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Dir. Wong Kar-wai. 2004, 129 mins. 35mm. With Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Takuya Kimura, Carina Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Maggie Cheung. Written at the same time as In the Mood for Love and weaving together narrative strands and characters from both that film and Days of Being Wild, 2046 completes Wong’s loose triptych of unrequited love stories set in bygone “Golden Ages”. The film’s title refers simultaneously to the hotel room where Mood’s Chow Mo-wan and Li Su-zhen nearly consummated their affair, the futuristic dystopia that Chow creates in a series of pulp novels, and the fateful year when the “One Country, Two Systems” regime will expire in Hong Kong following the Mainland handover. 2046 takes the viewer on a train ride through time to destinations unknown. Wong introduces new characters (a futuristic Japanese traveller, a female android) and resurrects familiar ones (Mood’s Chow and Li, Days’s Lulu) to reveal markedly and mysteriously different facets of their perpetually protean selves.

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