"The film is principally set in Buenos Aires, a city very different from Hong Kong, yet there is no difficulty in assuming that in some way Wong Kar-Wai is always discussing Hong Kong, such as when he shows Taipei in Happy Together and his use of Manila in Days of Being Wild. That would be following the principle that Marco Polo gives when talking to the Emperor in Italo Calvino’s novel, Invisible Cities:
And Polo said: ‘Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.’
'When I ask you about other cities, I want to hear about them. And about Venice, when I ask you about Venice.'
'To distinguish the other cities' qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice.'
'You should then begin each tale of your travels from the departure, describing Venice as it is, all of it, not omitting anything you remember of it…'
'Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,' Polo said. 'Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.'
In this way, every city might become, for Wong Kar-Wai, a way of describing Hong Kong, an allegory for a city which cannot be shown directly, for, if it could, it might lead to a loss of the subject.”
Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together (The New Hong Kong Cinema), Jeremy Tambling