Friday, July 19, 2024

Catch this tribute to a master of Asian cinema

Lovers of fine films will be delighted to immerse themselves in the celluloid world of Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai courtesy of a retrospective at IFC Center.

The World of Wong Kar Wai starts on Aug. 26 and showcases the best of the brightest star of Hong Kong cinema. Known particularly for his ode to classic bittersweet cinema love stories with In the Mood For Love, and the new wave-ish Chungking Express, Wong Kar Wai is also known and admired for his epic landmark 1997 gay film Happy Together.

Happy Together (1997)

This emotionally raw, lushly stylized portrait of a male-male relationship unraveling casts Hong Kong superstars Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung as a couple traveling through Argentina and locked in a turbulent cycle of infatuation and destructive jealousy as they break up, make up, and fall apart again and again. Groundbreaking for its portrayal of a queer relationship that wasn’t pathologized or sexualized, it carried the weighty subtext of the 1997 handover of Hong Kong back to China, which placed LGBTQ in uncertainty. Wong’s cinematic vision is enabled by master cinematographer Christopher Doyle who shoots in both luminous monochrome and luscious saturated color.

One way of immersing yourself in the body of work of this contemporary auteur is to attend the IFC Center’s complete theatrical retrospective of Wong Kar Wai, including six new 4K restorations, a new director’s cut of The Hand, and archival 35mm prints, covering his entire career as a director. From his dreamy period pieces (In the Mood for LoveDays of Being Wild) to his forays into the martial arts (Ashes of TimeThe Grandmaster) and sci-fi (2046) genres, Wong’s lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism have enraptured and inspired audiences around the world. 

Different ticket packages are available here. Read more about the restorations from Wong Kar Wai himself, here.

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