Sorry, been busy, I've been meaning to post...
I saw 2046 again, last Sunday, by myself, at the refurbished Greenhills theaters. It was my first time there since it was renovated, and the shape of the theaters sucks. It's very wide, so when I thought I was choosing a seat in the middle of the theater I thought I'd be a good distance from the screen, but not close enough to the rear that you can hear the projector whirring, which I grew to hate especially during all those Film Festivals they used to have at Shangri-La Plaza (which has since also refurbished its theaters, though I haven't been yet). But no. Despite being in the middle of all the seats available I was still too close to the screen for my comfort, and just felt sorry for everyone else sitting in front of me, which was nobody. There were unfortunately only less than 10 people, and the couple to my right left after about 30 minutes. The family of 3 seated behind me I was walking behind when the film ended, and the daughter who was about my age hated it, remarking "What was with their hair?" which had me remarking, "You fucking imbecile you should've been aborted," although I said it in my head, not out loud. But the dad liked it, and the mom didn't speak. So points for daddy, but sorry, your daughter's a doorknob.
By and large, my initial impression hasn't changed. I do really like the film very much, and focused on different details this time around. I think I have a better appreciation of the structure this time around, too. The beginning part is intended to be confusing because it's still out of context, which is provided later (and repeated, in case you really don't get it). The character arc of Chow Mo-wan is more coherent to me now, especially with the favor to Bai Ling at the end, AFTER the Faye Wong sequence.
The film really is ripe for examination and speculation. What's the story behind Gong Li's hand? Why was futuristic Takuya Kimura injured after departing 2046? Is it meant to be a literal translation of Chow's emotional injuries? Where is the significance of 2046 in regards to what it means for Hong Kong? Harvey has an idea, but if anyone else can shed more light on this I'm all ears. I have this idea of 2046 being an ideal for the character of Chow Mo-wan, because it was in that room that he had his happiest moments with Maggie Cheung's Su Lizhen, and that's why it represents, in his fiction, a happy place where nothing ever changes, and thus, no one ever leaves. I think that was his dream: to recapture, or return to that room, and never leave (I think dialogue with a similar tone/spirit is in one of the deleted scenes of In the Mood, but I'm not sure).
I'm now less convinced of Chow's feelings for Bai Ling. Not to belittle Bai-- if you remember, the story stayed with her more than it did Chow for a good while. Her feelings were intensely genuine, and now that I think about it their whole relationship was another echo of Days of Being Wild. How Chow treated Bai, Leslie Cheung's character treated both Maggie Cheung and Carina Lau. I don't think Chow saw Faye Wong as a challenge, either. I think that she reminded him of Maggie Cheung's Su Lizhen (the writing helps). Perhaps this is why he wanted to help her with her relationship despite its circumstances. If he couldn't have his happy ending, he could at least help encourage others to find theirs. Almost a romantic notion, that in an alternate universe, he and Su Lizhen could've ended up together.
Also, little smatterings: Takuya Kimura was EXCELLENT. The first and last shot are the same: the resting place of the secret, which was also the last shot of In the Mood. The smeared lipstick of Gong Li in the beginning, which Neva first brought to my attention, being explained in the end.
Any film that has inspired this much thought given me so much to chew on has to be on my list of favorite movies of the year.
The only place it's showing now (practically) is Glorietta 4. Only lasted a week in most places. :(
Christmas traffic has now reached the point where I don't want to leave the house anymore. My blood pressure goes up, I swear like a sailor and basically get into a rabid bloodthirsty berzerker rage. The worst part of it is I sometimes end up in a bad mood whenever I get to where I'm heading, which is bad news if it's a party, or meeting up with Neva.
The better-quality new Batman Begins trailer is up. And here's the trailer for Constantine, which bears no resemblance to the character I have enjoyed reading since high school.
Here's a short film adapting a short Sin City story. Not bad.