Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Unrequited love may suck, but it certainly makes for a good story. The drama of external forces desiring to tear lovers apart has been a storytelling staple even before Orpheus lost Eurydice to Hades. With this in mind, there is something about Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love that takes the idea to a level of sophistication rarely seen on this side of the ocean. I tend to shy away from hyperbole, but I believe this: Kar Wai's film is the most romantic movie I've ever seen and probably ever will see. Oh, and you should see it too.
The story follows Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow (played by Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung respectively) as they move into the same building with their spouses. As their significant others work long hours, Kar Wai depicts the characters as lonely, adding agony when it comes to eating alone. Soon they discover that their loved ones are having affair, becoming friends through their shared heartbreak. Together, they role play the infidelity of their husband and wife as a way to unravel what exactly happened, falling in love for real in the process. Now, disgusted by their desire for each other, the two seek to flee each other's lives.
Apparently, Kar Wai didn't see the need to write an intricately drawn screenplay, opting to instead find the story through on-set discovery. While this decision could spell disaster for summer blockbuster fare that need to stay on course to remain afloat (Revenge of the Fallen's storytelling genius notwithstanding), Kar Wai appears to be intrigued by the creative forces that lie beyond his hand, allowing the work to sail off to uncharted waters. I recently read that the film's carefully subtle approach was slowly discovered through production, shying away from the tradition of witty "romantic" banter and obligatory sex scenes. There's no mistaking it, despite not even featuring a kiss between the two leads, In the Mood Love is up there with Last Tango in Paris when it comes to depicting scenes of intense intimacy. Instead of sweeping the audience into the romance, what occurs is a haunting tale of yearning and regret that embodies the truly great love stories.
All the while, Kar Wai proves the artistic merit of the "MTV" aesthetic, embracing contemporary editing techniques that compliment his story beyond simply being "cutting edge." Similar to Michael Mann, Kar Wai exudes style and grace without a hint of straining. With dp Christopher Doyle, he depicts the city in way that articulates the character's sense of self. Basically, this means a visual pastiche of deeply drenched colors and stylized camera shots. However, even if his film is almost too cool for school, he manages to insert the pathos necessary to engage the audience. Playing a spectator role, Kar Wai uses his style to focus intently on otherwise seemingly insignificant moments. Trust me, never has a hand reaching out to another been filmed this extravagantly.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
What's up cool kids? I'm trying something kinda crazy so just hang with me.
I'm devoting a decent amount of time sketching an idea that I hope will grow into a feature length screenplay. Whenever I feel like it, I'm going to show you guys the seeds that are inspiring me throughout this trip.
Tonight I'll kick off with art courtesy of Patrick Rochon. Go ahead and give'em a google or a bing.