Talk about In the mood for love(2000)

The film In the mood for love reflected the notion of both Elwes and Pisters. Wong Kar-wai’s In the mood for love is a typical example showing how film successfully avoids superficialness (the word “superficialness” here indicates the cinematic expression in the film but not about the love story itself) and leave adequate space for the spectator to develop their subjective interpretation. In the mood for love is an extremely artistic film movie that has exquisite camera language and visual aesthetic. The unique film aesthetic in this movie can be seen in the cloth of the actor, the shooting technique and the song in the movie. The most noticeable element in this movie is firstly the cheongsams. Cheongsam was originated in the 17th century, has a history of 300 years. As a national dress of Chinese people, the charm of cheongsam lies in its introversion and profoundness. It draws the outline of the female body curve, but meanwhile not being over sexual. Throughout the entire movie, the character Su Lizhen has changed 23 different cheongsams in total. Director Wang Kar-wai uses different patterns and colour tones of each cheongsam to insert Chinese traditional esthetic in the movie and he also uses the change of cheongsam to tell the emotion of Su Lizhen as her life changed but cheongsams are more about clarifying narration. Here are some examples from the movie screenshots.

The dark grey cheongsam which she wears when she’s moving in the apartment presents that she is an independent woman and takes charge of all the moving trivia.

The bright color and the pattern on this cheongsam represent Su Lizhen’s joy when her husband was back from a business trip, indicating that she has dressed up for her husband’s return.

Contrasting to the cheongsam above, the dull gray protrudes her low mood when she knows that her husband is leaving for another business trip.

The bright green color cheongsam that she wears when she goes to return the book to Zhou Muyun indicating she’s in a good mood.

Later the colour tone changes back to greyish white, representing her mood change.

      The other esthetic in this film is the violin music Yumeji’s Theme, a sad tone violin song appears eight times throughout the film, recording eight different important time points. The first and second time when the music played, Su Lizhen was wearing cheongsam walking slowly from the right side of the camera entering the frame and walk out of the frame from the left side. Her graceful figure, the ambiguous moment when she met Zhou Muyun on the narrow stairs, the dim light on the street corner, and the embellishment of slow motion, the whole picture achieves an extremely romantic effect. The third time when the music appears, the color tone of the picture is mainly red, the camera only includes Zhou Muyun and Su Lizhen’s face, the slow motion of the interaction between Zhou Muyun and Su Lizhen Take their affair one step further. When the fourth music played, the director 30s to shoot the smoke slowly spreading out in slow motion, symbolizing the elusive feelings between Zhou Muyun and Su Lizhen. The fifth time when the music came out, the camera moved back and forth between the reflection in mirror and the reality, the use of mirror indicate the ambiguity between Zhou Muyun and Su Lihen, the reflection in mirror is the metaphor of their relationship. The next two slow motion with the music were indicating nearly the same concept which is to protrude the beauty of Su Lizhen and the aesthetic of the movie and indicating the development of their relationship. Throughout these scenes, the director does not give the audience a clear indication of their relationship, however, it is the ambiguity hidden within each scene allows the audience to feel the film aesthetic created by the director and the aesthetic of love relationship as well. Adding on with the open ending, the name of the child standing beside Su Lizhen echoes with the title of Zhou Muyu’s Wuxia Novel, till the end the director does not give an explanation on who the child is and how their relationship develops

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