Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Blueberry Nights

No, no, no Mr. Kar Wai. In flirting with Hollywood, please do not forget what you are loved for. We love the mood you create. We love your lights, your fleeting characters who do not speak, the ethereal music. Just because you are in America, please do not give so many words and tasks to your characters. Especially when they are played by actors who understand none of your romance. You have told us before that it is hard to say goodbyes, and you have said it much more beautifully. Please do not repeat it in the form of a common American romantic drama.

Norah Jones has a presence on the screen, but she has no softness which the (as it is weak) screenplay demanded of her. And there was so much focus on a story which was unimpressive to begin with. The only favorable impressions are created by Natalie Portman, who reminded me of the gambler played by Gong Li in 2046.

13 comments:

Alok said...

Oh I hope it was not just anti-americanism. Americans sometimes make some good movies too :)

I missed it on bigscreen (it played in some remote corner and went in a blink). I was thinking of getting the dvd but it has gone further down on the to-watch queue now.

and how about Rachel Weisz? she inspires some wong kar-wai-esque thoughts and feelings in me.

Madhuri said...

Yes, they do. I do not have too much of anti-American sentiment (only some, and mainly because their cinema and writing is quite self-obsessed with the 'Great American dream' and culture).
There is good reason why it went in blink - it was a very ordinary movie, or may be I was expecting much more from him.
Rachel Weisz is good (and pretty), but she spoils it with overacting in some scenes. Though the scene between her and Norah Jones is good, she is quite un-natural otherwise.

Ubermensch said...

I know I have a reputation for being hated, so I have to make sure to live up to it.

Your idea of art is, for the lack of the better word, naive. Your sweet post has four nos, four nots, and one or two nones. What exactly do you want of him? Make one type of movie throughout his life so you can say how sweetly he can portray a goodbye on a moving film. Art is an understanding of a person and his way of seeing the world.

If it is something distant, which I think stems from your idea of liking and disliking things - oh I like this , oh I didn't like this etc, beyond which there isn't a comment to expand on. It's like a 10 yr old Kareem in Hyderabad saying salman khan ka kya mast body hain, beyond which he would have nothing to say.
I havent seen the movie, but Wong 's core art is basically an personal exploration of meaning of longing, from his first movie to as long as makes a movie. It's not about saying good byes.

This is all wrong. This is no way to study art. You better be, I am sorry forget it.

Madhuri said...

After watching some good works from a person, you raise the expectations from him. I did, and this movie was a disappointment, not because it did not exactly follow the pattern of his earlier movies, but because it tried to and failed. He chose the same theme that he has explored before, in a much more dumbed down fashion.

These are my impressions of the movie, not a study. I would probably spend some more thought on a movie which I liked rather than one which was almost similar to a Meg Ryan movie. So, I do not think I want to waste any critical analysis on this one.
Your idea of criticism is not very different from a 10-year old Kareem in Hyderabad either: 'You are stupid, you are naive', beyond which you do not have more comments with logic.
My approach to viewing art is as much about impressions as it is about rationales and understanding. I recognize that my idea of art is naive, and I am enjoying the exploration. I appreciate your efforts to point out my errors, I think they will be more useful if you could express your own views alongwith. Else you are just wasting both our times (unless you derive some pleasure in living up to your reputation)

Ubermensch said...

Well. It’s another inane exchange but what the heck, such is life.

I know I asked you to forget my previous comment, and I also know that you are fairly set in your ways, YET I have to say this - well, THAT, as you know, is my pathology - this deep down irresistible compulsion (hence the pleasure and the subsequent reputation ) to put down everyone else and rule the world. But what do you know about me? As Dr Gregory House would have said - I am in pain.

Humour aside, and since we are talking about saving time I am going to fisk you-

After watching some good works from a person, you raise the expectations from him.

Really? Who’s expectations and what sort of expectations ? - to have the same degree of lighting, dramatization and the volume of dialogue in each and every of his films? Eh?

Why why Monsieur Gogh did you paint the bright sunflowers and the radiant starry nights when I thought you had captured the beauty of poverty in the pale lighting of the potato eaters? eh?

I did, and this movie was a disappointment, not because it did not exactly follow the pattern of his earlier movies, but because it tried to and failed. He chose the same theme that he has explored before, in a much more dumbed down fashion

Precisely . YOU did and that is not his problem. And what exactly are you objecting to - that he chose the same theme? Or because his new movie was dumb than his last movie ( or the last movie of his you had watched)

This is ignorance. Wong is an artist - LESSON 1 The identity of an artist depends on his needs and his conflicts and his strife for resolutions. Not -- why Mr Hitchcock do you want to flirt with suspense, in spite of failing many times? Or How dare you Mr Hitchcock you try a Marnie after a Birds?

You are disappointed because you are going in with your own baggage of expectations, which you have ignored in your write-up. In the post you quite naively place the blame on him-- why did not he let his characters be mute or as mute as 2046?

