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 Chung Hing sam lam [Chungking Express] 

What grade would you give this film?
A 33%  33%  [ 2 ]
B 50%  50%  [ 3 ]
C 17%  17%  [ 1 ]
D 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
F 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 6

 Chung Hing sam lam [Chungking Express] 
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:01 pm
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Post Chung Hing sam lam [Chungking Express]
Chungking Express


Chungking Express (simplified Chinese: 重庆森林; traditional Chinese: 重慶森林; literal: Chungking Forest) is a 1994 Hong Kong film written and directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film consists of two stories told in sequence, each about a Hong Kong policeman and his relationship with a woman. The first story stars Takeshi Kaneshiro and Brigitte Lin and the second stars Tony Leung, Faye Wong and Valerie Chow.

The Chinese title translates to "Chungking Jungle", referring to the metaphoric concrete jungle of the city, as well as to Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui, where much of the first part of the movie is set. The English title refers to Chungking Mansions and the Midnight Express food stall where Faye works.


Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:17 am
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Post Re: Chung Hing sam lam [Chungking Express]
I found it extraordinarily powerful and nearly emotionally overwhelming. The use of colour, slow-motion, fast-motion, music, and several visual motifs makes for a truly sensual experience. This is not a film of narrative continuity, character development, or psychological motivations (though it's certainly not lacking in the latter two). This is a film based entirely around the notion of being a film, and everything that comes with that. It's not an animated storybook. It's not a visual novel. This is a movie. Every shot is expertly crafted, every cut timed specifically, every moment utilized perfectly to maximize effect. Only one film in, and Wong Kar-wai is already one of my favourite directors. This is a masterpiece.

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Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:10 pm
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Post Re: Chung Hing sam lam [Chungking Express]
good stuffs

Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:12 pm

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:41 pm
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Location: San Mateo, CA
Post Re: Chung Hing sam lam [Chungking Express]
Yep, a mesmerizing film, full of Wong Kar-Wai and Christopher Doyle signatures, and a lot of memorable quotes especially in their original Chinese:

- At the high point of our intimacy, we were just 0.01cm from each other. I knew nothing about her. Six hours later, she fell in love with another man.

- 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?

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

Recent watched movies:

American Hustle - B+
Inside Llewyn Davis - B
Before Midnight - A
12 Years a Slave - A-
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - A-

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Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:30 pm
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I'm really split on this film. While I can see why many people love it, I just can't ring myself to do the same. One of the main problems I had with it stylistically was also the same one I had with Wong Kar Wai's My Blueberry Nights - it's the overwhelming and mostly unnecessary use of slow-motion in many many scenes. I think Wong Kar Wai is very able of creating a distinct atmosphere and feel in his movies. The take-away place pretty much becomes a character itself in this film. However, the hallucinating, blurry style that Doyle created in this film just didn't click with me.

In the same way, I am also split about the film's content. I loved the first story of Takeshi Kaneshiro's Cop 223. It's really a touching story of unrequited love, full of remarkable quotes and small, very moving scenes. Enjoyed all of it a lot, but sadly it was over too soon. The bigger part of the film seems to be the plotline of Tony Leung's and the quirky waitress...and that part was just too out there for me to be able to connect with the characters emotionally in any way. While this part was well-acted per sé, I never felt for the characters and didn't really care for what was happening on-screen. That pretty much presented a polar opposite of the film's first storyline to me where I was really involved in what was going on.

Brigitte Lin and Takeshi Kaneshiro deliver the best performances here. I also loved the use of California Dreamin' during the movie's second half. Pretty random, but I liked it. As I said, there are many great quotes here about love, the fragility of relationships and just life. My favorites were:

"We're all unlucky in love sometimes. When I am, I go jogging. The body loses water when you jog, so you have none left for tears. "

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

"People like you are hung up on freshness. You realize what goes into a can of pineapple? The fruit must be grown, harvested, sliced, and you just throw it away! How do you think the can feels about that?"

Pretty great stuff there, but as I said: the second half didn't work for me and it was sadly the biggest storyline in the film, so I was ultimately left with mixed feelings on this overall.

The greatest thing on earth is to love and to be loved in return!


Thu May 22, 2008 9:27 pm
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