Notes on In the Mood for Love

Notes on <em>In the Mood for Love</em><em></em>


“Yumeji’s Theme,” the pizzicato. Raindrops, maybe. Or footsteps. Someone nearby, in the hall. Moments plucked. Time passing, a clock ticking. Heartbeats.

Pizzicato and then the legato, violin liquid and flowing, spilling over the hours and minutes and seconds in between. The melodic line trying to find its way, lifting up briefly, an expression of desire, to be free. Straining against whatever holds it back and then returning downward, diminished. All the while, the pizzicato. Regular. Metronomic.


The run time is listed as ninety-eight minutes. It feels longer.


Moments distilled to their essence. Time slowed or even stopped. In between, weeks or months pass, marked by signs of the changing seasons. By books borrowed, read, and returned. Time moving in circles. Jumping ahead, looping back.

All of this the result of a long production—over a year of shooting and waiting and rethinking, looping back. Different versions explored. Outtakes. A live chicken. Singing. Sleeping together. All of that gone. The result achieved through subtraction, distillation. Absences and silences, what isn’t said or seen. The other side of the phone call, the other side of the doorway. The moments that slip away.


What’s stopping them? What’s holding them back?

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