Brattleking Express

The Brattle Theater in Cambridge recently had a week of tribute to China's finest director, Wong Kar-Wai. They played some old and newer films alike, creating a spectacular retrospective of his career. While I was not able to be in attendance for all of the screenings that I wished to see, I simply could not pass up the opportunity to view my favorite film of all time, Chungking Express, on the big screen.

Carl and I went in to Cambridge this past Tuesday night for the screening. We started the evening with some Annas Taqueria (I have no clue what that link has to do with AT), easily the best burrito you will get in Massachusetts (not as good as Maui Taco in Hawaii, though). I won't go any further with my praise because I know the Arizona folks will murder me. On a side note, I have answered the question as to whether or not a Annas burrito is edible after sitting out all night, and the answer is "Yes."

The Brattle Theater is a little, hole-in-the-wall, one-screen job. Very cozy! Unfortunately, as we approached to purchase our tickets I noticed a sign posted on the window: "Due to matters beyond our control we will be screening the DVD of CHUNGKING EXPRESS." Doh! Nothing against the Rolling Thunder Pictures DVD; it is by far the best quality audio, translation, and subtitle color that I've encountered for this film. But there would have been a certain charm to viewing an original film print of Chungking Express. I was hoping for some alternate shots and music, a la the Chinese DVD. I wanted some white subtitles, if only to prove that you don't even need words to appreciate this story.

The theater itself is really nice. It even has a balcony section (you better believe that's where we sat). How many theaters can still say that? It really was a great experience seeing it in a real theater. It was bizarre to see so many people in one place, all tuned in and loving this film. I'm so used to having to convince people to watch this with me. Like my cousin Lindsey: "If I wanted to read, I'd pick up a book."

There was a man sitting next to us who was particularly enjoying the film. He may have had the aid of some illegal substances, however. He was laughing at all the funny parts, and laughing hysterically at all of the non-funny parts. It actually added to my enjoyment of the movie. As he laughed he would mutter little things to himself. Like when Faye Wong is switching everything around in No. 633's apartment: "OH GOD! HAHAHA!" Or when No. 633 wrings out the new towel that Faye has placed in his apartment and then utters my favorite line: "It was such a relief when I saw it crying. It may look different, but it's still true to itself. It's still an emotionally charged towel." Funny Boy Richard next door: "WHAT ... WHAT THE ... WHO'S A ... HOO HOO HOO!"

All in all a fine experience. But I'll still regret missing Ashes of Time, Days of Being Wild, As Tears Go By, etc. Maybe they'll come back some day.

I just found out about a new film that WKW is starting to work on, The Lady from Shanghai. 2046 hasn't even been released to the US yet (I'm seeing August 5th, 2005; UK rating of 12A, seems equivalent to PG-13). Tracking ... in the meantime check out the very cool, official 2046 website, including a high quality QuickTime trailer.


Joshua Provost said...

First off, nice timing, I was about to post about the fact that something like 57 of the last 60 posts here have been from me. Of course, your post does little to sway those numbers, but it's good. I've read my posts enough times.

That's a bummer that they played the DVD. You could be sure any film print would be different than the DVD. It seems there are lots of version of CKE out there.

Hey, you neglected to post a picture of some sort. We need that graphical punch to please or extensive readership.

Jeremy said...

Wait ... picture has been added. Happy now?

Yeah, I knew I was due for a post. I haven't had any time for it lately. And there really hasn't been anything interesting going on.

How do you feel about my posting 12 Brothers lyrics and asking for opinions? I would really like to get going on the 12 Brothers recording project.

Joshua Provost said...

Nice picture. See, it was well worth the extra effort.

So, what are you going to do with 12 Bros.? It wouldn't be a bad idea to get your own band together out there. I wouldn't be offended. I am certainly the bootleneck when it comes to getting our music out there. I promise a TMINM release this year, though. Plus, our music gets better with age.

I was playing "Business" last night, working on some new guitar parts. I do think about this stuff, it's just a matter of time.

Go ahead and post some lyrics. I think there is room for some improvement, so some constructive criticism would be good. I want to make sure we really nail the story in this one.

I would also be all for busting Schoolyard lyrics out for the same reason. I think they stand alone in their place in time, but they could be a lot better.

Joshua Provost said...

Another thought, would yoe be behind an "anonymous" release of Sans Hands? I'm dying to put this on 727records.com.

Joshua Provost said...

I forgot to give up mad props for extensive external linking.

Jeremy said...

12 Brothers: I don't know about getting my own band together. I'm not sure that I really want to be involved in any way, except for writing lyrics. That means you have to step up for me.

Can you send me an MP3 of the live version of "Business" we did at the TMINM farewell show? I'll go ahead and start a thread of 12 Brothers lyrics, with commentary. Perhaps one a day for five days? I'll keep Schoolyard for some later time.