LAST UPDATE - 6 AUGUST 1999
Chungking Express might have been easily the most memorable event for a Fayenatic. Which other movie did Faye star in had her so love-struck and so breathtakingly enigmatic? But most of the other Faye web sites only managed to focus on Faye, which I dare say is just but one of the tiniest threads that is being woven by Wong Kar Wai in this simply intricate fabric. Sure some of them can't swallow all those dizzy camera angles and the surreal lighting, but this is Wong Kar Wai we are talking about here.
The film is very critically-acclaimed and I dare to say again the critic's personal favorite. Well, I will try to go deep into the movie as I explore some interesting points that I have found out as I watched this film over and over again. And again. I shall now make a really short introduction to the characters in the movie.
C H A R A C T E R S
This is Takeshi Kaneshiro a.k.a. Aniki Jin. The stills of him (captured by sianz.INC) are purposely made to be blurred as his the character that he plays is not strong, always reliant on others especially the women that he once knew. He plays Cop 223 in the movie.
The woman over here is Lin Ching Hsia, now retired from the movie business. Her character in the movie is unnamed, which I think is due to the fact as she herself is so apprehensive towards life. She is so prepared for everything, rain or shine... But can she prepare for the sudden love Cop 223 finds in her? She plays a drug smuggler and only exists in the first half of the movie.
Tony Leung Chiu Wai plays Cop 663, a hard-boiled dead pan of a man. He is so ignorant of his surroundings, unaware of the subtle changes only to find out what has changed when he is finally knocked into his senses
Faye plays herself in this movie. Ah Faye who is neurotic and a neat freak she has grown passion for a cop who visits her Midnight Express diner and counter religiously. Cleaning his house secretly and listening to California Dreamin' repeatedly makes her character striking and very individual.
Always nagging, Ah Faye's uncle is the familiar relative we all know. He is the owner of Midnight Express and a listening ear to Cop 223 and the person who suggests food for Cop 663.
Valerie Chow plays the ex-lover of Cop 663 (Tony Leung). A character that has a short part in the story but somehow is the distraction in the long term basis.
T H E T A L EN T E D CR E W A N D T H E A R T I S T I C D I R E C T I O N
U N R A V E L I N G T H E E X P R E S S written by Sianz
Chungking Express. A beauty. Simply love it. If anyone else had anything to say about Chungking Express it could have effortlessly been me. Movies were never directed and filmed the way Chungking Express was with Christopher Doyle (Du Ke Feng) behind the camera lens and avant-garde auteur Wong Kar Wai having the final say, I could have sworn euphoria while watching the movie.
I shall focus on some of the finer details of the movie as I continue to give my two cents worth. Being a Fayenatic, I undoubtedly had my attention on a single entity in the movie, diva du journ, Faye Wong. Some of her slightest lines and actions made me think about the significance of her doing so.
"...GIVE WAY! EXCUSE ME... GIVE WAY, GIVE WAY... LET ME THROUGH!..."
From my point of view, I noticed that Faye said these lines frequently in the movie, and almost when Cop 663 is around. I started noticing that when she said in while she mopped the counter and in the market. And whenever Faye said these words she would bump into Cop 663 almost any other time. I believe that these words do serve a meaning. Her saying, "Give way, Give way... Excuse me... " could have meant that she wanted a space in Cop 663 heart as he still is blinded by his previous love. Some people after hearing my opinions have commented that I am just being too sentimental, some even say it's rubbish, but to me it does mean something. Think it's crap? Never mind then. And did any of you noticed when Faye stopped saying these words were when Cop 663 finally noticed her and began to acknowledge her?
"...REPETITIONS OF CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' AND PURE INTOXICATION..."
Faye played the song California Dreamin' all the time while grooving to the music of The Mamas and The Papas. If any soundtrack was to be overplayed California Dreamin' is the answer, almost audible every 15 minutes, it was played almost 8 times throughout the show. California Dreamin' was indeed Faye's theme song for the movie, and Wong Kar Wai deliberately repeated the song over and over again maybe to signify the intoxication the characters, in particular Faye and Cop 663 who loved another person and yet can't make the reality come true due to ignorance of the other party. Faye's habit of turning up the volume might have signified the contrast between the air stewardess (Valerie Chow) who plays a more classic tune in a softer volume.
