If the name doesn’t ring a bell with you, then you are not alone. Back in December of 2015, If I had been asked, “Who is Wong Kar Wai?” I might have shrugged my shoulders and kept walking. Today, I have a different response.
If you searched Wong Kar Wai on the imdb.com website, you’ll find that he is a filmmaker out of Hong Kong. His work includes: In the Mood for Love (2000), Days of Being Wild (1990), 2046 (2004), Happy Together (1997) and Chung King Express (1994), just to name a few.
In my Asian film studies class, the professor asked, “What is national cinema?” I struggled for an answer. I thought about it long and hard until it came to me. My answers included either identifying the country where the film was made or the nationality of the filmmaker. I thought national cinema was any film that wasn’t made in Hollywood or contained a structure that could be considered synonymous with Hollywood film making. That is to say, if the story line had a predictable ending and the characters were less than believable. I later found out, from a Bordwell reading we were assigned, that my answers to the professor’s question seemed to include aspects of art cinema. The class is still going on (as of March 13, 2016). I am slowly beginning to believe that there is no definition (that stands alone) for national cinema.