Wong Kar Wai - Feature Films, 1988-2007

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王家衛

Poll Results

OptionVotes
In the Mood for Love (2000) 12
Chungking Express (1994) 11
Happy Together (1997) 7
2046 (2004) 4
Fallen Angels (1995) 3
Days of Being Wild (1991) 2
As Tears Go By (1988) 0
Ashes of Time (1994) 0
My Blueberry Nights (2007) 0


The Perfect Weapon 2, Sunday, 16 August 2009 16:34 (eleven years ago) link

this is amazingly difficult.
well, my first stab is to eliminate Ashes of Time and My Blueberry Nights.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Sunday, 16 August 2009 16:42 (eleven years ago) link

2046, Fallen Angels and As Tears Go By have all grown considerably on me despite initial cool receptions, but I don't think they are nearly as strong as the remaining films.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Sunday, 16 August 2009 16:43 (eleven years ago) link

ok, that cuts it down to 4. that's about all i can do for now... may be inspired for a massive rescreening sesh to pull the trigger on one.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Sunday, 16 August 2009 16:44 (eleven years ago) link

In the Mood For Love and Chungking Express are the obvious contenders, but I have a soft spot for Fallen Angels.

The Perfect Weapon 2, Sunday, 16 August 2009 16:53 (eleven years ago) link

fallen angels would be my pick

omar little, Sunday, 16 August 2009 16:58 (eleven years ago) link

In the Mood for Love is one of my favourite films this decade.

Number None, Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:32 (eleven years ago) link

Happy Together

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:36 (eleven years ago) link

PREDICTION: Happy Together will get robbed. xpost

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:39 (eleven years ago) link

I voted for Happy Together.

Anatomy of a Morbius (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:45 (eleven years ago) link

A perfect film 1) Happy Together (1997)
small margin behind 2) Ashes of Time (1994) (which is seriously underrated for some crazy reason)
another small margin behind in a tie for 3) Days of Being Wild (1991)
In the Mood for Love (2000)
these are basically the same movie except the latter has poorer lighting tie for 4) Chungking Express (1994)
Fallen Angels (1995)
remember this being kind of over-baked now, but still well worthwhile 5) 2046 (2004)
this is decent HK gangster flick, but lacks trademark cinematography 6) As Tears Go By (1988)
this is garbage 7) My Blueberry Nights (2007)

Alex in SF, Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:49 (eleven years ago) link

The run from Days to In The Mood is maybe the greatest single directorial run in the history of cinema. I could re-watch any of those films a kajillion times.

Alex in SF, Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:50 (eleven years ago) link

Actually that should be less lighting, not necessarily poorer for Fallen Angels.

Alex in SF, Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:52 (eleven years ago) link

I discovered Wong Kar Wai when I walked into 2046 knowing nothing except for what it said in the film festival catalogue I saw it as part of. I was convinced until someone bought In The Mood For Love for me on DVD that it had to be a fluke, that no director could stumble across this exact combination of muteness and stylization and carpeted over feeling more than once, that it was this perfect movie synthesised with my enjoyment as its sole motivation, like it was the most intensely focus-grouped movie I have ever seen. Happy Together was like a perfect synthesis of Malick and Kenneth anger, a bruised, defeated elegy to fucked up relationships, the romance for shitty apartments you used to live in, with a vested interest in some redeeming notion of queerness.

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:53 (eleven years ago) link

In The Mood For Love is a good insomnia cure.

ice cr?m paint job (milo z), Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:36 (eleven years ago) link

Happy Together

sir-mounter (Eric H.), Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:42 (eleven years ago) link

havent seen as tears go by, and easily eliminate 2046 and blueberry nights... i guess in the mood?

'steen suicide (don't drive it) (s1ocki), Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:42 (eleven years ago) link

do not see how you could categorise 2046 together, that is mad rong in my opinion

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Sunday, 16 August 2009 20:59 (eleven years ago) link

I've only seen Fallen Angels & 2046, so I won't be voting in this, but I'm flabbergasted that anyone would vote for Fallen Angels over 2046.

BIG HOOS's wacky crack variety hour (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Sunday, 16 August 2009 21:48 (eleven years ago) link

my favorite quote of wong kar wai's is when he was asked about the then-controversial opening scene of "happy together" which has tony leung bonking another dude in graphic detail and he was like "yeah, if people come late to the cinema they might think it's a film about two brothers"

Tracer Hand, Sunday, 16 August 2009 21:50 (eleven years ago) link

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Alex in SF, Sunday, 16 August 2009 21:59 (eleven years ago) link

I've seen all of them but Ashes Of Time, though I hope to catch Redux on video in the next few weeks. Really enjoy them all except My Blueberry Nights which I couldn't even finish.

Went with Happy Together, though I think In The Mood For Love is just as good. My favorite Leslie Cheung performance gives it the edge.

I think my order of preference would be Happy Together > In the Mood for Love > Fallen Angels > Chungking Express > Days of Being Wild > 2046 > As Tears Go By

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 16 August 2009 22:28 (eleven years ago) link

my faves are Days of Being Wild, Happy Together and 2046, but I don't particularly feel like choosing btwn em.

Indiana Morbs and the Curse of the Ivy League Chorister (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:22 (eleven years ago) link

ive talked about this elsewhere but i happen to think 2046 is straight self-parodic garbage

'steen suicide (don't drive it) (s1ocki), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:25 (eleven years ago) link

In the Mood for Love = accidental, beautiful
2046 = deliberate, disastrous

sir-mounter (Eric H.), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:28 (eleven years ago) link

i've seen 2046 three times now, the first time i was not feeling it at all, the second time i realized it was much better than i had originally thought and the third time (seen in succession after Days of Being Wild and In The Mood) I realized it's place in his legacy as closure of several interwoven thematical arcs that weave in and out of most of his strongest work. it made much more sense when seen as a trilogy and while i don't think it's his strongest work, it shits from on high all over Ashes of Time wtf AlexSF.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:32 (eleven years ago) link

In the Mood for Love = accidental, beautiful
2046 = deliberate, disastrous

― sir-mounter (Eric H.), Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:28 PM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

accidental how?

'steen suicide (don't drive it) (s1ocki), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:33 (eleven years ago) link

also, can i just say i <3 tony leung and maggie chung... if it wasn't for WKW i may never have paid so much attention to these guys.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:34 (eleven years ago) link

In the Mood for Love = yeah yeah yeah, pretty ppl in slow motion w/ same song under it really makes romance seem important.

2046 is a contender for my Ten Best of '00s (admittedly worst decade in cinmea history, far as I can judge).

Indiana Morbs and the Curse of the Ivy League Chorister (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:34 (eleven years ago) link

Fallen Angels uber alles

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:37 (eleven years ago) link

Days of Being Wild a close second

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:37 (eleven years ago) link

romance? itmfl is all about heartbreak and fucking over the people you love imo. would watch with you and discus.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:41 (eleven years ago) link

I will also LOL if As Tears Go By gets any votes, as basically that means you hate WKW's guts and wish he would die

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:41 (eleven years ago) link

it's his most succesful film to date iirc

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Monday, 17 August 2009 00:51 (eleven years ago) link

Chunging Express is the best - the least pretentious of them all, followed by 2046 - the most pretentious of them all.

He is at his best on the extremes.

Zeno, Monday, 17 August 2009 01:23 (eleven years ago) link

toss up between days of being wild and happy together... voted the former

sleep, Monday, 17 August 2009 01:27 (eleven years ago) link

I have traumatic teenage memories of getting scolded for watching Happy Together when my parents walked in during the scene where one of the characters was getting a handjob in a theatre.

As such, I voted for chungking express because I have lots of happy memories of that.

Well, I wrote some stuff and Kenny Loggins heard it, so, y'know... (EDB), Monday, 17 August 2009 02:24 (eleven years ago) link

i haven't seen blueberry nights -- i think i'm afraid of denting my wong idolatry. but of the rest, it's very hard to choose. i think in the mood is maybe his most perfect movie -- if i had to pick one movie to represent his whole thing, i'd go with that -- but i think i might like the scruffiness of happy together and the dizziness of 2046 better. really, the run of ashes of time thru 2046 is pretty amazing. (nothing wrong with the first 3, they only suffer in comparison. well, and as tears go by has a sort of dated '80s cheesiness to it -- albeit an attractive one.)

flying squid attack (tipsy mothra), Monday, 17 August 2009 02:53 (eleven years ago) link

as tears go by is fucking awful
in the mood for love ftw but rogue props to fallen angels, days of being wild

the heart is a lonely hamster (schlump), Monday, 17 August 2009 03:46 (eleven years ago) link

other poll ideas: dobw v itmfl v 2046, chungking express v fallen angels, wkw v stephen chow

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Monday, 17 August 2009 03:48 (eleven years ago) link

I had a friend who listed "Chunking Express" as her favorite film on facebook for the longest time

a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful (dyao), Monday, 17 August 2009 03:50 (eleven years ago) link

"it made much more sense when seen as a trilogy and while i don't think it's his strongest work, it shits from on high all over Ashes of Time wtf AlexSF."

