Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai spent two years obsessively shooting and reshooting this tale of two neighbours, Chow (Tony Leung) and Su-Lizhen (Maggie Cheung) who are drawn together by the long absences of their spouses. When they realize why these absences always coincide, they are shocked and hurt. In their imaginations, they entertain scenarios of revenge and tit-for-tat, rehearsing the infidelities so as to understand what can have gone awry, even as they vow never to stoop to such betrayal. And over time, quietly, but unmistakably, they fall in love…
A hypnotic, intoxicating film, In the Mood for Love is radically experimental, but only ever concerned with revealing the human heart. Wong never shows us the spouses. He structures the movie as a cycle of myriad echoes and repetitions. It is a rigorously repressed formal conceit. Yet in the space between the repetitions we sense everything that cannot be said: desire, passion, rapture and rhapsody. The film itself echoes both Wong’s Days of Being Wild and the subsequent 2046: it is the film he cannot stop making; the love affair he cannot forget.
In the Mood for Love came fifth in the 2022 Sight & Sound poll.
Sunday’s screening in our PANTHEON series will feature free refreshments and a short introduction by an expert in the field.
Wong expands the simple anatomy of a thwarted love affair into an elastic meditation on personal unrest, political statelessness and the violence of time’s unrelenting passage.
Guy Lodge, Sight & Sound
Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung
In Cantonese with English subtitles
Award for Best Actor to Tony Leung, Cannes 2000
Sunday October 22
Monday October 23
Tuesday October 24
Thursday October 26
Christopher Doyle, Mark Lee Ping-Bing
Also in This Series
In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar-wai's most popular film is a love story about two neighbours (Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung) who are drawn together by the long absences of their respective spouses.
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