花样年华 | In the Mood for Love

In the mood for Love

Hong Kong, 1962. Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are polite and formal—until a discovery about their respective spouses sparks an intimate bond. At once delicately mannered and visually stunning, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments in time.

Directed by Kar Wai Wong | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho ‘Joe’ Cheung, Rebecca Pan | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Reykjavik Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

海上花 | Flowers of Shanghai

Flowers of Shanghai

After a long line of films interrogating Taiwan’s past and present, Hou Hsiao-hsien turned to 19th-century China, adapting Han Bangqing’s late Qing novel on the upscale brothels of Shanghai’s foreign concessions. Denied permission to shoot in the city itself, Hou made his film entirely in a studio — befitting the cloistered, microcosmic world of the courtesans and their patrons — and reduced the novel’s sprawling cast to a handful of central characters. Cantonese civil servant Wang has hit a rough patch with long-term companion Crimson and looks to her younger rival Laelia; haughty Emerald (Michelle Reis) connives with Luo to buy out her contract; and up-and-coming Jade resists experienced elder courtesan Pearl, and has a liason with the naive Zhu Shuren. These relationships — governed by strict codes of money and power — are conveyed in appropriately sensual yet rigorous style: carefully choreographed camerawork by Lee Ping-bin, a minimal editing scheme (37 shots, each bracketed by fades), and haunting leitmotifs from composer Hanno Yoshihiro.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Carina Lau, Michelle Reis, Hada Michiko, Jack Kao | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival, Auckland Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

阿飞正传 | Days of Being Wild

Days of Being Wild

Set in 1960, the film centers on the young, boyishly handsome Yuddy, who learns from the drunken ex-prostitute who raised him that she is not his real mother. Hoping to hold onto him, she refuses to divulge the name of his real birth mother. The revelation shakes Yuddy to his very core, unleashing a cascade of conflicting emotions. Two women have the bad luck to fall for Yuddy; one a quiet lass named Su Lizhen who works at a sports arena, the other a glitzy showgirl named Mimi. Yuddy passively lets the two compete for him, unable or unwilling to make a choice. As Lizhen slowly confides her frustration to a cop named Tide, he falls for her. The same is true for Yuddy’s friend Zeb, who falls for Mimi. Later, Yuddy learns of his birth mother’s whereabouts and heads out to the Philippines.

Directed by Kar Wai Wong | Starring : Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival