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Does anyone NOT LIKE In the Mood for Love?

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Does anyone NOT LIKE In the Mood for Love?

Old 03-05-02, 08:09 AM
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Does anyone NOT LIKE In the Mood for Love?

Man.. it's so paper thin I can't stand it. Worse thing is that it hardly can withstand a second viewing. Happy Together was much better in its handling of a relationship, but most people can't accept it because it's a gay movie. HT was also more realistic, had a better paced story and the acting was definitely way better. So it didn't have Maggie Cheung in those gorgeous Cheong Sams but to me, that was the only thing going for ITM4L.
Old 03-05-02, 09:14 PM
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This film really has me curious. I've yet to hear anything bad about it but I just can't picture myself watching it. I've read several reviews. What am I missing?
Old 03-05-02, 10:02 PM
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Well, I didn't love it

Didn't hate it either, but found it rather slow & pointless. Definitely one of Wong Kar-Wai's lesser works, and I don't understand why it gets so much hype.

I saw it at a festival before I knew what to expect though, so I was hoping for something more like Chungking Express. Just ordered the Criterion disc, so I want to see if I'll appreciate it any more with appropriate expectations.
Old 03-06-02, 03:43 AM
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I'm not sure how a film that comments upon the effect of colonization of Asian culture by Western countries, as well as the changing social mores within those very segments, add up to a "paper thin" film. The film has more sociopolitical allusions than any Oscar- nominated film this year, that's for sure.

Happy Together and In the Mood for Love are two fundamentally very different films. Whereas the relationship portrayed in Happy Together is overtly displayed, In the Mood for Love's relationship is played out *not* primarily by the actors. It is, instead, played by the wafting smoke that pours out of a man's mouth, the lipstick stain left on a cigarette, fork and knives that gently play with the food while conversation is conducted, and red slippers that are purposefully placed. ALL of these items are imbued with symbolic emotions - a noted stylistic homage to Alain Resnais, perhaps?

So if you're looking for eays-to-digest and overtly told story, In the Mood for Love is not for you. But if you like a jigsaw puzzle of an unconsummated affair, it is perfect. This is a film that truly requires you to *pay attention* to every action and item within the scene. And this is exactly why In the Mood for Love is such a departure in style from Wong's other works.
Old 03-06-02, 03:51 AM
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Re: Well, I didn't love it

Originally posted by MrBooth
Didn't hate it either, but found it rather slow & pointless. Definitely one of Wong Kar-Wai's lesser works, and I don't understand why it gets so much hype.
100% agreement!! i thought while watching it "oh my god, it looks like his final retirement-work"...
Old 03-06-02, 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow
I'm not sure how a film that comments upon the effect of colonization of Asian culture by Western countries, as well as the changing social mores within those very segments, add up to a "paper thin" film. The film has more sociopolitical allusions than any Oscar- nominated film this year, that's for sure.

Happy Together and In the Mood for Love are two fundamentally very different films. Whereas the relationship portrayed in Happy Together is overtly displayed, In the Mood for Love's relationship is played out *not* primarily by the actors. It is, instead, played by the wafting smoke that pours out of a man's mouth, the lipstick stain left on a cigarette, fork and knives that gently play with the food while conversation is conducted, and red slippers that are purposefully placed. ALL of these items are imbued with symbolic emotions - a noted stylistic homage to Alain Resnais, perhaps?

So if you're looking for eays-to-digest and overtly told story, In the Mood for Love is not for you. But if you like a jigsaw puzzle of an unconsummated affair, it is perfect. This is a film that truly requires you to *pay attention* to every action and item within the scene. And this is exactly why In the Mood for Love is such a departure in style from Wong's other works.

So what you're saying is that it's dull....
Old 03-06-02, 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow
I'm not sure how a film that comments upon the effect of colonization of Asian culture by Western countries, as well as the changing social mores within those very segments, add up to a "paper thin" film. The film has more sociopolitical allusions than any Oscar- nominated film this year, that's for sure.

