Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Wong Kar-Wai Image Essay for Valentine's Day

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J.—As all you crazy lovebirds out there lavish affection toward each other on this Valentine's Day, this single man (one who is kinda/sorta looking for romantic company—ladies?) will do what he usually does February 14 every year: lavish his own affection on that cinematic poet of yearning (romantic or otherwise), Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai.

Wong's great modern-day cinematic duology, Chungking Express (1994) and Fallen Angels (1995)—the latter from which a still graces the banner of this here blog, for those who didn't already know—speaks to all manner of romantic connections, disappointments and rebirths. The characters' voiceover narrations articulate some of these, but the characters themselves don't, or cannot. Thus, the following image essay features characters from both these films in the throes of silent desire, many of them staring into space for intensely personal reasons we can only really guess at. You could almost call these images "spiritual," in their own purely secular way.

Chungking Express

After romantic heartbreak, what's next?

How low can he go? But then...
A femme sans fin mystérieuse 


California dreamin'?

Waiting for a salvation from despair that only he can put into motion

A dream that becomes reality

Fallen Angels

Desiring an idealized conception of someone

Satisfying her lust for that conception

The human being underneath the conception, contemplating his next move

 Heartbreak: in this case, a shattering of expectations

Finding a spark of connection...

...but is it requited?

Finding some warmth at last...

 ...from a fellow lost soul

Happy Valentine's Day to all who celebrate.

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