March 31st we screen Days of Being Wild: Wong Kar-Wai’s second feature film in KINO. The film came out in 1990 and meant his breakthrough as a director to watch closely.
The film was his first collaboration with cinematographer Christopher Doyle with whom he made six more films after.
Together, Wong Kar Wai and Christopher Doyle have been a source of inspiration for numerous directors. Barry Jenkins for example whose late film Moonlight breaths their influence. In the many interviews that followed the success of his film Jenkins openly refers to Wong as an example.
Besides to his cinematographer, Wong Kar-Wai is faithful to his actors. Maggie and Leslie Cheung (Leslie Cheung until his tragic death in 2003.), Tony Leung and Carina Lau have appeared in nearly all of his films.
Ten years after the release of Days of Being Wild, and four feature films later, In The Mood For Love came out. The film is seen as the second part of a trilogy with Days of Being wild as the first and 2046 as the third part. The films share some characters and narratives.
Wong was already well known among the cinephiles, but In The Mood For Love meant his breakthrough as an audience director. It is therefore that we have chosen to screen Days of Being Wild for the March edition of #TBT. Days of Being Wild is relatively unknown but was a milestone in his career. Other than As Tears Go By, Days of Being Wild shows the directors distinctive style for in all aspects.
His obsession for color pallets and esthetics; Days of Being Wild is remarkably green. His fascination for human encounters; the characters in Days of Being Wild are all connected to each other in a certain way. His exotic soundtracks give an alienating effect to his films: Hong Kong bathing in a mixture of Brazilians folk music and Cantonese pop. And at last his fascination for love in its destructive and fragile glory. Unforgiving and elusive.
In Days of Being Wild, set in Hong Kong 1960, we follow emotionally disturbed playboy Yuddy, Leslie Cheung, who learns from the drunken ex-prostitute who raised him, that she is not his real mother. Suffering from his Oedipus complex he lets the two women who have fallen in love with him, Su Li Zhen, Maggie Cheung, and Mimi, Carina Lau, compete for him. Both female characters appear in the other parts of the trilogy. Maggie Cheung stars next to Tony Leung as Ms Chan, in In The Mood For Love. In 2046 she appears again, divorced, with once again her maiden name.