|Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:25 pm Post subject: ITMFL Documentary
|ITMFL Documentary with commentaries by WKW, Maggie, Tony, Rebecca Pan and Ah Ping in Cantonese.
WKW: "Work began during the '97 takeover of Hong Kong. We hoped to shoot 2 films simultaneously,'Happy Together' and 'In the Mood for Love,' which was called 'Summer in Beijing' then."
Maggie: "'Summer in Beijing' was just an idea. There wasn't a solid script for it yet."
WKW: "Of course, I had a story ready. But when I start shooting, will I see the story the same way? I don't think so. If I don't, how can I film the original idea?"
Tony narrates into a microphone from a script describing the two characters' encounters.
WKW: "I think this is like another chapter of 'Days of Being Wild.' But I don't think 'In the Mood for Love' is a sequel to 'Days of Being Wild.'"
Tony in a suit and Maggie in the black, vertically zig-zag-striped cheongsam walking through the hall of the 2046 hotel. They're wearing dark sunglasses. Maggie's are tortoise-framed, cat-shaped sunglasses, while Tony's are regular big-framed square shape. Next they're standing in the hall, holding hands, with the production crew at the other end of the hall taking pictures. Tony and Maggie are looking on.
DELETED SCENE -
Hotel front desk: Bellman in white uniform and cap with red trim stands just opposite to stairway. Tony and Maggie, in same outfit as above, walk up hand-in-hand to the front desk. Tony taps on the front desk bell. Maggie giggles like a school girl. They're playful, affectionate and fondling with each other.
Chow: "Room 307."
Tony kisses Maggie on the neck.
Chan:: "Get off!"
Manager hands room key to Tony.
Chow: "Thank you."
Tony and Maggie hand-in-hand walk to the stairway.
Chow: "That man was pretty strange."
In the hall of their room, they pause with Maggie standing against the wall next to the hotel room. The door is open ajar. Tony puts his left hand to Maggie's mouth and Maggie playfully snaps her mouth at it. He leaves his hand in the air for Maggie to grab with her right hand. He leads her into the room.
Tony: "When 'In the Mood for Love' started, it was naughty, erotic."
Noodle stall area: Maggie holding a bottle of soda with a straw. She's in her red cheongsam and she's walking through the noodle stalls. Then, Tony and Maggie are sitting at a small dining table in the noodle stall place. He's in his gray suit. Two production guys are filming the scene. Waiter places bowl of noodles on the table. Tony reaches for a pair of chopsticks and wipes it with a towel. He's talking to Maggie. Tighter shot of the two at the table. He's holding the end of the chopsticks and not letting go as Maggie tries to pull the chopsticks from him. She playfully slaps his hand. They're both smiling ear to ear. Back to wide shot with the two film guys in the frame. Maggie is picking at the noodles with her chopsticks while Tony is more focused on nuzzling with Maggie, brushing his finger down her arm.
Tony: "I worked an entire day. And somehow the film became more subtle."
WKW: "They share a secret. They know they share the same feelings, and these feelings need time to grow."
Angkor Wat final scene in movie.
Tony: "Towards the end he learns he's been in love from the start, without ever realizing it. He didn't think it would happen, but he loves her."
DELETED SCENE -
Noodle stall area: Maggie in her black plaid cheongsam waiting in the noodle stall place for her noodles. She carries her noodle thermos as she walks by diners seated in a row. When she walks past them, Tony , as one of the diners, leans back and turns his head to check her out from behind, obviously smitten.
Tony: "In fact, his love for Maggie was there all along."
Maggie: "When they're alone, she realizes she can share everything with him, not just her sorrow. "
DELETED SCENE -
Hotel front desk: There are 4 bystanders - hotel manager, bellman, front desk receptionist and another guest. Tony, in same previous hotel outfit, walks by holding in both hands paper shopping bags. As he passes by the bellman, who's stationed before the staircase, he drops the shopping bag in his left hand. Bellman stoops to pick up the dropped items. The other bystanders look on. Bellman hands him what appears to be a paper wrapped wok.
Chow: "Thank you."
Tony quickly turns to the staircase.
Bellman stoops down to pick up another item still on the floor. Tony reappears toward bellman.
Bellman: "Your spatula."
