Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155963
Title: RESONANCES OF DESIRE IN FOUR FILMS BY WONG KAR-WAI
Authors: AARON KOH XU QING
Issue Date: 15-Apr-2019
Citation: AARON KOH XU QING (2019-04-15). RESONANCES OF DESIRE IN FOUR FILMS BY WONG KAR-WAI. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis explores the representation of desire in four films by Wong Kar-wai. Providing a close analysis of Days of Being Wild (1990), Chungking Express (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000) and 2046 (2004), I will examine the manner in which Wong employs the trope of desire to portray complex articulations of emotion that transcend the boundaries of time and space. To this end, I consider the trope of desire as a trajectory of loss and the consequences of such loss within the space between longing and love. This thesis thus proposes a reading of the undercurrents of yearning and loss that underlie Wong’s construction of a cinema of temporal and spatial intersection. Specifically, I examine Wong’s negotiation of desire – how it manifests in cinematic space and its intertwined relationship with time and memory – that extends beyond the narrative of each film. Much existing scholarship on Wong’s cinema already scrutinize his negotiation of temporality and its connection with both physical and psychological spaces. However, as yet, there has been no specific study dedicated to a sustained critique on the trope of love – the undercurrents of desire, often unrequited and unfulfilled – that joins the films despite their differing narratives. Therefore, I initiate a reading of Wong’s production of desire that not only circulates within the narrative frame but traverses across his oeuvre and resurfaces, albeit displaced and often in different guises. Insofar as the notion of “transcend” suggests a movement beyond, the repetition of inaction in different contexts within the material of each film gestures towards a paradoxical sense of stasis, a form of entrapment. Furthermore, Wong perpetuates this sense of entrapment through his preoccupation with recurring themes and motifs for the articulation of love and nostalgia across his films.This thesis explores the representation of desire in four films by Wong Kar-wai. Providing a close analysis of Days of Being Wild (1990), Chungking Express (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000) and 2046 (2004), I will examine the manner in which Wong employs the trope of desire to portray complex articulations of emotion that transcend the boundaries of time and space. To this end, I consider the trope of desire as a trajectory of loss and the consequences of such loss within the space between longing and love. This thesis thus proposes a reading of the undercurrents of yearning and loss that underlie Wong’s construction of a cinema of temporal and spatial intersection. Specifically, I examine Wong’s negotiation of desire – how it manifests in cinematic space and its intertwined relationship with time and memory – that extends beyond the narrative of each film. Much existing scholarship on Wong’s cinema already scrutinize his negotiation of temporality and its connection with both physical and psychological spaces. However, as yet, there has been no specific study dedicated to a sustained critique on the trope of love – the undercurrents of desire, often unrequited and unfulfilled – that joins the films despite their differing narratives. Therefore, I initiate a reading of Wong’s production of desire that not only circulates within the narrative frame but traverses across his oeuvre and resurfaces, albeit displaced and often in different guises. Insofar as the notion of “transcend” suggests a movement beyond, the repetition of inaction in different contexts within the material of each film gestures towards a paradoxical sense of stasis, a form of entrapment. Furthermore, Wong perpetuates this sense of entrapment through his preoccupation with recurring themes and motifs for the articulation of love and nostalgia across his films.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155963
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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