Films by the Hong Kong master in a new quality and edits.
Garage Screen announces a series of screenings of films by Wong Kar-wai, the restoration of which he has been working on for the past five years. The program features eight restored pictures by the Hong Kong director, including the Russian premieres of As Tears Go By, Days of Being Wild, Fallen Angels, Happy Together, and 2046, the director's cut of The Hand, as well as In the Mood for Love and Chungking Express. Films that long remained unavailable in theaters finally return to the big screen, reminiscent of something that seems irrevocably gone today, that is, cinema as a personal and even idiosyncratic utopia, for both the director and the viewer.
Paradoxically enough, the work of Wong Kar-wai is located not only at the intersection of East and West, Hong Kong and Hollywood, traditional genre and explosive auteur style, postmodernism and romanticism, cinephilia and inspirational experimentation. Perhaps its most essential property is the combination of "passionarity" and fragility, obsession and vulnerability, its highly cinematic (illusionary and seductive) nature mixed with the dramatic awareness of any illusion's temporality.
Kar-wai's movies seem to embed cinema excessively: his playing with rhythm, narrative, and time; flashbacks and memories; experimentations with angles and color, the speed and sensitivity of imagery; the instantly catching music interventions, costumes, and interiors. Let alone the enchanting plots and heroes, blurring the line between present-day reality and the mythologized past, between popular culture and the sublime classics. Or, alternatively, between high and pop genres ranging from noir and gangster thriller to melodrama and science fiction.
On the other hand, Kar-wai's extreme and even excessive cinematography is imbued with a deep melancholy, which destroys stylistic utopia from the inside, preventing escapism— both the viewer's and that towards which his protagonists often incline. His "cinematic, too cinematic" films leave the spectator with a sense of longing and loss—the profound emotions from which Wong Kar-wai's sensual cinema derives.