Written and directed by Wong Kar-wai in 2000, this gorgeously seductive film is set in Hong Kong in 1962. Two married couples move into apartments next door to each other on the same day. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) are often left alone and so build up a friendship before realising that their spouses are having an affair, out of this deception their own friendship grows.
In the crowded streets and cramped apartments, the camera lurks in doorways and slides around corners almost spying on them – going to get noodles has never been so glamorous! The colours are deep and murky with lots of shadows, coils of cigarette smoke and rain, rain, rain. A recurring cello theme follows them around and time is slowed down as they share an umbrella or brush passed each other capturing moments they would like to last forever.
The adulterous couple is never seen, sometimes we hear them in conversation but they are always off screen our empathy lies completely with Chow and Su. As they spend more and more time together they grow closer but never anything more, “we will never be like them” says Su. This unrequited love is teased in the soundtrack by Nat King Cole singing: ‘quizas, quizas, quizas’ Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps?
At last I’m organised enough to join in with a spin! It was one of the things that first appealed to me about joining The Classics Club and yet it’s never happened – until now!
A numbered list of 20 titles from our original challenge list needs to be posted by Tuesday, 27th November when the spin will reveal which number we should read by January 31st 2019 – what a great way to start the new year.
This is my spin list:
- The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
- This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
- A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
- The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
- Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
- The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner
- Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
- The Outsider by Albert Camus
- If This is a Man by Primo Levi
- Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
- Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac
- The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Stern
Not all chunksters but hopefully all good reads.
Easter 2017 and my reading chums and I finished Ulysses, we absolutely loved it and quickly read (and went to see) Hamlet to explore the father/son motif, read Dubliners so we could spend more time with the characters and went to Dublin to celebrate Bloomsday. We read Portrait of the Artist to get more of Stephen Dedalus, we even went on a course and gave (very short) presentations on different aspects of the book. We were in awe of his intelligence, his sparkling language – how could we get more Joyce?
Let’s read Finnegans Wake we said!
The first week, armed with Oxford Classic editions and our guide A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake (Joseph Campbell) we had a really fun time annotating our copies with the chapter headings that Mr Campbell provided “to serve as a handrail for the reader groping (their) way along unfamiliar galleries'” and wondered how we were going to read it.
“It is a strange book, a compound of fable, symphony, and nightmare – a monstrous enigma beckoning imperiously from the shadowy pits of sleep.” (Joseph Campbell). It’s a vast dream, crowded with characters where all time occurs simultaneously. A revolving stage of mythological heroes, remotest antiquity and popular culture. Continue reading “Reading Finnegans Wake” →