Archive for the ‘Hong Kong’ Category

In The Mood For Love is a very atmospheric romantic drama about two neighbors who seek each others’ company once they realize that their partners are having an affair. That’s basically it. The story isn’t all that important, it’s the setting, the colors, the costume design, the acting and the musical score  that create a certain uniqueness. Tony Leung is great – as always. He even won the best actor prize at the Cannes film festival for his part. But Maggie Cheung is even more impressive. She is the personification of grace and beauty. She wears a different dress in every scene and you don’t have to be a fashionista to look forward to the next scene and see what’s she’s wearing now. The directing by Kar Wai Wong is weird – as usual. But it works. The camera focuses on a few locations only and the clever thing is that you never see the adulterous partners. In fact, it’s a bit set up as a thriller. You can interpret the movie however you want. Most will see the relationship between Leung’s and Cheung’s characters as pure platonic. There is only one hint of physical interaction when their hands touch gently. But it’s really not 100% clear that they don’t have a sexual affair as well. You just don’t see it. The ending is a bit abrupt and jumps from Hong Kong to Cambodia for no particular reason. But it’s a great movie about (unrequited) love…


Hello, I’m Kar Wai Wong and I want to show the whole world what I can do with my camera and my editing tools. I can film scenes that are very atmospheric both in black and white and in bright colors. I can even film scenes with the sun shining into the camera, because it gives that extra artistic effect. I can fast forward and slow down scenes in order to set a mood that a lot of cinema festival lovers will rave about. Those who don’t just don’t understand my artistic expression. I still have to work on my story telling, but when you tell the tale of two asian men immigrating to Buenos Aires to fall in and out of love with each other, the script doesn’t matter all that much. It doesn’t matter if the romance doesn’t make sense at all and if the characters are too fucked up to be interesting. It’s exotic and controversial and that’s what festival lovers and world cinema lovers like. It’s not my masterpiece yet, but it shows my talents and creativity. Too bad everyone will just remember the acting performance of Tony Leung and nothing else. But hey, who cares. I have more in store.

A welcome surprise on my Singapore Airlines flight, this action drama from Hong Kong tells the story of a former boxing champion who trains a young man to fight in a MMA championship. There is a lot going on in this excellent piece of entertainment. You have the fights of course, which are fascinating for all and a major draw for the lovers of martial arts movies. But there is much more. The social drama element will – or should – attract a total other crowd of moviegoers. There is former boxer who has debts and takes up a job in a gym unworthy of his status. There’s a young man who wants to show his father that he can achieve something after all. And there’s an interesting subplot about a young girl who’s mother is mentally fragile (after the death of her second child) and who finds comfort in the presence of the former boxer who is renting a room in their household.

The scenes between the boxer and the girl are endearing and funny at times. The scenes between the boxer and his MMA pupil as well. This only works because of the great chemistry of the actors. Especially Nick Leung is excellent. His charisma should work everywhere in the world, not only in China. It’s amazing that this movie didn’t get a European release.