Wong Kar Wai
Wong Kar-wai was a rare commodity within the Hong Kong film industry - a maker of "art" films. Moreover, he made these films with studio backing and all-star casts, with some of these projects even making money. In an entertainment arena dominated by over-the-top actioners, florid melodramas, and broad comedies, this was no small achievement. For Wong, genre merely provided a template through which he worked out his ongoing thematic preoccupations, such as the transitory nature of experience, the importance of memory, the influence of pop culture, and the lasting sting of rejection. His bold stylistic signature - slow-motion action scenes blurred and pixilated by step-printing; huge, distorting close-ups and compacted fight sequences shot from disorienting angles - had tended to overwhelm most conventional generic concerns. But what distinguished Wong most of all, was his not ever using a script - like Miles Davis with <i>Kind of Blue</i>, Wong sketched basic ideas and trusted those around him, particularly the actors, to help him improvise his films - a stunning achievement, given the difficulty of making even a descent movie from the best of scripts.