"...WAH, YOUR HAIR IS SO LONG! IT'S SO PRETTY, KEPT IT FOR HOW LONG?..."
Faye having a pixie-like haircut in the movie (kudos to Elaine Wong) while almost the rest of the cast had shoulder length tresses is indeed a deliberate contrast. Faye seems so boyishly appealing with her bob. When Faye found a long strand of hair among Cop 663's bed sheet, it drove her almost to insanity, she vented her anger (disappointment??) on the pillows and a plush toy.
"...PEOPLE WILL CHANGE, TODAY HE LIKES PINEAPPLES TOMORROW HE CHANGES HIS TASTES..."
The above line spoken indignantly by Lin Ching Hsia. From this line we can tell that she has bad experiences in life and she has already lost trust in everything as she starts becoming so cautious of every minute detail. What prompted Faye and Cop 663 to change in the ending is also an interesting view point, both of them became the opposite of the other, the once casual Faye now dons a uniform while Cop 663 takes on a more casual approach to clothing straying away from the confines of his boring blue uniform. Not surprisingly, Faye takes on a job for a long time basis unlike what she has spoke before to Cop 663 in the market. She once said that she had been job hopping but now she works as an air stewardess, trying to take over Valerie Chow's role perchance? And Tony on the other hand takes charge of the take-out counter.. In short, there was a role reversal.
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' by the mamas and the papas
All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I've been for a walk on a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreamin' on such a winter's day
Stopped in to a church I passed along the way
Well I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray
You know the preacher liked the cold
He knows I'm gonna stay
California dreamin' on such a winter's day
All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I've been for a walk on a winter's day
If I didn't tell her I could leave today
California dreamin' on such a winter's day
California dreamin' on such a winter's day
California dreamin' on such a winter's day
R A R E P I C T U R E S A N D P O S T E R S
BRIGETTE LIN CHING HSIA
From the Chungking Express, I really loved the role played by Lin Ching Hsia. She looks so cool and composed but she is really not so underneath those shades and that curly blonde wig of hers..
Well these are but just some of the poses Faye had.. I have another one where she completely slumps into the sofa... bringing it to you at a later date!
Takeshi Kaneshiro is good looking and I think this picture is very nice... very artistic!
SCENES AND OTHER STUFFS
Chungking Express, I just love the angles of the pictures and something about the second picture is that Faye appeared quite early in the first story that if you blinked your eye you might have missed her hugging a enormous Garfield and leaving a toy shop..
F O R E I G N P O S T E R S
Chungking Express posters galore.. here are some of the rarest posters around... It's kind of funny how the translation of Chungking Express be Hong Kong Express in Italy..I love the French and the Japan posters the most...
H O N G K O N G P O S T E R S
These are just but some of the Hong Kong promotion posters.. I will try to bring in some more of these. Anyway I got the first HK poster ehhe.. I had to snatch it from that person.. It was the last one.... :)
L I N E S A N D Q U O T A T I O N S
This is the sort of film that should be on student walls everywhere. It has just the right kind of faintly shallow "hip-ness". A girl working in a noodle bar (Wang) falls for a lonely policeman (Leung). She gets hold of his key and sneaks into his apartment to tidy it up and try on his ex-girlfriends clothes. But in a nice way. She even buys him goldfish. And she really, really likes "California Dreaming". Theres another story about a drug-runner in a blonde wig (Lin), and another policeman who eats tinned pineapple for sentimental reasons (Kaneshiro). There is a rather vicious shooting in the middle, just in case you were thinking it was getting soft, and a lot of twinkly background music.
The best thing about any of Wong Kar-Wais films is their look. The camerawork is dizzyingly fast, and everything happens either at noon or at midnight. You cant move for fluorescent strip lights and convincingly tatty interiors. And then he throws in a slow-motion killing or a frozen moment just to show that hes seen all the right films recently.
Sometimes charming, sometimes almost icky (the unhappy policeman talking to his droopy towel is a key moment), and at other times as coolly violent as the hippest of modern directors would wish for, this is a spunky effort, even if it is a little glib sometimes.
Wong Kar-Wai's comments on Chungking Express, from another interview (City Entertainment Biweekly, June 30, 1994).
