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The Theoretical Cook

A FOODY IN THE THIRD WORLD

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wong Kar Wai's "Story about Food"


I'm not sure if Wong Kar Wai was being sarcastic here:

liza bear How was the story of In the Mood for Loveconstructed? I heard this was a very long shoot because of the way you work, in blocks.
wong kar-wai Yes. Well, at first we called this film, Story about Food, and there were three stories in it. In fact, In the Mood for Love is only one of the three original stories. It’s about two people who meet each other because they’re neighbors, and they’re always buying noodles. So in the film we had noodles, the staircase, the restaurant and the house. And I realized that this story of the three was the only reason I wanted to make the project, so I expanded it. First I had to build the apartment, because I think the film is like chamber music–all the scenes should take place in the apartment. And so we spent a lot of time defining this apartment, and then we built it. But later on I changed my mind and thought, well, we should go outside and see something else. In Hong Kong now, it’s difficult to find streets or locations that are the same as the old Hong Kong. So we moved to Bangkok, and we shot all the street, taxi and Singapore scenes at the end of the film there.lb So were you changing the story during production?
wkw Yes, it’s like we started in a McDonalds for a quick lunch, but then it became a big feast.

Me - Methinks this merits wkw a foodie filmmaker title. I mean to create something so sublime out of a craving for chinese noodles! Would a movie with a title like "The Story of Food" win in Cannes? I mean, would In the Mood for Love be 'inthemoodforlove" if it were called "thestoryoffood"? I ask stupid questions. Lining up also for best foodie filmmaker is Peter Greenaway for The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover.

And for Pinoy pride puffing purposes, Wong Kar Wai and Pinoy music:
lb To some people the emotions you displayed on screen may seem strangely Latin–a yearning that never really gets consummated physically. Does that come from your previous experience working in South America?
wkw No, no. I like Latin American literature a lot, and I always think Latin Americans and Italians are very close to the Chinese, especially the women–the jealousy, the passions and the family values. And the Latin music in the film, actually, was very popular in Hong Kong because the music scene at that time was mainly from the Philippines and all the nightclubs had Filipino musicians, so they got Spanish influences there. Latin American music was very popular in the restaurants at that time, that’s why I put it in the film. And I especially like Nat King Cole because he’s my mother’s favorite singer
(http://www.bombsite.com/karwai/karwai3.html)

Why am I thinking about Kar Wai? Saw his shortie The Hand on an empty stomach last night: so today im thinking film, food

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