Everything Everywhere All At Once has a fantastic secret director

The multifaceted martial arts comedy All Everywhere Simultaneously needs a lot of unpacking. Lots of sequels by Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan Swiss army man passes with dizzying speed, with references to pop culture, silly cameos and visual gags based on effects that call for the approach of freezing video at home. Some of these gags are large and obvious, like a prehistoric sequence of creatures resembling monkeys fighting to the death, inspired by 2001: A Space OdysseyThe “tool discovery” sequence. Others are relatively subtle, such as the way Daniels designs an alternative universe after Wong Kar-Wai’s films. In a world where clothing owners Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) are rich, successful movie characters, they mourn the romance that never happened between them and the aching emotions, the bright colors, the restrained dialogues. and bright lighting all recall Wong movies like In the mood for love and Chungking Express.

In a screening in Chicago Everything Everywherethe Daniels told me about these scenes and said they were not designed according to a specific scene – as Kwan put it, their filmmaker, Larkin Seiple, is a little annoyed by the critics who specifically mention In the mood for love as the only inspiration there, and wants people to notice that the lighting and the basic color combinations do not exactly match this movie. By the way, we talked about many other points of interest in the film – such as how the name of the film’s villain, Jobu Tupaki, came from a list of interesting sounds made by Kwan and his wife when they were looking for a name for their daughter.

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And Daniel Scheinert shared the above photo, which is unquestionably Everything Everywherethe best easter egg. Bear with me here.

Longtime fans of Kwan and Scheinert’s work are accustomed to seeing them in their own works. This is Kwan leading the crazy dance orgy in the video for DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What”. (I learned in a previous interview that while Scheinert is not in this video, he handled the penis-puppet every time Kwan’s groin gained an independent, aggressive life.) In one of their best and wildest shorts, “Pockets”, things go very badly for Daniels’s longtime friend, Billy Chu, when he tries to dive into Seinert. In one of them more strange Early shorts, the “Interesting Ball”, an inexplicable cosmic event has a variety of surreal effects, including Kwan sucking slowly, inevitably into Scheinert’s rectum. And in Seinert’s solo directorial work, The Southern Noir The death of Dick LongScheinert plays the title character, a man who dies under conditions that send his best friends into a wave of sadness and denial.

So it is no surprise that Kwan and Scheinert appear All Everywhere Simultaneously. What is Surprising, at least for fans who think they were fast enough to spot their faces, is the fact that they are there many times – including, as Scheinert puts it, a step no one could take without help.

Scheinert’s most obvious role in the film is as a “District Manager” character – the guy who plays a little light S&M in the secret office closet, full of whipping and restrictions, and leads him out of this closet with a leash. He reappears as the same character in the big-scale fight against Evelyn, who wins the fight by bending over and hitting him.

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Kwan, meanwhile, appears briefly when Jobu Tupaki activates the cosmopolitan Bagel With Everything – he is the first guy to suck in his whirlpool, the man whose face is pulled in several layers before pulling his whole body. He also appears earlier in the film, though it is much harder to see his face in this scene – he is the robber trying to steal Evelyn’s bag in Wong Kar-Wai’s chronicle, where a mysterious white-haired martial artist (Li Jing ) saves her and the attack inspires her to learn kung fu.

But the cameo Scheinert says no one could catch? This is because his face and body are completely covered by a monkey costume. In this 2001-stage scene, Daniels visually explain the origins of a universe where everyone has hot dogs on their hands. In the prehistory of this world, the ancestor of the prehuman primordial hot dog won the race for supremacy over other primate species, as represented by a hot dog monkey that strikes a monkey with its normal finger to death. This is Scheinert in the costume of a hot dog-monkey, hitting deadly on behalf of his species and his evolutionary offspring.

But it gets better. Scheinert says the production only had two monkey costumes, so he’s not just the protagonist of the series – he plays almost everything. At that Chicago Q&A, he described how he “spent all day running around this ridge,” making triumphant hot dog-monkey gestures in various positions and angles so that he and Kwan could have shots that could be digitally stitch together to make one the monkeys look like a troupe of them. In a film full of glorious weird ideas and special effects tricks, the idea that one of the directors played an entire army of monkeys with hot dogs seems to be just the equivalent. Stranger things happen in this movie – but there is still a strange joy in seeing Scheinert’s photographic elements look exhausted, overheated and tired of being every monkey everywhere, at the same time.

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