Happy Together and In the Mood for Love are two fundamentally very different films. Whereas the relationship portrayed in Happy Together is overtly displayed, In the Mood for Love's relationship is played out *not* primarily by the actors. It is, instead, played by the wafting smoke that pours out of a man's mouth, the lipstick stain left on a cigarette, fork and knives that gently play with the food while conversation is conducted, and red slippers that are purposefully placed. ALL of these items are imbued with symbolic emotions - a noted stylistic homage to Alain Resnais, perhaps?

So if you're looking for eays-to-digest and overtly told story, In the Mood for Love is not for you. But if you like a jigsaw puzzle of an unconsummated affair, it is perfect. This is a film that truly requires you to *pay attention* to every action and item within the scene. And this is exactly why In the Mood for Love is such a departure in style from Wong's other works.
Come on. The story wasn't indigestable. It was s-l-o-w moving, unrealistic, and pandered to people's sense of romantic overkill. Oh.. wouldn't it be so romantic for two people to pine for each other, so full of desire while the world around them was adulterous? The pair becoming the last bastion of moral fibre?
Unfortunately, it became a one note playing monkey, totally losing its way after Tony Leung leaves Hong Kong. In the Mood For Love might be stunningly beautiful, but has an empty core. (Beside there is so little about colonization in the movie, you'd probably learn more from martial arts whackfests Fong Sai Yuk or the Once Upon a Time in China series.)

It left me unmoved, and I guess the reason for the post was finding it at the top of someone's best Foreign Films list. Yi Yi (for example) had so much more heart and substance, but like in any beauty contest, grace and beauty shall win the day.
Old 03-06-02, 07:47 PM
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I'd like to find a movie that everyone can agree to like and not hate. Is it possible?
Old 03-06-02, 10:25 PM
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No.
Old 03-07-02, 06:01 AM
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Originally posted by Krug


Come on. The story wasn't indigestable. It was s-l-o-w moving, unrealistic, and pandered to people's sense of romantic overkill. Oh.. wouldn't it be so romantic for two people to pine for each other, so full of desire while the world around them was adulterous? The pair becoming the last bastion of moral fibre?
The irony, of course, is that they probably weren't any better. If you have followed the visual clues, you'd realize that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether they were truly "faithful" or not. Indeed, many scenes hint at the possbility that they actually consummated. But like the rest of the film, the scene is purposefully not shown.

Unfortunately, it became a one note playing monkey, totally losing its way after Tony Leung leaves Hong Kong. In the Mood For Love might be stunningly beautiful, but has an empty core. (Beside there is so little about colonization in the movie, you'd probably learn more from martial arts whackfests Fong Sai Yuk or the Once Upon a Time in China series.)
Again, you're looking for the overtness once again. OUATIC is so incredibly overt about colonization that it isn't a challenge to realize it. ITMFL, however, the theme is weaved throughout. But like most of the symbolism in the film,
you'll miss it if you expect it to suddenly have huge banners that point to items and things while saying "HERE IS THE BIT ABOUT COLONIZATION".

It left me unmoved, and I guess the reason for the post was finding it at the top of someone's best Foreign Films list. Yi Yi (for example) had so much more heart and substance, but like in any beauty contest, grace and beauty shall win the day.
ITMFL is a cerebral film - moreso than Yi Yi or any of Wong's older films. That you didn't care to figure out what each scene represent seems to indicate thatyou really just glossed over the movie without *truly* watching it. After all, 2001 is merely a film about apes, a mad AI, and some trippy scenes with lots of lights and a man growing old. The only reason why you realize it's not only about those things is because the film is so trippy. Only if you *apply* yourself and try to figure what they mean do you get a satisfactory experience. And the same thing goes for ITMFL, whether you realize it or not. After all, Wong said that his one of his main inspiration for ITMFL is Hitchcok, and that he saw the film as a "mystery suspense".
In short, In the Mood for Love is like a cousin to Picnic at Hanging Rock - another film that has its detractors.
Old 03-07-02, 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow
snip ... Only if you *apply* yourself and try to figure what they mean do you get a satisfactory experience. And the same thing goes for ITMFL, whether you realize it or not. After all, Wong said that his one of his main inspiration for ITMFL is Hitchcok, and that he saw the film as a "mystery suspense".
In short, In the Mood for Love is like a cousin to Picnic at Hanging Rock - another film that has its detractors.
Picnic at Hanging Rock - another movie I really enjoyed.

Let's face it. One man's understated gem of a movie is another person's "what a waste of time." So be it.

After that "apply yourself" comment I'm half-way tempted to start a thread called "Shinji Aoyama's Eureka - No Discoveries worth making here ..." aha! made you smile ....
Old 03-07-02, 06:14 PM
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Yes, everything is subject to interpretation, but I find that fans of ITM4L are trying to find meaning in a movie that has very little of it. Just because WKW says its a "mystery suspense" does not make it a mystery, nor was it very suspenseful. (I think the majority would agree on that!)

Yi Yi took more chances, using a multi-layered plot and addressing a Taiwan, much like its characters, seeking its identity in the face of globalisation. ITM4L was a love story that bordered on hawking its cheongsam clad women as exotica, particularly Maggie Cheung as a demure, loyal wife; practically an asian stereotype.
Spoiler:
(Yes, she might have cheated eventually, but what's presented on screen is pretty much the stereotype of the long suffering wife of many a Chinese TV serial).


Even the squalor of back alley food stalls had never looked more gorgeous. It's is a gorgeous jigsaw with many pieces missing, but while I find the picture nice to look at, hardly intriguing.

BTW, I am exposed to films not in the mainstream, and ITM4L isn't one I would consider mentally challenging or intellectually stimulation. WKW has done far better, and like another poster has said, ITM4L is definitely one of his lesser works.

(I see the whole argument about what is art about to loom its head again.. 'No it's S***!'/'No you f*** it's GENIUS!')
Old 03-07-02, 09:41 PM
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As another forum member pointed out, yes this movie was slow. I dont mind slow movies, but this one put me "in the mood for a nap". Fell asleep, woke up, didnt felt like I missed anything.
Old 03-09-02, 04:23 AM
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I thought it was slow and boring!!!!
Old 03-12-02, 12:46 AM
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Originally posted by princessducky
I thought it was slow and boring!!!!
Simple words, but well, that's what I thought as well... and yes, I'm usually a fan of foreign, independent, slow-moving, hell, whatever you want that's not mainstream Hollywood pictures. This one just didn't do it for me.
Old 03-13-02, 03:04 PM
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Originally posted by princessducky
I thought it was slow and boring!!!!
Me too!! I had a very difficult time trying to stay awake during its run. Very over-rated.
Old 03-14-02, 12:53 AM
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Just wondering why some of you folks found it so boring? Is it because you couldn't identify with the characters or the setting? I don't know about the other versions, but the Criterion version has great picture and sound and kept me riveted. The story didn't click all the way the first time I saw it, but if I fully 'get' a film right away, then subsequent viewing isn't worthwhile.

BTW, I also loved Picnic at Hanging Rock, so maybe I'm just into slow moving stories.

I also found it interesting how the couple were play-acting to re-enact their spouses' affair, but also as a way to take that step themselves. And since Mr.Chow was a writer, this was right in character.
Old 03-14-02, 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by MrN
Just wondering why some of you folks found it so boring? Is it because you couldn't identify with the characters or the setting? I don't know about the other versions, but the Criterion version has great picture and sound and kept me riveted. The story didn't click all the way the first time I saw it, but if I fully 'get' a film right away, then subsequent viewing isn't worthwhile.

BTW, I also loved Picnic at Hanging Rock, so maybe I'm just into slow moving stories.

I also found it interesting how the couple were play-acting to re-enact their spouses' affair, but also as a way to take that step themselves. And since Mr.Chow was a writer, this was right in character.
I can stand slow moving films, but I think WKW, instead of becoming more experimental and daring, has started to go with just what works and would appeal to the film festival crowd. I just viewed Days of Being Wild. It's an even more esoteric setting, but there's more plot, more interesting characters (Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are practically carbon copies of each other in ITM4L) and more character development. It just makes ITM4L hopelessly shallow IMHO.

