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Away With Words (Christopher Doyle)

Old 12-08-08, 04:28 AM
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Away With Words (Christopher Doyle)

Set to be released in the United Kingdom on DVD this February 9th.

KFC Cinema review:

Story: Asano searches for the comfort he had when he was a young boy growing up in Okinawa. For him, objects and actions have different meanings, mostly associations with numbers. Sometimes "twenty seven cops" is "boxes on the road" and everything in between. The way his mind works makes it hard for Asano to express himself to others in a spoken fashion, but emotionally he is able to touch those who let him in. After traveling for a long time, yearning for that particular safe haven, Asano finds himself in a dive bar in Hong Kong. There, he relives his childhood dreams and befriends Kevin, a flamboyant and outspoken gay Australian who lives life fast, beautiful, and always carelessly. And then there is Mavis, a somber and angel-like fashion designer who cleans up after their messes. In and outside the bar, the three share a relationship that becomes undeniably lovely and enriching

Review: This directorial debut from Wong Kar-Wai's long time director of photography and collaborator Christopher Doyle represents some of the best cinematography in world cinema today. Its rich and brilliant colors drown the film in a sort of cinematic ecstasy, unwinding in a carousel fashion of atmosphere and environment, not only as background, but as characters, objects and moving poetry that can only be found in the hands of the man who photographed "Chungking Express," and "Fallen Angels."

Though, "Away With Words" may seem experimental and abstract in nature, there is a lyrical flow that exists in the films narrative. Sometimes monologue driven and always emotionally intense, Christopher Doyle brings the same storytelling sensibilities that have made his other films so expressive and connecting. His characters not only become portrayals of their experiences and problems but they exceed the plateau of three-dimensional players into formless sentiment, of feelings and passions that can only be described by the composition and palettes of their impressions and auras.

Where the true beauty lies is not in the film's surreal qualities but in the way Doyle brings out exquisiteness and vividness from real and commonplace settings and surroundings. In a scene where Kevin's diary is being read by him in a monologue fashion, he sits on his motor scooter in the middle of what may seem like a junk-yarded grass lot. Tipping over from his stupor and drunkenness night out, Kevin's situation depicts a sense of veracity and truthfulness. That sometimes we may be functioning and reacting and involved in a situation, but only because our body and instincts take over when our mind is elsewhere. Only then our thoughts are free to live and focus and be termed by drunkards and alcoholics as "a moment of clarity."

Tadanobu Asano, Kevin Sherlock, and Mavis Xu all play their roles in traditional Kar-Wai-esque fashion. Solemn and dreamlike and more family than friends, the three share a bond that only Doyle can illustrate. An unconditional love that is thicker than blood, lighter than air and irresistible. Their friendship will take you to places that most take advantage of and bring up ideas that the only real thing that people have in this world are each other. That emotions are more tangible than we realize, something we can hold onto, cherish and keep within.

"Away With Words" has no true beginning and end. It is a film that is comprised with images, music and words that follow an unorthodox structure of a feature presentation. Cinematic in execution, but becomes more of a poetic indulgence in completion. Viewers should walk into this film with the most open mind possible in order to revel in the art and message of this film. And hopefully, you can walk away with a little piece of this film with you when you leave. For me, it still sits with me even after my initial viewing months ago.

While many recognize Wong Kar-Wai for his storytelling and directing, his true admirers look towards his eyes, an entity itself that comes in the form of Christopher Doyle, a man whose talents not only reside in capturing beauty and allure, but emotion in all its luminous feathers and radiance, especially the people who feel them.
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Old 12-13-08, 12:18 AM
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Another Jet Tone title, First Love: The Litter on the Breeze, is coming on February 9th, along with a box set of all three (The Eagle Shooting Heroes/Away With Words/First Love).
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