Eyes on Cinema —the prolific YouTube channel that posts frequent investigations into film and filmmakers— has just released a 21-minute interview with Shanghai-born writer/director Wong Kar Wai. American audiences might know him best as the man behind last year’s “The Grandmaster” (about Bruce Lee’s martial arts instructor, Ip Man) and 2007’s “My Blueberry Nights” (which starred Norah Jones, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman).
In the video, Wong talks about making his 2000 release “In the Mood for Love.” Even moviegoers unfamiliar with that film are likely to find the (fairly uncut and definitely unpretentious) discussion illuminating, especially when the filmmaker talks about the rationale behind various artistic choices that led to the finished product. He begins with funding problems that plagued production, which oddly afforded him an opportunity to work simultaneously on “2046,” which shared a number of cast members and would open four years later.
The interview is also an exploration of Asian life and cinema on a broader scale. Wong discusses the notion of identity specific to Hong Kong, Asian culture and —on a micro level— even certain types of fruit, and why they feature (or don’t) in his work. From locations to music to the actors, Wong details the various influences that played major roles in crafting “In the Mood for Love,” and it’s fascinating to hear the venerable filmmaker talk about his process and values when making movies.
Check out the interview below.