Wong Kar Wai: A Profile of an Auteur

Words by Naomi Jefferys

As Tears Go By, Days of Being Wild, Fallen Angels, Chungking Express…

These are just some of the critically acclaimed films of renowned director Wong Kar Wai, but what I want to know is, what makes Wong Kar Wai an Auteur?

Auteur: A filmmaker, usually a director, who exercises creative control over his or her works and has a strong personal style.

Wong Kar Wai is a Hong Kong Second Wave director, he has a strong visual style, and the characters in his films are often damaged, often missing an important moment in life. Furthermore, his characters often cross paths, creating a complex plethora of storylines within his films. Quite often his protagonists are individuals living busy urban lives.

What is more, Wong Kar Wai frequently re-casts his actors; such as Tony Leung, the protagonist in Chungking Express.

However, it appears that Wong Kar Wai is departing from the ‘indie’ genre, his upcoming release The Grandmasters is an action film based on the life story of Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man. So, will this film be more ‘mainstream’? A big budget blockbuster? Or will Wong Kar Wai remain true to his previous films?

We can only wait…