carlos rojas

naked gaze 肉眼


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May 04, 2006



comments carried over from naked gaze's former home at blogger:

roger said...
Wow. What a post! I have a plebian question that I asked in a semi-ashamed state, since this post requires a little more meditation than the usual off the cuff comment. The question is -- is GCII, uh, subtitled? For those of us who are, basically, barbarians. (although, having just edited a medical paper about Taiwan, I now realize that many Taiwanese and Southern Chinese don't speak mandarin Chinese with any fluency, or even understand how to read it. Which is the message I got from Dictionary of Dictionary of Maqiao, my fave Chinese novel, too).
4:46 PM

chowleen said...
liked your reading of GC2--and of memory and the anticipation of memory--very much. a note: when we first catch sight of the young man on the rooftop (in the HK of 2046), he has "I LOVE LUCY (heart)" written under his eyes, and we worry along with him that indeed, it will be difficult for him (short of memory pills and some serious laser resurfacing) to forget his recently departed lover. and which is what makes the closing shots of him doubly sweet: in the course of a long day into evening of listening to ah kun's stories, the young man has shed copious tears; and his tears have blurred what he and us the audience had both feared were the indelible traces of his beloved: lucy's name wasn't tattooed after all, but only written in washable marker.
nice work, mr. NG.
6:46 PM

crojas said...
Roger and chowleen,
many thanks for your comments.

Roger--yes, GCII is available with English subtitles (English, Chinese, etc.). Many Hong Kong films are released with both English and Chinese subtitles, and DVDs (which is what I have) typically offer far more options. Buy it if you get a chance--I think you might be amused.

chowleen--that is very nicely observed. Your remarks about the tears are well taken, and remind me of two additional details (both completely unrelated to your point). First, the tears evoke the English title of Wong Kar-wai's first movie, "As Tears Go By," which also featured Jacky Cheung (Quincy in GCII)--thus suggesting a nice book-end to GCII's dialogue with Wong's most recent film, "2046." Also, speaking of tears and "2046," it is reported that Wong felt that Maggie Cheung "cried better" with one eye than the other, and therefore made a point of filming most of her crying scenes in "2046" from one side (don't remember which one).
8:50 PM

chowleen said...
do you mean zhang ziyi? maggie cheung strikes me as the kind of actress who could cry out of both her ears, if asked.
10:40 PM

crojas said...
the tagline of "2046" is, of course, "all memories are traces of tears" (which, btw, nicely characterizes the blurring of the eye markings you describe), and it appears that my own memory of tears is itself blurred. actually, i was thinking neither of cheung nor zhang ziyi, but rather faye wong (at least according to the imdb trivia page). then again, perhaps the mistake is somewhat appropriate, in a way, given that 2046 is all about the intersubstitution of one female lover for another (indeed, is not the entire film an attempt to find a substitute for maggie cheung's character in mood for love?).

This question of substituted actresses, in turn, reminds me of a wonderful essay by Adam Gopnik last July in The New Yorker, in which he compares his children's reaction upon losing a fish to Hitchcock's Vertigo and more generally to issues of identity and substitution (and consciousness and existence....).

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