Wong Kar -Wai – In the Mood for Love: “There are a lot of things I want to change …”

The cult film will be screened tonight in Cannes, at the Cinéma de la plage, in a restored 4K version. At the end of 2020, the filmmaker relied on Première.

Twenty years ago, Wong Kar-Wai reinvented cinema romanticism with the beautiful and modest touch of the two souls that afflicted Hong Kong in sixty. His film is now restored in 4K, and the power is generally unaffected. Of course, the director in China has forgotten nothing. Limited maintenance.

Friday, October 16, 2020. Full house at Pathé Bellecour in Lyon, next to the Lumière Festival, for the screening of the restored copy ofon the Mood for Love. Masking and guarding the public in celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary. Twenty years, a pit. The world used to be one “formerly”. Before the virus, before the curfew, before the general imprisonment. October 16 a “formerly” of himself. Soon, theaters were closed for an indefinite period of time. Sad time. So love remains. One that tears the screen all of a sudden, one of the best examples of all. With In the Mood of Love, Wong Kar-Wai saying goodbye to the 20th century, which has seen cinema thrive, by fostering a sense of love. Classicism and baroque have blended, but are already a foot in the 21st century, in this way offering great readability through image. An obvious purity that characterizes the digital arrival.

As its title suggests, everything here is a matter of atmosphere, tone, rhythm. Popular district of Hong Kong, 1962. Stairs and narrow corridor. Exiguity forces the unification of bodies. The Chow and Chan families moved to the same floor of a building. On screen, we only see Madame Chan (Maggie Cheung) and Monsieur Chow (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai). He and she. Two beautiful and pure creatures. Lonely pud. Wong Kar-Wai filmed a microworld (doors, interior pieces, corners of the streets…) a priori frozen and filled with a set that prevented any opening. A confinement that evokes Max Ophüls cinema where the architecture even within the frame is contrasting and finished bringing emotions. The rhythm of the film is dictated by a waltz borrowed from Japanese Shigeru Umebayashi [Yumeji’s Theme].

Hitchcockian vertigo

The music of In the Mood of Love is a voice that carries and accompanies. You swear Nat King Cole will sing especially to adulterous lovers. The soundtrack can also be a record card (it too, in the world back then!). There are also warm colors that ignite the setting like Douglas Sirk’s melodramas or promote vertigo like Hitchcock.

Wong Kar-Wai’s film came to life at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2000 with a best actor award for Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. Nothing for Maggie Cheung, beaten by Björk, on palmé credits Dancer in the Dark. There is also a César for best foreign film and the symbolic milestone of a million admissions in France.

Hong Kong cinema then finds a new face, hidden in timeless black glass. At the turn of the millennium, Asia forced European film lovers to look too far into the East. There the genres changed.

Twenty years ago. The 62-year-old filmmaker, who is currently filming a series in Shanghai, didn’t have time to give us a “classic” interview. The exchange, which was never one, was done via email. The workout was inevitably frustrating, the reminders impossible, the tone a bit abrupt and laconic… But the capture of the very unique WKW in flight was not ruled out.

Now in Cannes: Opening Annette, In the Mood for Love and Tribute to Jodie Foster

FIRST: In the video message you send publicly Lyonnais, you mentioned five years restoration work In the Mood for love. Why take it long time no see
WONG KAR-WAI: First, let me show you a picture that will tell you more than anything I can tell you. [voir ci-contre]. In twenty years, Celluloid has been replaced by digital. The way laboratories used to work on a negative film has become obsolete and the conservation of works has become problematic. As a result, finding the right material for a restoration is very complicated. One of the problems I had to overcome with my team was whether I was trying to find the original form of the film, one that was discovered to the public twenty years ago, or whether I reworked it to make it compatible. at first I wanted to. . There were so many things I wanted to change that I chose the second option, considering that it would represent the most meaningful viewing of the film, a way to improve my work. As said: “No. no one bathed in the same river and if it is not the same river, neither is it so also not the same man. » From the beginning of the process, I carried this idea within me.

Twenty years after the film’s release, how do you look at it?
I still feel the same (“Mood”) from his point of view.

In addition to the texture of the image, have you tried to change the original setup?
Throughout the recovery, I spent my time suppressing this desire so as not to succumb to this temptation.

In the Mood of Love makes you a world cinema superstar. How do you explain this?
Simplicity, purity and therefore universality of the subject are properties. A man, a woman, a secret … It speaks to anyone in the world.

We assume you have received customization suggestions afterwards to the success of that film … Amazing, really. Games, modern dance performances, ballet, exhibitions… Nothing seems unfair or strange to us. In fact, we were very flattered.

You said this in the introduction to the Lyon screening: “In the Mood for love a film about the secret. » What a secret you didn’t reveal about him?
If I tell you, it’s no longer a secret.

In twenty years, cinema has gone from film to digital. If it is again, in what format you shoot In the Mood of Love ?
In digital! This is a real challenge, in the same way when I shot it in film twenty years ago.

There are many legends surrounding the making of the film (no script, tired of the actors …) Is the filming too special?
In a way, shooting a movie can be like a kind of journey, a fantasy, once you’ve assembled your cast and your technical team. But the ofIn the Mood for love in the end similar to many others, with diligence and research in writing consistent.

Music occupies an important place in the film, in what how it helps you find correct tone?
I usually listen to music in my shoots. It guides the rhythm and the atmosphere throughout. The tempo of the music creates a kind of connection between the camera and the actors, as if they were dancing together. Turn to me In the Mood of Love, I took it back The Theme of Yumeji which is from the soundtrack of a Seijun Suzuki movie.

In The Mood for Love: A controlled camera in the service of a proposed love

Why did you put the action of this romance on sixty ?

Because at that time in Hong Kong most people were very conservative and adultery, unlike today, was never accepted. It’s not unique. There was also a lot of sex between the neighbors. People share toilets, for example. This is the last thing you want to share in your romantic coverage.

The baroque use of colors is reminiscent of Douglas ’melodramas Sirk. Does it influence you angkonon? I really like Douglas Sirk movies, but the filmmaker I think of is Alfred Hitchcock.

Two cinematographers were credited with the credits. How to distribute some work?
Chris [Christopher Doyle] shot 80% of the film and set the tone for the whole thing, Mark [Lee Ping-Bin] followed.

At the end of the movie, you will use a French archive with a visit to Places called General de Gaulle in Cambodia. Why did you choose this document?
In the Mood of Love represents my relationship with postcolonial Hong Kong. The main character in the film is played by Tony [Leung Chiu-Wai] worked as a journalist throughout Southeast Asia. He traveled to Cambodia where the film ended. But it is country belongs to France. This is a way of saying goodbye to the colonial era.

Can you tell us what reveals the number “2046” which is the number in the room of two lovers and also the title of your next movie …
The film was shot after Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997. Chinese authorities have promised not to make any changes for fifty years. That’s why I use the number “2046” for the room as a metaphor around the themes of change and the permanence of things.

There are a lot of connections between your movies. Think about your work like a long non -stop poem?
Like a novel, there are, in fact, different chapters covering it.

When will you be filming in Hong Kong?
Wherever they are taken, my movies are in Hong Kong.

Do we have information about the series you are working on to realize?
This is the adaptation of Jin Yucheng’s novel, Flowers [non traduit en français]. The story takes place in Shanghai in the 90s. We spent a lot of time looking for details of the city that carried the cultural influence of Hong Kong at that time. A very rich and very exciting time, which allowed the prosperity of modern Shanghai.

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