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In the Mood for Love


Year: 2000 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from In the Mood for Love

With films such as ‘Chunkung Express’, ‘Fallen Angels’ and ‘Happy Together’, Wong Kar-Wai built himself a reputation as perhaps the finest Asian film director of his generation but it was 2001’s ‘In The Mood For Love’ that really catapulted him into the stratosphere.

A tale of unconsummated love between two neighbours in 1960s Hong Kong, the plot is more about what doesn’t happen than what does. Chow Mo-wan (Leung) and Su Li-zhen Chan (Cheung) are both married but upon realising that their partners are cheating on them, they begin to spend more time with each other and slowly feelings begin to develop between them. What is remarkable is just how compelling it remains without them giving in to their urges. The scenes between them are wonderfully understated with the suave Chow and delicate Su conducting a fascinating dance of restraint and longing around each other. Comic relief comes from chatty landlady Mrs. Suen (Pan) and the inept Ah Ping (Ping-Lam). Nevertheless, it is still decidedly minimalist compared to his previous work, whilst still retaining all of his usual magic.

The visuals are nothing short of breathtaking and perfectly suited to the themes explored in the piece. Teaming up with regulars Christopher Doyle (cinematographer) and William Chang (production/consume design), Kar-Wai creates an ingenious world of innovative direction, sublime sets, alluring colours and unparalleled cinematography. This is truly a visual treat. The soundtrack too is particularly apt with the inspiringly haunting use of Nat King Cole.
To sum up, this is an incredibly intimate picture with superb acting and extraordinary visuals but most of all, it is Kar-Wai’s cinematic masterpiece. I urge you to come along and see it in all its glory on the big screen. It is simply a pleasure to watch.

James Kopka

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)