"I am trying to tell two independent stories in this film. The first story involves Lin Chin Hsia and Takeshi Kaneshiro and takes place in Chungking Mansion; the second involves Faye Wong and Valerie Chow and happens in Central. I have quite a few stories that I wanted to film but never got round to. And there are two places that particularly intrigued me. One: Tsim Sha Tsui. I grew up in that area and I have a lot of feelings about it. It's an area where the Chinese literally brush shoulders with westerners, and is uniquely Hong Kong. Inside Chungking Mansion you can run into people of all races and nationalities: Chinese, white people, black people, Indian. And two: the escalator from Central to the Mid-levels. That interests me because no one has made a movie there. When we were scouting for locations we found the light there entirely appropriate.
"Like I say, the two stories are quite independent. What puts them together is that they are both love stories. I think a lot of city people have a lot of emotions but sometimes they can't find the people to express them to. That's something the characters in the film share. Tony talks to a bar of soap; Faye steals into Tony's home and gets satisfaction from arranging other people's stuff; and Takeshi has his pineapples. They all project their emotions on certain objects. Only the Lin Chin Hsia character does not have any emotions. She has to keep working. To her, survival is more important that emotions. She's like an animal, roving in Chungking Mansion like it was a jungle [the literal translation of the film's original title is Chungking Jungle].
"I kept developing the story when I was shooting. That's how I worked with Days of Being Wild, but this time I really went to extremes. Chungking Express has a lot of night scenes, so a lot of times we shot in the evening. Then I'd go back to work on the story during the day. The story developed in relation to the actors and the environment. In the end, it doesn't matter if I started with a script or a cast. Long as you have a story, and there actors, the story will find its own course."
Chungking Express*** (PG-13) First cop: Takeshi Kaneshiro Woman in wig: Brigitte Lin Second cop: Tony Leung Faye: Faye Wang Flight attendant: Valerie Chow
Written and directed by Wong Kar-Wai. Running time: 104 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for some violence, sexuality and drug content).
By Roger Ebert
At UCLA last summer, Quentin Tarantino introduced a screening of Chungking Express and confessed that while watching it on video, "I just started crying." He cried not because the movie was sad, he said, but because "I'm just so happy to love a movie this much." I didn't have to take out my handkerchief a single time during the film, and I didn't love it nearly as much as he did, but I know what he meant:
This is the kind of movie you'll relate to if you love film itself, rather than its surface aspects such as story and stars. It's not a movie for casual audiences, and it may not reveal all its secrets the first time through, but it announces Wong Kar-Wai, its Hong Kong-based director, as a filmmaker in the tradition of Jean-Luc Godard.
He is concerned more with the materials of a story than with the story itself, and he demonstrates that by telling two stories, somewhat similar, that have no obvious connection. He sets the stories in the Hong Kong world of fast-food restaurants, shopping malls, nightclubs, concrete plazas and pop culture (one of his heroines wears a blond wig and dark glasses, and the other seems addicted to "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and the Papas). His visuals rhythmically switch between ordinary film, video and pixilated images, often in slow motion, as if the very lives of his characters threaten to disintegrate into the raw materials of media.
If you are attentive to the style, if you think about what Wong is doing, Chungking Express works. If you're trying to follow the plot, you may feel frustrated. As the film opens, we meet a policeman named He Qiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), who wanders the nighttime city, lonely and depressed, pining after a girl who has left him. He gives himself 30 days to find another girl, and uses the expiration dates on cans of pineapple as a way of doing a countdown. A new woman walks into his life: the woman in the wig (Brigitte Chin-Hsia Lin), who is involved in drug deals.
We expect their relationship to develop in conventional crime movie ways, but instead, the film switches stories, introducing a new couple. The first cop hangs out at a fast-food bar, where he notices an attractive waitress (Faye Wong), but she has eyes only for another cop who frequents the same restaurant (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung). He scarcely notices her, but she gets the keys to his apartment, and moves in when he isn't there cleaning, redecorating, even changing the labels on his canned food.
