My blueberry nights (2007)

“My blueberry nights” (2007)

IMDb

How deep is your love?

How far will Wong Kar Wai take us?

I’ve been spending time, quality time, with his work. I suspect i will spend much more time with him, in years to come. Watching a Kar Wai film is one big adventure, if you want to take out more than entertainment, if you want to learn something, and above all, get to know yourself better. The thing is, with Kar Wai you don’t have contents, you have containers, you don’t have sets and objects, you have spaces between you and the walls, distances between characters, between yourself and those characters. In his films, you’ll find what you take with you to the theatre. He builds the space in which you can be yourself. And he even adds his own self in that space. That’s why he always places elements hinting distances, and placing you in the space. In this specific film, those elements have much to do with the words painted in the glass of Jude Law’s restaurant.

This film is, of course, the beginning of a new phase in the work of this filmmaker. As far as i can tell, ‘Chungking express’ marked the culmination of a certain exploration, and ‘In the mood for love’ (and 2046) culminated a second thread of exploration on how human imagination works. Now he starts a new thing. It’s undefined by now, by for now, this ‘pie’ he is giving us tastes as something between his two previous explorations. This is because he creates circular stories, dynamic destinies, and the idea that one can build love out of imagination. But than, the whole film is completely empty, and the spectator can define his own story out of the elements we are given on screen. The story doesn’t exist, it’s just a succession of events we follow to make our own connections. Kar Wai is working his ways in a new environment, in a way he is unaware of what reactions he will find, as much as Norah Jones’ character is in her path. There’s a new world he is touching, exploring, step by step, Kar Wai prefers to leave things undefined, or rough, than to build them on a wrong basis. There’s a relatively famous episode around this film: Kar Wai would place Jude Law cleaning the ice cream on Norah’s face and than kiss her, but he wanted to know how an occidental would do that. He is learning, as much as i learn when i touch one of his films.

Christopher Doyle is out of this one (apparently he’ll also be out of kar wai’s next film). It was good, in the sense that i needed to understand how much of the imagery and camera work is effectively Doyle, and how much is Kar Wai. Here, the director is looking for new colours, and new kind of moodiness, but the camera operating here has much to do with what he had been doing previously. Doyle has more to do with environment expressed through photography, the subtlety is apparently in the hands of the master.

An interesting thing to get here, is the effectiveness of the acting here. I really think Norah Jones stands out, her acting works because she can’t act, and the mood of the film is the mood of her music, so she is natural here. Jude Law is very intelligent, he can understand what he is supposed to do to be “in the mood”. He is one of the good actors we have these days. Portman and Strathairn are well enough, but i found Weisz was really uneasy with what she was doing. I think it’s interesting to stop for a minute thinking why: the thing is, she was unnatural, in ways i’d never seen her. She was brilliant before this one, but i always thought she was competent enough to allow things to flow. Not here, and i suspect it has to do with the absence of guidance, the kind of guidance Rachel needs, and Kar Wai won’t give. This says something on Weisz and on Kar Wai. Interesting stuff.

By now i have a relatively large exposure to Kar Wai, but this was the first time i tried to grab his meanings and my reactions to him through words. I’m learning, i’m discovering new things. I prefer keeping my opinions still undefined, or incomplete, i’ll be able to complete them in future viewings/writing. Just like a Kar Wai picture.

My opinion: 4/5 don’t miss this, don’t miss anything Kar Wai does, your dreams may depend on that.

This comment on IMDb

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