Wong Kar Wai And Hollywood Cinema Film Studies Essay

The universe today is basically a bifocal universe. Film makers everyplace are concerned with their ain national film, and so with Hollywood. The universe today is divided into Hollywood and a serious of national film. As the most successful and influential Asian film outside Japan and India,[ 1 ]Hong Kong film as a multinational film, has so successfully emulated Hollywood to the extent that it has now been integrated by Hollywood. In this respect, commercialisation and amusement are what Hong Kong film and Hollywood film concentrated on. Especially Hong Kong film, due to it situates in a democratic and broad society. The film makers have no boundary or restriction in filmmaking. Therefore, they pursue the movie ‘s aesthetics and amusement more than the fact of the society. Besides, Hong Kong absorbs influences from the West and went on to place and indigenize foreign civilizations. And the community in Hong Kong has a strong nexus with its traditional Chinese civilization, in many facets had developed its ain Hong Kong civilization every bit good. So to talk, Hong Kong film has a strong sense of east-west individuality.

“ The geographics, history and alone cultural individuality of Hong Kong dwellers have necessarily shaped the district ‘s film. Hong Kong ‘s adaptability to alter, cultural diverseness and cosmopolite life style has led to a dynamic end product of movies that portray a distinguishable Hong Kong mind. ”[ 2 ]

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The movie of Wong Kar-wai attests to this tradition of filmmaking. “ Wong as the 2nd New Wave of Hong Kong film maker who continued to develop the advanced and fresh aesthetic initiated by the original New Wave. ”[ 3 ]Since Hong Kong ‘s 1997 handover to China, the local movie industry was inclined to art-cinema flying alternatively of the action ( Kung fu ) tradition. And Wong ‘s upbeat works got the universe acknowledgment even though he stands apart from the mainstream Hong Kong film. In the undermentioned paragraphs, the statement will be focused on Wong Kar-wai ‘s postmodern movies in a relationship with Hollywood manner.

The narrational facet of secret plan manipulates narrative clip in specific ways. Jean Epstein summarized the relationship between narrative and clip in the classical Hollywood movie:[ 4 ]

After play purportedly without terminations, here is a play which would be without expounding or gap, and which would stop clearly. Events would non follow one another and particularly would non match precisely. The fragments of many yesteryears come to bury themselves in a individual now. The future assorted among memories. This chronology is what of the human head.

Contemporary Hollywood film maker like Quentin Tarantino, for illustration in his Pulp Fiction ( 1994, USA ) uses the juggling narrative and secret plan clip in ways that recall the complex flashback of the fortiess. Furthermore, the switches in Pulp Fiction are non motivated as characters ‘ memories ; the audience is forced to perplex out the intents served by the clip displacements. In some of Wong ‘s movie, flashback has another look.

In Wong Kar-wai ‘s In the Mood for Love ( 2000, Hong Kong ) , the flashback applies to merely one conceal scenario which begins with the male supporter Chow Mo-wan ( Leung Chiu-wai )[ 5 ]discoveries something is gone in his place, terminal with he notices there is a lip print on a coffin nail. But it does n’t state us what material he missed and who stole it until the coming scene of Su Li-zhen ( Maggie Cheung Man-yuk )[ 6 ]comes ( she comes to Chow ‘s place before ) , we realize the complete plotline. Unlike the flashbacks in Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Canis familiaris ( 1992, USA ) which is simply focal points on the rhetorical temperament of the narration for the interest of suspense or surprise. Wong ‘s flashback technique is more incline to foreground the aesthetics in histrions ‘ public presentation relate to the of import scenario. Like this scene, the two supporters ‘ much-loved subjects of solitariness, isolation, and hankering rise to the surface.

David Bordwell summarized the relationship between narrative and infinite in the classical Hollywood movie:[ 7 ]

In doing narrative causality the dominant system in the movie ‘s entire signifier, the classical Hollywood film chooses to subordinate infinite. Most evidently, the classical manner makes the sheerly in writing infinite of the movie image a vehicle for narrative. We can see this rule at work negatively in the prohibitions against ‘bad ‘ cuts. ‘The of import topics should be in the same general country of the frame for each of the two shootings which are to be cut together, ‘ but ‘as long as the of import topic is non shifted from one side of he screen to the other, no existent injury is done. ‘ In depicting the classical film ‘s usage of infinite we are most inclined to utilize the term ‘transparent, ‘ so much does that cinema strive to obliterate the image plane. ‘The screen might be likened to a plate-glass window through which the perceiver looks with one oculus at the existent scene. ‘

Contemporary Hollywood film makers have sometimes explored what has been called the “ web-of-life secret plan. ”[ 8 ]Alternatively of two primary lines of action, the inclination of the movies pursues a big figure of plotlines, frequently affecting many characters. In the 1990s, such movies as Quentin Tarantino ‘s Pulp Fiction. The every individual plotlines seem wholly have nil to make with another narrative, but normally they split away and converge from one and another. In Pulp Fiction, there are 3 narratives, each one based upon specific characters. And the narrations are round every bit good as intersected. The subject of the eldritch and destiny arises runing from Butch ( Bruce Wills ) and Vincent ( John Travolta ) , they meet each other for twice. First clip they meet in a saloon without a direct conversation. In the following clip is concerned with Butch goes place for his ticker ( the merely stuff his dead male parent left him ) and comes across Vincent ( implicitly come to assassinate Butch ) in his lavatory so kill him. In this respect, the sequence in the whole plotline is cryptic. Despite Vincent is already dead in the old narrative, we still see him in the concluding portion of the narrative in a eating house with Jules ( Samuel L. Jackson ) . Continue the unfinished narrative at the beginning.

In Wong Kar-wai ‘s movie, he does n’t follow this Hollywood narrative tradition. In Chungking Express ( 1994, Hong Kong ) , Wong creates a new manner of narrative causality in space-time which he blends the subject of mobster and romantic-comedy together. This is the evident characteristic of post-modern movie. Seen from Wong ‘s Chungking Express, it constitutes an challenging experiment in nonclassical signifier. It has merely approximately 6 major characters, but it is broken into 2 distinguishable narratives, each organized around a different batch of characters and presented one after the other. Since both male supporters are lovelorn work forces and police officers, originally we might anticipate them to meet one another, but they ne’er do. Even when the first narrative coating, everything related to the first narrative ne’er appears once more apart from one same venue. In Chungking Express, the connexion between these two narratives is they do portion one venue: Both Officer 1 ( Takeshi Kaneshiro )[ 9 ]and Officer 2 ( Leung Chiu-wai ) hang out at the Midnight Express. However, this does n’t link these two parts. The characters in these two separate secret plans seem no intersection with each other. Merely the Officer 1 meets Faye Wong[ 10 ]one time in the Midnight Express. Afterwards, the following narrative starts whereas Officer 1 ne’er appears once more in the following narration. And the 2nd vague connexion is while the cryptic blonde adult female ( the female supporter in the first narrative ) lounges outside a store, Faye ( whom we do non run into until portion two ) leaves with a stuffed plaything ( possibly destined for Officer 2 ‘s flat ) . Apparently, Faye is juxtaposed into these two “ happenstances ” by Wong ‘s scheme in order to ask for audience to seek the connexions and unite the two parts of the movie.

From Chungking Express, we can see another general manner in Wong ‘s filmmaking. First of wholly, the impression of clip is a permeating construct in all of Wong ‘s movies. In the first portion of Chungking Express, officer 1 compulsively eats tins of Ananas comosus with the termination day of the month of the 1st of May, for him, May 1st is his girlfriend ‘s birthday besides it ‘s the terminal of their love. He convinces that everything has an termination day of the month, including love. However, for the female drug seller, May 1st is the terminal of her life if she could non happen the group of Indian who stole her material. Indeed, Wong ‘s movies may non be straight or overtly political, nevertheless there is frequently an “ indirect relation to the political ” via Wong ‘s conveyance of “ a peculiarly intense experience of the period as an experience of the negative ; an experience of some elusive and ambivalent cultural infinite that lies ever merely beyond our appreciation ” .[ 11 ]In add-on, Wong ever ignores the characters ‘ individuality, background and household. We merely know they call cop 223 and hook 663. Despite they have a place. We can merely see the Ananas comosus tins with expiry day of the month and cop 223 ‘s despair from this topographic point. Cop 663 ‘s place is insecure. Faye frequently invades his place regardless of without aggressiveness. At the same clip there is an escalator located beside his place, it is wholly exposed in every passer-by ‘s eyes when go through it. Therefore Cop 663 lives under the unstable circumstance. Here, implicitly, one time once more Wong reveals people ‘s prospective confusion to their ain individuality related to the forthcoming handover in 1997. Third, non merely in Chungking Express, but besides in most of his work, characters ‘ fondness is the centre of the attending. And Wong adores maintaining them in the Platonic relationship. Rarely see the sexual scenes in Wong ‘s movie but the love between the two characters are aesthetic and pure. In the first portion of the narrative, Officer 1 and the blond adult female stay in a room without making anything. Nevertheless, after Officer 1 foliages so he receives a happy birthday message from the blond adult female. Obviously she still remembers May 1st is Officer 1 ‘s birthday because he told her last dark, despite she gets into the problem.

Through Wong ‘s work, Hong Kong becomes a metaphor for the characters and their varied being. It represents an urban medley in which persons struggle to come to footings with a sense of withdrawal and solitariness despite the district ‘s high-density population. Wong ‘s eternal array of possible scenarios and the pilotage of his supporters ‘ internal and external journeys in bend constitute an unravelling and reconfiguring of spatio-temporal bottlenecks.[ 12 ]Hong Kong ‘s alone individuality with its merger of Chinese and Western civilization and complex history provides chances for Wong to uncover and concerns with issues every bit varied as individuality, emotion, hereafter, etc via his frame. To some extent, we can specify Wong ‘s film is Hollywood in the manner of look such as the crosscutting, leap cuts and disconnected images. But as a poetic auteur, sees him dig into ‘moments ‘ that are linked to both history and the personal in Hong Kong ‘s community, whether straight or indirectly. Impressions of individuality and the ever-present merger between East and West find context in the subjects of love, solitariness and disaffection that pervade his supporters. Even though Wong does n’t belong to the mainstream in Hong Kong film, his movies are ne’er and of all time being the foolproof and top grossing movies. However, we can non deny his part to Hong Kong movie industry.


Pulp Fiction- Quentin Tarantino, 1994, USA

Reservoir Dog- Quentin Tarantino, 1992, USA

In the Mood for Love-Wong Kar-wai, 2000, Hong Kong

Chungking Express-Wong Kar-wai, 1994, Hong Kong



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