Mid-Semester Blues? Try Some Hong Kong Romance

in_the_mood_for_love originalIf life is getting you down or you just need a break from it all, what better way to recuperate than to indulge in a little classic romance or some shamelessly aesthetic art? You’ve probably never heard of him, but Wong Kar Wai is the man for you. For the last 20 years, Wong has been making film after beautiful film, continually exploring further possibilities for his faithful core of actors and his signature visual style. Wong isinternationally acclaimed in the film community, but don’t let his place in artsy circles discourage you. I watch his films because I love what he does with a movie camera, but also because he tells stories about ordinary people experiencing the extraordinary pulls of unrequited love and haunting memory. It’s not very fashionable these days to pine after your one true love or engage in torrid love affairs that never go farther than a passionate kiss. But Wong makes romance and restraint sexy again. “In the Mood for Love,” one of Wong’s most popular films, tells the story of two people who realize their respective spouses are having an affair, fall in love with each other and then part, never to meet again. Ostensibly, nothing happens, but the delicacy with which Wong handles that nothing is stunning. Other films may be more action-packed, featuring cops and gangsters or gamblers and prostitutes, but throughout his work, Wong displays the same sensitivity to simple, emotionally charged moments and their repercussions over a lifetime. There are no happy endings, but I always walk away with a satisfied feeling that people really do matter to each other, even if it never works out quite right. So if you need a little romantic rest and relaxation, settle down with a Wong Kar Wai film and enjoy some beautiful storytelling.