Monday, March 07, 2005

10 observations about 2046.

  1. It's easy to get your hands on.
    I tried to be patient and wait for Wong Kar-Wai's quasi-sequel to In the Mood for Love to make it to American screens. I'm sure it'll get here some day, but not any day soon (still no firm U.S. release date from any of the film's 9,000 production/distribution companies).
    I got a DVD copy of the pristine, region-free, NTSC Hong Kong special edition from Cinefile. It's also available in a myriad of other formats from Hong Kong Flix.
    Yes, it must be a richer experience seeing 2046 on the screen. But I figured, I could die in a car accident tomorrow or have a stroke or something. The movie is within my grasp. Carpe diem. And stuff.
    I suggest you do the same.

  2. This is Hong Kong Flix's official plot summary:
    "You actually want a plot for a trippy Wong Kar-Wai film? Ha ha ha... "

    It's not that difficult. I could sum it up rather easily, but what fun is that? I knew very little going in and think that's for the best. Instead, enjoy WKW's typically WKWesque overview:
    He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same recapture their lost memories. It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed. Nobody knew for sure if it was true, because nobody who went there had ever come back--except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change.

  3. WKW makes me swoon.
    Well, his visuals do anyway. I quit counting after the fourth time the composition made me lose my breath. And mind you, this isn't some epic Grand Canyon stuff or special effect shit that's making me gasp. No, it's the way Wong frames Tony Leung talking on the phone, his face obscured by a cabinet, a bare light bulb hanging to his left. Don't ask me why, in Wong’s hands, it's magic.

  4. The ache isn't as acute.
    Remember how In the Mood For Love quietly inserted an arrow into your heart and then ever so slowly twisted it for the next hour and a half? The ache isn't that pronounced in 2046. Oh, it's there, but it's more a pulse. Under all the cinematic energy and color and overlapping storylines, it’s there. And on ocassion, and with restraint, Wong goes in for the kill and that pulse becomes a throb and you remember how silly all those charges of WKW being emotionally detached really are.

  5. Zhang Ziyi Zhang might just be the most gorgeous actress currently working in cinema.
    (At least when photographed by Christopher Doyle.)

  6. In a tuxedo, Tony Leung might just be the modern Cary Grant.

  7. Like Wes Anderson, WKW gets Christmas.
    In the movies, Christmas works best when it’s melancholy and scored with sad-sounding pop artifacts. (i.e., Charlie Brown for Wes, Nat King Cole for WKW.)

  8. Roger Ebert must be punished.
    I can’t find a hyperlink at the moment, but in his Cannes ’04 wrap-up, Ebert announced that De-Lovely is a superior filmic achievement to 2046. As fond as I am of Ebs, he needs to be beaten for that remark.

  9. Quentin Tarantino must be punished.
    QT gave WKW a huge boost when he hyped Chungking Express and got Miramax to release it in America. I’ll give him that. But it is unacceptable to preside over a film jury (as QT did at Cannes ’04) and allow Fahrenheit 9/11 to take the top award. Un-accept-able.

  10. It’s hardly a perfect movie.
    It’s not. In places it drags, certain segments could be tightened, and I wish some of the storylines were chronologically shuffled. But not to get all auterist, it’s a new Wong Kar-Wai film. It’s a cause for celebration.


At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Nayiri said...

Okay, I heart Wong Kar-Wai. That goes without saying. But how come no one but me's got love for Happy Together?

At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have much love for it. Have you heard he's got enough extra footage from that shoot for a 5 hour movie or a whole other movie all together?


At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We found no matches!
i went to ciniphile as suggested and when I do a search on 2046 it says it doesn't know what i'm talking about.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Damn CineFile makin' a liar out of me. Mayhap they're out of stock. I'd suggest going over to the very legit, cheap, and speedy HK Flix where you can get the very edition that I own for $24. It's worth it.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Oh, Nayiri: I'm embarrassed to say that I've yet to see Happy Together. But as the proud owner of that new WKW box set, I'll be seeing it soon.


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