Saturday I met up w/ friends to see fabulous new Wong Kar Wai movie, 2046, at the DFT. fabulous if for nothing more than the goddess-like Asian women in it (including the incomparable Gong Li). Each of the women (about 5 I think) act as placeholders/ narrative strands in which memory, desire, place and futurity play off and against one another exactly through their radiant presence or absence, as the case may be. Interestingly, 2046 itself works as a placeholder in two (well actually three) ways. It is a space -- a rundown hotel room -- a temporal horizon, which is interwoven within the film as an interior futuristic sci fi narrative written by the protagonist Mr. Chow -- which then is also a time/spaceship also known as 2046. This future-interior is a time/space that really acts as a repetition of the destiny of characters from the hotel episode only w/ cooler Gaultier style clothes. In the end each 2046 only makes sense, has meaning, in relation to the other, so that the links between desire/longing/unattainability and some mysterious memory move from a feminine or sexual absence to forma pivot around an historical absence that keeps everything in place. Formally, the film is absolutely saturated with beauty, or that's what I found myself most absorbed by. So saturated in fact that, paradoxically, the formal style and its affective dimension seemed barely compensatory, even claustraphobic. It certainly doesn't do any of the gorgeous women any real favors.
There's a lot that could be said about it's use of remediation and/or premediation, but I'm not yet comfortable enough with that discourse to make those claims.
Here's a link to the website, which is interesting in and of itself. http://www.sonyclassics.com/2046/main.html