Irish Film Institute -Days of being wild

Days of being wild

Director: WONG KAR-WAI

With Maggie Cheung| Carina Lau. Hong Kong| 1990. English subtitles. Colour. 94 min.

An idiosyncratic reinvention of Hong Kong in 1960, centred on the figure of a jaded playboy (Leslie Cheung) who toys with the affections and fates of everyone around him and then disappears to Manila to look for his mother—or perhaps to seek out his own death. The terrific, all-star cast enacts this as a series of emotionally unresolved encounters; the swooningly beautiful camera and design work takes its hallucinatory tone from the protagonist’s own uncertainties. Intense and magical, partly because of its flayed romanticism but also because everyone involved (cinematographer Chris Doyle, the actors, Wong himself) was discovering his/her own potential in perfect synch. The mysterious appearance of Tony Leung only in the closing scene heralds a sequel that will sadly never be made. But this is already some kind of masterpiece.

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