Bellman hands Tony the metal spatula for stir-frying.
Chow: "Is this mine?"
He quickly grabs the spatula and hurries back up the staircase. The bystanders continue to watch him. Sounds of Tony running up the stairs.
Hotel room: Tony (in wife beater and dress pants) stir-frying in a wok that is in flames. He pulls back as if he got burned, shaking his left hand in the air while still holding the wok with his right hand.
Maggie (in a black & white horizontal spectrum cheongsam) is standing behind him.
Chan: "Are you all right?"
Chow: "It's nothing. See if the rice is ready yet."
He's back to stir-frying. Maggie goes to rice cooker on the dresser. She lifts the lid and stirs the rice.
Chan: "It's nearly done."
Chow: "Please get the vegetables."
Chan: "All right."
Maggie goes to door.
Maggie: "I think it's every woman's dream to cook a meal with her man. Not cook for him alone. I think it's touching, this one thing."
DELETED SCENE -
Hotel room: Same outfits. Maggie is stir-frying in a wok, while Tony is seated reading a newspaper. Wok catches fire. Maggie dodges from rising flames from wok. Tony gets up from chair, still with newspaper in hands, to look closer at the wok action.
Chow: "Looks pretty tasty."
Chan: "See if the rice is ready yet."
Tony backs up to the rice cooker on the dresser and just looks at the rice cooker. He still has newspaper in his hand.
Chow: "It's nearly done."
He goes back to reading the newspaper while standing near the rice cooker.
Chan: "Please get the vegetables."
Tony folds paper up and tosses it on the bed. He heads toward door. Door opens and he gets out. Closes door behind him and heads around the corner of the hallway. He reappears with a mixing bowl of vegetables. Manager intercepts him at the door.
Caucasian manager speaking in Cantonese: "You're not allowed to cook in there."
Chow defensively: "What do you mean, 'cook'? I can't boil some soup?"
Tony opens door. Puff of steam blows out from the room.
Manager: "Making soup isn't allowed either!"
Front desk/lobby: Previous 4 bystanders all surrounding Tony next to the stair landing.
Manager shaking his finger at Tony: "I said you're not allowed to cook in here."
Chow: "I didn't cook in here."
Manager still shaking his finger: "I said you're not allowed to cook in here!"
Chow defensively: "And I said I didn't cook in here!"
Manager still shaking finger: "Cooking isn't allowed!"
Chow: "When did you see me cook?"
Manager pointing at chicken in Tony's hand: "Why do you have that chicken, then?"
Maggie looking out of window with blinds down but open. She's in her red overcoat and black leaves/white background cheongsam. Apparently she's watching the fracas in the lobby.
Chow: "Do I have to cook if I have a chicken?"
Manager: "Why do you have that chicken, then?"
Chow: "Here, take it."
Tony hands the live squawking chicken to manager. He makes the turn up to the staircase. He's carrying a shopping bag in his right hand.
Manager shaking his finger for emphasis as he holds the chicken with the other hand: "You aren't allowed to cook in here! You aren't allowed to cook in here! You aren't allowed to cook in here!"
Everybody looks up the stairs in Tony's direction.
Maggie still looks through the window. She walks away from the window and it can be seen the windows are the hallway windows. She appears down from the stairs to the lobby with the 4 bystanders in the same positions (receptionist behind front desk, manager and guy in suit in front of desk, and bellman opposite the staircase). She makes around the corner of the wall by staircase and stands against it, back to wall. The bystanders look at her.
Hotel room: Tony and Maggie sitting in 2 upholstered chairs pulled to a round table at the end of the bed and facing to window.
Chow: "These noodles are delicious."
Tight shot to torsos. Tony and Maggie are eating from a hot pot (?) of noodles. Tony is wearing a light blue dress shirt, unbuttoned with wife beater underneath and tie hanging untied around neck. Maggie is in her black bodice dress that's usually underneath her sheer cheongsams. With chopsticks, Tony hands over a piece of meat he picked from hot pot to Maggie's rice bowl. They eat.
Chow: "Is the lamb too tough?"
Chow: "Is the food all right?"
Tony picks some more noodles from hot pot and proceeds to slurp the noodles down. He blows because the noodles are hot in his mouth. He picks up his tea cup to toast with Maggie.
