Friday, August 29, 2008

In the Mood for Love

Wong Kar-Wai, 2001, China (8.5*)

This is a beautifully filmed and finely crafted romance, set in early 60's Hong Kong. The story is a simple one, as two cordial neighbors discover that their often absent spouses may be seeing each other, so they become friends.

Tony Leung won a Cannes award for Best Actor, Maggie Cheung should have. Ironically, the two would later play lovers and assassins in Zhang Yimou's Hero, in quite different parts. This is a slow moving but visually sumptuous feast, as each shot is saturated with deep, rich colors reminiscent of Vittorio Storaro's work for Bertolucci and Coppola. The Criterion dvd comes with over a half hour of deleted scenes, also well worth watching. Wong later filmed a sequel, 2046, which was the number on a hotel room in this film.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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