Wong Kar-wai


Wong Kar-wai (王家卫; July 17, 1958) is a Hong Kong film director. His films are characterised by nonlinear narratives, atmospheric music, and vivid cinematography involving bold, saturated colours. A pivotal figure of Hong Kong cinema, Wong has a considerable influence on filmmaking with his trademark personal, unconventional approach, and his films frequently appear on best-of lists domestically and internationally.

Born in Shanghai in 1958, Wong moved to Hong Kong with his family when he was five. He began a career as a screenwriter for soap operas before transitioning to directing with his debut, the crime drama As Tears Go By (1988). While As Tears Go By was fairly successful in Hong Kong, Wong moved away from the contemporary trend of crime and action movies to embark on more personal filmmaking styles. Days of Being Wild (1990), his first venture into such direction, did not perform well at the box office. It however received critical acclaim, and won Best Film and Best Director at the 1991 Hong Kong Film Awards. His next film, Ashes of Time (1994), was met with mixed reception because of its vague plot and atypical take on the wuxia genre.

The production of Ashes of Time was time-consuming and left Wong exhausted; he subsequently directed Chungking Express (1994) with hopes of reconciling with filmmaking. The film, expressing a more lighthearted atmosphere, catapulted Wong to international prominence, and won Best Film and Best Director at the 1995 Hong Kong Film Awards. Wong consolidated his worldwide reputation with the 1997 drama Happy Together, for which he won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival. The 2000 drama In the Mood for Love, revered for its lush visuals and subtle storytelling, concretely established Wong’s trademark filmmaking styles. Among his other work are 2046 (2004), My Blueberry Nights (2007), with Nora Jones, Jude Law, David Strathairn, Rachel Weisz, and Natalie Portman; and The Grandmaster (2013), both of which received awards and nominations worldwide.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)


  • As Tears Go By (1988)
  • Days of Being Wild (1990)
  • Chungking Express (1994)
  • Ashes of Time (1994)
  • Fallen Angels (1995)
  • Happy Together (1997)
  • In the Mood for Love (2000)
  • 2046 (2004)
  • My Blueberry Nights (2007)
  • To Each His Own Cinema (2007) – directed with Raymond Depardon, Takashi Kitano, Andrei Konchalovsky, Nanni Moretti, Joel & Ethan Coen, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Zhang Yimou, Atom Egoyan, Aki Kaurismäki, Yousef Chahine, Tsai Ming-liang, Lars von Trier, Raoul Ruiz, Claude Lelouch, Gus Van Sant, Roman Polanski, Michael Cimino, David Cronenberg, Abbas Kiarostami, Billie August, Elia Suleiman, Manoel de Oliveira, Walter Salles, Wim Wenders, Chen Kaige, Ken Loach, & David Lynch – anthology
  • The Grandmaster (2013)


  • Once Upon a Rainbow (1982)
  • Just for Fun (1983)
  • Intellectual Trio (1984)
  • Silent Romance (1984)
  • Chance a Fortune (1985)
  • Unforgettable Fantasy (1985)
  • Rosa (1986)
  • Goodbye, My Hero (1986)
  • Sweet Surrender (1986)
  • Final Victory (1987)
  • Flaming Brothers (1987)
  • The Haunted Cop Shop (1987)
  • Walk on Fire (1988)
  • The Haunted Cop Shop of Horrors II (1988)
  • Return Engagement (1990)
  • Savior of the Soul (1991)
  • See You Tomorrow (2016)