In the Mood for Love

The International District’s Hing Hay Park has gotten in on the outdoor-movie action this year with a series of Asian-related films including Wong Kar-wai’s 2001 romance, In the Mood for Love. Co-stars Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung had appeared in prior films by the director—who employs in each one cinematic tricks like slow motion, repetitive use of iconic songs, and improvisation—but this is arguably his most memorable work. Their characters are neighbors in a crowded Hong Kong apartment in the ’60s, chronically lonely while their spouses are out of town and up to no good. Newspaperman Mr. Chow (Leung) smokes cigarettes and fetches noodles from the corner stand, secretary Mrs. Chan (Cheung) sashays back from the stand in one of many dazzling period cheongsams. An ambiguous attachment forms, and plays out in gloriously shot (by cinematographer Chris Doyle) scenes of hesitation and (we think) emotional succor. What could be more heartbreaking than realizing you’re being cheated on? How about having your lover direct you to put more spices on your meal, because that’s how their spouse prefers it. Secretary has nothing on this kind of masochism. If you don’t enjoy misting up in public, beware. (Monsoon Wedding and the animated SteamBoy follow on subsequent Saturdays).

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