A virtual festival of the movies of the great Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai is available at the Austin Film Society’s website, and most of them are 4K restorations.
The selected movies are “Chungking Express,” “In the Mood for Love,” “Fallen Angels,” “As Tears Go By,” “Happy Together,” “Days of Being Wild” and “The Hand.” They are streaming at austinfilm.org.
That’s a lot of time spent on watching films during the 2020 holidays, and most of us won’t be able to watch all of them.
But if you get a chance — and you haven’t seen it already — do not skip the beautiful 2000 film, “In the Mood for Love,” which is widely considered to be one of the top movies of all time.
It focuses on a man and a woman who are neighbors. Both believe that their spouses are having extramarital affairs, and both are attracted to each other. But both wonder whether they should break their vows.
Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung have the starring roles.
The movie, which is set in 1962 Hong Kong, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000 and wowed critics. It has a 90 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes among critics, and a 94 percent fresh rating among general audiences.
“Chungking Express,” from 1994, is a breezy romantic comedy about four people, including Tony Leung of “In the Mood for Love.”
“Fallen Angels,” from 1995, is much darker, focusing on a hitman who is trying to get out of the business of killing folks.
“As Tears Go By,” from 1998, also focuses on a gangster who falls for his beautiful cousin, played by Maggie Cheung, also of “In the Mood for Love.”
“Happy Together,” from 1997, brought Wong the best director award from the Cannes Film Festival. It is regarded as a landmark in New Queer Cinema. It focuses on two gay men from Hong Kong who take a very rocky trip to Buenos Aires. It stars Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung.
“Days of Being Wild,” from 1990, features the director’s regulars — Leslie Cheung and Maggie Cheung — deals wth several lovelorn residents of Hong Kong. John Hartl of the Seattle Times, writes: “It now seems like a promising apprentice work, almost a blueprint for the writer-director’s most acclaimed and famous film, ‘In the Mood for Love.’ “
“The Hand” was Wong’s contribution to the 2004 anthology film, “Eros,” which focuses on love and sex. The other two contributors to “Eros” were Steven Soderbergh and Michelangelo Antonioni.