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GreenCine Movie Talk
Foreign
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Wong Kar Wai and 2046
Topic by: jpunzel
Posted: November 27, 2004 - 5:00 PM PST
Last Reply: March 7, 2005 - 9:59 PM PST

author topic: Wong Kar Wai and 2046
jpunzel
post #1  on November 27, 2004 - 5:00 PM PST  
I loved Chungking Express and Ashes of Time, and I have most of Wong Kar Wai's other films in my queue. I'm anxious to see his latest, 2046, which again stars the adorable Faye Wong :). I know that YesAsia and HKFlix have the region free DVD available for preorder, but I don't see it on GC's request list or as an upcoming title. Will I be able to rent this when it is released? Has anyone seen it and would care to comment?
kamapuaa
post #2  on November 27, 2004 - 6:37 PM PST  
> Has anyone seen it and would care to comment?

Haven't seen it yet but I will comment.

After reading your post I went to the friendly neighberhood video stores to check things out. I think Wong Kar Wai is the best director out there (certainly the most consistently excellent) and so I will automatically watch any movie he makes.

ANYWAY, the movie is available either as a VCD or a DVD. Sounds great, but the VCD is Cantonese (no Mandarin) with only Chinese subtitles. And the DVD has English subtitles, but is in PAL oddly enough. So a normal TV/DVD can't play it, and Greencine won't pick it up. Usually the NTSC is easily available, maybe it was released PAL only to prevent it getting widespread release in the US, ahead of an arthouse release to come sometime in 2005?

I was about to buy the VCD, but it's sold out until Monday. In retrospect maybe I'll buy the DVD instead.

From what I understand, this movie is a direct follow-up to "In the Mood For Love," which is itself sort of a thematic follow up to "Days of Being Wild." So I'd definitely recommend seeing ITMFL first. DoBW is great but you can probably watch it any time.

And not only that, but I recently saw the bonus disk for ITMFL, a movie I've loved since it first came out. My jaw dropped. The final product is about restraint, but it started out as a sort of sassy sexy piece, complete with dancing and opera singing and public displays of affection. Looks like a very good but entirely different movie. So even if Bonus disks aren't your think, give it a rent.
jpunzel
post #3  on November 28, 2004 - 12:54 PM PST  
Thanks for your reply - YesAsia.com is apparently selling an NTSC version DVD here.
kamapuaa
post #4  on November 28, 2004 - 3:24 PM PST  
> On November 28, 2004 - 12:54 PM PST jpunzel wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Thanks for your reply - YesAsia.com is apparently selling an NTSC version DVD here.

Oh Man! Thanks for the info! I want to rush out and see it right away, but I guess I'll wait until it's available as a NTSC DVD. Definitely hope Greencine picks this one up!
markhl
post #5  on November 28, 2004 - 8:59 PM PST  
Hmmm... after you see this one, can you two fill me in whether some of the similarities in look and feel (not genre, despite the advertisements) to Bladerunner were deliberate on WKW's part? The two main characters from ITMFL return.. although one for a VERY short time. I've got somewhat mixed feelings about this one but I'll have to let it sink in a little and possibly watch it again later..

BTW, I'd advise some caution in purchasing 2046.. apparently some versions (like the one I saw) have this annoying company logo that popped up like every 15? 20 minutes? I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if the second part didn't fly across the top half of the screen. What in the world these DVD makers were thinking.. I'll never know. There was a short discussion on the IMDB page so it's probably worth double checking..
kamapuaa
post #6  on November 30, 2004 - 11:52 PM PST  
I refuse to make a new topic about the subject of Canto-pop, but do any of you follow Faye Wong? I'm an indie music snob who hates canto-pop. But after watching re-watching "Chungking Express" a couple times (as preparation for "2046" I guess) I've decided I'm in love with Faye Wong. Or at least, circa-1994 Faye Wong (when are time machines getting invented, anyway?)

I've been burned by the music of Cantonese movie crushes before (Sammi Cheng's music really sucks, no matter how much I liked her in her Johnnie To movies), but I understand that Faye Wong has recorded music with the Cocteau Twins? Has anybody heard it, willing to make a comment? I understand that her '96 album "Restless" has 2 original Cocteau Twins songs, is it worth getting?
markhl
post #7  on December 1, 2004 - 2:48 PM PST  
Umm.. I don't know anything pop related to china, HK, or Taiwan.. but... I agree with your assessment of Faye Wong. Forget circa 1994.. circa now is fine even!

I don't get the "western" fascination with Zhang Zi Yi.. :I 2046 focused too much on ZZY even if she did a good job.. More Faye would've certainly been nice..
kamapuaa
post #8  on December 1, 2004 - 10:52 PM PST  
> I don't get the "western" fascination with Zhang Zi Yi.. :I 2046 focused too much on ZZY even if she did a good job.. More Faye would've certainly been nice..

I don't "get" ZZY either. But I think HK has to push new blood, it seems like all the biggest stars are at least 40 - and romantic leads are always in their 20s.
kamapuaa
post #9  on December 17, 2004 - 11:32 PM PST  
Saw "2046." Great stuff, if not WKW's best. Definitely the sort of movie that I'll need to see again to make a fully informed opinion.

