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Sunday, June 12, 2016

5 scenes I loved in Wong Kar Wai films

A list of 10 Best Scenes in Wong-Kar-Wai films on Taste of Cinema prompted me to think of my own favourite scenes in his films too.

10 best scenes in WKW's films. Yup, the ones on the list, I really like. But since most of his films are characterized by transcendental moments, I'll list out some of my favourites (that are not on the list). Avoid them for spoilers, I guess.

In no particular order:

1) Ending of FALLEN ANGELS

- Might be my favourite ending in a WKW film. I first saw this film when I was 13 and I was bedridden because of Chicken Pox. I didn't 'get' this film, I expected something action-packed. Yet I stayed til the ending, and somehow, when her last line left a strange feeling in my heart.

"As I was leaving, I asked if he'd give me a ride home. I hadn't ridden on a motorcycle in a long time. Actually, I hadn't been that close to a man for a while. The road wasn't that long, and I knew I'd be getting off soon. But at that moment I felt such lovely warmth."

To me, the ending transcended the rest of the film.

2) Blind Swordsman's last stand in ASHES OF TIME

- I loved the earlier, badass "Looks as if I shouldn't have come for this duel at all. Is it all right just to leave a hand?" scene with the blind swordsman. But that epic fight, where you gradually realize that the "Peach Blossom" he had mentioned was not a flower but the name of his wife. Whoa.

3) End of He Zhiwu, Cop 223's story arc when he gives the "If memories could be canned, would they also have expiry dates?" monologue.

- A simple birthday greeting led him to this revelation, that some moments he wanna remember forever. "If memories could be canned, would they also have expiry dates? If so, I hope they last for 10 000 years." Many would recognize this VO as an often parodied line in Stephen Chow's Journey to the West classic. But hearing this for the very first time, I felt like levitating.

4) Su Lizhen and the Cop in DAYS OF BEING WILD

- The brief night encounter between the heartbroken Su Lizhen and the Cop (Andy Lau) is important in a sense that many things in the rest of the film were consequences of this moment. Him wandering in Philippines and running into Yuddy, the last phone call she made, the ringing empty phone booth. I loved this entire arc.

5) Caetano Veloso's "Cucurrucucu Paloma" over the majestic Iguazu Falls in HAPPY TOGETHER

- There are many moments in Happy Together that stay with me. But the very first time when I saw it, when Lai Yiu-fai covers his face and there's a sudden cut to the Iguazu Falls, and Caetano Veloso singing Cucurrucucu Paloma. My jaw fell upon. I wish I have been able to see the film on the big screen.

(It blows my mind when I realize that I've never seen a single WKW film on the big screen. Just short films like his segment in To Each His own Cinema)