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3.5 out of 5 stars
17
3.5 out of 5 stars
Days Of Being Wild [DVD] [1990]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£14.14+ £1.26 shipping


on 12 June 2017
Wong Kar Wai is my favourite director at the moment. I've been meaning to see this film for a while. I started watching it, but couldn't finish. Not because the film itself was bad - it looked pretty fantastic, in fact - but because this particular version of it is. I couldn't listen to the dubbed-in Mandarin voices - I know what these actors sound like: it was like a piece of their personality and uniqueness was being stripped away by substituting their voices for studio ones. And the music was too clumsy, too heavy. I feel like Kar Wai is a choreographer of music: this version puts in a whole lot of extra, unnecessary steps to the otherwise beautiful dance. So, this version kills the film, I think. If you're a fan of Kar Wai, don't waste your money: hold out for a better version.
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on 23 February 2017
There seems to be no decent version of this great film readily available in the UK. Avoid the version with the white cover at all costs - the picture quality is atrocious and the subtitling is woeful. The Tartan release, as others have pointed out, dubs Mandarin over the original Cantonese audio whilst adding superfluous music to the soundtrack. The only fair representation seems to be the version (also Tartan) included in the Wong Kar Wai Collection along with As Tears Go By and 2046, which has unfortunately gone out of production.

Someone, please, bring out a proper version so you can take my money!
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on 16 February 2017
I really want to see this film, but this is a really badly made DVD. I tried watching this with the English subtitles, but they were not written in coherent sentences. The audio and the video were both really bad quality, and looked like this was copied from an old VHS. Unwatchable. Returned it.
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on 4 March 2006
A film about time and dislocation; establishing themes that would be further explored in the director's later works, Chungking Express, Happy Together, and, more importantly, In The Mood For Love, and 2046. Wong had already stated that Days Of Being Wild should be seen as the first part in a trilogy of films, each dealing with the issues of love, obsession, time and memory, set against a back-drop of 1960's Hong Kong. Although I'm not going to delve into any great detail as to how these three films correlate to one another, it should be noted that the character of Su-Li Zhen, one of the first to be introduced in this film, is most likely the same Su-Li Zhen so pivotal to the relationships of In The Mood For Love and 2046. Also, there's the brief appearance by Tony Leung in the final scene here, with his character - hinted to be a gambling, feckless womaniser, not too dissimilar to Days' central character, Yuddy - seeming to be the blue-print for the character of Mr. Chow in those two aforementioned masterworks.
As a stand-alone piece, Days can be appreciated for it's painterly style and lingering use of atmosphere. It certainly works better as a piece of entertainment if we tie it in with Wong's last two films, but there's nothing lost if you've yet to see them. At its heart, Days is a youth film, a melodrama about listless youth congregating around Yuddy, a Cantonese James Dean and legend in his own time. As a character, Yuddy can occasionally seem rather loathsome... he's an arrogant, feckless womaniser, who casts aside his conquests without compassion or humility. He also refuses to work... instead, he leaches off his adoptive mother, a former courtesan who longs for a new life with an unseen man in the U.S., but, at the same time, she refuses to live without the love of her son. It's this kind of emotional paradox that really defines Wong's work on this film, with many of the characters having contradictory elements that ultimately make them all the more human. It is also important to note the relationships between Yuddy and his - in a sense - two mothers (the one we see and the one we don't), as they are really the very backbone to the prevailing theme of the film.
As he states himself towards the beginning of the film, Yuddy is a man who can't concern himself with the affections of one woman... however, this is the real point of interest in Wong's film, in the sense that what Yuddy really needs is the love of ONE woman, in this case, his birth mother. The torturous relationship between Yuddy and his adopted mother is straight out of a Hollywood melodrama, as the pair argue over money, aspirations, and their equally rootless personal lives... though, ultimately, the argument always comes back to Yuddy's quest for the mother that long-ago gave him away. The sensitive layers of this character, who at first appears to be completely devoid of human emotions, though, ultimately, proves himself to be a sensitive and isolated young soul, is exceptionally observed by Wong and perfectly performed by the late Leslie Cheung, in what is, perhaps, his best film role.