Maggie: "Maybe when she's singing a Chinese opera, he'll sing and clap along. He won't criticize but will encourage her instead. Little things like that make Mrs. Chan feel comfortable with Mr. Chow."
DELETED SCENE -
Hotel room: Maggie (in silk olive cheongsam) and Tony (in white dress shirt, tie and dress pants) are seated on the edge of the bed. Maggie is holding a booklet in left hand. Tony is slowly clapping in rhythm to Chinese opera song. In foreground, woman in glasses and short hair is singing Chinese opera song from a music sheet. Maggie lip syncs. Chinese opera singing switches to radio. Maggie is singing along as she is following from a book in her hands. In male part of Chinese opera song, Tony speaks along as he reads from the same book and facially expresses the words as well. He takes his eyes from the book and looks out into the air as he sings along to the male singing part, emoting with the singing.
Tony: "We did an opera-singing scene, and there was a dancing one too. I don't know why it was never used. Maybe it was too funny. We rehearsed it in the hotel room."
DELETED SCENE -
Hotel room: Maggie in her black plaid cheongsam. Wong Kar Wai is sitting next to her to her right. She opens up her collar a bit and cocks her mouth a bit as a playful "Let's get down to business."
Tony in his tank top/wife beater and Maggie in her black bodice dress are seated on the edge of the bed. Maggie strokes down her neck and across her collar bone with her right hand. Tony looks at her. She looks at Tony dreamily. Then, they proceed to dance, pointing outward thumbs to the right and to the left and again to the beat of the '60s dance music. Shot of their feet in slippers. They get up and start the Twist, still pointing their outward thumbs right and left. Maggie switches touching her right and left elbow with her index finger before breaking down and laughing. Tony laughs and closes in on Maggie to put his hands on her right shoulder. They crack up. Black and white scene of their dancing: Swim, Monkey and what else dance moves before my time. [This dancing sequence is reminiscent of the one in 'Pulp Fiction.']
Tony: "Mabye they found it too funny, so it wasn't used. Fortunately, only a little footage was shot. Because there was little to laugh about. Every scene was 'heavy.' For an actor, this is difficult. Working every day, under tense emotions... There's not much dialogue, and a lot of things in the film can't be spoken...All these things...it was tough."
Noodle stall set: WKW directing Tony who's in his white dress shirt with tie. Bunch of the crew are in background setting up shot.
WKW: "You're already eating when she arrives. You meet when you're paying. A friendly nod, and you leave."
Tony walks on street as crew of camera people follow him on a dolly track.
Maggie: "From February of last year, 'til early May this year...That's thirteen, no, actually, fifteen months we worked. You could say it's a love story, but not the usual boy-meets-girl stuff. They get together, fall in love, say good-bye...We used more maturity to express our feelings."
DELETED SCENE -
Hallway to apartments: Tony and Maggie standing before each respective apartment door. Maggie in her squiggly red line/white background cheongsam. Tony in full black suit. Maggie is digging in her red handbag for her apartment key, while Tony is holding the key hanging from the chain attached to his pants. Tony looks at her. He inserts key and opens door, while Maggie is still searching for her key. He enters apartment. Maggie turns to look his way before entering her own apartment and shutting door.
Scene pans from tank of gold fishes to Maggie lounging on chair/sofa in her black bodice dress, smoking a cigarette.
Maggie: "I think she's a very capable woman. But it's because of her capability--a woman like this in the '60s, a job, a husband--that her ability to be fragile is taken away. She's fragile in a way, but she can't say, 'I love you, I'll go with you.'"
DELETED SCENE -
Mr. Chow's apartment: Maggie wearing a gray sweater over her white hortizontal stripe/black background cheongsam. She sips soup from a spoon.
Chan: "I forgot to add salt."
Chow: "That's all right, it's quite good."
Chan: "I'll get the salt."
Chow: "Don't bother. Some soy sauce will do. The food tastes great."
Chan upset: "Why can't you be honest with me for once? There's no flavor."
Chow: "What's the matter? Oh, all right, I'll get the salt."
Chan: "Don't go."
Chan: "I want to talk to you."
