Quick-Thoughts, Again: Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express (1994)

Screened at The Frida • 2nd Viewing

Chungking Express is absolutely engulfed in Hong-Kong: consumed by the daily fast food, confined in unconformably tight apartment spaces, and populated by wishful thinkers that pray in patience with dreams of a glorified destination likely persuaded by the peachy frequencies of a California Dreamin’ or something of the American. A two-part tale on how we erratically use the material world in making up on-the-spot superstitions to momentarily confront, explain, or poetify love’s existentialist perplexion and control, as the absolute grief of transitioning back into loneliness often cries for. It seems that in times of tedious mundanity, the little off-kilter moments are what become eternal memories, whether meaningless in their origins they can nonetheless become gorgeously meaningful in their interpretations; rational logic dies gracefully in cases such as this. I can’t stress enough once again how alluring Doyle and Lau’s cinematography is too, distancing characters in ways that put the audience into secluded positions themselves or intruding them with buffering fragments that abandon the strict flow of time. There truly are very few simplistic mood-pieces out there that are able to make me feel this happy, wow.

Has to be mentioned too, but it was nice seeing a fully (under COVID guidelines) packed theater for Mr. Kar-wai. This level of quality just seems to live on for people. 

Verdict: A+

All-Time Favorite Movies, Wong Kar-wai Ranked

“Chungking Express” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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