And Dumb? Your idea of dumb is based on a value of subjective comparison in your mind. I haven’t seen the movie or read any review but having followed his works( I’m not a big fan, so dismiss any fan standing up for his idol theory) I can clearly see what he is trying to do. Is it really that hard to see that he is exploring the idea of longing in a different cultural set up , where values and customs and social patterns are different? Even lighting and space, yeah? ( America is a continent of spaces) , does it not cross your mind he might be wanting to understand longing from American perspective, which might render the theme bland ( or boring because you have watched many Hollywood movies) And He is trying the variations in the themes for a long time - watch Happy together which explores the complicated longing in a gay couple in S America.

These are my impressions of the movie, not a study. I would probably spend some more thought on a movie which I liked rather than one which was almost similar to a Meg Ryan movie. So, I do not think I want to waste any critical analysis on this one.


Carrying the burden of personal expectations, and wanting the director to live up to your previous favourite is an impression? And Critical analysis - You are surely kidding me. Since you keep on explaining your choices as reasons, frankly , for once I will give you an opinion listen. LESSON 2 Your idea of analysis is an edifice built on emotion. It has no bearing, except in your mind. You try to perceive a world and declare your judgement based on the valency of your likes and dislikes, and try to rationalise your view as an opinion. There is no process to draw the feeling from an experience or supposed imagination, remember how you did not waste your critical analytical skills on On the road. You did not like it therefore etc etc. You do not have the means to judge a beat book when you might never have driven on your own far away , not knowing where you are going or where or with whom you going to have your breakfast tomorrow ?
Therefore it is a bad , or disinteresting etc etc. there is never any effort made to see why it could be disinteresting to YOU. Your idea of critical analysis is an exposition of what you have liked, and wanting that to happen again and again in every art. To you and peers, the world is just a source to accumulate things that you like or do not like. And that’s it. That’s what Kareem does. Just the levels of access of the worlds,( books and DVDs) are different.

You are stupid, you are naive', beyond which you do not have more comments with logic.

Really. You believe that? Lesson 3. Think what you say. Or just think. Correction. I haven’t said you are stupid? Have I ever? I don’t think you are, even if you do not understand the word stupid. I think you are filling information within yourself and certainly taking a sense of pride in that - obviously the basic reason for that is you do not know what else to do. But that shouldn’t be my concern. It’s your choice.


Naïve ? Of course yes. I have explained above why. I cant please you as well as attack you for your views.

If you had developed some sense of thought you wouldn’t have asked me to explain when you yourself enjoy in your recognition of being naïve.

My views? couldn’t you figure from my previous comment. That’s how adults exchange thoughts - but unless I give you lessons you wouldn’t get it - Lesson 4. Don’t start a sentence with no? esp when you use to share your own personal values. Lesson 5 Try to see the art in the context of artist if possible?
Here’s one more view where I’ll be myself - 2046 is shit of a movie. Content is an emotional manipulation - ( Like Karan Johar if he had + 25 more IQ), process is admirable but nothing extraordinary . It is meant to evoke emotions without having passion, either in it or from it. Contrast with Cinema Paradiso or Lives of Others.
Its procrastination for all the manipulation to evolve is well known - look it up. There was a running joke that it would be made in 2046. That’s one of the reasons why blueberry wasn’t taken up by Hollywood . ( Yeah It isn’t Hollywood) It was distributed by a studio but it was made by Weinstein. Look them up as well. How do I know? Coz blueberry was on Cannes list and all of this was news. And I know people from HK.

Regardless, I see why people like. I am not saying they are wrong , but just banal like a crowd watching football or cricket. Karim knows he is, you deny it.

There is no need respond to draw up an abuse. I’ll consider myself very abused and hurt.

Thanks.
Bye.

Alok said...

woah! that was quite a lecture there!! :)

Ubermensch said...

Huh.
I cant figure the purpose,reason in your comment. May be a bit of warped desolate malice which is hilarious to me. I think it is a Haiku without the breaks. Yes, it is september, when the autumn module commences, thanks.(see fits the season for the Haiku)

And if there is malice, since I often find it hopeless and futile to engage with you I dont fancy inviting your guerrilla comments. But you are so steeped in your own world , which is somewhere between primitive and tribal( you claim that you are detached, when you mean disillusioned) you don't even realize that you are walking into a conversation between two others with a banality that can only be nodded with a smile, before taking time to sip wine and to carry on.
thanks, and

So here's the smile you fancy so much ------ :)

Ubermensch said...

And Madhuri, heres the link for today from my reader,
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/08/12/asiapacific.top10/index.html

Assignment - Why do most people list Mood for love as better than 2046?
Why no oz movies in there?
No need to submit or thank me. Find your own answers.

Ubermensch said...

Sorry, during these times, even a Link is often broke; a list of best of Asia

here

Alok said...

there was no purpose or reason in my comment. I just wanted to express my (genuine) amusement. That's why the smile :)

Ubermensch said...

Goodness. You believe that of course. And I believe you that you believe in that. But you don't see further - which is the problem. You dont seem to comprehend that you can drop into a conversation between two others and declare it was amusing to YOU without purpose, motive or reason. Why don't you try that while you are in bar or Pub or in Train Station? The authenticity of the emotion is not the point.And this is not the first time, you have been a juvenile guerrilla commentator.
This is basic School stuff. Sod it.

Alok said...

thanks for the laughs man! with a sense of humour inanity can be redeemed too.

Ubermensch said...

Now thats progress, yet the paradox being you not realizing you are laughing at your own sorry life. Good bye now.