The films of Karwai Wong turn to literature, which is most directly embodied in monologues and voice-overs, appearing in almost all of his films alternately. For instance, the killer shows his concern about the intimate and estranged relationship with his partner who is like his lover through lyrical internal monologues in Fallen Angels (Thanouli, 2015). The theme of estrangement and communication is highlighted through making a comparison of two people’s indifference and space-time dislocation in reality as well as two people’s desire and intimacy in psychological space. The external story of killers becomes an expressive form. What attracts people more is still the internal psychological space of the film.
The film Ashes of Time displays the role of monologues and voice-overs to the fullest. The mainland film critic Guo Xiaolu called Ashes of Time as “a voluble self language system”. This film not only fully incarnates lonely, narcissistic, divisive, persistent or innocent psychological states of every character through monologues, but also “turns dialogues into monologues” so as to shorten the distance with narratage.”
Just as what Pan Guoling and Li Zhaoxing said when they analyzed this film, “In nearly all the dialogue scenes, the other side of a dialogue is concealed in an obscure shallow view (Regarding the dialogue between Huang Yaoshi and Ouyang Feng, Murong Yang mistakes the words of Ouyang Feng as those of Huang Yaoshi) or cut out of sight of the view frame (Ouyang Feng promotes Hong Qi to wear the shoes to villagers and sister-in-law standing by the window talks to Huang Yaoshi). Both sides of a dialogue never look straight at each other. Hollywood-style front and back shooting tradition of dealing with dialogues is broken. In the end, voice-overs, dialogues, monologues or narratage become the internal monologues of characters. Internal monologues which are used to present the inner consciousness of characters in literature create a kind of unique literariness in the films of Karwai Wong.”
In the eyes of Karwai Wong, the long personal monologues of protagonists are also a kind of dialogues, namely dialogues between self and inner self. “The real life of individuals can be understood only when dialogues permeate into it and only that answers and freely reveals itself.” The reason is that the subjective consciousness of people originally includes contradiction and multiplicity, which mainly come from the dialogical relationship of people with others (Biancorosso, 2013).
In reality, people can reveal others, grasp the hearts of others and understand others only by facing them and talking with them. When all of these go into self-consciousness, the dialogicality of self-consciousness is certainly formed.
These kinds of dialogues cover mainly two forms of expression, namely the contradictory conflicts of inner self and taking the consciousness of others as an opposite dialogue of the inner heart. People just discover themselves through communicating with and exploring the reality and self.
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