Both of these stories, about disconnection's, loneliness and being alone in the vast city, are photographed in the style of a music video, crossed with a little Godard (signs, slogans, pop music) and some Cassavetes (improvised dialogue and situations). What happens to the character is not really the point; the movie is about their journeys, not their destinations. There is the possibility that they have all been driven to desperation, if not the edge of madness, by the artificial lives they lead, in which all authentic experience seems at one remove.
Tarantino loved this movie so much, indeed, that he signed a deal with Miramax to start his own releasing company, and his first two pick-up deals are Chungking Express and another Wong Kar-Wai film. Theres a lot of interest in Hong Kong films right now, but it centers more on commercially oriented figures like John Woo and Jackie Chan. Wong is more of an art director, playing with the medium itself, taking fractured elements of criss-crossing stories and running them through the blender of pop culture.
When Godard was hot, in the 1960s and early 1970s, there was an audience for this style, but in those days, there were still film societies and repertory theaters to build and nourish such audiences. Many of today's younger filmgoers, fed only by the narrow selections at video stores, are not as curious or knowledgeable and may simply be puzzled by Chungking Express instead of challenged. It needs to be said, in any event, that a film like this is largely a cerebral experience: You enjoy it because of what you know about film, not because of what it knows about life.
In any case, Tarantino may weep again when he sees the box-office figures.
Thanks to Jayson Chan
a review of chung king express
It's cool and from Hong Kong
With its fourth movie Wong Kar Wai confirms his status as one of the important innovators from the film industry of Hong Kong. The story about two policemen dealing with a broken heart, was very successful last year with the festivals. He recently was in London, where he answered questions from the media and distributors.
"I can't do anything about it, this is how it goes for 3 days already", says the pr-lady from the International Center of the Arts. At this moment Wong Kar Wai gets out of the building and in a cab. De director is asked to come to London, to face the media, but also takes the opportunity to do some business. Business are going well, because chung king express marks the international break-through from the 37-year old filmmaker. The movie will open shortly in the US, where it gets released by Rolling Thunder. Rolling Thunder is not a regular distributor; every title it releases is personally handpicked by Quentin Tarantino. Quentin promises to release the best raw exploitation movies from Hong Kong and Japan, but immediately states that chung king express is not in that category. It isn't superfluous comment, because you don't have to expect a bloody gangster movie in the style of John Woo when you go see chung king express. Although the main characters are policemen, fighting crime isn't what they do in the movie.
Policeman number 223 just got separated from his girlfriend May a month ago, and deals with this loss by running. Who has sweat, doesn't has water left for tears. After a lot of attempts dating old girlfriends, he falls in love with a lady who organizes drug deals. In the second part policeman 663 has to suffer that much from the separation of his girlfriend that even his towels seem to cry. He doesn't even notice that the girl from the snack bar in love is with him.
When Wong Kar Wai gets out of the cab after a stop of one and a half hour, he immediately looks at his watch. Time is precious. Wong Kar Wai lives with a constant deadline, as actually everybody in Hong Kong does. Behind his sunglasses, he explains his work, where he sometimes uses a totally unnecessary translator. Wong Kar Wai started his film career mid 80's as scenario writer, after a course at TVB, the biggest television station from Hong Kong. The on genre focused film industry got very interested in gangster movies, after the huge success of John Woo's A better tomorrow in 1986. As reaction on Woo's heroic view of gangster life, Wong Kar Wai wrote for director Patrick Tam a trilogy about two little criminals, who are the opposite of heroes. "Everybody made movies then where gangsters got pictured as great heroes. I wanted to do something else and chose to do something about two little boys and their daily problems. They had great expectations when they were teenagers, but the life of a gangster doesn't turn out to be as honourful as they thought it would. In the last part of the trilogy they try to escape from that life. Patrick Tam started with the second part of the trilogy, The last Victory. The reviews were promising, but the public didn't want to see failing gangsters, but heroes. That's why we didn't got the finances to finish the other two parts."
"In 1988, when I was able to make my debut with a gangster movie, I have mixed some elements from the trilogy with elements from Mean Streets. I'm a big Scorsese-fan, and I think that his movie can happen in any city. The commitment between two good friends and the competition between two brothers are universally recognizable. As tears go by has become a whole different movie than Mean Streets in the end, though. I was experimenting with styles as slow motion for example. That time MTV had become very popular in a very short time in Hong Kong. My intention was a gangster movie according to the MTV-method. I really like stylistic art designs. With Chungking Express I wanted to push this to the extreme, and I think I did that fairly well."
