Hong Kong, 2000
Block 2 Pictures, Jet Tone Production, Paradis Films. PROD/DIR/SCR: Wong Kar-wai. CINE: Christopher Doyle, Mark Lee Ping Bin. EDIT: William Chang. CAST: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung, Siu Ping Lam, Rebecca Pan, Lai Chin.
Filmmaker Wong Kar-wai's masterpiece of romantic longing is a love letter to much of
Chinese cinema history. Its tale of a man and a woman (Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung), crammed into adjacent tiny apartments, their spouses embroiled in an affair and their own passions repressed by tradition, propriety, and a fear of the unknown, echoes a tradition of wenyi melodrama stretching back to the 1930s. The film has a deep, almost fetishized relationship with the postwar period---especially its clothing and interior design---that speaks to the continuing weight of history and memory in contemporary Chinese filmmaking. (Critic Stephen Teo astutely identifies the film's deep formal echoes of Fei Mu's postwar masterpiece Spring in a Small Town, further underlining this connection). But In the Mood's most profound connection to the past is in the intoxicating performances of Leung and Cheung, whose grace and vulnerability conjure up the aura of vanished stars from the Golden Age of Shanghai cinema in the ‘30s and ‘40s. Displaying Wong Kar-wai at the height of his powers, his extraordinary control over mood, tone and gesture felt in every frame, In the Mood for Love was recently anointed as the most important Chinese film on Sight & Sound's decennial poll of the greatest films ever made. "Rhapsodically sublimated and ultimately sublime" (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice).
35mm, color, in Cantonese and Shanghainese with English subtitles 98 min.
UCLA Film & Television Archive
Billy Wilder Theater
Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard (at the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards)
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tickets: $10 online. $9 general admission, $8 for non-UCLA students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members (ID required) if purchased at the box office only. Free admission for UCLA students (current ID required); free tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office until 15 minutes before showtime, or the rush line afterwards. Online tickets available at ; click on the individual program.
Parking: Museum parking lot; enter from Westwood Blvd, just north of Wilshire. $3 flat rate after 6:00 pm on Mondays-Fridays and all day on weekends.