Gary Bettinson

Oct 22, 2021

The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai

Film Poetics and the Aesthetic of Disturbance

Hong Kong University Press 2014

The widely acclaimed films of Wong Kar-wai are characterized by their sumptuous yet complex visual and sonic style. This study of Wong’s filmmaking techniques uses a poetics approach to examine how form, music, narration, characterization, genre, and other artistic elements work together to produce certain effects on audiences. Bettinson argues that Wong’s films are permeated by an aesthetic of sensuousness and “disturbance” achieved through techniques such as narrative interruptions, facial masking, opaque cuts, and other complex strategies. The effect is to jolt the viewer out of complete aesthetic absorption. Each of the chapters focuses on a single aspect of Wong’s filmmaking. The book also discusses Wong’s influence on other filmmakers in Hong Kong and around the world.

The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai: Film Poetics and the Aesthetic of Disturbance (Hong Kong University Press, 2014) will appeal to all who are interested in authorship and aesthetics in film studies, to scholars in Asian studies, media and cultural studies, and to anyone with an interest in Hong Kong cinema in general, and Wong’s films in particular.

Gary Bettinson is a senior lecturer in film studies at Lancaster University, UK. He is editor of Asian Cinema, Directory of World Cinema: China and author (with Richard Rushton) of What is Film Theory? An Introduction to Contemporary Debates.

Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is MA in Anthropology, and BA in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, Film theory and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Gustavo Gutiérrez Suárez

Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is a MA in Anthropology, and BA in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, as well as Film poetics and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Gustavo Gutiérrez Suárez