This post contains spoilers for Everything anywhere anytime.
Anything Anywhere Anytime is a huge bookworm. It is also a whirlpool, a funny house, an unpredictable Russian doll of ideas and feelings and things, dense with troubling plot points about parallel universes and metaphors about family love and acceptance. But it’s also a movie about cinema, layered with references that not only pay homage to classic films of the past, but also reinvigorate them with invincible power. The film answers questions such as: What would happen if the mouse was? vegetable soup really a raccoon? What if Matrix really about a devil bagel? And, perhaps most romantically, what if Duong Tu Quynh starred in a Wong Kar Wai movie?
Now the movie is directed by the hero duo Daniels (consists of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) has hit theaters nationwide, let’s dive into all the wild cinematic references that consume the film, from there. vegetable soup remix reimagined kung fu archetypes.
According to Daniels, Anything Anywhere Anytime might not exist without Matrix. “This movie is a 100 percent response to Matrixsure,” Daniel Kwan speaking at SXSW, where the film premiered. “We wanted to make our version of it.” Kwan says the same thing in the film’s press notes, recalling one afternoon when he watched a dual film by Matrix and Fight Cluband how both 1999 movies, especially the action sequences in Matrix, rekindled his love of movies. “I was like, man, if I could do something half as fun as Matrix is, but with our seal and our spirit, I will die happy,” he said.
The similarities are immediately obvious. In Matrixcyberpunk sci-fi blockbuster directed by Wachowskis, a computer hacker named Neo discovers he is living in a simulated reality and undergoes training to understand the dark truth about the world he inhabits. In Everything is everywhere, Duong Tu Quynh take on the same role as Neo, playing a woman who discovers she is the unquestionable hero, one in a million in a multiverse where dark forces reign. Like Neo, she is the only one who can save the day. The public similarity ends there, for the most part, though both Matrix and Everything is everywhere rely on kung fu and martial arts for their epic action sequences.
Clan of the White Lotus (and other kung-fu classics)
Speaking of kung fu, Everything is everywhere filled with nods to the practice, as well as classic kung fu movies. The biggest nod comes to Evelyn’s kung fu master form, do Li Jing. With her fluffy white eyebrows, mustache and beard, she plays directly into the classic Bak Mei character, or the character Pai Mai, a kung fu master who has been portrayed in many series Hong Kong movies of the 1970s and 1980s like Clan of the White Lotus and Shaolin executioner. The character is also depicted in flashback scenes in Quentin Tarantino’s reverence-o-rama Kill Billwith Pai Mai taking Beatrix Kiddo as an apprentice and teaching her everything she knows about martial arts. Everything is everywhere kindly pokes fun at the archetype, turning its Pai Mai into a radical about how everything maybe kung fu, right down to the little finger. The Daniels took it even further, staging an entire fight sequence in which Evelyn defeated her foes with her freshly made pinky finger.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi epic has yet another highlight Everything is everywhere, with the film centered around the classic opening sequence in which the hominins discover the monolith. But the scene also transports viewers into a rather peaceful moment in another tumultuous film: in one of her parallel lives, Evelyn is a prehistoric rock, quietly observing and enjoying the world. the natural world… anyway.
Nowhere Everything is everywhere more chaotic than in the “Racacoonie” scenes. In one of Evelyn’s other lives, she was a chef at a hibachi restaurant, who was consistently overtaken by her co-worker Chad (Harry Shum Jr.). Soon she discovers that Chad is receiving serious help from… a raccoon with outstanding talent hiding under his chef’s hat, playing with him as a roller coaster and guide. his hands as he cooks. It’s an extremely funny joke about the plot of vegetable soup, showing how silly the plot of a Pixar movie is and how absurd it becomes when rodents are replaced by a larger creature. But the Daniels didn’t just make the concept look like a comic book idea. They follow again and again back to the spin-off as Chad loses Racacoonie to the bad guys’ control and, with Evelyn’s help, rescues his furry friend. The rescue of Racacoonie becomes part of the story, showing Evelyn’s strength and her tenacity in her pursuit of becoming a hero.
In the mood to love
In terms of style and story, Daniels couldn’t be further from someone like Wong Kar Wai. However, in some scenes in Everything is everywherethe duo pay homage to the director’s love, especially his 2000 classic In the mood to love. Equal Everything is everywhere As it progresses, Evelyn learns that one of her parallel lives is that of a movie star of Yeoh’s stature, with the film using Yeoh’s actual footage at red carpet events. However, in that parallel life, Evelyn learns that her success can only be attributed to her choosing not to be with Waymond, creating another path forward. Waymond somehow finds her way to the premiere of her latest movie, and the two head out for a one-on-one chat. It’s sad and dark, stylized with the same romantic energy as the hallway scenes in In the mood to lovein there Leung Chiu Wai and Truong Man Ngoc play two neighbors who can never be together, and must resort to an exchange of longing glances that no one else can catch. These scenes provide some of the most tranquil moments in the Everything is everywhere; No wild spikes, no sausage fingers, no secret pandas. Just lovely cinema in the key to a classic Wong movie. After all, what can create more cinematic cravings than being in a parallel universe and still ran into the one who went?