In Wong’s future-set 2046 (a loose continuation of Days of Being Wild and In the Mood for Love), the titular number is many things at once—the year when mainland China assumes absolute control of Hong Kong; the number of the hotel room across from that of Mr. Chow (Tony Leung), inhabited by a parade of women he pursues and abandons; and the name of the mysterious place where disappointed lovers escape to in Chow’s erotic science-fiction novel. Wong’s concentration and control—of the Cinemascope frame, light, color, and the most minute gestures—are at their most accomplished in a work enamored of the limitless expanse of memory and imagination, where reality and fiction dissolve into regret and yearning. Leung’s reprisal of the affable, self-mocking Chow, this time with a bitter edge, is extraordinary. Faye Wong, Carina Lau, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, and an electrifying Ziyi Zhang are the women in his life, indelible as ghosts from a forgotten past.

The new 4K restoration is now playing in our Virtual Cinema.