On His Birthday, Admire the Love & Longing of Wong Kar-wai with 20 of His Best Scenes

Watching a Wong Kar-wai film can be an overwhelming experience. Of course there’s the technical mastery and his beautiful storytelling, but there’s also an atmosphere he creates—a tone and texture that weighs heavy on his films and hits directly in the heart. Between the brilliant actors like Tony Leung, Faye Wong, and Maggie Cheung that populate his films, the incomparable skill for soundtracking his films, and the signature and striking cinematography throughout his oeuvre, there’s so much to love and so much emotion to be experienced with each of his films. Whether it’s his early features like Happy Together and Fallen Angels, or his classic duo In the Mood for Love and 2046, the existential romantic yearnings, desires, and the thwarted passion evoked from his work occupy the same internal space, residing in the warmest corners of your heart, filling you with an inevitable sense of sorrow but also an ineffable joy and pleasure in the arduous nature of excruciating love.

As today marks the director’s 57th birthday, let’s take a look back on some of his most cinematically brilliant, emotional, brutal, and stunning moments.

California Dreamin’, Chungking Express

I Don’t Care If You Love Me or Not, I’ll Love You Anyways, 2046 

Do You Have a Mistress?, In the Mood for Love

Dreams, Chungking Express

Expired Love, Chungking Express

Bar Scene, Fallen Angels 

I’ll Be Your Tree, 2046

Wherever You Want to Go, Chungking Express

Part 1, Fallen Angels

Mambo Dance, Days of Being Wild

Languid Passing, In the Mood for Love 

Dancing Scene, Happy Together 

Final Scene, Days of Being Wild

The End, In the Mood for Love

Take my Breath Away, As Tears Go By

In the Mood for Love Deleted Scene

Part 1, Happy Together

In the Mood for Love‘s Final Sequence

Soon We’ll Know, Happy Together 

We Shouldn’t Have Panicked, In the Mood for Love

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