In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love

This only works for me if I think of it as pop. Pop can be complex, its methods can be complex, but the relationship between its style and your pleasure is not so obscure. You know it's cheap—especially in this movie's case, when we can all see how readily other commercial forms have commodified its style. The gloss of this movie's style may seem high, but its devices are low—it's a music video, it's a catalog. That interested me in this case, because all the actors are here for, really, is to sell the style. The style doesn't tell us who they are; it always refers back to itself. It'd be the inverse of subjectivity—but for the fact of the actors' humanity, which the movie also highlights. It's weird. Maggie Cheung has an astonishing knack for giving this movie everything it needs.

K. Austin liked this review