A small-time gangster dreams of love but is bound by brotherhood in Wong Kar Wai’s electrifying debut starring Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Maggie Cheung.
Wah (Andy Lau) works the gritty streets of Kowloon, enforcing for a local mobster with his wayward offsider Fly (Jacky Cheung). Hardened by his nocturnal lifestyle, Wah’s world is upended with the arrival of his cousin Ngor (Maggie Cheung). As their relationship grows, he’s torn between navigating these opposing futures, but when Fly double-crosses a rival gang, the codes of brotherhood prevail, and he must act. With its themes of self-sacrifice and loyalty, frenetic action sequences and expert use of pop music, As Tears Go By
has often drawn comparisons to Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets
. In a 1994 interview, Wong Kar Wai said, “When I saw Mean Streets
for the first time, it was a shock to me because I had the impression that story could have happened in Hong Kong.” Drawing on his own observations of the city’s underbelly for the plot and working within the genre conventions for which the Hong Kong industry was famous, Wong infused his gangster film with a unique approach to character-based storytelling and signature ‘pop’ aesthetics. Winner of numerous Hong Kong Film Awards, the film was a commercial success and confirmed Wong’s path from scriptwriter to director.This 4K digital restoration was undertaken from the 35mm original camera negative by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with L’Immagine Ritrovata and One Cool.