Tony: "Maggie didn't start out smoothly. She hadn't worked with Kar-wai for some time, so she wasn't familiar with his working style. So she was sort of a problem child. Lots of problem. She tried to understand how the story would develop. I used to tell her it's useless, he won't let you know what's going on. So naturally everyone has a bumpy start. You've got to work with Kar-wai's style. You have to try and find the character yourself. This is difficult road to take. I told her not to think about it too much. Relax, feel the character from the heart. That might be easier. You won't feel so lost."
Maggie in her red coat/white and black cheongsam outfit standing ready for filming with Tony.
Maggie in same outfit talking with Wong Kar-wai in the hotel hallway set. Tony is several feet away with a crew guy.
DELETED SCENE -
Mr. Chow's apartment: Woman in red, sleeveless, sheath dress - unzipped in the back bearing black undies - is lying on bed. Initially a closeup of her face, but her flipped-end hair obscures her face a little. She's staring blankly and breathing heavily. She's sitting on the edge of the bed and swipes at stuff on the nearby dresser, knocking over the table lamp. She falls back on the bed with cigarette in her right hand. [From hairdo, I can only assume it's Mrs. Chow and not Mrs. Chan.]
Maggie: "I consider DOBW the first time we truly collaborated. That was about 10 years ago. The biggest difference is that we've matured. But his committment to his films and actors remains the same. How he tells a story, the characters he prefers, those things haven't changed much. His particular style is very strong."
WKW: "The biggest change is the maturity of the characters. My other films depicted young and single characters. This time I tried to work on maturity, mostly married characters. It wasn't easy for me."
Tony: "My character was complex because he changed several times during the shoot. Initially, he was a normal, good-natured person. But then his wife had an affair with the man next door. He was heartbroken, and ended up in a relationship wiht Maggie.
DELETED SCENE of Maggie giving Tony his medicine in the hotel room.
WKW: "Style is closely related to a film's content. This is a story about the '60s. So the momentum and tone will differ from 'Chungking Express' or 'Fallen Angels,' which had an extreme amount of handheld camera work. I wanted to recreate that '60s environment because I'm familiar with it. I think during that era people were closer."
DELETED SCENE -
Mrs. Suen's dining room: Guests are filing in to seat themselves. Mrs. Suen stands to host. Mr. Koo pushes/guides Tony into dining room. He greets the other guests. Then, he goes to adjacent room to borrow a chair before seating himself at the dining table. Mr. Koo is pouring drinks for everyone. They toast with a glass of wine.
Rebecca Pan: "My role is a character that arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai. She's single and has a little bit of money. It was a trend back then, during the '60s, to rent out rooms."
Maggie: "I'm Shanghainese myself, but I can't speak the dialect. I can only understand it. My Shanghainese parents spoke only Cantonese to me. They'd speak Shanghainese among themselves so I grew up hearing their native dialect." [Which explains why Maggie as Mrs. Chan speaks back in Cantonese when spoken to in Shanghainese by Mrs. Suen for those who can understand Cantonese.]
Mrs. Suen's apartment: Maggie and Mrs. Suen speaking about their Shanghainese background.
WKW directs scene.
WKW: "Cut again! You won't be able to continue from your previous scene this way. We'll start tha t scene again from here. Maggie sits down, then you. Then Amah."
Maggie: "Out of all my mother's pictures, I remember one of her wearing a cheongsam, posing in a special kind of way. Really, I can't recall much more than that."
Rebecca: "It was a lot of fun. I'd even wear the cheongsam at home. But not this one in the film. It had a high collar, around 3 or 4 inches high."
Maggie: "I think cheongsam look most beautiful on Chinese ladies, because feminine qualities are really pronounced. You can clearly see the curves and figure. And it was really long here, in the neck. It was difficult at first. I wasn't used to it. It was tight. When you turned your head, you'd feel strangled. The high heels, the hair style that took 4 hours...It was hard. But the most difficult thing was my attitude. I'd curse, 'Why can't I do it?' It's not that I wasn't trying my best. But I didn't look right in any of the scenes. I'd get frustrated and ask, 'Why can't I go on? Why can't I? But then I watched the film and realized I was actually lucky. If we hadn't shot for so long, I wouldn't have performed quite as well. It's not just about great or bad acting. I wasn't able to move freely, I was rigid. But then I became totally relaxed. And that's something only time can bring. After I watched the footage, I stopped worrying about failure. I thought, 'Go ahead, shoot it.' It wasn't 'til the last couple of weeks that I stopped worrying about it. Then, it came naturally, this woman, as if she possessed me. I didn't think. I didn't ask any more questions. I just put on the nail polish, the cheongsam, and that's it. Even my fingers knew their positions. If I couldn't understand the language, it'd be more difficult, because I'd need to guess what's going on. And then I wouldn't be able to concentrate."
