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Entries from Cinecultist tagged with 'Wong Kar Wai'

Ice Cream Melting Into Pie Shot? Only Wong Kar Wai

While the Cinecultist has been enjoying a birthday in Manhattan, Mr. A.O. "Fancy Pants" Scott has been in the South of France soaking up the sun and cinema at the Cannes Film Festival. He reports today in the Times about the scene on the Croisette and his early, albeit self-aware, opinion about the much-anticipated English language Wong Kar Wai starring Norah Jones, My Blueberry Nights. Scott declares Wong's newest is self-indulgent, but with more adjectives:

"One of the more annoying tics of the kibitzers at Cannes (including this correspondent) is the habit of rendering authoritative, often hyperbolic snap judgments before the final credits are done. Thus, while the soundtrack music from My Blueberry Nights... was still echoing in the Palais des Festivals, you could hear dyspeptic grumbling about Mr. Wong’s American venture, along with a certain amount of defensive praise. There will be plenty of time to sort it out. My initial impression is of a sweet, insubstantial movie that might have been more exciting — more meaningful — to make than it is to see."

The part that troubles CC, a fan of Wong's work but not an unequivocal one, is that the characters emoting in English seems to have rendered them more breezy and less neurotic in Scott's opinion. A breezy Wong Kar Wai character sounds like a contradiction in terms. What could our obsessive auteur be doing if he's not making every mere gesture and costume change hyperbolic? CC is increasingly skeptical but still curious about the Blueberry.

Norah Jones, Our Neighbor & A Natural Actor?

NorahJones.jpgSinger (and fellow East Village resident) Norah Jones has been on the talk show circuit lately because her third album, Not Too Late hits stores this week. Mostly Jones' music isn't our cup of tea (to put not such a fine point on it, it's total vagina music and we grew out of that stuff after attending the Lilith Fair in '97), plus her level of crazy run away success and her crankiness about bloggers mocking her secret glam band, sorta bugs. However, her return to the media glare reminded Cinecultist of one intriguing bit of No Jo trivia: she's starring in Wong Kar-Wai's English language debut, My Blueberry Nights. Co-starring Rachel Weisz, David Strathairn, Jude Law, and Nathalie Portman, at least we can tell that Wong based casting on good looks punctuated by intense eye gaze skills. Actually in a recent EW article about Jones, it sounds like Wong had more of a plan than that.

"He cast Jones at their first meeting, but insisted the novice thespian not take lessons to prepare for the part of Elizabeth, "a woman who," Jones says, "is a little bit lost in life and takes a cross-country trip to find her way." Wong was beyond pleased with the results. "Crying in front of the camera is one of the hardest things for a first-time actor to do. She nailed it on the second take. After, she turned to me, her eyes still red, and asked, 'Do you want more?'" recalls Wong. ''At that moment, I knew this lady could act."

Intriguing, right? Of course we'll have to wait until June* to offer up our full assessment of Jones' emoting abilities in front of the camera, and obviously we'll be holding her to that high benchmark set by former Wong actresses like Maggie Cheung, Faye Wong, Brigitte Lin, Gong Li and Ziyi Zhang. Sorry for the tough company Norah, but you really kinda brought it on yourself.

*This is the date currently on IMDb but bear in mind that it's being released by Weinstein Co. who are notoriously bad about firmly setting their release schedule.