April 24, 2023

days of being wild (1990)

I first saw Days of Being Wild in 2011 during the Taipei Film Festival—at the cavernous Zhongshan Hall. I was late and entered the packed, dark space from the heavy, wet, tropical heat of the Taiwanese summer, only to be greeted by the tropical palms of the movie’s opening credits (see image on TV above). Experiencing the movie with some immersion, I found the experience completely revelatory.
It’s taken me a long time to revisit this movie because I wasn’t sure if the context I saw it in was what rocked me, or if my burgeoning interest in convening with and appreciating Asian culture was messing with my objectivity.
But I watched it again last night, after more than 12 years, and it pierced as acutely as it did the first time. You hear much of Wong Kar-Wai’s other movies, Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love, but I really think Days of Being Wild belongs as much on the pedestal of Wong Kar-Wai greats. Relentlessly beautiful visual poetry, with a heartrending soundtrack. Here are my reasons (à la Criterion's 3 reasons)

1. Leslie

2. Many mirrors, many selves

3. young women

4. old(er) women

5. women, young and old

6. men and women