Ask a devotee of hypnotic director Wong Kar-Wai exactly what makes them a fan, and you'll likely get back a blissful grin and dazed mutterings about the songs, and the women, and the colors, man. Dopey as it sounds, you won't get it until you've seen it.

• Days of Being Wild (1991)—Following the '60s adventures of an apparently heartless chick magnet (the late Leslie Cheung), the slight story serves mainly as an excuse for the director—working for the first time with signature cinematographer Chris Doyle—to OD wonderfully on hazy textures and motivations.

• Chungking Express (1994)—The film that got the director noticed in the West weaves together heartsick cops and ice-cool lady killers, all in a magnificently quirky world where eating expired cans of pineapple serves as the ultimate romantic gesture.

• Ashes of Time (1994)—Heroic swordplay done the Kar-Wai way—i.e. with most of the emphasis given to the static downtime between duels. The frenzied fast-mo fight scenes are things of absolute beauty; the romantic interludes with Maggie Cheung, even more so.

• Happy Together (1997)—A squabbling gay couple (Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung) break up and make up and break up again. This melancholy baby is notable mainly for being the film where the director dropped all pretense of having a completed script before beginning filming.

• In the Mood For Love (2000)—The songs, the women, the colors, man. Perfection.