With each film, WKW seems to have become more of a stylist rather than a storyteller. Give him a few years more and I wonder what's left, but film festival audiences will continue to applaud and shower him with awards.
Old 03-14-02, 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by Krug


I can stand slow moving films, but I think WKW, instead of becoming more experimental and daring, has started to go with just what works and would appeal to the film festival crowd. I just viewed Days of Being Wild. It's an even more esoteric setting, but there's more plot, more interesting characters (Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are practically carbon copies of each other in ITM4L) and more character development. It just makes ITM4L hopelessly shallow IMHO.

With each film, WKW seems to have become more of a stylist rather than a storyteller. Give him a few years more and I wonder what's left, but film festival audiences will continue to applaud and shower him with awards.
There's nothing "esoteric" about Days of Being Wild. While I like Wong's 1991 film, saying that it has much less substance than ITMFL is stretching it. And how you'd know what Tony Leung's character is about in Days of Being Wild is puzzling - he was simply tagged right at the end of the film, with no dialogue or plot.

I've seen every Wong film. First, you compared ITMFL to Happy Together, saying how bad it is compared to the former work. Now you use Days of Being Wild. Sorry, but I disagree. Here's how I rate Wong's films:

As Tears Go By - 4/10
Days of Being Wild - 8/10
Ashes of Time - 10/10
Chungking Express - 10/10
Fallen Angels - 6/10
Happy Together - 9/10
In the Mood for Love - 10/10

If anything, ITMFL is his strongest work since his 1994 productions.

Last edited by Grimfarrow; 03-14-02 at 12:55 PM.
Old 03-14-02, 04:59 PM
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Huh? I never said anything about Tony Leung in Days of Being Wild. Read my comments rather than skimming them. I said him and Maggie were carbon copies of each other in ITM4L, and watching ITM4L turned into this narcisstic love affair between the two. Utterly boring, as others have piped in this thread.

And Grim, people have different opinions. Your comments are I DISAGREE, but you never say how, or why. You say it's his strongest work, but don't state why, then go into this RATE WKW's movie like we're supposed to read your mind and take it as gospel. Maybe you could *gasp* ELABORATE? Want to make a point? Learn to argue mate!
Old 03-14-02, 05:46 PM
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I've written plenty of times on the merits of In the Mood for Love. I just don't care to waste time explaining them again. Plus, there has been countless positive reviews of the film (not to talk about the gaggle of awards it received, and the fact that it's on he Criterion Collection - no mentions of Armageddon, please). If these aren't enough to convince, you, why should I bother, since obviously you won't change your mind anyways? It's the same as my utter hatred of Moulin Rouge - nothing will change my mind about how artistically bankrupt that film is. If there is a film that capsulates "style over substance", it's not ITMFL, it's MR.

I've learned over time that arguing with people who already have made up their minds is not worth my effort. I was simply giving other people (not you) a different viewpoint on Wong's films.
Old 03-14-02, 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by Krug



With each film, WKW seems to have become more of a stylist rather than a storyteller. Give him a few years more and I wonder what's left, but film festival audiences will continue to applaud and shower him with awards.

But, wasn't ITMFL also WKW's biggest box office success? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
Old 03-14-02, 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by MrN

But, wasn't ITMFL also WKW's biggest box office success? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
Possibly... but in foreign BO. Like CTHD, it seemed to have found its appeal more outside Asia. WKW movies are notoriously poorly distributed.

And let's not get started on how BO success measures the worth of a movie...
Old 03-15-02, 01:45 AM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow
(not to talk about the gaggle of awards it received, and the fact that it's on the Criterion Collection - no mentions of Armageddon, please). [/B]


OK...The Rock

Michael Bay = crap
Old 03-15-02, 02:11 AM
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Originally posted by Krug


And let's not get started on how BO success measures the worth of a movie...
Not saying that at all, but when the critical acclaim comes with box office success, it does present a good argument.

I was actually just trying to talk about WKW's future output - will it become more 'artsy' or will ITMFL be considered an aside?

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