Similarities in look to "Blade Runner"? I'll chalk that up in the "things I'll pay attention to in my re-watch" department. But now, I say "no." I remember Blade Runner as having either a dusty & hazy look of grey & orange, or neon-defined cities. But the look of much of "2046" was about the same as ITMFL, with sharper edges and more use of primary colors besides red.

BUT, the future scenes (and some of the non-future scenes) had a definite anime look to them, and many anime drew on "Blade Runner." And as a guess, "Blade Runner" drew from the look of Hong Kongf. So there were definite relationships, I just don't think there was a direct inspiration.

So I've been sick all day, and on a movie-watching binge. Coincidentally I watched Fellini's La Dolce Vita earlier. I thought "2046" had a very Fellini feel to it, whereas WKW's other movies are more Godard. It was an interesting double-bill, due to the obvious similarities. In the end, both could have been better - I thought "2046" covered far too much ground, was too self-consciously aristic, and too self-referential.

Oh, and I since noticed Greencine has a Faye Wong Concert Video available. Kind of weird they have that and not the Pixies, but what do I know?
artifex
post #10  on December 21, 2004 - 8:35 AM PST  
> On November 28, 2004 - 8:59 PM PST markhl wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Hmmm... after you see this one, can you two fill me in whether some of the similarities in look and feel (not genre, despite the advertisements) to Bladerunner were deliberate on WKW's part? The two main characters from ITMFL return.. although one for a VERY short time. I've got somewhat mixed feelings about this one but I'll have to let it sink in a little and possibly watch it again later..
>
> BTW, I'd advise some caution in purchasing 2046.. apparently some versions (like the one I saw) have this annoying company logo that popped up like every 15? 20 minutes? I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if the second part didn't fly across the top half of the screen. What in the world these DVD makers were thinking.. I'll never know. There was a short discussion on the IMDB page so it's probably worth double checking..
> ---------------------------------


Sounds like those are bootlegs from screeners.
Don't buy those. :)
hamano
post #11  on December 21, 2004 - 9:56 AM PST  
> On November 30, 2004 - 11:52 PM PST kamapuaa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I understand that Faye Wong has recorded music with the Cocteau Twins? Has anybody heard it, willing to make a comment? I understand that her '96 album "Restless" has 2 original Cocteau Twins songs, is it worth getting?

I haven't heard any... I've got pretty much all the CT albums, but this is news to me, although I can see how CT might be really popular in Asia...

Here's some info, anyways...
hamano
post #12  on December 21, 2004 - 10:15 AM PST  
Hmmm... from Simon Raymonde's quote at the bottom of that page, it sounds like Faye (or someone close to her) is a Cocteau Twins superfan or something like that. How can she "cover" a CT song when the lyrics are largely unpublished? Now I'm rather curious...

Well, Liz Fraser might as well be singing in Chinese, even from the band's point of view... according to this amusing page from their official website...

Interestingly enough, Faye Wong is NOT mentioned in their list of collaborators, despite the inclusion of a Japanese guy who showed up on their doorstep one day and made sushi for their lunch.
kamapuaa
post #13  on February 8, 2005 - 12:50 AM PST  
> I haven't heard any... I've got pretty much all the CT albums, but this is news to me, although I can see how CT might be really popular in Asia...

I borrowed Faye Wong's self-titled '97 album from a friend. I'd say it's only vaguely Cocteau-ish. Some of the songs are fun but overall it's generic. Her acoustic cover of CT's Reminiscence was good, with some nice vocals where she goes "ah" a lot, like a Musical Tarzan!

I'm keeping an eye open for her '96 album Restless, which is supposedly very CT. It sells on Amazon for $35. I don't think so.
underdog
post #14  on March 2, 2005 - 3:31 PM PST  
Guess what we just secretly popped into our inventory?

We rock.

Queue away!
Eoliano
post #15  on March 2, 2005 - 4:15 PM PST  
> Guess what we just secretly popped into our inventory?

> We rock.

Indeed!

> Queue away!

Done!

How many copies did you pop into the inventory?
underdog
post #16  on March 2, 2005 - 4:23 PM PST  
> On March 2, 2005 - 4:15 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> Done!
>
> How many copies did you pop into the inventory?
>
> ---------------------------------

Um, somewhere less than 2046? I can't actually say, Ancient Chinese Secret, etc., but I'll say not very many, because we know it will be coming out in a commercial DVD release at some point and then we'll have to replace all those imports. So.. there.

markhl
post #17  on March 2, 2005 - 9:03 PM PST  
I was wondering how you guys got 2046 so quickly.. I'll wait for the commercial release and let others watch this first I guess. Nice recent batch of additions y'all.
artifex
post #18  on March 7, 2005 - 3:21 AM PST  
> On March 2, 2005 - 4:23 PM PST underdog wrote:
> Um, somewhere less than 2046? I can't actually say, Ancient Chinese Secret, etc., but I'll say not very many, because we know it will be coming out in a commercial DVD release at some point and then we'll have to replace all those imports. So.. there.

When you replace import titles with the commercial versions, what happens to them? ;)
kamapuaa
post #19  on March 7, 2005 - 9:59 PM PST  
2046's HK NTSC DVD (acronym overload) is recorded on a DVD-9 and the picture/subtitle quality is excellent. The quality of earlier HK Wong Kar Wai movies has really sucked, but in this case I don't think there's a reason to wait for the American commercial release.

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