Set in Hong Kong, 1962, Chow Mo-Wan is a newspaper editor who moves into a new building with his wife. At the same time, Su Li-zhen, a beautiful secretary and her executive husband also move in to the crowded building. With their spouses often away, Chow and Li-zhen spend most of their time together as friends. They have everything in common from noodle shops to martial arts. Soon, they are shocked to discover that their spouses are having an affair. Hurt and angry, they find comfort in their growing friendship even as they resolve not to be like their unfaithful mates. Continue reading Kar Wai Wong – Fa yeung nin wa AKA In The Mood For Love (2000)
Synopsis (by Giovanna Fulvi @ tiff.net)
Legendary Taiwanese actress and filmmaker Sylvia Chang directs this magical story of estranged siblings whose shared memories of their mother’s fairy tales begin to draw their lives together once again.
A stirring ensemble drama, the first film in seven years from Sylvia Chang (also appearing at the Festival in Office, based on a play she wrote, and Jia Zhang-ke Mountains May Depart) deftly navigates cross-currents of past and present, fantasy and reality, to arrive at a moving depiction of the ways in which our adult lives are circumscribed by limits set in childhood.
As children growing up on Green Island, a former prison island off the east coast of Taiwan, Mei (Isabella Leong) and Nan (Lawrence Ko) were enthralled by their mother’s tales of mermaids who long to know the world beyond the sea. Continue reading Sylvia Chang – Nian Nian AKA Murmur of the Hearts (2015)
Multi award-winning film, starring Maggie Cheung, Leon Lai and Eric Tsang. The film also features a role by renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle (who has shot many of Wong Karwai’s films, and also shot films by Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou).
The film’s Chinese title (Tian Mi Mi) is the name of a song by Teresa Teng which plays throughout the film. It translates as “Sweet Honey”, but also implies a close loving relationship. (Leon Lai sings the title song for the ending credits.) The film shows the love that Chinese people have for the famous singer, who died the year before the film was released; the film is considered a love poem in memory of Teresa Teng. Continue reading Peter Chan – Tian mi mi (aka “Comrades, Almost a Love Story”) (1996)
This sensitive Asian melodrama chronicles the two major loves in the life of a man who cannot change. The story is divided into two parts; each part focused upon one woman. The story begins in Shanghai during the early 1930’s and follows the loves of Zhen-bao. His early love life abroad is chronicled in the opening scenes. The real story begins as Zhen-pao returns to Shanghai and stays at his friend Wang’s apartment. Zhen-bao meets Wang’s moody, selfish wife Jiao-rui. The two begin a passionate affair. Zhen-bao nicknames her “Red Rose”……. Time passes. In the second half, Zhen-bao is a businessman who woos and marries Yen-li, his “White Rose.” She is from a peasant background and very young. She endeavors to be the perfect wife. More time passes. It is 1943 and Zhen-bao is back to his old ways……… –edited for spoilers from Sandra Berman @allmovieguide.com Continue reading Stanley Kwan – Hong meigui, bai meigui aka Red Rose, White Rose (1994)
Hong Kong filmmaker Stanley Kwan directs this stunning supernatural melodrama about a passion, romance, and lost history. Fleur (Anita Mui) is a 1930s high-class courtesan who finds herself sucked into a doomed relationship with Twelfth Master Chan Chen-Pang (Leslie Cheung), the rakish scion of a prosperous business family that disapproves of their union. After a brief but intense courtship, the two resolve to be together in the afterworld by swallowing opium. Yet once there, Fleur discovers that she is alone. After waiting 50 years for her dearly beloved, she re-emerges in 1987 to place a personal ad. In the process, she enlists the aid of a pair of journalists: Yuen (Alex Man) and his feisty, occasionally jealous girlfriend Ah Chor (Emily Chu). Fleur learns that the Hong Kong she knew has by and large disappeared: the brothel where she worked was now a kindergarten. As she tells them of her love for Twelfth Master, the two journalists begin to find their relationship intensifying. As Fleur’s spirit grows weaker, their search continues until it yields results that are both sad and ironic. — Jonathan Crow @allmovieguide.com Continue reading Stanley Kwan – Yin ji kau aka Rouge (1987)
Winner of the Best Director prize at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together is a stunning display of filmmaking style and a touching story of love on the brink of dissolution. Hong Kong cinema superstars Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung play a pair of lovers living out the waning days of their relationship as expatriates in Buenos Aires. Lusty tango bars, the salsa music of the La Boca sidewalks and a hypnotic visit to the nearby Iguazu Falls give further dimension to the tensions growing between the two lovers. Continue reading Kar Wai Wong – Chun gwong cha sit AKA Happy Together (1997)
In Wong Kar-wai’s 1991 film Days of Being Wild, Yuddy (Leslie Cheung), a charming drifter captures the attention of store attendant Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung) by asking her to look at his watch. When she sees that it says one minute before 3:00PM on April 16, 1960, he tells her that she will never forget the moment and will dream about him that night. The next time they meet, the moment becomes two, then one hour, then weeks and months but Yuddy is like the mythical bird with no legs that just flies and flies and never lands. Abandoned by his real mother and brought up by a wealthy alcoholic courtesan (Rebecca Pan), he does not know where he came from or where he is going. He treats women with little respect, discarding them when they no longer serve his purpose. When one lover asks him if he loves her, he tells her that during his life he will be friends with many, many women but won’t know whom he truly loves until the end. Continue reading Kar Wai Wong – A Fei jing juen aka Days of being wild (1991)