Apr 4, 2012

8th April 2012; Wong Kar-wai's CHUNKING EXPRESS

Chungking Express
A film by Wong Kar-wai
Year 1994
Country : Hongkong
Runtime:98 minutes
Cantonese with English subtitles
8th April 2012; 5.45pm
Perks Mini Theater

Chungking Express (1994) is a pop art movie about cool twentysomethings looking for love in the city that has replaced Paris as the center of the world-cinema imagination. What Jean-Luc Godard did for “the generation of Marx and Coca-Cola” in the mid-1960s, Wong Kar-wai did for restless Hong Kong youth during the anxious decade that preceded the handoff to China. It focuses on the dominant issue for heterosexual young adults: how to negotiate the desire and confusion they feel vis-à-vis the opposite sex. Chungking Express is Wong Kar-Wai's best pop single.Its two story lines criss cross at only a couple of points, but they play off each other in fascinating ways.
In the first chunk, a man and a woman find love but are unable to connect, while in the second the couple shares a bond before they even know what is happening. The front of the movie concerns itself with a lovelorn police officer, He Zhiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro, House of Flying Daggers) who is pining for May, a girlfriend who has broken it off with him.
The second story Zhiwu goes to a food stand to get something to go, and the proprietor suggests he date his cousin, Faye (Faye Wong, 2046). Mistaking her for a boy because of her short hair, Zhiwu passes, but as his narration informs us, it's what was predestined, as Faye is meant for another man. All four main characters in Chungking Express have voiceovers, all of them in the past tense, emphasizing thematically that these are stories that have happened.The action sequences are punctuated with unusual shots and stop-motion jumps. By filming Chungking Express in such rich, vibrant manner, the director uses visual images to underscore his themes. The result is a uniquely memorable look at the ties that bind all people, as presented through two deceptively simple stories.
(Source: Internet)

Born in Shanghai, he moved to Hong Kong with his parents at the age of five. Coming from the Mainland and speaking only Mandarin and Shanghainese, he had a difficult period of adjustment to Cantonese speaking Hong Kong, spending hours in movie theatres with his mother. He made his directing debut in 1988 with As Tears Go By, produced by Alan Tang. It was a crime melodrama of the kind then hugely popular and already displayed one of his principal trademarks in its atmospheric and sometimes expressionistic color palette.

Wong went on to direct several more feature films in the 1990s, among these were Chungking Express (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), Ashes of Time (1994). His first major international recognition was at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival where he won the Best Director prize for Happy Together (1997). The filming of In the Mood for Love (2000) had to be shifted from Beijing to Macau after the China Film Bureau demanded to see the completed script.

Wong’s 2046 (2004) was the third chapter of a shared story that began with Days of Being Wild and continued with In the Mood for Love. In 2006, he became the first Chinese director to preside the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Wong Kar-Wai’s first full English-language film, My Blueberry Nights opened the 2007 Cannes Film Festival as one of 22 films in competition.

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