As a filmmaker, Wong Kar Wai has two essential modes: he's either exploring sex and longing and miscommunication and isolation in various modern milleu (Fallen Angels, Chungking Express); or else he's exploring sex and longing and miscommunication and isolation in 1960s Hong Kong. Watching his last two films, 2046 and In The Mood For Love, I've wondered what kind of refractory nostalgia prism the guy is trapped in: at times it seems less like he's romanticizing an era gone by, than trying to recapture the aura of his second film, Days of Being Wild. The more he insists on fetishizing a certain kind of up-do, a certain kind of agonizingly slow stroll, and, above all, the art of the well-tailored cheongsam, the more interesting each individual film in his modern-ennui series (of which I think Happy Together is the indisputible champion) seems, in contrast, to be. Go see Days of Being Wild tonight at Anthology Film Archives in the East Village (it's bound to look amazing in that big auditorium on their giant screen) and tell me I'm wrong - I dare you.
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