Happy Together (1997) dir. Wong Kar-wai
One of the most searing romances of the 1990s, Wong Kar Wai’s emotionally raw, lushly stylized portrait of a relationship in breakdown casts Hong Kong superstars Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing as a couple traveling through Argentina and locked in a turbulent cycle of infatuation and destructive jealousy as they break up, make up, and fall apart again and again. Setting out to depict the dynamics of a queer relationship with empathy and complexity on the cusp of the 1997 handover of Hong Kong—when the country’s LGBTQ community suddenly faced an uncertain future—Wong crafts a feverish look at the life cycle of a love affair that is by turns devastating and deliriously romantic. Shot by ace cinematographer Christopher Doyle in both luminous monochrome and luscious saturated colour, Happy Together is an intoxicating exploration of displacement and desire that swoons with the ache and exhilaration of love at its heart-tearing extremes.
The film was regarded as one of the best LGBT films in the New Queer Cinema movement and received positive reviews and screened at several film festivals such as the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival; it was nominated for the Palme d’Or and won Best Director at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.
Venue: Harrie Massey LT