Wong Kar Wai’s cinema is intrinsically linked to urban spaces and the lives of city dwellers, who are often in close proximity but psychologically miles away.
Across eleven feature films, Wong Kar Wai (and his regular collaborators William Chang and Christopher Doyle) has crafted a cinematic universe that’s instantly recognisable, and often imitated.
“What makes cinema so attractive, so fascinating is that it’s not just a one plus one process, it’s chemistry between sound, words, ideas and image.” – Wong Kar Wai
This desire to experiment has led Wong to boldly play with genre – gangster, melodrama, sci-fi, wuxia – often throwing several into the one film, whilst also embracing the poetic, fragmented structures of Latin American literature as inspiration for many of his films. But for all his genre hopping, Wong Kar Wai anchors us with faces – Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Faye Wong, Leslie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi – forever linked to his filmmaking.
With an exacting approach to the language of cinema – the way he moves a camera, inserts a musical cue, slows down the frame, just enough to break our heart – Wong Kar Wai elevates cinema from mere storytelling. He offers up a genuinely cinematic space; a city so real we almost believe it exists, populated by beautiful stars navigating love, heartbreak and all the longing in-between.
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