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December 2 - 9, 2003

Screening Modern China

December 2 (Tuesday) 9 pm

Happy Together (Cheun Gwong Tsa Sit)

Directed by Wong Kar-Wai
Hong Kong, 1997, color, 96 min.
With Tony Leung, Leslie Cheung, Chang Chen
Cantonese with English Subtitles

Lai (Leung) and Ho (Cheung) are gay lovers who travel to Argentina from Hong Kong in an effort to salvage their relationship. While visiting the Iguaçu Falls, however, they have a falling-out and set out on their separate ways. Lai goes to work as a doorman at a Buenos Aires tango bar, trying to earn enough money to pay for his airfare back to Hong Kong, while Ho turns to a life of partying and pimping. With the aid of his brilliant cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, Wong Kar-Wai fashions an unusual urban melodrama that explores the frustrations of cultural displacement and identity in a newly globalized, post-colonial world.

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December 9 (Tuesday) 9 pm

The Wedding Banquet

Directed by Ang Lee
Taiwan/US, 1993, color, 108 min.
With Winston Chao, May Chin, Mitchell Lichtenstein
Mandarin/English with English subtitles

Long before his big-budget spectacles, Ang Lee came to the attention of international audiences with this charmingly humorous and humanist study of tolerance. In The Wedding Banquet, Lee focuses on the plight of Wai-Tung, a successful Taiwanese businessman who lives a relatively uncomplicated life in New York City with his gay partner. As a result of his mother’s scheming and the couple’s desire to obscure their relationship, the closeted young man decides to marry a young woman from Shanghai in need of a Green Card. With the announcement of the impending nuptials, Wai-Tung’s parents catch the first plane to the Big Apple, and a hilarious farce of cultural clashes ensues.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700