As Tears Go By

Directed by Wong Kar Wai
1988
Hong Kong
102 minutes
R18+
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.
A moody and stylish genre picture... it shows a master in the making.
V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Tickets

Sat 16 January
10:30am
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Past Event Cancel
Tue 19 January
6:30pm
Dendy Newtown
Book Tickets Cancel
Program Strand
Love & Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai
Year
1988
Classification
R18+
Country
Hong Kong
Language
Cantonese with English subtitles
Director
Wong Kar Wai
Producer
Alan Tang, Rover Tang
Cast
Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung
Screenwriter
Wong Kar Wai, Jeffrey Lau
Cinematographer
Andrew Lau Wai-keung
Editor
Pi Tak Cheong
Genre
Retrospective
Company Credits
Media Asia
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