It's not my fault you hate Sergio Leone and Tsui Hark, Shasta.

Alex in SF, Monday, 17 August 2009 04:11 (eleven years ago) link

Seriously if you don't like Chinese sword epics then I guess I could see how Ashes might not be your thing (and I know Shasta has suspect opinions about Yakuza films so maybe it's just a prejudice on his part) but if you love 'em and you love Wong and Chris Doyle, I don't understand how you couldn't think this is very nearly his best picture (one upped only ever so slightly by the even more well put together Happy Together). It's gorgeous and melancholic and everything you'd expect from Wong's other films with fantastic (and gorgeous) acting. Aces stuff.

Alex in SF, Monday, 17 August 2009 04:16 (eleven years ago) link

Hate to be boring, but gotta go with In the Mood for Love (which, yes, IS romantic and also unbearably wrenching...)

I agree 2046 is "deliberate" but wouldn't go so far as "disasterous"....but i do think it is a failure. Though sometimes I think the deliberateness is an intentional, almost nihilistic parody of the "romantic" elements of the earlier movies. just a thought.

Chungking Express is another favorite, and Days of Being Wild has maybe one of my favorite opening shots/music ever...

ryan, Monday, 17 August 2009 04:47 (eleven years ago) link

I love almost all of these movies. 6 years ago, a friend had acess to a threatre at U.T. and told me to be there at 8p.m. He said I could bring one friend, but not to tell anyone else. When I got there, he had beer and popcorn, and In The Mood For Love. Watching it, alomst alone in that theatre, and not knowing anything about the movie; it was amazing. We screen movies all summer in that theatre, but none was as breathtaking as ITMFL.

Jacob Sanders, Monday, 17 August 2009 04:49 (eleven years ago) link

surprised myself by voting for fallen angels on the basis of, which one would i most want to watch right now.

flying squid attack (tipsy mothra), Monday, 17 August 2009 05:11 (eleven years ago) link

of what I've seen I'd say 2046 and Happy Together are the two most ambitious movies.

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Monday, 17 August 2009 09:11 (eleven years ago) link

i've seen 2046 three times now ...

it made much more sense when seen as a trilogy

a trilogy... of itself!!

Tracer Hand, Monday, 17 August 2009 09:44 (eleven years ago) link

I have learnt the following:

Really wanna watch Ashes of Time.

Really don't want to watch Blueberry nights.

Really wanna re-watch 2046.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 17 August 2009 10:18 (eleven years ago) link

It's pretty/artistic but the story is among his weakest of his acclaimed-tier films.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 4 December 2020 17:12 (six months ago) link

lmao I am completely not paying $12 each to stream these (or an incomplete $70 7-film bundle) when I could just watch these on Criterion Channel or buy the inevitable Blu-ray box 6 months from now.

also re: the damaged HAPPY TOGETHER footage, why excise it entirely instead of just subbing footage from an existing print? or is that much easier said than done?

Warmed Regards, (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 4 December 2020 17:18 (six months ago) link

These are great films but I agree re: price

calstars, Friday, 4 December 2020 17:31 (six months ago) link

I got nothing to do tonight so I’ll probably stream one of them but otherwise yeah, will probably wait for other venues

k3vin k., Friday, 4 December 2020 18:20 (six months ago) link

xxp I see subbed-in footage in restorations all the time. I haven't seen Happy Together, so maybe the footage is integral enough to make a noticeably lower quality substitution not worth it. Idk. You see it pretty frequently though, particularly with 2K and 4K restorations, and not just optical shots. Off the top of my head, there are a few long shots in Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant that are clearly from a poorer-quality print.

flappy bird, Friday, 4 December 2020 19:30 (six months ago) link

I think Fallen Angels has that romantic longing, the killer’s agent is completely alone throughout the movie but then suddenly meets He, a victim of the restaurant violence and the main character from the other half of the story

Dan S, Saturday, 5 December 2020 02:36 (six months ago) link

the idea that making a real lasting connection with another person is hard and that it would be extremely fortuitous for it to happen to anyone seems like the main theme of Wong’s movies

Dan S, Saturday, 5 December 2020 02:38 (six months ago) link

“I ask him to take me home. I haven't ridden pillion for a long time nor have I been this close to a man in ages. The road home isn't very long, and I know I'll be getting off soon. But at this moment, I'm feeling such lovely warmth.”

