Sometimes you run across a movie and think, “Yeah, this might have been made specifically for me.” Watching this trailer for Wi Ding Ho’s Cities of Last Things is definitely one of those experiences. I’d never heard of this movie before today, but now I can’t wait to see it. Watch the trailer below.
Moody and romantic and dreamy and bleak and violent and sci-fi; this is gorgeous and stunning and I want Cities of Last Things ASAP.
Cities of Last Things premieres soon at the Toronto International Film Festival. Screen Anarchy has the fest’s description, which evokes Wong Kar-wai, and with good reason. There’s a shot straight out of Happy Together that gives me all the feelings. (I can’t help but think Chunking Express filtered through Blade Runner.)
From the striking opening image of a man hurling himself to his death off a multi-storey apartment building, Ho Wi Ding's Cities of Last Things announces itself as a freefall — a spiral through the events that led to this horrible tragedy.
The story follows Lao Zhang, a depressed, ex-police officer pining for a lost love and fighting with his unfaithful wife about their long-soured relationship. But Lao Zhang intends to finally act, with a calculated fury, in the hope of killing the deep-seated pain that is tearing him apart. As we track backwards through time, we begin to see the world open up around him, revealing his relationships with the women who were pivotal to the person he has become.Spanning generations, Cities of Last Things builds a searing, non-preachy portrait of societal and political change through the lens of an emotional drama.
Reminiscent of the early work of Wong Kar-wai, it finds its heartbeat in the pulse-pounding rhythm of the underbelly of the unnamed city. Through his seamless blending of genres, from sci-fi to noir to romance, the Malaysian-born Ho commandingly employs cinematic language as a tool to discuss the root of our collective sadness, which is perhaps the very thing that makes us human.
I know this is just a trailer and how often do we encounter great trailers for disappointing movies? That said, hot damn. I didn’t know I could get so excited for a movie I’d never heard of until this very moment. Hopefully Cities of Last Things will come our way shortly after TIFF, because I would like to see it at the earliest possible moment.