Wong Kar Wai's new film My Blueberry Nights is scheduled for Cannes 2007. To say that My Blueberry Nights is a departure for Wong may be an understatement, even though I am sure, despite my lingering doubts, this film will be Wong Kar Wai through and through. He is working not only with an entirely new crew, but a new cast that includes Norah Jones, Jude Law, David Strathairn, Tim Roth, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, and Ed Harris. My Blueberry Nights, shot in the U.S., will be Wong's English language debut.
My unconditional love for Wong Kar Wai does not prevent me from feeling apprehensive about My Blueberry Nights. I don't like Jude Law and if I have to here that Norah Jones album one more time, she is going on the hate list too; somehow these two working with my icon just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. My love for Wong's films is synonomous with my love for the actors he works with: Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung, Andy Lau, Wong Faye, Carina Lau, Chang Chen, and even Jacky Chueng. I would be the first to admit that one of my reasons for favoring Asian films, and in particular Hong Kong films, is symbolic of my rejection of American films and the Hollywood industry. The other very important reason is that I have spent time in that part of the world and am very fond of it. But My Blueberry Nights turns the tables on all of that: it is Wong who is rejecting Hong Kong for the U.S.
That being said, everything that I have read about the production makes it very clear that Wong has not sold out to U.S. filmmaking values. Law and Jones have been though signature WKW rigors of shooting ambiguous scenes over and over again. Wong himself has stated that he is using this experience as a creative springboard, which I can appreciate. I have no choice but to anxiously await its U.S. release. It will play at Cannes in May and hopefully hit screens here late 2007.