One of the cinema’s great fetishists, Wong Kar Wai has always been enraptured less by narrative logic than by colors and textures, mood and mise-en-scene. The DVD extras accompanying his latest and most enigmatic feature, “2046,” feel entirely in sync with the Hong Kong auteur’s m.o., breaking down and scrutinizing the film’s raw elements with an intensity bordering on obsessive. While Asian import discs have been readily available prior to the pic’s U.S. theatrical release last August, this Sony-packaged DVD is still luxuriant enough for the Wong fanatic to get lost in.
The long-gestating “2046” — which Wong considers an echo rather than a sequel to “In the Mood for Love” — is a fractured study in thwarted longing, as intriguing for what’s not onscreen as for what is. To that end, the disc’s trio of deleted scenes — including an alternate ending that places playboy Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) within the futuristic world referenced in the title — offers a teasing hint of Wong’s restless, constantly evolving vision.
Pic’s sci-fi overtones are the focus of the (somewhat pretentiously titled) featurette “Anatomy of Memories,” which provides an in-depth look at the CGI effects rendered by f/x house BUF Compagnie. Similarly, the wide-ranging musical selections, embracing everything from bel canto opera to Nat King Cole, are exhaustively annotated in “The Music of ‘2046,’ ” while a five-minute musicvideo distills the pic’s key images with a wordless economy that some might prefer to the actual product.
In one of two behind-the-scenes docus, co-star Ziyi Zhang humbly describes the challenges of Wong’s signature freeform style — specifically, having to work without a script and shoot as many as 40 takes per scene. Leung, the director’s longtime muse, is blunter, admitting, “Actually, we don’t have any idea of what the story is about.”