Yuddy's influence on the other characters in the film is also important to note, as it establishes another thread to Wong's story... that being obsession, influence, emulation and mirroring. The first female character we are introduced to is the aforementioned Su-Li Zhen, a shy young woman who works in the ticket booth at the local sports stadium. The opening scenes of the film, which draw heavily on the repetitious use of imagery - with Wong and his cinematographer Christopher Doyle establishing a number of iconic images surrounding the characters (particularly time, which is a prevalent factor throughout) - show us Yuddy's various attempts to seduce the seemingly disinterested Su-Li. Eventually, through cool charm and empty sentiment, he manages to woo the young woman, holding her close to him in one of the film's key-scenes and declaring themselves "one-minute friends", as he counts down 60 seconds on his watch and says that wherever he goes, he'll always remember her for this shared-moment.
The monologue here is another important theme, again, going back to the idea of time and wasted opportunities. Another thread to the story involves a lonely policeman who walks the late-night streets outside Yuddy's high-priced apartment. One night, after Su-Li realises that she has been replaced, by the brash showgirl Mimi (a.k.a. Lulu, another reoccurring character from 2046), the policeman comes to her aid... offering her cab fair home on the first night, then walking with her through the empty and nocturnal streets for a second. Eventually, the policeman will come to love Su-Li as obsessively as she loves the unconcerned Yuddy, a three-way relationship that will feature significantly in the film's final act...
Throughout the film, Wong is playing with the conventions of the melodrama, in the way filmmakers like Fassbinder did in the 1970's, or Douglas Sirk before him, in the idea of taking certain characters, archetypes and iconography from Hollywood, but re-adapting them into a framework that is much more personal. The creation (or recreation) of 1960's Hong Kong is far removed from most period films, with Wong and Doyle creating an almost existential world of grasping nocturnal shadows and autumnal colours that seem to be modelled on the works of Edward Hopper. It's not quite as technically draw-dropping as his more recent films, in particular, the glorious visual fantasia of 2046, but it is, regardless, an important piece of work in the career of this master filmmaker.
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on 22 July 2016
3&half stars ,not gripping enough for me ,to slow ,needed more contents, did,nt explain stories properly ,similar film As tears go by , better film
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on 31 January 2005
For anybody who knows WKW there's not much to be said about this film. The late Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau and Jackie Cheung deliver great performances while Chris Doyle's camerawork is haunting as ever. This is not a film to be missed, but as for this edition - please don't bother. Tartan Video seemed a bit rushed to put this piece along with its predecessor "As Tears Go By" on the market in time for their own cinema-release of "2046". Not only did they hardly do anything to enhance the picture quality (it's a decent one anyhow, you'd just wish they'd do something about the grain and colours - especially with WKW), they also managed to get a dubbed copy. So what we have here is a Mandarin dialogue for a Cantonese film. On top of that the mono DD 2.0 mix is a bit disappointing.
If you're not bothered about the beautiful Maggie speaking in the voice of a mainland-China child, you might as well go ahead. For everybody else there is the Z1 KINO box set (KINO have even remastered most of the films) and an excellent Z2 - France box set (for everybody who speaks French. No english subtitles!!). Otherwise there's always a slight hope that Tartan might rectify their miserable mistake one day...
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on 6 March 2006
As one of the other reviews pointed out, this is an appalling DVD release of one of Asian cinema's most potent masterworks. This was the first film in which director Wong Kar-Wai really relaxed into his own unique style of filmmaking, putting the emphasis on time, location, character and relationships over the more recognisable elements of storytelling, and ultimately, producing an evocative and continually beguiling film about love, heartbreak, and the desire to belong. The film certainly established the groundwork for his later films, in particular, the scintillating In the Mood for Love, and the more recent masterpiece, 2046. There are overlapping characters found in all three films, whilst we also see that great visual style emerging too, with Wong establishing a strong and visually transcendent approach to movement and composition alongside his esteemed cinematographer Christopher Doyle that would spiral and grow throughout subsequent films like Ashes of Time, Happy Together and those two films aforementioned.