Rebecca: "My role in the film was to see her from an elder's point of view. And I realize she's unhappy. But in Chinese customs, even if you're miserable, there's a limit to how you can react. She still has to remain honest. But I don't think such a culture exists now. People think, 'I like it, that's all that matters.' So, this is a story about unfulfilled love. During the '50s, a person had a different air about him, whether it was a man or a woman. As for Maggie, who's a Shanghainese who grew up in Hong Kong, her presence is very similar to the people of that time. It's a gift for an actress to possess this kind of quality. I believe after shooting, I said to the director that if he ever remade this film, he'd never be able to cast a more suitable actress. Because actors with the qualities of people from the '50s are becoming very rare."
In a montage of vintage photos, there's one of Maggie's Mrs. Chan with a man (which I'd assume is her husband). His hands are on her shoulders. He has a moustache with thick head of hair. His face is somewhat wide and boxy.
Maggie: "If the costume design is done well, it can help a lot, at least 70%. As soon as you walk on-set, you're that character. The other 30% is up to the actor's emotions. If I can't become this character, I won't enter her world."
WKW: "I think ITMFL isn't necessarily about a woman. It can work very well for a man too."
Siu Ping-Lam (Ah Ping): "The other prop masters haven't been around long, I've worked over 10 years. As prop master, I take care of the props on the set. There was pressure, because it was my first time acting. And opposite Tony Leung. Fortunately, it was Tony. If it'd been someone else, I'd probably would've left and never been in the movie. That was my first day as an actor. I don't really know what acting is! And I don't know what Wong Kar-wai is writing about either."
The Hong Kong news room: Setup of shoot with crew.
WKW, directing Ping-Lam: "We'll go over there, shoot once, then here... Ah Ping, calm down, you're all right already! Louder. Relax, one last try. Come on."
WKW watches scene of Tony talking to Ah Ping about the gambling.
WKW, speaking to Ah Ping, with hand on his shoulder and running through lines with him: "Cut! I thought a few dollars would be easy to rustle up. But so far nothing. I'm way overdue. So? Four eyes was there yesterday. Saw her waving my ID around in front of everyone. So embarrassing! Anyway, lend me $30! Pay you back next month. Let's have a late snack."
Ping-Lam: "We all know he has high expectations. And the films he makes...people find them hard to understand. So naturally it was difficult."
Tony: "He gives actors a lot of freedom, but those spaces are really abstract. You don't know what's happening in them. Yes, there's a great deal of space, so just do it. But do what? You can't tell what he wants or what's going to hapen."
Same set in the news room: Tony is seated at his desk. Kar-wai is sitting next to him on the other side of the slatted wall partition. WKW has camera monitor in front of him.
WKW: "Good. Tony, did you have enough time today?"
Tony: "I'll come in earlier."
Tony: "Maybe he was also searching for the direction I should head towards. But when everyone's searching at the same time, he can let go and give you all that freedom. [Tony laughs] And that can be terrible. You have nothing to hold on to. That can be trouble."
News room: Crew in setup of scene.
Tony speaking to a staff off camera: "Just trust yourself and say it. You don't have to match his tone. He's pressuring you on purpose."
Ping-Lam: "I shouldn't say I liked acting, but I like to have fun, have new experiences, look around in places. Maybe it could be fruitful with time, but things like this are easy to leave. And when you leave them, you soon forget about them."
Tony: "Maybe this affair was my character's plan. Perhaps the whole idea was vengeance. Because he hated that man next door who took his wife. He wanted that man to know how that really feels. And so he did that to Maggie. But then again, maybe that wasn't the case at all. Perhaps he fell for this woman at first sight, and there was attraction from the start.
DELETED SCENE -
Set?: Maggie is in a black and white horizontal striped sheer cheongsam. She's standing with her back to a stone brick wall and she's fingering the wall that has a red sign that says in Chinese and English, "NO SMOKING. NO NAKED LIGHT." Tony is standing opposite to her. Neither looks at each other. He walks away.
WKW: "I'm very instinctual about working with things I see. If I see a location, for example, I think of a way to shoot it. And I often believe that way is correct, for no concrete reason. I thought this set, after it was completed, resembled the old Shaw Brothers studio. So I said we should try to do something like what the old '70s films did, very simply, maybe even to the point of cliche."
Hotel room: Sepia-colored shot of Maggie lounging on the bed with a cigarette in her right hand, as she is leaning on her left forearm on the bed. Tony is sitting on the floor, lighting his cigarette. Next, Tony is posing with his head in Maggie's legs, while holding her ankle with one hand.
WKW: "I worked with Tony Leung on Happy Together, and I hoped to give him a new type of role this time. I wanted him to try something different. I thought he could do a more mature role. Most Hong Kong actors, whether they're in their 40s or 50s or their 30s, still try to be characters in their early 20s. No one's willing to take on a mature character. So, okay, I wanted him to try it. He was a little worried at first, because mature can sometimes mean old. But to me, maturity is one thing, age is another. During the shoot, he was always improvising. At times I told him, 'Don't see yourself as a victim. Think about why you wanted to be with that woman, and see if there are still any feelings between you and your wife. See if it was, after all, an act of revenge, for the sake of being maliciously cold-hearted.'
Tony is sitting on a bed, while an assistant is blotting his face. He has a moustache.
Mrs. Suen's apartment: Many crew members standing around. Tony has his hair combed in the back, while another assistant pulls a stray hair from his front. He walks by camera and blows cigarette smoke into camera.
DELETED SCENE -
Hotel hallway: Tony sticks his head out behind door. He's wearing sunglasses. He looks one way, then the other. He sticks his head back into room. Maggie walks out of room in her lime green with white diamond pattern cheongsam and sunglasses. Tony comes out next in his gray suit. He's toting bags of stuff in his hands and umbrella under his left arm. They walk down the hall.
Chow: "I think my wife and your husband will break up soon."
Chow: "It might be something new for her right now. But as time goes by, there won't be any difference from her own home. If he were to return to you, would you forgive him?"
They pause around another hallway. Maggie standing with back against the wall.
Chan: "If he told me the truth and was honest, I would. How about you?"
Chow: "I definitely would. But I don't know if she'd forgive me."
Tony walks past Maggie who's still standing against wall. She lingers a bit before following him.
WKW: "I have a point of view for that period of time, because I was small then, and everything looked big and tall around me. So the camera angles in ITMFL tend to be low, because that's how I saw things back then. So now, the characters maybe the same as before, but because of the time and space are different, maybe they have a chance to meet but never do. Or maybe they shouldn't meet but eventually do."
Tony: "I think people were simplere back then."
WKW: "During that time, we had real neighbors. I used to work on films that only had a couple of characters and were very quiet. I always wanted to work on something lively, noisy. We seldom know who's living next door to us now. When I was young, we knew who our neighbors were. Doors were never shut. They were always left open. I could go over to your side, and you could come to mine."
DELETED SCENE -
Mrs. Suen's apartment: Mr. Koo bringing a big platter of entree to dining room. He places dish on the table, while the others are in another room playing mahjong. Guests are bringing in chairs to dining table. Mrs. Suen retrieves Tony from next room as Mr. Koo pushes/guides him to dining room. They enter the dining room. They're standing around the room. They're all seated for the dinner. Toasts are made.
Tony: " There were closer bonds. Everybody was close, friendly. I remember my father rushing out with a cleaver when he heard about a robbery. And he yelled, 'Where are the robbers?'"
WKW: "It should feel like a place where someone's always around. This is what I wanted to visit with the film.
Maggie: "I don't want to make films for the sake of making them anymore. There must be something to express. Then I'll take on the role."
