The long-awaited retrospective from the internationally renowned film director celebrated for his visually lush and atmospheric films. Wong Kar Wai is known for his romantic and stylish films that explore—in saturated, cinematic scenes—themes of love, longing, and the burden of memory. His style reveals a fascination with mood and texture, and a sense of place figures prominently. In this volume, the first on his entire body of work, Wong Kar Wai and writer John Powers explore Wong's complete oeuvre in the locations of some of his most famous scenes. The book is structured as six conversations between Powers and Wong (each in a different locale), including the restaurant where he shotIn the Mood for Love and the snack bar where he shot Chungking Express. Discussing each of Wong's eleven films—fromAs Tears Go By and Days of Being Wild to 2046 and The Grandmaster—the conversations also explore Wong's trademark themes of time, nostalgia, and beauty, and their roots in his personal life. The first book by Wong Kar Wai, and the first comprehensive look at his oeuvre, this stunning, lavishly illustrated volume is as evocative as walking into one of Wong's lush films. With more than 250 photographs and film stills and an opening critical essay by Powers, this volume is poised to become the film book of the year.
The widely acclaimed films of Wong Kar-wai are characterized by their sumptuous yet complex visual and sonic style. This study of Wong’s filmmaking techniques uses a poetics approach to examine how form, music, narration, characterization, genre, and other artistic elements work together to produce certain effects on audiences. Bettinson argues that Wong’s films are permeated by an aesthetic of sensuousness and “disturbance” achieved through techniques such as narrative interruptions, facial masking, opaque cuts, and other complex strategies. The effect is to jolt the viewer out of complete aesthetic absorption. Each of the chapters focuses on a single aspect of Wong’s filmmaking. The book also discusses Wong’s influence on other filmmakers in Hong Kong and around the world. The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai will appeal to all who are interested in authorship and aesthetics in film studies, to scholars in Asian studies, media and cultural studies, and to anyone with an interest in Hong Kong cinema in general, and Wong’s films in particular. “In this carefully written study, Gary Bettinson offers a critical assessment not only of the stylistic features of Wong Kar-wai’s films but also of the scholarship that has developed around them. Arguing against the facile culturalism that tends to dominate such scholarship, this book does full justice to Wong’s cinematic methods in a series of impressively well-informed and informative readings.” —Rey Chow, Duke University
Contains 26 essays addressing numerous topics including intertextuality, transnationality, gender representation, repetition, the use of music, color, and sound, depiction of time and space in human affairs, and Wong's portrayal of violence.
Wong Kar-Wai traces this immensely exciting director's perennial themes of time, love, and loss, and examines the political implications of his films, especially concerning the handover of former British colony Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. This book is the first in any language to cover all of Wong's work, from his first film, As Tears Go By, to his most recent, the still unreleased 2046. It also includes his best?known, highly honored films, Chungking Express, Happy Together, and above all, In the Mood for Love. Most importantly, Peter Brunette describes the ways in which Wong's supremely visual films attempt to create a new form of cinema by relying on stunning, suggestive visual images and audio tracks to tell their story, rather than on traditional notions of character, dialogue, and plot. The question of Wong Kar-wai's use of genre film techniques in art films is also explored in depth.
Fans and critics alike perceive Wong Kar-wai (b. 1958) as an enigma. His dark glasses, his nonlinear narrations, and his high expectations for actors all contribute to an assumption that he only makes art for a few high-brow critics. However, Wong's interviews show this Hong Kong auteur is candid about the art of filmmaking, even surprising his interlocutors by suggesting his films are commercial and made for a popular audience. Wong's achievements nevertheless feel like art-house cinema. His third film, Chungking Express, introduced him to a global audience captivated by the quick and quirky editing style. His Cannes award-winning films Happy Together and In the Mood for Love confirmed an audience beyond the greater Chinese market. His latest film, The Grandmaster, depicts the life of a kung fu master by breaking away from the martial arts genre. In each of these films, Wong Kar-wai's signature style--experimental, emotive, character-driven, and timeless--remains apparent throughout. This volume includes interviews that appear in English for the first time, including some that appeared in Hong Kong magazines now out of print. The interviews cover every feature film from Wong's debut As Tears Go By to his 2013 The Grandmaster.
