Friday, February 15, 2008

Just a little bit farther

I just had to write some more about Wong kar-Wai because his work is so utterly brilliant that it literally hurts. He has so brought poetic realism into the modern age. The writing from all his movies has an ephemeral quality to it but with undercurrents of the crush of reality and hopeless love. It really reminds me of Jacques Prevert's work on Les Enfants du Paradis, which is itself the quintessentially poetically real film and also just freakin' amazing. The story and conversations from Chungking Express bring longing and lovelorn waiting to astonishing life in a way that makes you ache for the kind of almost missed connection that Tony Leung and Faye Wong might almost maybe have found, and how mind-blowing is Leung in all his Kar-Waian characterizations. From the sadly discarded lover in Happy Together to the hip 60ies style man about town in 2046, he is always spot on wonderful to watch. You always root for him.
I should also say something about Ziyi Zhang who is also brilliantly sibilant in 2046, but just clearly an incredible emerging talent. If you compare her work in 46 to her portrayal of Sayuri in Memoirs of a Geisha, you see such a sweeping range that you can imagine this woman being capable of just about anything. She is quickly becoming a peer of my all time favorite actress Gena Rowlands, which in my mind is the highest complement I could bestow.
But Kar-Wai, his films enfold each other in that way that the best filmmakers can do: reliving and breathing new life into the concepts and feelings that are closest to their hearts without retreading or becoming repetitive. And how freakin' fantasmo is it that he has a character from one of his earlier films return several films later to talk about how her life has changed and been affected by that earlier experience of love lost. That to me is the mark of a genius. You see it most comparitively apt in the work of David Lynch, and these two are on equal grounds with that ability. Kar-Wai also takes the many of the cinematic ideas of Goddard and the new wave and brings them to bear in a way that is wholly inventive and to my mind much more effective and affecting. His use of jump cuts in In the Mood for Love far surpasses anything Goddard could even concieve of doing. Admittedly I don't have much love for the pretensious genius of Goddard, but I really believe that Kar-Wai brings a much defter touch to the process of alienation that Goddard was striving for and to a much more devestating effect. While there is certainly different intentions and purposes involved and an argument can be made for a more qualitative usefulness in Goddard's possible intentions, I think that Kar-Wai builds from a Confucian approach that personalizes the meanings of social interaction in a way that could be a foundational element in the creation of a better way to live in the world with the people we meet and exist with. Okay, so I got out there a little bit and may not be making too much sense at this stage, but I just think the geniusity of this man is worth shouting from the hilltops. Release My Blueberry Nights for the love of all that's holy, please (so,I see over at the IMDB that a limited release is set for April of this year. Thank the heavens for small favors and hope to be within the limit of this release because I personally gaurantee you won't want yr money or yr time back).

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