5 Lush K-Pop MVs Inspired By Wong Kar Wai Films

Wong Kar Wai, the famed Hong Kong director, is known for his lush colors, nonlinear narratives, and heart-wrenching love stories. These are all qualities that can be found in countless K-pop music videos, so it makes total sense that many K-pop music videos have been influenced by him. Check out these videos where you can see clear homages to Wong Kar Wai films!

Key Feat. Taeyeon – “Hate that…”

In this slow jam, SHINee’s Key and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon reflect on the pain of a breakup. We see Key, bathed in a soft orange and red glow, look out of a circular window. Later, he sits in a blue neon room searching for what went wrong. These two visuals evoke Wong Kar Wai’s film “2046,” in which passengers ride a train that takes them to a place where they can recapture lost memories. The homage is a perfect fit for a song whose lyrics include, “Just a stranger worse than a bad memory/I’ll be just wiped off after being thrown away.”

DAY6 (Even of Day) – “Right Through Me”

While this music video references several Wong Kar Wai films, it most notably takes inspiration from “Happy Together,” a story about a toxic on-and-off relationship. Wonpil taking off the covers of a bed in one scene is a direct reference to a fight between the central couple in the film, an apt choice for a song all about someone struggling to end a souring relationship.

Jackson Wang – “LMLY”

This video also uses imagery from many Wong Kar Wai films. However, the most obvious one is the iconic motorcycle scene from “Fallen Angels.” In “LMLY,” Jackson Wang gives his love interest a ride on the back of a bike, mirroring the end of the movie. It perfectly captures the melancholy of knowing a happy moment will only last so long.

Wonwoo and Mingyu (feat. Lee Hi) – “Bittersweet”

SEVENTEEN’s Wonwoo and Mingyu’s “Bittersweet” music video is an ode to “Chungking Express.” It takes inspiration from the famous step-printing opening scene, the rainy convenience store, and the moody bar. “Chungking Express” explores missed romantic chances due to timing, quite fitting for a song whose outro asks if meeting the other person’s eyes will be possible.

Suzy – “Yes No Maybe”

Suzy went to film in Hong Kong for this music video to capture the Wong Kar Wai aesthetic. Even the music video’s striking red title card is a homage to the one used in Wong Kar Wai’s masterpiece “In the Mood for Love.” It also uses imagery from other Wong Kar Wai films with “Fallen Angels” taking center stage. Suzy puts on lipstick nonchalantly, ignoring the commotion behind her, mimicking the diner scene in “Fallen Angels” in which a female character eats noodles without a care in the world as a fight goes on. Her lyrics about an on-again, off-again relationship thematically line up with how fraught love is.

Do you have a favorite Wong Kar Wai film? Tell us in the comments!

Sarah K. is a freelance writer. She enjoys watching Korean movies, and her favorite groups include SHINee, Red Velvet, BTS, and Epik High.

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