Tony: "Acting isn't that simple. You need to think a lot, do a lot of things. I think acting school only teaches you very elementary things. The basics. When the day comes, you do it by yourself, your own way. I always thought it was fun, I don't know why. I fell for it from the start. But I wouldn't say to the extent of making it a career, or a lifetime commitment. No, not at all. I was just having fun. I liked it and decided to do it."
Maggie: "As I've matured, I've had different thoughts about being an actress. There are things I would have found impossible before. 'How can I do 12 films a year with such a long shoot?' 'If I need a year to finish, how am I going to make any money?' But now, I think film is something special. Film is permanent, after you've done it. Fifteen months of hardship seems like nothing. Fifty years later, audiences might still be watching it, and say during the '90s or the millennium, 'Someone made this great film, remember?' So this is much more important to me than completing 3 films instead of one. I think these achievements can last an eternity. Money can't buy that."
DELETED SCENE -
Bedroom: Woman in red dress lying on bed can be clearly detected as Maggie. From staring in the dresser mirror direction, she rolls over on her side to face opposite direction. She's fondling a knife in her right hand, brushing the knife point on the bed.
WKW: "During the shoot I kept thinking, 'When will the last shot come? How wonderful it'll be when that day arrives.' But when that day came, I didn't realize it was the last one. Initially, there were 2 more shooting days to complete, but because of time constraints, we couldn't go on. Actually, that final shot is in the final cut of the film. It's a shot of Maggie crying. She suggested it herself. The whole thing was already over, but she requested one more shot. I asked her, 'Why?' She said, 'Let's try, without direction, to see if my tears can come.' So I said okay, and we took that shot."
Maggie: "I've been through really painful moments, where I cried, but very quietly. And tears would keep falling. Non-stop. They'd keep falling and falling. I couldn't understand why I'd have so many tears, while being so calm. So I asked the director to let me try to do it on camera. But I couldn't do it. For a film, I couldn't do it. For me, this emotion can only be felt through genuine pain."
Scenes of premieres in LA/NY, Hong Kong, France, Japan (Tony is seen smoking a cigarette in the back seat of a car), Korea (scene of WKW, Maggie's husband and Maggie sitting in front row of theatre), Taiwan, China (Zhang Yimou talking with Tony and Maggie, another scene of Maggie and Tony imprinting their hands into wet cement with Maggie wearing only one ring on her right thumb).
|Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:25 pm Post subject:
|Electronic Press Kit with short ITMFL documentary in English (A note on the making of ITMFL):
Tony: "If I have a secret? I'm a lazy guy so I won't spend time, y'know, climbing on a hill to find a tree and have to make a hole on it and put a secrets in it. I won't do that."
WKW: "We've been looking, uh thinking about the English title of this film for a long time and not until the end I, I by chance went to Champion [?] and pick up a CD by Ben...of Bryan Ferry's. And there's a tune called 'In the Mood for Love.' Well, I think actually what we're looking for is the mood of the film. It is not the film - mood of the film, but the mood of that period. I've been working with Maggie and Tony before and they know the way I work. And, um, and also my second film is also... it's called Days of Being Wild. It's a film happening in the '60s and they, both of them, are in the film. And, um, but the approach this time is quite different because in my second film it is small like we create [recreates?] a '60s of Hong Kong in that film. But this film, I think we want to try a very...the approach is different. It's more realistics and I want to create the environment, the periods by details. And so we spent a lot of time to find the right elements. You know, the way they walk, the way they talk, and not only for them, but also for me to go back to that [sic] periods. Maggie and Tony have been work [sic] with me for several times in past few years. And da.. but somehow because in all those films we have a lot of characters in it and this time, I think, we should make a film with Maggie and Tony alone. And because I think Tony and Maggie are two of the best actors in Hong Kong...not only in Hong Kong but for myself. And I think it would be very interesting to make a film in which all the characters are played by Tony and Maggie themselves and I even want even the extras or someone just pass by the camera should be played by them. And so at first I think the 3 stories, each of them should be played by Tony and Maggie. And even in this film even we don't show the husband and wife, but sometimes I would ask them to be the stand-ins."
Hotel room: Maggie in her black bodice dress, while Tony is in his underwear (wife beater, boxer shorts). They're seated at edge of bed. WKW, standing in front of them, is speaking to them.
