Wong Kar-wai at Cinema Akil: Eight films will be showing, including In the Mood for Love

The theatre in Alserkal Avenue will put on some of the director's most well-known works over a two-week period

Brigitte Lin and Takeshi Kaneshiro in Chungking Express. Photo: Jet Tone Production
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Cinema Akil is hosting a special retrospective of Chinese director Wong Kar-wai’s films.

The event, called The Rhythm of Dreams, is in collaboration with The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Dubai, and start on Friday and run until May 28. It will showcase eight of his top films, including In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express and 2046.

Wong is known for his art-house style of directing, with colour-saturated visuals, and has been cited as an inspiration to other directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Sofia Coppola and Barry Jenkins.

Here's a look at the films that will be showing.

As Tears Go By (1988)

Showings: May 16 at 7pm, May 24 at 9.45pm

The film is Wong’s directorial debut and was inspired by Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets. It stars Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung (who would go on to become a long-time collaborator with Wong) and Jacky Cheung.

The crime thriller follows a man who wants to leave the Triad because of a burgeoning romance with his ailing cousin, but circumstances and issues caused by his younger brother keep pulling him back.

Days of Being Wild (1990)

Showings: May 17 at 9.15pm, May 28 at 7pm

The film stars some of Hong Kong’s most well-known actors and actresses, with a cast that includes Andy Lau, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau, Tony Leung and Jacky Cheung. It is also the first in an informal trilogy with In the Mood for Love and 2046.

Set in 1960s Hong Kong, the film follows the lives of several characters who intersect while on a quest for an intimate connection. It centres around a man named Yuddy who learns that the woman who raised him is not his real mother. The revelation shakes Yuddy to his core, and he lets two women compete for him, unable or unwilling to make choice.

Chungking Express (1994)

Showings: May 20 at 7pm, May 23 at 7pm

The film stars Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Brigitte Lin and Faye Wong. It was on Tllllime's All-Time 100 best movies list in 2005 and ranked 56th on the BBC's 2018 list of the 100 greatest foreign language films.

The romantic crime comedy-drama is set in Hong Kong and tells two stories in sequence. It follows two heart-broken police officers, both jilted by ex-lovers, who cross paths at the Midnight Express takeout restaurant where they meet quirky waitress Faye.

Fallen Angels (1995)

Showings: May 14 at 7pm, May 19 at 7pm, May 26 at 7pm

The neo-noir crime drama film takes place in 1995 when Hong Kong is still under British rule. It features two intertwined storylines. One follows a hitman wanting to leave the criminal underworld and another focuses on a mute ex-convict on the run from the police, and a mentally unstable woman who gets dumped by her boyfriend. The film explores the themes of loneliness and yearning for connections in a busy city.

In the Mood for Love (2000)

Showings: May 13 at 7pm, May 17 at 7pm, May 27 at 7pm

The film was named as the second greatest film of the 21st century in a BBC survey in 2016 and placed fifth in Sight & Sound's Greatest Films of All Time poll last year.

Starring Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, the film takes place in 1960s Hong Kong. In the Mood for Love tells the story of two neighbours who live in a cramped apartment building and gradually realise their respective spouses are having an affair with one another. They soon begin to fall for each other but do not want to stoop to the same levels as their unfaithful partners.

2046 (2005)

Showings: May 13 at 9.15pm, May 21 at 7pm, May 24 at 7pm

Tony Leung returns in a starring role as he plays a womanising sci-fi writer working on a novel called 2046 -which is also the room number from In The Mood for Love — that takes place on a train in a futuristic landscape that takes passengers to a place where they can recapture their memories but never return from.

Although he has lost the woman he considers his one true love, he goes through new relationships with a series of intriguing women at the Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, who offer him inspiration for his writing.

Ashes of Time Redux (2008)

Showings: May 20 at 9.15pm, May 24 at 7pm, May 25 at 7pm

The film was originally released in 1994 but Wong re-edited and rescored the film in 2008 for future showings with “Redux” added to the title. It is based on Jin Yong’s book, The Legend of the Condor Heroes.

In ancient China, swordsman Ouyang Feng lives in the western desert after the woman he loves rejects him. He oversees skilled swordsmen carrying out contract killings. But as friends and enemies come and go, he reflects on his loneliness.

The Grandmaster (2013)

Showings: May 18 at 7pm, May 26 at 9.15pm

The film stars Tony Leung and Zang Ziyi and was nominated for Best Cinematography and Costume Design at the 86th Academy Awards.

The martial arts drama is set in 1930s China and is based on the life story of Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, who is responsible for introducing the martial art to the rest of the world. During a competition, he wins the affection of Gong Er, a Baguazhang martial arts grandmaster from northern China. However, occupation by Japanese troops separates them and they only meet again after the war ends.

More information at www.cinemaakil.com

Updated: May 11, 2023, 7:12 AM