critic Shum Longtin.

Wong, who is always seen in his trademark dark glasses, has in turn criticised local audiences for a lack of curiosity.

"It's not about whether a film is fast-paced or not ... They just say 'I don't get it'. They are not hungry," he once said.

Born in Shanghai, Wong moved to Hong Kong when he was five. Despite no formal training, he enrolled in a television drama training program after graduating from a local college in graphic design in 1980.

He later worked as a production assistant before becoming a TV scriptwriter.

Wong made his directorial debut in 1988 with "As Tears Go By" which was shown in Cannes. His 1990 follow-up "Days of Being Wild" regularly tops local critics' polls of the best films ever made despite being a financial failure.

International praise was heaped on the 1994 "Chungking Express", a quirky romantic comedy that Quentin Tarantino liked so much that he selected it as the first product of his Rolling Thunder distribution company.

"Personally, I think he is the best director in Hong Kong's history because of the technical skills and artistic achievements in his films," critic Shum said.

Wong is highly regarded for his ability to bring out the best in his actors, making international stars out of Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung, while his partnership with cinematographer Christopher Doyle has been another key to his success.

"You can see Maggie Cheung's acting was totally transformed after 'As Tears Go By'. He knows how to turn mediocre actors into international stars," Shum said.

Former beauty queen Cheung won best actress at Cannes in 2004 for her role as a junkie rock star in ex-husband Olivier Assayas's "Clean".

Actors, however, temper their praise of Wong with frustration over his methods. After it took five years to complete the futuristic love epic "2046", which was shown at Cannes in 2004, star Leung described the process as torture.

Still, that has not put off Hollywood heavyweight Nicole Kidman and multiple Grammy-award winner Norah Jones who are to star in his upcoming and first English-speaking films: "The Lady from Shanghai" and "My Blueberry Nights".
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takitani

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #71 on: May 12, 2006, 02:01:50 AM »
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Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai finds success easier abroad

HONG KONG (AFP) - Chinese director Wong Kar-wai has proved a revelation in the Hong Kong cinema world known for its bloody gangster and martial arts flicks, yet his unique style has won him more fans overseas than at home.
 
The 48-year-old auteur, who this month becomes the first Chinese filmmaker to head the jury at the Cannes film festival, has won praise for his stunning visual style and sensual art films as well as a clutch of international awards.

He was the first Chinese to win the best director award at Cannes in 1997 for "Happy Together", the tale of a strained relationship between two Chinese gay lovers living in Buenos Aires.

But it was his later film "In The Mood For Love" released in 2000 which earned him wider international plaudits, nominated for a Golden Palm at Cannes and going on to earn some 2.7 million dollars at the US box office.

Despite the global recognition, Wong's films are hardly box-office hits back home, where the local media prefers to dwell on his reputation for being eccentric and laborious, working without a script or even sometimes a plot outline.

"His films don't do so well in the local box office. Most of them watch Wong Kar-wai's film and don't understand what he's trying to say," said local critic Shum Longtin.

Wong, who is always seen in his trademark dark glasses, has in turn criticised local audiences for a lack of curiosity.

"It's not about whether a film is fast-paced or not ... They just say 'I don't get it'. They are not hungry," he once said.

Born in Shanghai, Wong moved to Hong Kong when he was five. Despite no formal training, he enrolled in a television drama training program after graduating from a local college in graphic design in 1980.

He later worked as a production assistant before becoming a TV scriptwriter.

Wong made his directorial debut in 1988 with "As Tears Go By" which was shown in Cannes. His 1990 follow-up "Days of Being Wild" regularly tops local critics' polls of the best films ever made despite being a financial failure.

International praise was heaped on the 1994 "Chungking Express", a quirky romantic comedy that Quentin Tarantino liked so much that he selected it as the first product of his Rolling Thunder distribution company.

"Personally, I think he is the best director in Hong Kong's history because of the technical skills and artistic achievements in his films," critic Shum said.

Wong is highly regarded for his ability to bring out the best in his actors, making international stars out of Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung, while his partnership with cinematographer Christopher Doyle has been another key to his success.

"You can see Maggie Cheung's acting was totally transformed after 'As Tears Go By'. He knows how to turn mediocre actors into international stars," Shum said.

Former beauty queen Cheung won best actress at Cannes in 2004 for her role as a junkie rock star in ex-husband Olivier Assayas's "Clean".

Actors, however, temper their praise of Wong with frustration over his methods. After it took five years to complete the futuristic love epic "2046", which was shown at Cannes in 2004, star Leung described the process as torture.

