Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Series Preface

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pp. vii-ix

The New Hong Kong cinema came into existence under very special circumstances, during a period of social and political crisis resulting in a change of cultural paradigms. Such critical moments have produced the cinematic achievements of the early Soviet cinema, neorealism, the 'nouvelle vague...

Preface [contains image plates]

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p. xi

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1 Introduction: Approaching the Film

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pp. 1-7

In May 1997, just before Hong Kong passed from British colonial rule to the People's Republic of China — the event of June 30 which turned the colony into an S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region) — Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai released the film Happy Together...

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2 Happy Together and Allegory

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pp. 9-21

To start thinking about Happy Together, I want to look at a term which has been significant in provoking discussion of non- Hollywood film texts and postcolonial writings. I want to do so in order to add into our thinking as many different perspectives on the film as possible. The American Marxist critic Fredric Jameson caused controversy in 1986 when he discussed Third World literatures — explaining that by 'Third World...

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3 Contexts: Why Buenos Aires?

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pp. 23-32

That Hong Kong does not appear in Happy Together and is not referred to frequently, does not mean that the film is not concerned with Hong Kong or its people. There are some obvious examples, and a few less obvious ones that illustrate the movie's relationship to Hong Kong. The film's language, for instance, is mainly Cantonese and Hong Kong...

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4 Contexts: The Road Movie

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pp. 33-37

Borges' short story 'Rosendo's Tale', set in Buenos Aires, includes a character, Luis Irala, who is embittered because he has been deserted by Casilda — his wife or his girlfriend — who has gone off with another man. He says he is not worried about her, adding, 'A man who thinks five minutes straight about a woman is no man, he's a queer.'1 The statement...

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5 Reading the Film

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pp. 39-63

Happy Together opens with a shot of passports being stamped for entry into Argentina in 1995 (so that the action of the film lasts two years), and the two colours of the passports, red for Lai and blue for Ho, dominate the imagery. This scene implies the starting and finishing dates of the action in the Happy Together, but since it was filmed using actual...

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6 Happy Together and Homosexuality

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pp. 65-75

It was, perhaps, surprising that a Hong Kong film should be so open on the subject of homosexuality. Though homosexuality was part of the plot of Yip Wai-sun and Kwok Wai-chung's Mongkok Story (1996)1 and had appeared before, for instance in Peter Chan's popular He's a Woman, She's a Man (1994)...

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7 Happy Together, Hong Kong and Melancholy

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pp. 77-91

There are many comic moments in Happy Together which reinforce the sense that the characters do enjoy happiness together as well as suggest that happiness may also not necessarily be recognised as such, but may be the product of adversity and difficulty. Yet in narrative terms, the presentation...

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8 Epilogue: Happy Together and In the Mood for Love

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pp. 93-103

Wong Kar-wai's latest film to date is In the Mood for Love (2000), scripted by Wong with Chris Doyle and Mark Lee (photography), and Man Lim-chung and Alfred Yau (art directors) and William Chang (production designer). This film gives another context for Happy Together by centring on a couple...

Notes

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pp. 105-113

Filmography

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pp. 115-117

Bibliography

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pp. 118-122