Days of Being Wild
|Days of Being Wild|
Film poster for Days of Being Wild
|Cantonese||Aa3 Fei1 zing3zyun6|
|Directed by||Wong Kar-wai|
|Produced by||Alan Tang|
|Written by||Wong Kar-wai|
|Editing by||Kit-Wai Kai
|Running time||94 minutes|
|Box office||$146,310 (Worldwide)|
Days of Being Wild (A Fei jingjyuhn) is a 1990 Hong Kong film directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film stars some of the best-known actors and actresses in Hong Kong, including Leslie Cheung, Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau, Jacky Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. Days of Being Wild also marks the first collaboration between Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle, with whom he has since made eight films.
The movie is set in Hong Kong and the Philippines in 1960. Yuddy, or 'York' in English (Leslie Cheung), is a playboy in Hong Kong and is well known for stealing girls' hearts and breaking them. His first victim is Li Zhen (Maggie Cheung) who suffered emotional and mental depression as a result of Yuddy's wayward attitude. Li Zhen eventually seeks much-needed solace from a sympathetic policeman named Tide (Andy Lau). Their near-romance is often hinted at but never materialises.
York has forgotten his fling with the unassuming and shy Li Zhen and has set his attentions to a vivacious cabaret dancer whose stage name is Mimi (Carina Lau). Mimi is also secretly loved by York's best friend, Zeb (Jacky Cheung). Unsurprisingly, York dumps her too and she begins a period of self-destruction. It later becomes evident that York's inability to commit and his instinct for romantic cruelty derives from conflicting feelings about his adoptive mother who is a former prostitute, played by Rebecca Pan; and his biological mother, a Filipino aristocrat.
Most sections of the film attempt to narrate how people react to rejection, although it was very vaguely depicted. This film was seen to be among the first of its genre popularised by Wong Kar-wai, it does not rely on a plot but more on the individual strengths of its many actors and actresses to narrate the story through their seemingly mundane day-to-day activities.
Days of Being Wild broke away from the light fare that typified Hong Kong cinema at the time by introducing thematic ambiguity and an arthouse aesthetic. Many other Hong Kong films such as Ashes of Time, Temptress Moon, and In the Mood for Love belong to the same school of Hong Kong cinema.
Cast and roles
- Leslie Cheung – Yuddy
- Andy Lau – Tide, policeman 6117, who becomes a friend and confidant of Su Li Zhen and later, after the death of his mother, he becomes a sailor and goes to the Philippines
- Maggie Cheung – Su Li Zhen, who grew up in Macau and is the ex-girlfriend of Yuddy
- Carina Lau – Leung Fung-ying, Mimi/Lulu, the girlfriend of Yuddy
- Rebecca Pan – Rebecca, a former prostitute who raises Yuddy, has a love-and-hate relationship with Yuddy, because she refuses to reveal the identity of Yuddy's biological mother
- Jacky Cheung – Zeb, Yuddy's friend since childhood; Yuddy used to live above Zeb's family's garage as a kid; Zeb fancies Mimi/Lulu
- Danilo Antunes – Rebecca's lover, who only goes for her money
- Hung Mei-Mei – The Amah
- Ling Ling-Hung – Nurse
- Tita Muñoz – Yuddy's Mother
- Alicia Alonzo – Housekeeper
- Elena Lim So – Hotel Manageress
- Maritoni Fernandez – Hotel Maid
- Angela Ponos – Prostitute
- Nonong Talbo – Train Conductor
- Tony Leung Chiu-Wai – Gambler
- Alan Tang – Producer
- Los Indios Tabajaras, "Always In My Heart"
- Xavier Cugat
- Leslie Cheung performed the song 何去何從之阿飛正傳 loosely translated as 'Choice' or 'The True Story of Ah Fei' as the film's theme song and is also found in his album Beloved (寵愛).
- 梅豔芳 (Anita Mui) – 是這樣的 – the Cantonese cover of the theme song and is featured at the end of the film during the credits.
Days of Being Wild grossed HK $9,751,942 in its Hong Kong run, a number that would become typical for a Wong Kar Wai film. With the starry cast, this figure was considered a disappointment. Still, the film was successful enough to warrant a parody (The Days of Being Dumb, which also featured Tony Leung), and now routinely tops Hong Kong critics' lists of the best local productions.
Awards and nominations
- 1991 Hong Kong Film Awards
- Won: Best Picture
- Won: Best Director (Wong Kar-wai)
- Won: Best Actor (Leslie Cheung)
- Won: Best Art Direction (William Chang)
- Won: Best Cinematography (Christopher Doyle)
- Nominated: Best Actress (Carina Lau)
- Nominated: Best Film Editing (Patrick Tam)
- Nominated: Best Screenplay (Wong Kar-wai)
- Nominated: Best Supporting Actress (Rebecca Pan)
- 1997 Golden Bauhinia Awards
- Won: Special Award (Best Hong Kong film of the last 10 years)
- 2005 Hong Kong Film Awards
- Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures (#3)
- Top 100 Favorite movies of Chinese Cinema (#2)
- 2011 Golden Horse Film Festival
- 100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films (#4)
- Cinema of Hong Kong
- Christopher Doyle
- List of movies set in Hong Kong
- List of Hong Kong films
- Alan Tang
- "Days Of Being Wild". BoxOfficeMojo.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Kevin Crust (7 January 2005). "'Days of Being Wild'". Los Angeles Times.
- "What cinema's movers and shakers say about Wong Kar-Wai I may never come back from Shanghai?". The Daily Telegraph (UK). 31 Dec 2004.
- "Days of being wild". Hong Kong Film Archive. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- Days of Being Wild at the Internet Movie Database
- Days of Being Wild at Rotten Tomatoes
- Days of Being Wild at Metacritic
- Days of Being Wild at allmovie
- Promotional website for US region