Still, that has not put off Hollywood heavyweight Nicole Kidman and multiple Grammy-award winner Norah Jones who are to star in his upcoming and first English-speaking films: "The Lady from Shanghai" and "My Blueberry Nights".
That's sad :yabbse-undecided:  Several of his films are allegorical tales about Hong Kong and its history. You would think...

pete

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #72 on: May 12, 2006, 10:13:01 AM »
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it's coming from one snobby critic though.  people like his films just fine in hong kong, but it's that same small crowd of kids who watch indie and artsy films.  it's not like wong karwai is a box office hit elsewhere in the world.  but do tell, which films of his are "allegorical of hong kong's history"?
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takitani

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2006, 01:34:13 AM »
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but do tell, which films of his are "allegorical of hong kong's history"?
His last trilogy (Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, 2046) chronicles the drastic changes Hong Kong underwent in the '60s as a British neocolony (ITMFL ends in 1966, the year of the Cultural Revolution in China) to the 50 years after the Hong Kong handover (hence, the fixation on the number 2046). All three films involve characters pining for a time and a lifestyle that no longer exists, amidst such a booming, modernized socio-economic environment. There are a lot of sociological references to be found in the characters' lifestyles, where they came from, etc. I still haven't gotten many of 'em down... I have to see these films again, and read more stuff about Hong Kong in the '60s. I remember being totally clueless when I saw that clip of de Gaulle towards the end of ITMFL.

And Happy Together delves into a lot of stuff about nationalism and identity and the ambivalent lines in between all of these issues. I personally did not get a lot of the thematic motifs in the film. But there are a lot of smart reviewers/film scholars who have.

Here's an excerpt from a wonderful review that pinpoints a handful of its political references to nationalism:
Quote
The issue of nationalism is introduced in the very first shot: a close-up shows anonymous fingers (presumably those of an Argentine immigration officer) flipping through Yiu-Fai’s and Po-Wing’s passports. The photographs of their distinctly Asian faces are glimpsed inside. The fingers then point to the lines that read “British national (overseas)” before stamping them with an immigration seal bearing a prominent date (12 May 1995). Afterwards comes the film’s main title, “Happy Together,” followed by a shot of Po-Wing next to a night table. On the table (among some garbage) are a lamp of Iguazu Falls and some pictures of Po-Wing and Yiu-Fai together. From the outset, Wong stresses the issue and problem of nationality. The passport is a supreme signifier of both nationalism and personal identity. Wong literally underlines these issues by having the officer’s finger point out the document’s claim that these two Asian men are “British national.” And the date on the stamp (like the expiry dates on Chungking Express’ pineapple tins) indirectly hints at the countdown to the hand-over. In the context of 1997, the year of Happy Together’s release, the question is implicit: To what extent are Yiu-Fai and Po-Wing “British nationals”?

In the next scene, the problem of nationalism segues into the problem of relationships. The juxtaposition of the painted Iguazu Falls lamp and the photos of the two lovers link their relationship to the waterfalls—or at least to a mediated image of the actual geographic location. Lying in a shabby bed in a shabby room, Po-Wing tells Yiu-Fai that they could “start over.” Until now, all the images have been in color. But the film cuts to black & white when Yiu-Fai gets into bed with Po-Wing and the two men renew their relationship with vigorous lovemaking. We hear Yiu-Fai’s voice-over say that he and Po-Wing have broken up many times but get back together every time Po-Wing wants to “start over.” As the two men “start over,” the film itself seems to “start over” by going back to the monochromatic origins of the moving image. The sex between the two men plays as an alternate act of conception—a renewal of the relationship, of the film, of cinema itself.


Regardless, WKW's films are enjoyable on many levels. I mean, I enjoy his film's romanticism, first and foremost. The other stuff are extra bonuses  :yabbse-smiley: But I just thought that the people in Hong Kong would've connected with it more, knowing more of their own history, etc.

pete

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #74 on: May 14, 2006, 12:00:34 AM »
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that's all critic talk.  it's like when Herzog makes a film, all the French will talk about is his German neo-realist tendencies, until they learn about neo-romanticism, and then that's all they see in Herzog's films--and at the same time, the Americans look for nazi references in his films because he's from Germany.  I think Wong KarWai and Chris Doyle are a pair of very conscious cats whose characters inhabit a real world with real geo-political and socio-economical implications, but film school papers on what one character is saying and what it cuts to and what It All Means to world cinema as well as Chinese cinema, is to undermine the pair's visceral approach to filmmaking--grasping the energy and the space of people instead of scripting everything to voice some kind of great political ideal.
the pair in happy together deal with problems all immigrants abroad face, especially the ones without much money or sense of community: loneliness, isolation, and homesickness, on top of their troubled relationships with their family and each other.  their national identity is amongst the least of their worries.  97 is obviously a scary number to citizens of hong kong, and maybe one can argue that the anxiety seeps into wong's works.  however, to have one shot of one immigration officer touching one part of the passport and to say that that is wong karwai exploring the national identities of his characters, is pure academic bullshit. 

this kind of soulless scrutiny/ intellectual masturbation has always bothered me, because it always inevitably turns filmmaking into this intellectual exercise, or circular logic algebra: the passport must signify x therefore whenever the passport appeas wong karwai must be saying x.  it takes away the organic nature of filmmaking, that is particularly celebrated in wong karwai and doyle's collaborations.  allegories are easy, metaphors are hard, but still easier than poetry.  capturing the spirit and the energy of the times is very different from being political.
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