Wong Kar-wai's controversial film, Happy Together, was released in Hong Kong just before the handover of power in 1997. The film shows two Chinese gay men in Buenos Aires and reflects on Hong Kong's past and future by probing masculinity, aggression, identity, and homosexuality. It also gives a reading of Latin America, perhaps as an allegory of Hong Kong as another post-colonial society. Examining one single, memorable, and beautiful film, but placing it in the context of other films by Wong Kar-wai and other Hong Kong directors, this book illustrates the depth, as well as the spectacle and action, that characterizes Hong Kong cinema. Tambling investigates the possibility of seeing Happy Together in terms of 'national allegory', as Fredric Jameson suggests Third World texts should be seen. Alternatively, he emphasizes the fragmentary nature of the film by discussing both its images and its narrative in the light of Borges and Manuel Puig. He also looks at the film's relation to the American road movie and to the history of the tango. He poses questions how emotions are presented in the film (is this a 'nostalgia film'?); whether the masculinity in it should be seen negatively or as signs of a new hopefulness about Hong Kong's future; and whether the film indicates new ways of thinking of gender relationships or sexuality.
First monograph on the Hong Kong filmmaker, an important figure in contemporary cinema regarded as one of the best filmmakers of his generation Wong Kar-wai films the flow of contemporary images from the inside, hones them to an almost dizzying point of seductiveness, but also addresses the damage they do. Individuals are alone, orphaned, unfit for love, unable to exert the slightest influence on reality. His films works like prisms--collecting the luminous reflections of cityscapes and the somber psyches of his characters, diffracting them in the brightly colored facets of a video clip. There remains what is the true measure of any great filmmaker: a perfectly articulated vision of the state of the world, here and today. Directors influenced by Wong include Quentin Tarantino, Sofia Coppola, Tsui Hark and Barry Jenkins. Wong Kar-wai (born 1956) is an award-winning Hong Kong filmmaker and producer. Notable films include Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, 2046, My Blueberry Nights and The Grandmaster. In May 2018, he was awarded a Doctor of Arts degree by Harvard University.
Without question, Song Hwee Lim has presented us with an exemplar of quality scholarship in the study of contemporary Chinese cinemas. By combining an impressive command of Chinese and Western literary as well as film source materials with a sophisticated mode of analysis and an unassuming argumentative style, he has authored an exhilarating book--one that not only treats cinematic representations of male homosexuality with great sensitivity but also demonstrates what it means to read with critical intelligence and vision. --Rey Chow, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Brown University Celluloid Comrades is a timely demonstration of the importance of queer studies in the field of transnational Chinese cinemas. Lim dissects gay sexuality in selective Chinese-language films, and vigorously contests commonly accepted critical paradigms and theoretical models. Readers will find a provocative, powerful voice in this new book. --Sheldon H. Lu, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of California at Davis Celluloid Comrades offers a cogent analytical introduction to the representation of male homosexuality in Chinese cinemas within the last decade. It posits that representations of male homosexuality in Chinese film have been polyphonic and multifarious, posing a challenge to monolithic and essentialized constructions of both 'Chineseness' and 'homosexuality.' Given the artistic achievement and popularity of the films discussed here, the position of 'celluloid comrades' can no longer be ignored within both transnational Chinese and global queer cinemas. The book also challenges readers to reconceptualize these works in relation to global issues such as homosexuality and gay and lesbian politics, and their interaction with local conditions, agents, and audiences. Tracing the engendering conditions within the film industries of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Song Hwee Lim argues that the emergence of Chinese cinemas in the international scene since the 1980s created a public sphere in which representations of marginal sexualities could flourish in its interstices. Examining the politics of representation in the age of multiculturalism through debates about the films, Lim calls for a rethinking of the limits and hegemony of gay liberationist discourse prevalent in current scholarship and film criticism. He provides in-depth analyses of key films and auteurs, reading them within contexts as varied as premodern, transgender practice in Chinese theater to postmodern, diasporic forms of sexualities. Informed by cultural and postcolonial studies and critical theory, this acutely observed and theoretically sophisticated work will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students as well as general readers looking for a deeper understanding of contemporary Chinese cultural politics, cinematic representations, and queer culture.
This collection of articles relates to a research area currently developing in the Humanities, which calls for philosophical and historical approaches to questions of sustainable development and waste management. The title of the issue reflects the central questions raised by all contributors: how are waste and abundance represented, how may we conceptualize these representations, and what ethical problems do they raise? Particular attention is paid to the cultural and moral factors that condition our attitudes to waste and the ways in which literature addresses the problematic relationship that binds production, consumption and waste to social and political systems.
This guide is a collection of engaging and provocative capsule reviews of films across the spectrum of cinema history, from Russian silent movies to American comedies, classic documentaries to Japanese anime, and beyond.