Skip to main content


Hong Kong, 1997 (MIFF 1997, Regional)

Director: Wong Kar-wai

Hong Kong maverick Wong Kar-wai mixes up a heady brew of race, culture and sexuality in Happy Together, his latest film dealing with a gay Chinese couple residing in Buenos Aires. The director's star has certainly risen both at home and abroad and this simply told but hip, colourful and superbly lensed pic is a memo­rable production powered by strong emotions and a vacillating romance.

A more mature work than the fragmented Chungking Express, Happy Together employs the director's loose plotting and the narrative is pared down to concenttate on the central char­acters, the lovers Ho and Lai. The on-again. off-again relationship the pair 'enjoy' is at the core of Happy Together, their interaction evoking abstract feelings and impelling an audience to reflect on their own similar involvements.

Quite metaphysical at junctures, Wong Kar-wai's film illustrates, in a fractured way, that Buenos Aires is a topsy-turvy version of Hong Kong, where social norms, emotions and rela­tionships are inverted and none of the familiar safety nets of home exist. The switch from monochrome to colour that occurs a third of the way through can be viewed as one of the direc­tor's contrary signature strokes and a visual metaphor that could be extrapolated to encom­pass the entire film.

See also...


Garnering high praise and multiple festival awards upon its release in 1997, Happy Together (MIFF 1997) instantly became a cult classic for filmmaker Wong Kar-wai. ... After his melancholic epic ... More »


Naomi Kawase's first feature film confirms the talent shown by her poignantly poetic prize-winning shorts. In a magnificent cedar-forested mountain setting, exquisitely filmed by veteran cameraman ... More »


There's every likihood that this shot-on-a-shoestring first feature will be seen as a trans-Tasman version of Love and Other Catastropes. Precursors can probably be found at least one generation ... More »


A moving and thought provoking second film by Meepok Man director Eric Khoo, 12 Storeys is a look at a day in the life of three households in a Housing and Development Board estate of cramped ... More »


In this intensely personal documentary, film­maker Nick Deocampo traces the tumultuous public history of the Philippines through its dev­astating effect on the private history of his own life ... More »


Alternating between humour and irony, Takeshi Kitano's hard edged look at disaffect­ed youth follows the life of two high school fail­ures, Shinji and Masaru, and their fate in the unyielding ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director