Sydney Film Festival

Still from The Grandmaster - Zhang Ziyi and crowd of women


Sydney Film Festival and ACMI, Australia’s national museum of screen culture, announce a program of 11 essential films by acclaimed Hong Kong director, Wong Kar Wai. Audiences can see the films in Sydney at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) (16-31 January 2021), Dendy Cinemas Newtown (19 January-18 February 2021), and in Melbourne at ACMI Cinemas (11 – 27 February 2021). The program will also tour select Australian cities across Summer and Autumn 2021.
Entitled Love & Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai, the initiative is presented by Sydney Film Festival and ACMI in association with the National Film & Sound Archive, QAGOMA and Mercury Cinema. The collaboration marks the fifth large-scale retrospective season ACMI and Sydney Film Festival have co-presented since 2016, allowing audiences in Melbourne and Sydney to deep dive into the works of cinema greats from around the world.
Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said, “Wong Kar Wai is widely recognised as one of Hong Kong’s and world’s greatest filmmakers and while delighting audiences around the world, has also had a profound stylistic influence on so many young directors.

“This retrospective will showcase the full scope of Wong Kar Wai’s talent and thirty-year career and audiences can experience his earlier work in the best condition possible with new 4K restorations secured for this program undertaken by the Criterion Collection, L’Immagine Ritrovata, One Cool, and Jet Tone. It will be a wonderful way in which to rediscover these magnificent films, and we hope many will take the opportunity to see these films for the first time on the big screen,” he said.
Love & Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai marks the first film season at the all-new ACMI, which will reopen in early 2021.
ACMI Director of Film Programs, Kristy Matheson said, “We’re thrilled to welcome audiences back to ACMI Cinemas, and what better way to celebrate than with a retrospective of one of the great directors from our region.

“For over three decades Wong Kar Wai’s been crafting a cinematic universe that’s instantly recognisable. The way he moves a camera, inserts a musical cue, slows down the frame, just enough to break our heart – these are films which elevate storytelling to big screen experience.

“With many films in this season recently restored, it’s a fantastic opportunity to experience these iconic works and fall in love all over again with the world of Wong Kar Wai.”

4K restorations include Wong’s stylish and moody debut As Tears Go By; the dizzying Chungking Express, filmed in a guerrilla filmmaking style and inspired by Haruki Murakami’s short story; Fallen Angels, showcasing the romance and lust of Hong Kong at night; and Happy Together, the achingly beautiful tale of a love affair in exile.

Other restorations are from Wong’s 1960s trilogy – Days of Being Wild, a hypnotic tale of youthful rebellion; the neon fever dream, In The Mood For Love, which won Tony Leung Chiu-wai Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000; and the trilogy’s emotionally-charged conclusion, 2046.

More recent films to screen are Wong’s first English-language film, My Blueberry Nights, a soulful road trip movie starring singer Norah Jones and Hollywood stars Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Rachel Weisz; and the Director’s Cut of The Hand, a tale of obsession, repression, and class divisions.

Grand historical films feature a lone swordsman’s sprawling tale of love, revenge and honour in Ashes of Time: Redux; and The Grandmaster, chronicling the life of Wing Chun master and Bruce Lee’s legendary teacher, Ip Man.

The 11 films in the program are:

  • As Tears Go By (1988)
  • Days of Being Wild (1990)
  • Chungking Express (1994)
  • Fallen Angels (1995)
  • Happy Together (1997)
  • In The Mood For Love (2000)
  • 2046 (2004)
  • The Hand (Director’s Cut) (2004)
  • My Blueberry Nights (2007)
  • Ashes of Time: Redux (1994/2008)
  • The Grandmaster (2013)

Tickets for both the Sydney and Melbourne seasons of Love & Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai will go on sale today. ACMI and Sydney Film Festival have previously co-presented seasons celebrating the work of acclaimed directors Agnès Varda (France), Akira Kurosawa (Japan), Aki Kaurismäki (Finland) and Ingmar Bergman (Sweden).

Tickets are on sale now for Love & Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai Sydney screenings for $21.00 (Adult) or $18.00 (Concession).
An All-Access Pass to all 11 films in the Retrospective is available for $209.00 (Adult) or $181.50 (Concession).

Tickets online: