Wong Kar-wai: I'm tired of all this 'cinema is dead' talk
The director spoke about questions over cinema's future amid the global pandemic and on the controversy surrounding the 4K restoration of his films
Acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar-wai has said that he is tired of all the talk about cinema being dead as he believes people enjoy watching movies.
Known for classics such as In The Mood for Love, Chungking Express and 2046 among others, Wong is currently supervising the 4K restorations of his previous works, which are currently compiled in a new box set for the Criterion Collection.
In an interview with the IndieWire, the director spoke about the questions over cinema's future amid the global pandemic. "I'm tired of all this 'cinema is dead' s***. People enjoy watching movies, period. What makes them hesitant are the risks (under COVID) and the costs of watching films in cinemas today. For people who really care about the future of cinema, I suggest they go buy a ticket to support their local cinemas when they reopen because many of them are barely surviving. Or at least, keep positive," the director said.
Wong last directed The Grandmaster in 2013, and is currently working on the TV series Blossoms, an adaptation of a novel by Jin Yucheng. The director said that he is lucky to be working with his crew "in a safe space in Shanghai."
Asked about the controversy surrounding the 4K restoration of his films among his fans, Wong said, "When a film needs to be restored, there are always things that can be fixed, otherwise why bother with the restoration in the first place."
The director also defended the decision to restore his films, with a poetic disclaimer that can be found on the Criterion booklet, which states: "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
Wong reiterated this point with a new metaphor. "As someone once said: 'Art is a never-ending dance of illusions'. It is impossible for us to dance exactly like we did before. What has really changed is not the films but the man on the floor."