2046 (2004)

Original Title : 2046
Director : Kar-Wai Wong
Writer : Kar Wai Wong
Genre : Drama
Country : China
Hong Kong
Language : Cantonese, Japanese, Mandarin
Producer : Eric Heumann , Amedeo Pagani , Marc Sillam , Kar Wai Wong
Music : Peer Raben
Shigeru Umebayashi
Photography : Christopher Doyle (II)
Pung-Leung Kwan
Yiu-Fai Lai
Distributor : 1More Film [nl]
IMDB ID : 0212712
Official site :
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poster for "2046" by Kar-Wai Wong (2004)
2046 (2004) - Kar-Wai Wong


Tony Leung Chiu Wai Chow Mo Wan
Li Gong Su Li Zhen
Takuya Kimura Tak
Faye Wong Wang Jing Wen/wjw1967
Ziyi Zhang Bai Ling (as Zhang Ziyi
Carina Lau Lulu/Mimi
Chen Chang cc1966
Wang Sum Mr. Wang/Train Captain
Ping Lam Siu Ah Ping
Maggie Cheung Slz1960 (as Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk
Thongchai McIntyre Bird (as Thongchai McIntyre 'Bird'
Jie Dong Wang Jie Wen
Ting Yip Ng 


He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same recapture their lost memories. It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed. Nobody knew for sure if it was true, because nobody who went there had ever come back- except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change.


Wong Kar-Wai is an exceptional film-maker. So exceptional, that I would rank him as the most important of our living artists, after Greenaway, of course. I believe that cinema should be an illusion so active in mingling the best of things we perceive as visual art. Quite much so, both of the previously mentioned directors are the only ones grasping something in the essence of film in its persective form, that is, in the narrative of film and the relation of images to the text, and these two directors are fine examples because of their abilities also, which reflect to film: Greenaway makes rather polemic and visible art, and his capability of creating alienated references inside references is something beyond comprehension, at least most of the time. Kar-Wai seems, on the surface, to be more moral, prudent and reluctant in his polemics, but they most definitely are there, but in the form of condolence and motifs that derivate from the psychological forces that the viewer is influenced by when watching a film: his symmetry, while resembling that of Greenaway, is different, and one can wonder if it is a cultural artifact. It appears to be so, but such interpretations can even rudely conquest the gentle vibrations of one's visual self, hence transforming an experience outside of any kind of categorical processing into a dull and blank syntax. A true film evolves, and when Tarkovsky is a fine example of a film-maker whose films evolve all the time, Kar-Wai is accomplishing something very similar: while Fa Yeung Nin Wa touches the surface of a subject that can be depicted as inner landscape, this is more like depicting the pudendum, not that it is an equivalent with his previous work in terms of melancholy or compassion, but it goes further in developing an obsessive nature of visual imagery, as it is itself a slave to certain rules it tries to break. One of the more interesting things here is that we are involved in a story that is highly sexual yet not erotic, a rather brilliant reverse of his previous film, which was, of course, about sex but from a perspective of an observer, yet eroticism plays a valuable and intricate role in an exuberant part of the story. Here we follow what is sex yet even though some might interpret Kar-Wai as shy and conservative in his appeal to concentrate in something particular in his formal field of the frame, I can't really blame them - yet there is more to it, and that makes this film, in my books, an important film. I am very much into films that try make things differently, because the most affecting and dangerous disease of cinema is the lack of inventiveness and courage to change the syntax of film as we know it. Not only there have been radical minds working the exact opposite of such undecided yet universal codes, some of them have succeeded not by creating a single piece of desecration, but a body of work that resembles a progressive state of evolving cinema. In Kar-Wai's world, the ideas come first, which is equivalent and fairly obvious. Tarkovsky once implied that it wouldn't be necessary even for the artist to be clearly acknowledged about the meanings of his picture, he simply makes it. And that's where Kar-Wai's exquisite taste for composition derivates from: his ideas are not suitable for recent categories until we have adapted a certain visual language, mostly inspired by the work we have just seen - and this is, in my opinion, a sign of the greatest cinema: when we can unilaterally become dimensional in our methods of thinking towards a film, we can create new syntax based on our own connotation, which plays an integral part in our visual field. An image comes first, which is the idea, and then comes the text, if necessary, as the image itself is the idea if there is textual references in its core, not inside of the idea itself. And that is persective. And the film still grows. These experiences, when you know you are witnessing something that is breaking the known language, make you aware of it during the process of perception: sometimes you are the mirror, sometimes the reflection, it is not essential to create omnipotent syntax, but omnipresent. This is a film that belongs to the theatre. I saw it on DVD, which was imported. And the experience is subjective.
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