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In the Mood for Love

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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.


Oct 22: Introduced by Su-Anne Yeo, who researches and teaches in the areas of film studies, media studies, and cultural studies, with a specialization in Asian and Asian diasporic screen cultures at UBC and Emily Carr.


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


Presented by


Wong Kar-wai


Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung

Country of Origin

Hong Kong/France




In Cantonese and Shanghainese with English subtitles


Award for Best Actor to Tony Leung, Cannes 2000

98 min

Book Tickets

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Wong Kar-wai


Wong Kar-wai


Christopher Doyle, Mark Lee Ping-Bing


William Chang

Original Music

Michael Galasso

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