Session 26: Chinese (Hong Kong) film: 2046 (screening then discussion), Third session
Topics for this session
❖ Recent cinema from China (Hong Kong): 2046, third session of five
Overall, persistent topics for this film:
- Characteristics, qualities, methods, completedness and reliability of communication between lovers
- Layering: role of memories in romance
- Layering: blending of boundaries of individuals (status of individual)
- Layering: Non-linearity (narrative structure, experience of the presence as tied to the past and future, especially the past—memories).
- Comparisons: Dreams in 2046 and Genji.
- Comparisons: Money in 2046 and Story of the Stone.
Possible topics for this session:
- The role of secrets in romantic narratives.
- Communication between lovers.
- Who loves whom? (Non-linearity, layering, and comparisons to Genji.)
Ruminations ... not sure I would stand by these thoughts under scrutiny:
I. What love is in this film .... "Love is experiencing something so powerful and personal that it is like an important secret that you feel compelled to tell to others yet, when you try to do that, you cannot successfully convey what you feel." — Tis is a very positive take on the film; it is as likely that the definition is closer to "Love is something I cannot experience (with being able to say "I love you" the metaphor for being able to love)."
Androids work as a metaphor: someone, your lover, is the "other", is not a person, does not feel like a person to you (failure of intimate bond), and does not feel like a person to themselves (isolated from feeling love)
... The delayed reaction of the android is a way of talking about the impossibility of successful communication of one's feelings.
II. It is easier to love someone—the feeling is lighter and more natural—when both of you love someone else and don't notice much the feelings arising between the two of you. (Chow loves Su Li-Zhen and Wang Jing Wen loves the Japanese guy, but Chow and Jing Wen work so wonderfully together.) In other words, in the world of Chow (not necessarily in the world of 2046 the entire film), love needs something in between to have a hope of functioning well.
III. Ruminations on the story 2047
Inside story level one: with the director as the story teller and us as the audience, this is a story of the Jse guy and Jing Wen, and their yearning for each other
Inside story level two: with Chow as the writer and Jing Wen as the audience, this is a story about Chow loving unsuccessfully Su Li-Zhen
The story as an object inside the movie: Jing Wen's complaint that the ending is sad is because she found a happy ending to her love story and is telling Chow to find a happy ending to his love story, but he cannot.
In this case, Jing Wen is trying to do for Chow what Chow succeeded in doing for her, that is, bring him together with his one and only true love
DVD menu scenes 15-23 (1:03:34-1:36:34, elapsed time 0:33)
The entire film is screened in class. If you have missed a class session, the movie is available as follows:
- Netflix: DVD
- Media Resources Center (Moffitt): DVD 4876
Required—to be completed for today's session
Access through sidebar tab FILM MODULES:
✓ 2046: Third session questions (scene summaries optional)
Texts, multimedia notes, links*
nothing yet ...
nothing yet ...
*THOUGHTS: Reading before class probably helps follow session content, reading afterwards might help consolidate notes, revisiting for tests is recommended. Content might be added before class or anytime up until about 24 hours ahead of a midterm.
*TEXTS, MULTIMEDIA NOTES, LINKS: If I have read from something, shown something or presented audio that is not elsewhere mentioned, I usually include that information here for the curious, sometime after the class (since I often make last-minute decisions about including something). It might take a while and sometimes I forget. You can email me.
*OTHER: When possible I note here names, places, and other details that I have mentioned in a lecture that would otherwise not be accessible in the assigned materials or easily located on your own. As with "TEXTS ..." this is usually sometime after class and, again, I might not be able to get around to doing it.