Wong Kar-wai

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Wong Kar-wai

Wong Kar-wai (born July 17, 1958) is a Hong Kong film director. A pivotal figure of Hong Kong cinema, Wong has had a considerable influence on filmmaking with his trademark personal, unconventional approach. His films frequently appear on best-of lists domestically and internationally.


  • You try to cope with the mass audience, but in fact you are not doing something for them—I would be fighting with myself. I thought, I don’t have to make big films, I can make small films that I can be happy with. I can find my own audience.
  • Of course, people are more affected by actors or acting. But as a filmmaker, I need some logic. And this was my logic in making these two films, and how I connected these stories and these films together. People say my films don’t have any plot or storyline, but in my logic there is a storyline.
  • We always put something in front of the camera because we wanted to create the feeling that the audience was one of the neighbors and was always observing or watching these two people. And the color is so vivid because everything from memory is vivid—it’s beautiful because it’s very close to your mind.
  • When I was young, the idea of “world cinema” didn’t exist. We would watch any films that we could find in the cinemas. Today, some of those films have become accessible again on streaming platforms. In a way, it doesn’t matter as much where they exist as long as people have access to them.
  • My ideas about writing changed as soon as I started directing. As a writer, I wanted my scripts to be perfect and fully formed. As a director, I know there are always factors beyond my control. Many things in any film cannot be planned concretely in advance. The best you can do is visualise what you want, and then respond to what’s there once you go on set. Nowadays I start from a fairly loose script and tend to write the dialogue on the day of shooting.

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