I didn’t intend on selecting another Wong Kar-wai. I scooped up Chungking Express a few weeks ago and thought maybe I had already grabbed In the Mood for Love, too (I hadn’t).
And yet here I am. Even the WKW films I don’t become particularly attached to possess elements or scenes that refuse to detach themselves from me. DoBW, for example: its dreamlike, seemingly disconnected epilogue that further enriches in the context of Wong’s future works. (Dreamlike. There’s an adjective apt to WKW’s entire body of work.)
But it’s a 90-second sequence set down a path of palm trees, an empyreal shot by Christopher Doyle (his first of many, now almost legendary collaborations w/ Wong), that urged me to make this selection. Experiencing it sends you to the clouds.
Wong’s loosely set scripts have a charm to them, certainly infused by lush, living photography and vintage pop culture conceits, however also a room to color one’s own imagination into being. If you like what Wong paints on screen, off screen castles in the air will leave you in a perpetual subdued euphoria.
Days of Being Wild (goddamn, I love that title) lifts a kind of bittersweet inflection with lead Leslie Cheung’s untimely passing several years ago. Like the works of a Ledger or Dean, right or not, the performer’s demise lends a new, singular allure and appreciation to this and other past pieces.
Pour yourself a rum and coke some slow weekend afternoon and give it a look.