Wong's second movie, Days of being wild, had in 1990 the controversial honor of being the biggest financial disaster in the film history of Hong Kong. The shootings from the in 1960 situated epos about a by Leslie Cheung played Philippine boy, his foster-mother, two young women and a policeman, all searching for love and happiness, took relatively a lot of time. Wong's desire for perfection in art-direction, photography and acting returned a beautiful movie, only to be seen at a couple of film festivals in the West.
Wong confirmed his reputation as slowest director in Hong Kong with the costume drama Ashes of time, a huge proportioned and confusing spectacle, where it centers about mercenary Leslie Cheung and the definitions of time and memory. The shootings took two years. According to Wong that was inevitable: "It's a movie with a very complicated story line, location shootings in Hong Kong and China, and eight top actors with a loaded agenda. The movie is based on a famous Chinese novel, "The Eagle Shooting Heroes" by Louis Cha. We made two movies of it. Mine's is a traditional swordsman film and the other, who carries the book title, is a parody of my movie. I produced the movie, my producer Jeff Lau directed it. Ashes of time would premiere during Chinese New Year, the most lucrative weekend in the Asian market, but the Taiwanese financier decided to release the comedy first. That's why my movie got on hold temporary, where after we had to rearrange the whole production schedule."
To push off the long logistic nightmare, Wong began directly after finishing the shootings to work on a small movie, Chungking Express. A definitive script wasn't present, but due to the cooperation of Brigitte Lin and Tony Leung Chiu Wai the finances were no problem: "Most Hong Kong movies get financed through pre-sale at the South-East Asian market, and only the market value of actors count then. Chungking Express was sort of a mental holiday job to me. I needed that. Since I write scripts for years, I still had some ideas. At day I was writing, at night we rehearsed and later we filmed. My longtime cameraman Chris Doyle often films with a loose pulse, and that was very convenient now, because the locations were very small and a lot was improvisation. Everybody liked that, since improvisation means freedom. It is sort of a student's movie actually."
Besides the successful stylistic experiments the movies of Wong differs from other Hong Kong productions because of the consistent quality of acting. The director made with his first two movies ex-Miss Hong Kong Maggie Cheung a big star, and knew with Chungking Express how to derive from debuting popstars Takeshi Kaneshiro and Faye Wong excellent acting performance. "That's because I don't ask my actors to act, but to play themselves", according to Wong. "Since I write my own scripts I always can easily adjust the story and characters to the personality of the actors. The characters in my movie are not much unlike their acting counterpart. And when you take in account, that in Hong Kong movies not according to script but to actors are financed, I have no problem working this way. In the rest of the world everybody develops an idea, writes the script for it, and then goes looking for the appropriate actors. I begin choosing with which actors I want to work with, talk with them and then start to write."
Chungking Express was originally set up as three stories, but the third one had to be cut because of the length of the movie. Wong worked this idea out as his new movie, Fallen Angels recently. "It's not about a policeman and his girl, but about a killer (Leon Lai) and his impresario (Michelle Reis). A couple of scenes are shot at the same locations and there are some stylistic similarities, but it is a whole different movie. I have again improvised a lot, but the shootings this time were very troublesome. It keeps getting more difficult to make movies in Hong Kong, because the government is not as helpful, everything is getting more expensive and there is this chronicle lack of new employees. I'm working since my first movie with the same people, all above forty, and they find it hard to work long nights. The film industry is aging, and that isn't a good sign. Ten years ago I left with a big group of filmers out of the studios of the local television, but they don't teach them an education nowadays. Most actors are still from either the hit parade or the miss-contests. The television and film studios are not prepared to invest in long-term investments, because of the Chinese takeover in 1997. The aging is the talk of the day in the industry, and everybody realizes we need new blood."
