There’s always some mention of Manila in the films of Wong Kar Wai. For instance, in In The Mood For Love, Maggie Cheung’s boss asks her if the package has been sent to Manila. Wong Kar Wai has mentioned that in the 1960s all the nightclubs in Hong Kong had Filipino musicians playing Latin band music—the kind we hear in ITMFL.
In the late 80s, early 90s Wong Kar Wai came to the Philippines to film Days of Being Wild. It starred Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau, and Tony Leung in a cameo that introduces his character in In The Mood For Love and 2046 (Not that one needs a reason to show Tony Leung combing his hair). Tita Muñoz played Leslie Cheung’s mother, and Alicia Alonzo and Maritoni Fernandez had small roles. Parts of the film were shot at Tutuban Station, on the PNR train to Quezon, and at Villa Escudero.
Jude Mancuyas, proprietor of The Frazzled Cook, worked in the wardrobe department of Days of Being Wild. We once asked Jude what it was like to work with the great WKW. He said there was a lot of waiting involved. The director doesn’t have detailed scripts for his movies. He sits silently, smoking cigarettes, composing the scenes in his head. Hours pass.
The production company reportedly ran out of money so they had to sell off equipment and Mark Meily bought cinematographer Christopher Doyle’s light meter.
Days of Being Wild is the first in the sort-of trilogy that continues with ITMFL and 2046. It was the beginning of what we now think of as the Wong Kar Wai style.
We love Chungking Express. Takeshi Kaneshiro and the expired cans of pineapple. Tony Leung and his housecleaning admirer.