Dan S, Saturday, 5 December 2020 02:44 (six months ago) link

lmao that sure was fast

Warmed Regards, (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 10 December 2020 17:40 (six months ago) link

do they not own blueberry nights

flappy bird, Thursday, 10 December 2020 18:09 (six months ago) link

or Ashes of Time I guess

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Thursday, 10 December 2020 19:24 (six months ago) link

That's ok, I didn't want to own My Blueberry Nights either.

On average, this critic grades 8.3 points lower than other critics (Eric H.), Thursday, 10 December 2020 19:57 (six months ago) link

oh god blueberry nights is so terrible. i feel bad about wkw. the first film i saw by him was 2046 which i loved so much and i feel weirdly implicated in his subsequent decline/stalling

plax (ico), Thursday, 10 December 2020 21:59 (six months ago) link

tbh i think only in the mood for love and happy together are very good but they're both so wonderful it feels like a miracle

plax (ico), Thursday, 10 December 2020 22:02 (six months ago) link

happy together i saw at a p formative moment in my life and the cruising scenes, the romance of the flea-eaten flat with the mean ruined boyfriend. they left a mark.

plax (ico), Thursday, 10 December 2020 22:05 (six months ago) link

in the mood for love feels subtle, rich and condensed but many of his other films feel haphazard. maybe i've just never understood his version of nouvelle vague im willing to concede that.

plax (ico), Thursday, 10 December 2020 22:07 (six months ago) link

it does feel very condensed

Dan S, Friday, 11 December 2020 00:54 (six months ago) link

You guys should I get a Blu-ray player (for this but also in general)?

I feel I may have missed the window on BR and physical media is obv on the way out and feel I should just skip it and embrace streaming and uhhh non-streaming digital formats wink wink but I also love physical media and WKW

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Friday, 11 December 2020 01:23 (six months ago) link

Oh man that is super tempting
Not sure how many more times I need to watch these though

calstars, Friday, 11 December 2020 01:23 (six months ago) link

Hell of a bookshelf ornament though

calstars, Friday, 11 December 2020 01:24 (six months ago) link

You should absolutely get a blu-ray player. They are relatively affordable, I see a bunch on Amazon for $75 or less. Backwards compatible so you can save your DVDs. Physical media will never die, there will always be expensive curios like this, but the resignation with which people accept an all-streaming future seems insane to me. DVDs still look very good or great for the most part, and blu rays are cheaper than ever. These streaming platforms are not reliable. It's worth hanging onto every disc you can.

flappy bird, Friday, 11 December 2020 04:06 (six months ago) link

I use my Xbox as a blu ray player about half of the time

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Friday, 11 December 2020 04:08 (six months ago) link

Yeah, they're all over the place. You could probably get one at Target or Best Buy or whatever for under $50. Obviously physical media has been headed for a niche since Napster, but its death is premature and exaggerated, and the only people that want it eliminated completely work for Disney and Apple and Amazon and Netflix. Fuck them!!!! Options!!!!! Also it's a film preservation issue, the myth that you can find "anything online" is going to bring about a world where you can't find anything.

flappy bird, Friday, 11 December 2020 05:35 (six months ago) link

im not sure how well his films have aged, though maybe now i can watch them comfortably without thinking they are all a bit too 90s. hes def overrated, or maybe he just does what he does, which is what makes him so good. always thought hed be a great music video director. did he do any? his little tic/trick of using one piece of music or one song over and over also got irritating.

candyman, Friday, 11 December 2020 13:09 (six months ago) link

"too 90s?"

calstars, Friday, 11 December 2020 13:49 (six months ago) link

He directed DJ Shadow's Six Days video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY-eyZuW_Uk

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Friday, 11 December 2020 17:26 (six months ago) link

Christopher Doyle was DP of Justin's "SexyBack" video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gOHvDP_vCs

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 December 2020 17:31 (six months ago) link

(cue arguments about how much Doyle was responsible for the textures/feel of Wong's peak filmography)

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 December 2020 17:33 (six months ago) link

WKW went out of his way to trash Doyle when I saw him speak way back when.

