Chungking Express (Widescreen) product details page

Chungking Express (Widescreen)

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At a time when Hong Kong cinema was known more for its pyrotechnics and jaw-dropping feats of physical daring than for sensitive explorations of the human condition, Chungking Express was a revelation to both domestic and international audiences. The film swept the 1995 Hong Kong Film Academy awards and established director Wong Kar-wai as one of world cinema's most adventurous and influential filmmakers. Ironically, Chungking Express was made on a whim when Wong had a three-month break from his famously troubled production of Ashes of Time (1994). In contrast to the somber, weighty tone of that film, Wong wanted to make a film that was light, funny, and even whimsical. Writing the script during the day while shooting at night, he allowed himself to abandon the rigid confines of conventional narrative for a looser, more thematic structure. Consisting of two similar but unrelated stories, the film details the lonely lives of four of Hong Kong's most isolated, disconnected inhabitants as they cross paths. The characters' sole commonality is Hong Kong's urban landscape, which swoons with neon-lit melancholy thanks to Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle's eye-popping camerawork. The result is a film infused with the melancholy of random, fleeting urban encounters as it also crackles with a rare vitality, reflecting both the conflicting emotions of city life in general and the bustle and uncertainty of Hong Kong in the anxious years leading up to its 1997 handover to China. Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide