Called the leading heir to the great directors of post-WWII Europe and lavished with awards, Wong Kar-wai has redefined perceptions of Hong Kong's film industry. Wong's visual brilliance and emphasis on atmosphere over action have set him apart from peers while earning him an admiring international audience. In the Mood for Love regularly appears on lists of the twenty-first century's greatest films while critics and filmgoers recognize works like Chungking Express and Happy Together as modern classics.
Peter Brunette describes the ways in which Wong's supremely haunting visual films create a new form of cinema by telling a story with stunning, suggestive visual images and audio tracks rather than character, dialogue, and plot. As he shows, Wong's early background in genre film offers fascinating insights on his more studied later works. He also delves into Wong's perennial themes of time, love, and loss and examines the political implications of his films, especially concerning the handover of former British colony Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China.