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.
- As someone once said: ‘Art is a never-ending dance of illusions’. It is impossible for us to dance exactly like we did before. What has really changed is not the films but the man on the floor.
- I like Latin American literature a lot and I’ve always thought Latin American, and Italian people are very close to Chinese, especially the women — jealousies, passion, family values, it’s very close.
- We all need stories. What happens in our daily lives changes our stories.
- Just make the film. Action is the first word you must learn. And the second is patience. As a filmmaker you must wait for many things. You have to wait for money, the weather, the cast, the release. So you need to have good patience. The process is so long and most of the time it’s frustrating. To be a filmmaker, you must first take action, then have the persistence to pursue it.
- It was my dream! I wanted to know what exactly martial arts is. When you look at martial arts films, the later ones became more and more exaggerated. It’s like, wow, is martial arts only a show?
- 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.
- Filmmaking is an organic process from start to finish, so there should be many surprises along the way. You never know what film you really have until it is delivered.
- 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.
- It takes less effort to stream a film at home these days. However, streaming should not fundamentally affect how a film is made, as long as the pleasure of watching films doesn’t change, and we as filmmakers continue to serve that purpose.
- I never want to make beautiful pictures. I just want to make sure it’s right. Every set up, every shot, represents a choice: what you want to see, and what you don’t want to see.
- In the last 10 years, a lot of kung-fu films have become over the top. And at a point, audiences start to think that kung-fu films are just a show, or a gimmick.
- 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.