"Slowly but certain the belief increases that the takeover in 1997 doesn't mean the end of the world. We are less and less afraid of the takeover. The big departure was ten years ago. Most people who left then, are now considering a return to Hong Kong. They see possibilities in the business and artistic area, like I do. Nobody can predict what will change exactly, but everybody wants to be ready to profit from it. The Chinese studios are very eager to work with us, because they can learn a lot from us. They don't work as seamless with the banks and business as we are. We, on the other hand, are very keen to work with the Chinese talents. Our producers wants to invest in the theatres and distribution in China, because the potential of that market is enormous." Hong Kong checks the calendar, Wong Kar Wai his watch. The director, which works always reserve a big part for the concept time, has to go again. Outside the next taxi is waiting.
Original text by Bart van der PutLokman Tsui
Hong Kong, 1994
Steadily, along every one of Victoria's major thoroughfares developers are demolishing single family dwellings to construct blocks of condominiums. At one site, bulldozers and back-hoes had clawed away blasted rock and loaded slabs of clay to cut a building sized niche into a hill where there once stood two side-by-sides and a small ranch-style bungalow. Above the upper corner of the looming back wall, where the rough incline resumed, I could see, with the rancher removed, half a terraced rock garden. Ending at a precipice, a flight of brick stairs meandered between empty flower beds built of rough stonework. Severed with such mechanical precision, the surviving rock garden appeared to float above the open pit.
And as in any city, gardens with their seasonal rhythms are private calendars, their integrity respected only by those who tend them. I find any building without a garden, the most difficult to recall after demolition. I begin to forget whether I had once seen the sky between two oaks, as they are replaced by structures with increasingly generic landscaping. Real estate agents proclaim their latest developments as "new landmarks", selling the hope that where you could live and work will never fade from memory. But, the Hong Kong of director, Wong Kar-Wai's film, Chungking Express, hasn't any such monuments promising permanence. Instead, its inhabitants collide in its crowded anonymity, each like a dispossessed gardener.
But, Chungking Express is actually two separate stories that brush up against one another. In the first, a plains-clothes cop, badge number 223, ('Takeshi Kaneshiro) has been dumped by his lover. Each day since April Fools Days, he's purchased a can of pineapple with an expiry date of May 1st, his 25th birthday: his timely ritual to bring her back to him. All the while he's moping, a mysterious woman in a blonde wig and shades (Brigitte Lin) is putting together a smuggling operation. From director Wong Kar-Wai's childhood memories come a warren of airless hallways and tiny rooms, where condoms are filed with dope and travel documents are forged. An old man hunches over a cobbler's bench making shoes with false heels for her East Indian couriers, men and women she's recruited from a hovel known as the Chungking Mansions. When Cop 223 finally decides to fall in love with first woman he sees, she'll be the first to enter the bar.
Yet, another chance encounter begins the story of a uniformed officer, badge number 663 (Tony Leung) and Faye (Faye Wong), the boyish young woman at an all-night fast food joint named Midnight Express. Each night, Cop 663 stops to order a chef's salad for his lover, a flight attendant, never suspecting that Faye is in love with him. Later, when his lover walks out on him leaving behind a note and his key with Faye, Faye slinks into his apartment and changes a few things around. Eventually, she switches his favorite shirt, bathroom mug, and bedspread with others more to her liking. Soon, he's convinced that Faye's anthem, "California Dreamin'" was his former lover's song, instead of "What a Difference A Day Makes". Not until he actually catches Faye in his apartment does he discover her passion for him.
Essentially, nothing much happens to either Cop 223 or 663. In Chungking Express, Wong Kar-Wai's Hong Kong is a steady state universe where any memories of a private past are altered to fit the city's perpetual present in motion. Cop 223's pursuit of a suspect first flares into florescent neon smugs of pumping arms and legs only to fade back into the flat lighting of underground mini-marts. Beneath the unseen towers of Hong Kong, the Blonde Woman always wears a trench coat and sunglasses never sure whether its going to rain or turn sunny. Even Faye's obsession for "California Dreamin'", suggests a longing for the sameness of unending sunshine on "a winter's day", another extreme she's never known. Visually, the film's passage of time is distorted. Days and nights smear together into no apparent pattern. And so, these Cops cling to fragile and often childish rhythms of their own devising. On May 1st Cop 223 gorges on all thirty tins of pineapple. Giving human qualities to the contents of his apartment, Cop 663 marvels over the soap's continuous weight loss and comforts his tattered washcloth which weeps. For both, time is calibrated by their routines of loneliness.
