An Autumn’s Tale

Cantonese, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Mabel Cheung
Starring: Chow Yun-fat, Cherie Chung, Danny Chan
Distributor: Fortune Star Media
Guest: Mabel Cheung


An Autumn’s Tale brings together three crucial elements of Hong Kong cinema. First of all, it is perhaps the most famous work of iconic author Mabel Cheung. In the film, the acclaimed filmmaker brilliantly combines the elements of a nuanced relationship drama and playful comedy genre with important social undertones. Jennifer who is visiting her boyfriend in New York City meets up with her cousin Pang. Pang becomes her guide in an unfamiliar country. In a loose narrative composed of everyday episodes Cheung lets develop their relationship, draws a critical parallel between Hong Kong and New York City and, finally, composes a love letter to a life in a free country.

An increasing number of Hong Kongers continued to settle in the United States roughly from the mid-1960s. Due to this, traffic became a major problem, but most of all, immigrants struggled with assimilation in a foreign country. This theme of An Autumn’s tale is similarly featured in Mabel Cheung’s previous film, The Illegal Immigrant (1985), and, in a way, recurs in the next, Eight Taels of Gold (1989). These films are nicknamed the “migration trilogy” and represent the second, absolutely essential genre of Hong Kong films in late 80s and early 90s.

Thirdly, in addition to Mabel Cheung’s top-notch directing or the nuanced screenplay of Alex Law, we witness all actors at the peak of their careers. The role of Vincent was one of the last performances of multi-talented Danny Chan. His strong charisma creates the perfect counterpart for the wild character of Pang – played by legendary Chow Yun-fat, a mischievous, likable and always professional actor at the top of his game. But the most prominent protagonist of An Autumn’s Tale is brilliant Cherie Chung, one of the top actresses in Hong Kong film industry during the 1980s.

In the Mood for Love

Cantonese, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Wong Kar-wai
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung
Distributor: Block 2 Distribution


Wong Kar-wai‘s In the Mood for Love is a stylistically outstanding masterpiece – an amalgam of images, music, speed and slowness, gestures, costume designs, colours, space, platonic love and sadness, all under the veil of nostalgia. And it is not just for nostalgia that the effect of this film has only increased over time. The chance to watch a restored copy more than 20 years after the premiere is simply a “must see”.

In cooperation with three cinematographers, Wong created an epitome of romantic melodrama about a couple drawn to each other by unfortunate circumstances – their spouses are having an affair. Hong Kong stars Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung play Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow whose lives become entangled when they move to adjacent apartments on the same day (and perhaps sooner). As they later realize their partners’ infidelity, they do not want to act the same. We can see their loneliness, recurring situations, gestures, and musical themes and the mystery of their true, yet unfulfilled, love. Their love must be kept a secret from the world, even more than their spouses’ affair.

The plot takes place in 1960s Hong Kong in extremely stylized film sets and narrow streets that facilitate the concept of closeness and distance – not only between the two main protagonists. Wong clearly alludes to the political landscape in Hong Kong. The city’s transitional status means it is destined to change irreversibly. In 2046 (In the Mood for Love is followed four years later by a sequel entitled 2046), fifty years from the British handover of the island to China, everything may change fundamentally. Given the situation in Hong Kong in recent years, the melancholic song about love and finality sounds all the more powerful.