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Home / Wong Kar Wai: An American Cinematheque Retrospective
The American Cinematheque is proud to present this retrospective to one of the most influential filmmakers in contemporary cinema, featuring stunning new restorations by Janus Films.
Filled with passion, heartbreak, obsession, dreams, and the memories left in their wake, the films of Wong Kar Wai have been celebrated all over the world for their unique style. Joined by key collaborators such as cinematographer Christopher Doyle, editor and production and costume designer William Chang, and actors Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, Wong Kar Wai (or WKW, as he is often known) has enraptured audiences and critics worldwide and inspired countless other filmmakers with his movies’ poetic moods, lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism. Whether tragically romantic, soaked in blood, or quirkily comedic, the films in this retrospective are an invitation into the unique and wistful world of a visionary artist.
Beginning as a screenwriter for soap operas for Hong Kong’s TVB television network, Wong soon progressed to writing feature film screenplays, until making his directorial debut in 1988, with the critically and commercially successful AS TEARS GO BY. A mob drama in the vein of MEAN STREETS, the film was a thrilling taste of what was to come, as well as the first of many collaborations with star, Maggie Cheung.
Two years later, Wong directed DAYS OF BEING WILD (1990), a romantic and dreamlike drift through the Hong Kong of the 1960s following a band of wayward twentysomethings. The film came to be known as the first of an unofficial 1960s “Love Trilogy,” which includes the achingly beautiful IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000)—widely considered his masterpiece—and its loose sequel, the avant-garde sci-fi 2046 (2004).
Wong’s iconic style is perhaps best represented in his utterly unexpected charmer, CHUNGKING EXPRESS (1994), which follows two heartsick Hong Kong cops who cross paths with an ethereal pixie waitress at a take-out restaurant stand. Originally conceived as a segment of CHUNGKING EXPRESS, Wong’s follow up FALLEN ANGELS (1995) follows a handful of urban loners in a slapstick-turned-noir portrait of the city. For his next film, HAPPY TOGETHER (1997), Wong won best director at the Cannes Film Festival for the film’s emotionally raw portrait of a relationship in breakdown, starring Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung.
Join us at the Los Feliz 3 and Aero Theatre throughout September for this tribute to the world-renowned auteur!
$8.00 (member) ; $13.00 (general admission)
Los Feliz 3 | New Restoration!
Los Feliz 3 | In 35mm
Aero Theatre | New Restoration!
Aero Theatre | Double Feature