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Simply the Worst: Wong Kar-wai’s “My Blueberry Nights”

Simply the Worst: Wong Kar-wai's "My Blueberry Nights"

When one thinks about the ascendance of Wong Kar-wai to the Olympus of international auteurism, a few aesthetic and narrative standbys come to mind: the groundbreaking utilization of the step-printing technique in order to capture the mazelike cartography of Hong Kong and its multilayered neighborhoods; the innovative deployment of various, multi-language soundscapes; affected voiceovers that dwell on the recurrent theme of unrequited love; the ephemerality of desire and the unbound connection between characters and their surrounding objects. In partnership with production designer and editor Edward Chang and cinematographer Christopher Doyle, Wong created throughout the nineties some of cinema’s most dramatically innovative and audiovisually challenging tours de force, evolving later on towards the metacinematic deconstruction of his own works with films like 2046.

What happens, then, when a globally celebrated auteur moves away from his native artistic environment and decides to work detached from the very cultural, linguistic, and topographic idiosyncrasies that have historically constituted his field of artistic intervention? Read the rest of Vicente Rodriguez-Ortega’s entry in Reverse Shot’s “Simply the Worst” symposium.

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