Posted tagged ‘andrew chan’

Nights of Being Wild at the Film Society of Lincoln Center

February 9, 2009

Young Friends of Film Presents: Days of Being Wild event, photo by Susan Sermoneta

In his introduction to Thursday night’s screening of Wong Kar-wai’s Days of Being Wild, critic Jamie Wolf noted that when the film debuted in Hong Kong in 1990, it shared the same Chinese title as another movie that had swept the city off its feet more than fifty years earlier – Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause. In spite of this, and barring certain similarities – Wong’s Leslie Cheung shares the same playboy abandon as a young James Dean – the film is distinctly and recognizably Wong’s own. Adapting Rebel’s 1950s malaise to what Andrew Chan refers to as “postcolonial-nostalgia cinema,” Wong casts aside coherent narrative in favor of carefully crafted ambiance, and the film progresses from one sequestered character to another before finally culminating in its own melodramatic, Dean-worthy ending.

As a lush pastiche of suffused colors and silenced emotion, Days of Being Wild is an early example of a masterful director’s emerging style, replete with the aesthetic and thematic motifs that would soon be recognized as signature Wong Kar-wai. Samba wafts across damp rooms and verdant landscapes; young lovers escape through smoky clubs and rainy nights, and ultimately, 1960s Hong Kong is transformed into a breathing backdrop for the quiet melodrama of its inhabitants. Days of Being Wild also marks the first collaboration between Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle, a partnership that is evident in the film’s distinctive camerawork, which alternates between brash voyeurism and inquisitive observation with equal ease. If there was any doubt, Days of Being Wild confirms Wong’s position as a filmmaker of the highest order, and one of the few great auteurs working in cinema today.

– Jessica Loudis


photo by Susan Sermoneta


We’re knocking on the House Next Door for this ace review of Days of Being Wild

February 4, 2009

“1990’s Days of Being Wild, the sophomore effort that established wandering souls and romantic misconnection as Wong’s enduring fetish subjects, still reverberates with some of the most haunting passages in any Hong Kong movie—and of course it is this colonial city, as much as the ache of love itself, that provides the cause for swooning,” writes Film Comment-er Andrew Chan over at The House Next Door. Check out the entire review for an in-depth look at where the film fits into Wong Kar Wai’s larger oeuvre.

See Days of Being Wild tomorrow night in a special Young Friends of Film presentation. There will be snacks and an open bar to follow.

Film Comment Presents: a podcast interview with Arnaud Desplechin

October 22, 2008

Film Comment’s Andrew Chan interviews Arnaud Desplechin about his career as a director and his New York Film Festival film A Christmas Tale.

[Download the MP3]