Tuesday, August 9, 2011

AS TEARS GO BY (Cantonese) (1988)

It’s not exaggerating to say that the new wave of Hong Kong cinema started with advent of Wong Kar Wai. Attracting both mainstream and cult attention he brought dynamic changes with experimental and innovative approach in visual style and form of cinema. ‘As Tears Go By’ is the directorial debut of Wong and it’s one of the best Chinese gangster film ever made. The influence of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Mean Streets’ is visible but he created something which even the original should proud of.
His extraordinary visual quality of the film with use of primary color schemes especially blue, artistic play with fragmentary story line and spatial and temporal relationships, unusual use of camera angles, lighting and above all his signature stop motion frames makes cinema almost modern visual poetry. Along with popular trait of action oriented gangster film he mixed here a contemplative angle of subtle romance of unrequited longing and accidental but impossible relationship between anger on nose mobster and respiratory infected distant cousin. Must say, fine acts by Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau. The background score always remain a leitmotif of his characters sentiments, moods and melancholy; esp. the use of ‘Top Gun’ soundtrack ‘Take my breath away’ in this case.
In single line, the film is ‘Visual poetry of violence and romance and inevitable tragedy.’

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