Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Auteurs #28: Wong Kar-Wai

One of the most visually-entrancing filmmakers working today, Wong Kar-Wai is a man who creates films filled with dazzling and exotic images with a sense of romanticism in his characters. Known for his broad ideas as well as unconventional techniques in the realm of filmmaking, he’s an individual that refuses to play by the rules while trying to refine his language and technique. After finally making his return in 2013 with his bio-pic on Ip Man in The Grandmaster, it is clear that there is no filmmaker like Wong Kar-Wai working today who can bring an Asian sensibility to his stories with the cinematic techniques of the French New Wave.

Born in Shanghai, China on July 17, 1958, Wong Kar-Wai spend his early years in Shanghai before moving to Hong Kong when he was five with his mother while his father and two siblings stayed in Shanghai. In Hong Kong, Kar-Wai would spend much of his time with his mother who wound introduce him to many different films ranging from the Hong Kong films of the time to the French New Wave films of the early 1960s. After spending two years studying graphic design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic College in 1980, he enrolled in the Hong Kong Television Broadcast Limited course for production training where he learned the art of screenwriting. Though Kar-Wai would work in the medium of television writing scripts for shows, he would use this period as part of an apprenticeship where he got the attention of renowned Hong Kong producer Alan Tang.

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© thevoid99 2014


ruth said...

I still need to see more of his work, esp. In The Mood for Love. Curious about My Blueberry Nights as well, even if it's just to see Norah Jones' acting.

thevoid99 said...

Well, I would see In the Mood for Love and Chungking Express. Then the rest of his work from the late 80s and early 90s. My Blueberry Nights I feel is a film that is too derivative of everything he's done as it didn't have the looseness that I expected while some scenes I thought felt awkward. Still, I would rate that film over most people's work.

Anonymous said...

In the Mood for Love is easily in my top 15 films of all time...EASILY! He's a great filmmaker, even if I find a few of his films (Chungking included) to be hugely overrated.

thevoid99 said...

@Fisti-Well I'm glad you like In the Mood for Love although may I ask what films of his do you think are overrated?

Anonymous said...

Well, mostly it's just Chungking Express, which I did not like much at all. I also didn't like My Blueberry Nights, but I think everyone else considers that a real weak effort on his part.

I consider his trilogy (Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, 2046) to be the best complete trilogy put to film; period, and I really like some of his other work, like Ashes of Time.

So, that comment was somewhat overstated. I find Chungking Express, which is largely thought to be his masterpiece, to be overrated.

thevoid99 said...

@Fisti-Yeah, My Blueberry Nights is definitely his weakest effort. Many people had mixed reactions towards that film. Chungking Express is my favorite film of WKW's so far as I'm eager for what he will do next.