Precious Bodily Fluids

Days of Being Wild

Gotta love them subtitles

Gotta love them subtitles

Films are easier to ponder and discuss when there’s a context. With Wong Kar-Wai’s Days of Being Wild, I feel rather context-less. Some have argued that it’s about modernism and industrialization, while others (as always) contend that it has to do with gender issues (mostly male chauvinist stuff). Kar-Wai and cinematographer Christopher Doyle’s camera work in the film is superb. While the color on the DVD copy I acquired is way-off, the movement and framing are quite laudable. The camera treks smoothly over an ambitious amount of territory – around corners, up stairs, through halls – without a bump. When things are askew, the framing reflects that, often taking advantage of mirrors in rooms to refract and reflect characters and their images still further. In the narrative vein of Antonioni but the cinematic style of Godard, the film’s alienation is not gratuitous but morally connected with that sort of “sickness of eros” that Antonioni preached through his images. The protagonist’s emptiness manifests itself through his sucking the life out of everyone he encounters, blaming it all on his disconnection with his birth parents. One may be pitied for being adopted by a prostitute, but at least he was adopted. By turning every woman he meets into a sort of prostitute and then crying “Mommy,” he reveals himself to be a selfish child who can’t live with or without women. The character of the cop/sailor appears to be the strongest, and he apparently continues his story in at least In The Mood For Love, if not also 2046.

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This entry was published on September 25, 2008 at 3:43 pm. It’s filed under 1990s Cinema, Chinese Film and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Days of Being Wild

  1. I have not seen this film, but was fascinated by 2046 and its femme-fatales, and the evocative sound-track.

    Before we write-off b-girls as mothers, let us remember the magnificent Simone Signoret as Madame Rosa…

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