7 March 2008

MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS - Wong Kar Wai's first American feature

When word got out that the closest director we have had to Jean Luc Godard was preparing to make his American feature film with the folk singer, Norah Jones, everybody including myself seemed slighly preturbed and mystified by such a bizarre casting decision. Premiering in Cannes 2007, it has taken a while for Wong Kar Wai's latest film to secure distribution in the UK but ever since it's savage reception with the French critics, My Bluberry Nights has struggled to find distribution in the UK especially when the schedules have been crammed with yet more high concept drivel. Then it is of little surprise that the film only ran for one week before it was shoved into a late night slot, unintentionally relegating it to immediate cult status amongst the Hong Kong master's enthusiastic fanbase. Nevertheless, now that the controversy surrounding the film's delayed release has somewhat taken a back seat, I am happy to report that the film should be viewed as an expertly directed compendium of Wong Kar Wai's greatest stylistic trademarks, signatures and motifs. This is the director's homage to the American road movie and though many have been critical of the intentions behind the project, it is another effective mood piece which demonstrates how Wong Kar Wai's spellbinding choice of music has not diminshed in anyway. It is also a beautifully shot tribute to film noir, a genre which has always lingered in the visual landscape of the director's best films. The theme of chance, bittersweet relationships, slow motion, melancholic lovers, death, and everything else that makes Wong Kar Wai's film's so special and unique are clearly evident in a narrative that follows the character of Norah Jones who travels across America in an attempt to try and forget a relationship. Though this is not in anyway the best work Wong Kar Wai has produced, it still manages to beat out most of the American films released in 2007.

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