Happy Together

Part of Wong Kar-wai
Sunday, July 14, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

Dir. Wong Kar-wai. 1997, 96 mins. 35mm. With Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. Recalling the magical realism that Wong admired in the Latin American literature of Manuel Puig and Julio Cortazar, Happy Together begins as a road movie—following two male lovers as they journey from Hong Kong to Argentina on a quest to see the great Iguazu Falls and achieve some stability in their volatile relationship—and gradually transforms into a piercing, revelatory rumination on loneliness, self-destruction, and amour fou. Emboldened by Chris Doyle’s lush cinematography and featuring remarkable performances from its two stars, Happy Together was one of Wong’s most internationally acclaimed films, garnering him Best Director prize at Cannes in 1997. “From afar (Buenos Aires is Hong Kong's antipodes), [Wong] crystallizes the anxieties and hopes of Hong Kong people on the eve of the return to China," wrote Tony Rayns.

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Trailer for Happy Together
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Review by San Francisco Chronicle, November 14, 1997