Set in Hong Kong, Singapore and Cambodia in the 1960s, Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love (2000) is a film that luxuriates in the feeling of being in love - without ever turning into a love story. Its central characters, Mr Chow and Mrs Chan, are tenants in next-door apartments in Hong Kong who discover that their respective spouses are having an affair. Both of them have promiscuous colleagues at work, but they struggle to make sense of their partners' behaviour - and to control their growing feelings for each other. Hailed by the press as 'the consummate unconsummated love story of the new millennium', this film about desire repressed has become a firmly established classic of the twenty-first century.
In his sharp and revealing analysis of In the Mood for Love, Tony Rayns draws on his considerable expertise in East Asian cinema and on his proximity to Wong Kar Wai and his colleagues at Jet Tone during the film's long and complicated genesis. He delivers a personal and highly original commentary on the film and its production, complete with privileged insights into Wong's idiosyncratic working methods and influences. The book also places the film in the context of Wong's other work, with sidelights on its place in Hong Kong cinema as a whole.
This special edition features original cover artwork by Jimmy Turrell.
Tony Rayns is a London-based filmmaker, critic and festival programmer with a special interest in the film cultures of East Asia. His writings appear in Sight & Sound, Film Comment, Artforum, Cine 21 and other periodicals. His previous publications include books on Fassbinder and Chinese, Korean and Japanese cinema, and he has contributed lengthy essays to studies of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Garin Nugroho, Edward Yang and Jia Zhangke. He has recorded commentaries on films for Criterion, Masters of Cinema and other DVD/blu-ray labels. His own films include the documentaries New Chinese Cinema, The Jang Sunwoo Variations and Jang Sunwoo in November.