In the Mood for Love (2000) + lecture: Near distance in the films of Wong Kar Wai (English)

Hoezo in Kino

“In the old days, if someone had a secret they didn’t want to share, they went up to a mountain, found a tree, carved a hole in it and whispered the secret in the hole. Then they covered it with mud.” It’s well known that Wong Kar Wai works without a clear screenplay. During IFFR 2001 actors Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung said they only received a couple pieces of paper with few instructions on the first day of shooting. The shoot eventually took 15 months. The result is an unconventional romance that oozes impeccable style and elegance; from the 60’s style interiors and fashion, the use of color in the cinematography, to the gorgeously filmed scenes in which the characters seem to dance around each other with Yumeji’s Theme on repeat (side note: this track is actually taken from Seijun Suzuki’s 1991 film Yumeji). Widely regarded as Wong Kar Wai’s magnum opus, so we’re very lucky it will be screened on the big screen once again, not to be missed.

Regie: Wong Kar Wai

Cast: Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tony Leung Chiu Wai


Drama, Romantiek

Land: Hong Kong

Speelduur: 165 minuten

Taal: Kantonees

Ondertiteling: English


Mr Chow (Tony Leung) and Mrs Chang (Maggie Cheung) cross paths  in Wong Kar Wai’s matchless portrait of a quiet but passionate sensuality. The cinematography, the acting and the music make us experience profound and unspeakable feelings. The invisible dance is danced by Mr Chow (Tony Leung) and Mrs Chan (Maggie Cheung), who happen to be neighbours in an apartment building in Hong Kong in 1962. When they find out their respective spouses have lovers, the two find comfort in each other’s arms. Passions run high but are kept in check.

Prior to the film, journalist Kevin Toma will give the lecture So Close Together But So Distant and will deep dive into the main aspects of Wong’s tactile body of work addressing everything from his camera work to his utilisation of (pop) music using tantalizing film clips and archive material. The cinema of Wong Kar Wai is a sensory experience that seems to reach beyond sight and sound; from his dreamlike breakthrough Days of Being Wild (1990), the almost fairytale-like mosaic Chungking Express (1994) through to his melancholia drenched romantic epic In the Mood for Love (2000). His work is as influential as it is singular as he combines subtle acting performances with a striking visual style of vivid colours, dark shadows and billowing cigarette smoke with striking close-ups in slow-motion to convey a universal sense of longing and the inevitability of time’s passing.

Kevin Toma (1974) is a cinematic scholar and film journalist publishing in De Volkskrant among others. In addition Toma provides an array of cinema related lectures and courses, is a DJ and composes original music for silent films.