Saturday, 7 March 2009

Wong Kar Wai.

Due to anxiety, I couldn't sleep, I watched a marathon session of Wong Kar Wai (王家衛) directed movies from my dvd collection. Perpetually behind his trademark sunglass, he is one of my favourite director of all time but of late, his output has been quite stale in comparison to his earlier works. I liked his works coz of the atmospheric, expressionistic usage of color rich tones, lush visuals and eclectic musics. His movies are usually based around "memories" of failed romance and subsequent loneliness, its inverse implication on the emotions and psyche of the characters, usually a motley mix of seedy, morally conflicted characters, played by gorgeous looking actors and actresses (but then again, anyone would have looked beautiful in any WKW movies...). In his hand, what is seen as mundane daily activities are elevated to higher art form, example include daydreaming, just lying on the bed, or communing through the MRT. There is usually a narration accompanying each scenes, by various characters, reflecting their thoughts and reasons for an act. It is said that WKW movies are basically influenced by French New Wave directors like Jean Luc Godard. Not all his movies are drama laden, on occasion, there would be insertion of humours amongst the characters' conversations as well. Interestingly, WKW himself did a cameo (unrecognisable the first time), in the comedy horror The Haunted Cop Shop 2. Detractors would called his movies over-pretentious, nonsensical, rubbish whilst fans called it post modern classic. Like most "arty" movies, WKW works are not commercial hits, yet never failed to entice serious critics into giving them a thumbs up verdict. He is also notorious for changing the scripts on the very last minute and occasionally, entire scenes were edited from the final version, causing complications during production. Due to this "unpredictability", some actors and actresses have refused or gave up on any future collaborations with WKW. Credits also go to Christopher Doyle (杜可風), the cinematographer, and William Chang (張叔平), the art director/editor, both until recently, long time collaborators of WKW movies, for the stylistic editing, unique angles and coloration which helped WKW achieved his cinematic visions and experience.

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