Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Commentary track

Comments and suchlike are now up on the Voice's "Take Seven" site. (I've got a few in there.)

I'm glad B. Kite ranked 2046 as his favorite film of '05; I saw it with him, and he noted that the colors seemed more saturated, more intense, on the DVD than the projection, and wondered if all the U.S. prints were this washed out. His comment on 2046 appears in the Voice; after he sent me an early version of it, we collaborated on a longer version that pointed to a connection with Antonioni's The Passenger. Our augmented version didn't make the final cut, alas, but here it is for you B. Kite completists!

It's no surprise that Wong Kar-Wai takes longer and longer to release a film since his work is founded on a fundamental melancholy for the passing of all things—to complete a movie is to draw a fixed object from the free-floating web of possibility and subject it to the steady pressure of erosion. What's amazing and beautiful in 2046 is how he's found a form which can encompass the provisional, keeping doors open to the past (the earlier two films in this loose trilogy) and also to alternate futures, in which no variation need be lost. And in a bit of fortuitous nomenclature, he calls his castle of crossed destinies the Oriental Hotel—mirroring the Hotel Oriente, where his Eros co-conspirator Michelangelo Antonioni booked Jack Nicholson's David Locke for a few nights of his odyssey in 1971's The Passenger (rereleased this year). Traveler's note: While time and identity are bendable in both establishments, the Oriente assumes no responsibility for whatever breakage may ensue. B. Kite & Ed Park

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In The New York Sun last week, crime/detective-fiction editor/entrepreneur Otto Penzler wrote an embarrassing attackon my man Harry Stephen Keeler—a review so hostile that it suggests Penzler hasn't actually read the book in question, The Riddle of the Traveling Skull.

I drafted a letter, but didn't send it; a fiercer friend (OK, it's B. Kite again) has sent in his two cents, which they should be publishing soon. I'll link to it, if it's linkable. Meanwhile, check out the estimable Paul Collins's typically levelheaded and witty response to Penzler's rantings.

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Two-word review:

Ping pong.


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