Archive for December 4, 2022

The Sunday Intertitle: That Happy, Sexy, Sax-Playing Prince

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2022 by dcairns

I’ve accepted the new Sight & Sound top twenty as a welcome nudge to see some films I’ve neglected. But, happily, I had just watched IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE so I feel I’m catching up. Since most of my BA1 students at Edinburgh College of Art are Chinese, I thought I should include some Chinese film and I was way behind in my Wong Kar-Wei viewing. Of course, it turned out this was the one film in my season most of them had seen, even though it was made before they were born, I think.

And it has intertitles! Already at the beginning I was thinking I might make use of the first caption, but since it’s right at the front end of the movie it’s not really inter-anything. But then the film ends with a trip to Cambodia and a flurry of titles.

It’s a film I’ll need to see more than once. WKW’s endings often seem a little mysterious — those I’ve seen, anyway — and this one is particularly evocative, tying together the historical past, and a country that was almost eradicated in Year Zero, still in this story’s future, with a romance that’s been tragically sundered by time and circumstances.

And I was absurdly pleased to recognize the name of Prince Sihanouk, “that happy, sexy, sax-playing prince,” from Spalding Gray and Jonathan Demme’s SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA.

Now I just need to watch JEANNE DIELMAN and properly revisit BEAU TRAVAIL to get my cinephile badge back.