On Wednesday, thanks to the quick-clicking mouse of my friend, we got to go to a screening of Wong Kar Wai's 2046 at Walter Reade. And Wong Kar Wai was there! *squeal*. He was wearing sunglasses. And my cinematically-inclined friend informed me that Wong says there are two types of people that wear sunglasses all the time. People who are blind. And people whose hearts have been broken.
Sounds ridiculous right? But beautiful. Like his films. Ridiculously beautiful.
2046 is a sort of sequel to In the Mood for Love and continues the thread of love and timing, memories, and secrets, among other riches and vague words. The visuals are gorgeous, multi-stylized, and the film is infused with both melancholy and humor.
This Time Asia article talks about the movie. Though I found its simplistic reductions of certain aspects of the movie (as well as its style of writing) rather irritating, it did remind me of something that irked me a little bit, though Wong's art is too good to make it a major thorn in my side for this particular film. Just filmdom as a whole.
After quoting John Berger - "The camera is a man looking at a woman." - it continues: Movie romance is certainly a snapshot of a beautiful woman suffering. The main function of Chow—played by Leung as a sensitive gigolo whose smirk can mature into a sigh—is to direct our glance to all the fabulous women in the cast. The camera, mainly manned by Christopher Doyle, prowls around the women like a lover in the first flush of passion. Oh shut up. Prowl prowl.
Oh, beauty and all. Yes, these are fabulous, multi-dimensional women. Yes they suffer. You feel all these large romantic sweeping swooping emotions when these suffering women are beautiful, spilling tears on their beautiful faces and making ugly sad raw noises out of their beautiful mouths. This movie has a lot of beautiful women suffering and crying.
I'm not sure I'm making a point. The quote does say it all. The camera is a man looking at a woman. When is the camera a woman? Would this story have worked had the protagonist been a woman and the others men? I don't think so. Is this a useful question to ask? Probably not. Prowl prowl.
Anyways, I've already verged on incoherency, so watch the trailer. It's US release by Sony Pictures Classics is slated for August of 2005.
Somebody summarized the Q&A session held afterwards.