Next year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most acclaimed films of all time, a film that appears on virtually every “best film” list compiled: Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love. Last week, Kar-Wai revealed that after a six year break, he’s finally working on a new project – Blossoms based on Jin Yucheng’s novel by the same name will go into production either late this year or next year and Kar-Wai confirmed that it will be connected in some way to In The Mood For Love and 2046, which were previously thought to be the second and third installments in a trilogy that began with Days of Being Wild. Cinephiles are a bit confused by that but I think the point Kar-Wai was trying to make is that he’s returning to Shanghai – which is where he’s from, before he moved to Hong Kong. Blossoms will take place between the 1960s and the 1990s, so he’s revisiting Shanghai during the time of his absence. Which means he will insist on the actors being able to speak the Shanghai dialect.
And that’s interesting because if Blossoms is to be part of the trilogy then will Tony Leung Chiu-Wai be part of it too? If Wong Kar-Wai has a muse, it’s Tony. But, interestingly enough, Tony left Jet Tone, Kar-Wai’s production company, last year. And I’m not sure his Shanghainese is all that great. Maggie Cheung, meanwhile, who co-starred in In The Mood For Love with Tony, hasn’t acted in nearly a decade – apparently she’s focusing on her music career. (If I was into emojis, I’d use the “grimacing face” one here.)
Maybe Blossoms will be completed in time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of In The Mood For Love. I am desperate for an event or events to mark the milestone, a reunion, perhaps. Maybe at Cannes where the film premiered and was nominated for the Palme d’Or, and where Tony became the first actor from Hong Kong to win Best Actor. I wish someone would mount an exhibit of the costumes from the film. If the Oscars were as reluctantly progressive then as they were today, In The Mood For Love would have been nominated for several awards including foreign language film, cinematography (few films are as lush and gorgeous as this one), and costume design. You know how, in the costume design category, it’s always English period pieces? I’d put any one of Maggie Cheung’s qipaos up against those English corsets, both for how beautifully they were made and what it did for the character. These were clothes meant to contain a woman – from the high collar, to the restricted bodice, to the tightness around the hips, down the thighs, and below the knee, making it so that even her steps were restrained – who was yearning for so much more, who had to be satisfied with so little. I mean if that’s not the whole point of achievement in costume design…
Anyway, there’s my annual appeal to you to see In The Mood For Love. And my appeal to someone from TIFF, if they’re reading, to think about bringing back Maggie and Tony and Kar-Wai to Toronto for the 20th in 2020.
Yours in gossip,