Maggie lying down on bed with her pumps on. She has right arm over her tummy while her left hand is under her head. Tony has left hand over Maggie's legs on the bed and is seated angled to her. His right hand is on his lap.
Tony: "Some I think it would be much easier for me to work for Kar-wai in In the Mood for Love because this time I, I, I know the name of the character and although he don't [sic] have a script too but I still got a lot of hints about what the character about like: he's a married man and he's middle-aged and he's...his wife has an affair and he's working for a newspaper as an editor. Yeah, so I know before the shooting and I think it would be much easier than playing a gambler like a gambler in Days of Being Wild. And actually it's not when we are doing the real shoot and we encounter a lot of difficulties. I try to think about what this character will be. Is it an editor? What kind of things did he write? What kind of articles? Martial arts or some obscene stories. And what he's doing in his leisure? And what is he look like? Because Kar-wai told me that he's a more mature character. He's very different from what I played before. And for me, I'm so young to play such kind of character. So I was quite curious of what kind of look should I look like. And we try different kind of things. We put moustache. And still he don't think that I, I, I'm the guy that he wants me to be."
Maggie: "I think she is a very shy person. That's obvious. She doesn't express her feelings but that could be because of the period that she's from. You know, a Chinese woman in the '60s so that she's very closed up. She wouldn't show her feelings. She's a very unhappy woman, I think. Nobody told me this, but that's how I... I think she's unhappy with her life but she's always trying to look for something in her life. But she's trying to be a good woman. That's why her life is not that happy because when you're trying to be good, it's never happy. And she wants to be a good wife, someone with a career, to do well. But somehow all this pressure is preventing her to look for her real happiness."
WKW: "I was a scriptwriter before I make my own films and I hate writing. And also I think to have a script and then shoot it is very boring. And da because you have to imagine all the details in your mind and write it down is a process that, which I hate. And also for a lot of people they will...For instance, an architect, he will build, make a building. And then he think: 'Well, in front of the entrance there should be a trees. Then he put that trees in front of the entrance.' But in my case, I would like to have the trees first because I have a piece of land and trees. And I think well, there should be a building behind the trees. So I need all these segments in my mind and then I put it into a film. And so, I just want to make each process of making a film as interesting and exciting as possible. So that's why I always have a lot of segments and then I put it together. And that's why sometimes I always start out with a film with different short stories."
Maggie: "During the shoot I was very, I was like very frustrated with the length of the shoot because it just went on and on and on. And I didn't, I couldn't see an end to it. And there's just no limit. It just kept going on. And I felt, 'Come on, you know, we have to finish this somehow.' But somehow we couldn't really find the core of the film until like the very end. But now everything is done. And I've seen the film. I really felt that I couldn't have played the part the same way as I did if the film happened in 3 months. If, if the first 3 months that we were shooting and that was it and finished, I, I...this character or the way I presented this character would be something else. And I know I would be very upset, if that was the case. So in many ways I'm very grateful for the length of the film because...I mean, to look at it rightly not many films or actors would have a chance to have a year or over a year for you to really understand the character or to, just to get used to who you are when you're on the set. And for this film, I think the length of it was very important."
Tony: "And Maggie too because she hasn't worked with Kar-wai for a long time. She used to have a lot of questions and I always tell her, 'Why don't you ask the director and don't ask me?' [Tony laughs] She used to help [?] me, 'Do you know what the story is about?' I said, 'No, how would I know?' And so I tell her, 'Don't think too much about... what the story will be and try to, you know, just get into the character, live in the character and try to feel, feel her surroundings and try to feel everything - the dialogue, everything, the scene. The single scene, just try to get into the single scene. And finally, finally I, I recognize that she's getting into the character. And she's a very good actress, too. And I don't think I can be that good without her."
Maggie in her black bodice dress; Tony in white dress shirt and tie. He has a moustache. They're both looking down at something. Next scene, Maggie is sitting on a bed in a bedroom with diamond patterned walls. WKW is sitting on the bed with her. Next scene Maggie lies down on bed next to Tony.
WKW: "ITMFL is the most difficult movie in my career so far. And also I think it's one of my most important films in my career too. And actually, I'm very proud of it."
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