Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1996)


I loved this film.  The pairing of the very related stories is fresh, hip and alive in a way completely foreign to me.  What little I know of Godard and the New Wave was in presentation here, I think.  Ironically, my parents lived in Hong Kong when this film was made and I spent a good amount of time there myself.  The film really captures the incredible energy of the place.  The movie is very sexy and so are the female leads, especially Faye Wong, playing “Faye” in the second of the two stories.  She is delightful and I won’t soon forget her jamming to The Mamas and the Papas.

As for Wong Kar-Wai?  This was also my introduction to his work.  I know very little of the guy but this film is certainly ripe with Americana.   Has he lived here?  There is an odd little food fetish theme that runs throughout that is really sweet and familiar.  Basically, this is a wonderfully sweet film in its narrative.  The handheld camera work was executed to perfection, as were the jump cuts and freeze frames.

To those of you that are sometimes reluctant to “get out of the box” in your film viewing (and when I look back at my list of favorite films, I am guilty of same) try this as an alternative.

**** 1/2  / *****

p.s. the DVD’s Tarantino intro and postscript are really cool – he has a real love for this guy

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