Based on a story by Amir Naderi, who also cowrote the film, this slice of a fourteen-year-old boy’s life follows his efforts to fend for himself in the big city, working as a tea server and assistant in a photographer’s studio, running errands, and, briefly, exchanging glances with a pretty middle-class girl. With no music and little dialogue, and distinguished by its darkly elegant compositions, the film offers an impressionistic meditation on adolescent solitude.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
“No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don’t understand.” So observes Connie Nielsen in Olivier Assayas’s hallucinatory, globe-spanning Demonlover, a postmodern neonoir thriller and media critique in which nothing—not even the film itself—is what it appears to be.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s gorgeous period reverie traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around a late 19th century Shanghai brothel, where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor yet forced to work to buy back their freedom.