• The film’s form is as good or better than any film in cinema history—it may be my go-to example now when discussing film form—along with Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc, Ozu and Toyko Story, and the combined oeuvre of Jim Jarmusch—a combination of Greenaway’s stylistic maximums (and form), Jarmusch’s repetition
  • A meditation on nostalgia- a love story of unrequited love (the best kind of cinematic love stories) like that of Casablanca.
  • The violins in the score by as Mike Galasso and Shigeru Umebayashi – repetition
  • So the editor, costume and production designer is the same person? Holy hell- William Chang— they’re all impeccable
  • Trademark costume Maggie Cheung’s dresses, immaculate style- ties and handbags in the text
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  • Formal genius- slow-motion sequences, triggered by the same violin musical score as they have chance encounters in the hallway, alley—smoke and rain—always at night
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  • Nat King Cole repetition when they meet officially
  • Their spouses faces are never shown- another formal choice—they are heard, phone calls, back of the hands, outside the doors- there’s no resolution—like Antonioni and L’Avventura– and we get a specific POV like Spielberg in E.T. showing adults (or not showing them) in a certain way
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  • Fate and chance—looking for a house on the same day, moving the same day—the word coincidence in the text no less than five times
  • Use of floral arrangements in the production design and costume design patters
  • elliptical—a feat of editing—we’re getting glimpses between the two like Pawlikowski’s Cold War
  • It’s not elliptical- but we have to mention Brief Encounter from David Lean
  • Half-open doorways  giving beauty and depth to the focus in mise-en-scene(Ozu), passing each other on stairs
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  • The Siemens clocks repetition (form), soft focus on actors not one of the two main subjects
  • Adultery all around them—her boss, Tony Leung’s co-worker—theirs is a story of restraint and understated love
  • Neon lights in abundance- actual lights as part of the mise-en-scene in foreground
  • obstruction of mise-en-scene
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  • Musical cues again- goes to Nat once they become an item
  • Like Chungking Express it’s all night work—it’s a little abrasive when it’s day
  • So much formal repetition- she goes to the movies, talking to neighbors
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  • Ozu’s depth of field hallway shots— shot between bars
  • The form absolutely works on you over the course of the film and repeat viewings—its consuming
  • A tone poem—clearly like a short story stretched out to 98 minutes
  • The hallway of Leung’s hotel is a stunner—the red drapes flowing in from the window- symmetry
  • Wallpaper in the décor, loaded with mirrors, drapes, floral arrangement
  • I’ve mentioned many other directors from Dreyer to Greenaway—I could see it being a combination of Jarmusch and Malick as well—the formal rigor and genius-level photography—Malick isn’t perfect because he shoots nature and WKW shoots cities—but I’m having a hard time finding another auteur who shot films as handsome as the two of them—Michael Mann maybe- I mean Mann makes beautiful urban films but again never quite like this
  • The two leads are utterly brilliant and this is the crowning achievement in their illustrious careers clearly- they’re complex, they love each other, an earned love, but they’re also hurting from their failed marriages
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  • The scene of their tragic goodbye- posted on the brick wall with shadows—gorgeous mise-en-scene- shots of them leaning against the wall as the camera moves back and forth
  • The film perfectly captures how you don’t know how good you’ve got it until it’s gone
  • great scene of them shown blocked by doorway as camera glides between walls
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  • The epilogue is strange, lovely- whispers into the structure—stunning and haunting
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  • A masterpiece- one of cinema’s great works of art