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As Tears Go By

Violence and moony romance
By GERALD PEARY  |  August 13, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars
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Back in 1988, at age 29, Wong Kar-wai already had his world-class-filmmaker chops. His feature debut finds him mixing moony romance with deliriously good-looking Hong Kong actors posturing as iconic Hollywood movie stars, and the most gorgeously lustrous lighting and imaginatively off-kilter editing on the planet. A young hoodlum, Wah (Hong Kong pop singer Andy Lau), tilts impulsively between love for his provincial cousin (Maggie Cheung) and intense male bonding with a lunatic friend, Fly (Jacky Cheung), whose suicidal taunting of various triad thugs brings the two pals into dire trouble. As Tears Go By is Wong’s most violent film by far, and he shows himself an instant master of kinetic fight scenes, on a level with his action-flick Hong Kong contemporary John Woo. Both, of course, were influenced by Scorsese, so look for the Wah-Fly relationship to mirror Keitel and De Niro banging about in Mean Streets. Cantonese | 102 minutes | MFA: August 21, 22, 23, 27, 28

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