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 11 December 2020 17:39 (six months ago) link

(Doyle shot the "6 Days" video as well, a song/video I'd never heard of until today)

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 December 2020 17:39 (six months ago) link

Yeah I read somewhere they had a major falling out, will need to google for more...

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 December 2020 17:40 (six months ago) link

something I saw said they were recently working together on restorations though

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 11 December 2020 17:46 (six months ago) link

I had never seen one of his movies and finally saw In the Mood for Love. I loved it. So lush, gauzy, beautiful, and sad. The way the main characters "roleplay" their spouses' affair was so subtle and conveyed their damaged feelings so well.

Maggie Cheung's dresses were incredible (especially the lime green plaid). I will now probably be unsuccessful for the rest of my life in getting my wife to buy one.

Joe Biden Shot My Dog - Vols. I-XL (PBKR), Monday, 14 December 2020 13:01 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Are there any reviews of the new edits/versions anywhere?

Warmed Regards, (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 1 January 2021 17:17 (five months ago) link

five months pass...

In the coming 5 weeks a local cinema is organising screening of the following 4K restored movies:
Chungking Express
Fallen Angels
Happy Together
In The Mood For Love
2046
I've never seen any of them so may sign up for all five

willem, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 16:39 (two weeks ago) link

Lucky you!

o. nate, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 16:49 (two weeks ago) link

Faye Wong in Chungking ftw

calstars, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 18:46 (two weeks ago) link

x-post thank you :) Tickets for Chungking Express ordered! I can't even remember the last time I went to a cinema

willem, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 20:44 (two weeks ago) link

if you do plan/have the chance to see more, go for Happy Together and In the Mood for Love, I say

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 20:46 (two weeks ago) link

I’d go for Chungking and Fallen myself

calstars, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 23:46 (two weeks ago) link

Really just go for all of them

calstars, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 23:46 (two weeks ago) link

In the mood and happy together are the only really 'great' ones

plax (ico), Wednesday, 9 June 2021 22:45 (two weeks ago) link

https://asia.si.edu/events-overview/films/

The Freer has a virtual WKW festival starting June 11. What besides In the Mood for Love do I need to see?

Infanta Terrible (j.lu), Wednesday, 9 June 2021 22:57 (two weeks ago) link

There was a retrospective at Anthology Film Archives where I caught "Chungking Express" and "Days of Being Wild". Saw "In The Mood for Love" on the big screen when it came out. The rest I've only seen on video.

o. nate, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 22:58 (two weeks ago) link

all his films I’ve seen (in the mood, chungking, ashes of time, fallen angels) are well worth the price of admission, but only in the mood for love I’d call a great film, chungking just a tier below

k3vin k., Thursday, 10 June 2021 00:43 (one week ago) link

thanks for the feedback everyone, it's appreciated! I'll try to go see as many as I can :)

willem, Thursday, 10 June 2021 08:56 (one week ago) link

i remember how gorgeous 2046 looked on the big screen when i saw it originally, but some combination of the look of that particular film aging badly and needing the big screen has meant that it has never come close again

happy together is definitely the equal of in the mood for love i think, a really great film about lots of things: buenos aires, loneliness, apartment buildings, and being young and gay in a big city.

plax (ico), Thursday, 10 June 2021 17:11 (one week ago) link

this is an incredibly controversial piping-hot take but the order in which you listed them is actually my ranking of them all, FALLEN ANGELS is incredibly underrated and cool and excellent, ITMFL is probably the "best" in terms of like the most impactful and stuff, idk, I just didn't click with it super hard when I watched it (though I need a rewatch), HAPPY TOGETHER is honestly one of the best and most groundbreaking works of queer cinema imo, I would say all of those are like 10/10 essential except 2046 which you could skip if you really wanted to.

Warmed Regards, (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 11 June 2021 11:28 (one week ago) link

all the leaves are Brown

calstars, Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:51 (one week ago) link


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