A star vehicle, not only because its leads were two of the hottest stars in Hong Kong cinema (Tony Leung and the late Leslie Cheung) and a Taiwanese pop star (Chang Chen, who played the 14-year-old hero of Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day), but also because writer-director Wong Kar-wai is something of a star himself. In fact his aggressive mannerist style—the use of different characters as narrators, the variable speed of Chris Doyle's frenetic cinematography, the shifts between color and black and white—forms the core of this 1997 story of doomed love between two men in Buenos Aires, one of whom befriends a straight Taiwanese youth in the same city. Structurally and dramatically this is all over the place, but stylistically it's gripping, and thematically it suggests an oblique response to the end of Hong Kong's colonial rule. Incidentally, a friend of mine from Buenos Aires tells me that this film captures that city better than any other. In Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish with subtitles.
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