This DVD (along with Tartan's release of Wong's more action-orientated debut As Tears Go By) is appalling... with the company getting their hands on a Mandarin copy of the film that has the kind of dubbing more at home in a bad Kung-Fu film or at best, a post-war Italian melodrama. The source music is all wrong, not what Wong intended at all (most of it sounds like music taken directly from a soap-opera, or worse, soft-core porn), whilst the visuals are flat, grainy and filled with imperfections. What is the point of releasing a film on the definitive format of DVD and not going to the trouble of presenting the definitive version of the film itself? This edition of 'Days...' is worse than the VHS release from the mid-90's, and is really a great disappointment for those of us who splashed out £20 for this particular edition. I'm glad I didn't decide to buy As Tears Go By as well, or that would have been forty-quid down the drain. I really hope that Tartan don't get their hands on any more of Wong's films, for no matter how desperate I am to own DVD versions of Ashes of Time and Fallen Angels, I don't want to have to suffer through the appalling dubbing and picture quality found here.
Presenting the film in such a way shows a great disrespect to Wong as a filmmaker and to those of us stupid enough to fork over the cash for such a shoddy and substandard product. It is also a great disservice to the actors involved, in particular the great Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau and the late, great Leslie Cheung. For a more constructive review of the film itself, check out my comments on the VHS release... this is a vital and important film within the lexicon of Asian cinema, and is really the first masterpiece from the brilliant Wong Kar-Wai. Hopefully Tartan will rectify this error sometime soon (as they recently did with their sub-standard release of Lars von Trier's great film Europa... finally releasing the definitive version on DVD in 2005 as part of the von Trier Europa-Box-Set), but until then, you'd be better off sticking with the VHS.
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on 10 July 2017
Don't buy the Mandarin version! Despite being relatively little known, this is one of WKW's best films -- poetic and melancholic with a world class cast. It was filmed by Christopher Doyle, whose camera work is legendary. The film introduces ideas, details, notions, colour schemes, words that are taken up in later, better-known WKW films so it actually is essential viewing for any fan of this director (better: director/camera man combination). The Mandarin versikn I once started watching (I stopped after a few minutes) had Kenny G., monotonous easy listening saxophone jazz, instead of the original complex musical soundtrack, so get the Cantonese version instead! The music is crucial for conveying the story and atmospheric changes. Replacing it for the Mandarin version must have been done without the director's consent. What an ignorance towards the art of film making... Anyway, after some research I believe that the blueray version (by MegaStar) seems to be the best, followed by the recent Tartan edition (while an earlier Tartan release had the much-maligned Mandarin soundtrack). Important is a green tinge and an often "dull", darkish image, with which Chris Doyle created a retro 60s feel. Some versions of this film heavily manipulate the colours and brightness/contrast, so it's worth paying attention to this.
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on 22 August 2000
I personally regard this as a Wong Kar Wai classic. I love most of his films, but this one is purely stunning! The approach to the narrative, art direction, use of music, imagery... it doesn't necessarily re-create HK in the 60s, but the 60s as in Wong's mind. This is not a film to be understood, but one to be felt and empathised. Don't miss it.
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on 22 January 2005
Before the glorifying days of 'Chungking Express', iconic filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai's second feature showed the potential he has after the commercial and critical success of his debut feature 'As Tears Go By'.
Yuddi (the late Leslie Cheung- Ashes of Time) is a ruthless playboy living in 1960's Hong Kong who toys with the lives of two women (Carina Lau, Maggie Cheung)- all due to the fact that he was abandoned by his mother and given to a friend to raise and to make sure Yuddi is unaware of his mothers' location. When he forces his answer out from his foster mother, Yuddi leaves for the Phillipines leaving his two lovers. As one of his lovers (Maggie Cheung) courts a policeman (Andy Lau), Yuddi's trip into Phillipines only brings him closer to his self-destruction.
Apart from the talented and (then) young cast, what really appeals to me is Christopher Doyle's astonishing cinematography to help capture the whole summer-vibe of 1960's Hong Kong, and the use of largely noticeable clocks in the background was to later inspire his successful romance 'In the Mood for Love'. Wong's 'Love' was made only due to the fact that 'Days of Being Wild' was a commercial flop but still won a number of awards at the HKFAs including Best Actor: Leslie Cheung, Best Film and Director. The only reason for it's failure was that HK audiences in 1990/91 were only interested in John Woo action-flicks and the revival of wuxia pics (Tsui Hark's 'Once Upon a Time in China, etc.) and heavily overshadowed this essential piece of world cinema. It's good to see that 'Days of Being Wild' is available on R2 DVD, as it is a must own for fans of Wong and it is a perfect showcase for the deceased Leslie Cheung whom dominates the screen in his memorable role of Yuddi.
Truly wonderful.
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