Launching Wong Kar-Wai to world, Chungking Express never failed to put a smile on my face. I suppose maybe because upon my second viewing, and to what girish describe as a Strombolian moment, a cinematic epiphany that happens after the second viewing of the film. I viewed it the second time and everything was clear. Girish puts it:
"Brenez's notion of Strombolian films holds at least three lessons: (1) A viewing experience is often contingent upon where we happen to be situated--in our lives at a certain point in time--in relation to a work and its aesthetic; (2) It is important to revisit films that frustrated or disappointed us the first time around, and do so with a willingness--even eagerness--to struggle with the work while we simultaneously de-emphasize evaluative judgment for a little while; and (3) The resistance we encounter from an artwork can be put to great and productive use."
Yes, Chungking Express is a hard block at first time. I cannot imagine how frustrated i am to watch a film with a 'distracting' camera work by Wong, quite different from the lucid, beautiful, and precise cinematography in In the Mood for Love (2000). On my second viewing it became really clear how Wong permeates his cinematographic ventures into Chunking Express to create a clear cut and unique style different from his other predecessors.
His directorial vision on the film form, which i totally admire, proves revolutionary to film history. I cannot match him with anyone (should i even matched one director to the other). he clearly is one of the best directors of "New Era".
I prepared some screen shots:
Meanwhile, on mainstream cinema:
1) Slumdog Millionaire (2008), for some reason i practically don't know, is showing on Black Saturday, April 11 at the local cinemas. This is crap. i was waiting for like three months now [I supposed it should be shown in sync with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)]. What a big, big marketing game! I will surely flood the theater if this opens on Black Saturday. Post-Oscar hype plus a word-of-mouth epidemic. I totally hate it. It's all money. Black Saturday, a holiday, family day --- those guys really know how to pull it off. Spare me some air to breath will all this suffocation on the local film business, will you?
2) Knowing (2009) I quote one of friend's words, he went to its premiere:
"Ang pangit! Sayang lang ng pera ko. Sentimental ang pagka-depict sa kanya. Yung problema kasi sa kanya, yung conflict hindi nare-solve fully. Parang natapos nalang ang movie na walang pinatunguhan ang kwento."I don't exactly know what he's talking about. He just jumped in my room and screaming how bad film was. Should i watch the film? I don't think so.
(It's a bad film. I only wasted my money. It is sentimentally depicted. The problem is the unresolved storyline conflict. It ends as if the story did not arrive somewhere.)
3) The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) This is purely hysterical! I just can't imagine i gave in to it so easily! Seth Rogen is there as 'the-ugly-as-fuck guy'. Steve Carell is also there, he lived 'a very fulfilling life as Andy Stitzer'. I admire this comedy, really.
DREAMS by The Cranberries
(featured several times in Chungking Express but in Cantonese)