If anything, the act of falling in love for director Wong Kar-Wai is the true landmark, the measure of time, . Sex doesn't interest either Cop so much as the exact moment of love. Rather each is content simply to keep watch over their sleeping beloved. Its reminiscent of lovers in Marcel Proust's seven volume turn-of-the-century novel, Remembrance of Things Past, where the taste of a meringue could trigger the detailed memory of a village church steeple. For Proust a sleeping lover was suspended in time. In Chungking Express, lovers are dormant clockworks, gardens impossible to save from the city.
This has been James Vitti. Go out and see a movie, then talk or argue, just as long as you put words to the pictures
1995 Hong Kong Film Award Winners
best film: Chungking Express
best director: Wong Kar Wai - Chungking Express
best editing: William Chang Suk Ping - Chungking Express
C H U N G K I N G E X P R E S S R E V I V A L ?
T H E S C R E E N S H O T S
Fann debuted on the screen as the film Chunking Express was playing in the background. The uncanny resemblance to Lin Ching Hsia's Blonde Woman role is sort of alarming! Especially the way she blows smoke into the face of Sam.
Fann also looked very Faye in the extra long sleeves she had on (left still). She even mouthed (middle still) "Rang Yi Xia" (let me through), a staple line in Faye's script for Chungking Express.
The appearances of kittens got me thinking about Faye's Chess MTV... Ignore this bit.. it's irrelevant!
FAYE!!!! Faye's Hong Kong Scenic Poster in the background... I captured 3 still shots of them... Hahha.. this part got me going crazy in the cinema!
T H E C O M P A R I S O N S
Somehow I find how these 2 people drink their beverages sort of similar? Too personal an attack perhaps...
Faye and Fann had the same killer stare. What startled me is that their stares are so innocent and unabashed and yet brings you down!
The some how similar scenes where Fann needed some eye drops for her sore eyes while Faye had a leg cramp! This is so totally unexpected!
Surprise! Both films had the stars surprised and screaming and by the way, Fann's scream do sound alike to Faye's...
Another example of surprise!!!
The very Faye action of bringing down her spectacles to talk to someone.... I don't know if this is coincidental!
The same lost gaze in both actresses...
Faye's I Actually Don't Want it Either MTV look... with the flapping overcoat et al..
Main Characters : Fann Wong (Ah Zhen) Peter Ho (Ah Sam)
If there was a movie that provided the ultimate hip factor, it had to be Chungking Express with its simple story line and a very extremely romantic plot. However there is lately a Singapore production entitled The Truth About Jane and Sam (Zhen Xin Hua) that takes one a similar approach... The director seems to be so influenced by Chungking Express that his film betrays striking hints of stylistic artistry and ambience! I shall probe in deeper in this "Chungking Express" revival...
Fann introduces herself in the movie theatre, shades perched firmly on her nose bridge... Suddenly the familiar sound of the CKE soundtrack, the part when the shows about to start and Lin Ching Hsia is walking around is being played on the screen... I was taken aback at first... then it had Lin Ching Hsia puffing her cigarette away... Peter who was with Fann in the cinema... looks at Lin Ching Hsia and Fann... When he realised that they were both wearing sunglasses he asked Fann if wearing shades was the way to watch a movie... And like the blonde woman in CKE, Fann just blows smoke into his face, looking disinterested...
Second similarity. Remember the phrase "Rang yi xia... Zi ji rang yi xia.." Roughly translates to make way... Faye said that in the wet market when ever Cop 663 was around and this time Fann also repeated the same phrase in the same manner in a guess what.... SUPERMARKET!!! I was very shocked when she suddenly spouted these lines....
Faye Wong's Influences
I saw, I think only the observant few, saw the poster of Faye Wong put up at where Ah Zhen is working... I was nearly about to shout out Wong Fei.. but I figured it was inappropriate... Anyway the poster was the Scenic Tour HK Concert Poster (the pink edition).... Another shocker...
The movie had another seen where Fann was wearing a long trenchcoat... think "I actually don't it like that" MTV where Faye had a long trenchcoat and walked among the hustle and bustle of the crowd... Fann also did this too... She even had her sleeves extra long.. a bit extended and she flapped them around too.. getting Very Faye isn't it?
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