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Overstreet

My Blueberry Nights

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Monkey Peaches, via Cinematical, has news of the upcoming Wong Kar-Wai film... which *isn't* going to be about Hurricane Katrina, as was previously rumored.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

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The film sounds interesting still. The reactions I read were pretty much "poor dialogue, great cinematography", which doesn't sound unlike most WKW films. (Not that it's really fair for me... or most people... to comment on what is or is not poor dialogue in a language that I do not speak. However, people don't tend to watch foreign films for the dialogue.) Regardless, I don't think WKW is capable of writing dialogue more annoying than the repeated use of California Dreaming in Chungking Express. People like his films despite these things, traditionally.

Fallen Angels was in my list of favorite films for a while, but I think after 2046 I've gotten a bit weary of Wong Kar Wai. I need to rewatch some of his movies, perhaps. With My Blueberry Nights, I'll probably make a point of seeing it, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Edited by theoddone33

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Anders   

Watched this film last night as part of my effort to watch all of Wong's films. Definitely "minor Wong," but not nearly as bad as I had expected. Norah Jones is clearly not a professional actor, but I appreciated the hopeful romanticism of the film. (Also, cameo by Chan Marshall of Cat Power!) One has to remember that Wong primarily makes melodramas.

In my post-viewing reading, I came across Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's essay on MUBI in which he deals with the the human voice in cinema, and had this highly instructive comment:

The lone, expressing voice is the closest we have in contemporary cinema to a direct link to the individual. That's why it's such a key ingredient for Wong Kar-Wai (ingredient is the right word; Wong's films are all mixtures). Wong's displaced voices are displaced souls; whatever the body may be, the voice has always stood in for the soul in his films, as it did in before for Andrei Tarkovsky, though Tarkovsky's hushed dubbing always made it seem as though the soul and the body had separated at the moment of filming. It's as true of My Blueberry Nights as of 2046, though in the Anglosphere we didn't treat My Blueberry Nights quite as kindly because we realized how direct Wong's voices had always been — confessional, almost embarrassing to listen to. It's easy to imagine understatement when you don't know how a language is supposed to sound. In the foreign tonalities of Cantonese, we could imagine whatever emphasis we wanted for the dialogue. Faced with "the real thing," we're always surprised; we say the director "doesn't understand" the culture because we don't want to admit that maybe we didn't understand the director to begin with (anyway, with just one American film Wong seems to have a better grip on America than Wim Wenders ever did).

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