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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Wong Kar-Wai naked… in a manner of speaking

WKW unshaded.jpgWong Kar-Wai choreographed Tony Leung and Carina Lau’s wedding, administered by monks in Bhutan; a Chinese site expresses shock at a shot of WKW without his customary dark shades: “This is the first time that I have ever seen Wong Kar-wai without his trademark sunglasses. I never realized his face was so big; evidently the shades he wears occupy a good part of his face… [H]e looks like such a regular postman dude in the picture that I was left scratching my head…so that’s WKW? How could this be? I hope he dons his glasses again soon.” Oh, here’s a huge version of the portrait of the bride and groom at Ugyen Pelri Palace. dddddddddding125.jpgReports Alexandra Seno of Far Eastern Economic Review, WKW lavished himself on calibrating the soundtrack as well: “At the relatively intimate wedding today at the Uma Paro in Bhutan, the admirably tenacious Hong Kong paparazzi outside may be doing all they can to get pictures of the ceremony and parties (ivory Vera Wang wedding gown chosen by William Chang Suk-Ping), but we can give you more: the sounds of the celebration. Since signing up as unpaid (and outrageously over qualified) “wedding planner” for the nuptials of Carina and Tony, Wong has been consumed with selecting just the right tunes to set just the right mood. Wong and his regular crew are essentially planning and executing this wedding—running it like one of his movie sets with his usual film cabal. When it rained during an open-air wedding portrait shoot last Saturday, Wong ordered his regular producer to scout for another “set” immediately. A good thing that the crew were used to the director’s improvisationational working style… [H]ere are the songs and artists that the filmmaker and his crew have lined for the wedding: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You; Mendelssohn’s wedding march; Happy Together; Even If; Songs by Sergio Mendez; Songs by Abba; Songs by the Bee Gees; Songs by Stan Getz; Live performances by Faye Wong and Tony Leung.” A dispatch from IHT. China Daily’s version. [Portrait via Jet Tone Films.]

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch