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Chunking Express, Bottoms Up Club, 重慶森林, Brigitte Lin, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow, Jinquan Chen, Lee-Na Kwan, Won Kar-Wai Bar

Chungking Express (重慶森林): follows two lovesick Hong Kong police officers as they try to get over their last relationships. You can immediately tell that the visuals are the driving force of the film – the camera movement is light and fluid, framing and camera angles are experimental, the lighting is bright and bold – it ties together to create a very unique look. Unfortunately, no other elements of this movie come close to distracting you from this: the performances are decent but the characters (and their philosophy-lite inner dialogue) feel whimsical and slight; and the plot is inconsequential – relying on artsy / cutesy / quirky moments and fanciful gestures of romance to hold it all together. The film is split into two stories that have a few similarities (talking to inanimate objects, tinned food, chef salads, Indian people, and varying opinions on tears & water) but would have worked better focusing on the second part. If you think of a big HK movie in the 1990s, this is the complete opposite; so much so that it feels like a rebellious statement – ‘screw what you know about HK directors… I’m making a tedious homage to the French New Wave, suck it up losers!’ At over 100 minutes long it doesn’t half drag, which is a shame because a handful of nice moments and ideas get swallowed up by the dominating pop-video style, excessive runtime, and hammy dialogue – see below for genuine quotes. Chungking Express appears on list after list of seminal movies, but in reality it’s a barely-worked-on, directionless, and lightly scripted pet project between other movies – and it feels like nothing more than that to me. I’m sure he’s a lovely Won Kar-Guy, but I don’t understand Won Kar-Why the ratings for this are so Won Kar-High!?!? There are better films about Hong Kong and far better films about love: this is a definitive example of style over substance.

Score: 4/10

Chunking Express, 重慶森林, escalator Brigitte Lin, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow, Jinquan Chen, Lee-Na Kwan, Won Kar-Wai Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system Hong Kong

” If memories could be canned, would they also have expiry dates? If so, I hope they last for centuries.”

” Somehow everything comes with an expiry date. Swordfish expires. Meat sauce expires. Even cling-film expires. Is there anything in the world which doesn’t?”

” In May’s eyes, I’m no different from a can of pineapple.”

” When people cry, they can dry their eyes with tissues. But when an apartment cries, it takes a lot to mop it up.”

Chunking Express, Slow motion shutterspeed blur dream , 重慶森林, Brigitte Lin, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow, Jinquan Chen, Lee-Na Kwan, Won Kar-Wai