In the Mood for Love

Feelings can creep up just like that. I thought I was in control.

Well, after promptly rejecting my suggestion to watch 2001, I decided to re-watch In the Mood for Love with my mother as I relentlessly try to expose her to essential works of cinema that she has yet to see.

This revisitation has left me even more gobsmacked than the last viewing. One of the things that stood out this go around was the use of matching costume and background fabric. In a scene near the end of the film, Su's pearl floral dress seems to seep into the matching curtain behind her. This technique is used earlier with her gorgeous ruby-red dress as well. She is utterly at the mercy of the persistent gossip coursing through the apartment building's walls. Under the suffocating spotlight of societal examination and the crushing weight that her partner's infidelity has cast upon her, Su is seemingly dissolving into inexistence.

Again, it struck me how WKW uses frames within the camera frame to examine the stifling pressure that society places on these two wounded people. Though, by the end of the picture, they, too, share some blame, we understand their transgression as an act of desperate therapy.

An utterly brilliant work of cinema; it's rare that a film rises in my estimation so soon after my first viewing. But, here I am, yet more impressed with the technical and artistic ingenuity of WKW. I now give In the Mood for Love a 4.5/5.

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