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World of Wong Kar Wai: Chungking Express

Fri, Sept 17 / 7pm
Wed, Sept 22 / 9:05pm
Thu, Sept 30 / 7pm
Sat, Oct 2 / 4:40pm
Directed by Wong Kar Wai
1994, Hong Kong, 102 min
Cantonese with English subtitles

The whiplash, double-pronged Chungking Express is one of the defining works of 1990s cinema and the film that made Wong Kar Wai an instant icon. Two heartsick Hong Kong cops (Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tony Leung), both jilted by ex-lovers, cross paths at the Midnight Express take-out restaurant stand, where the ethereal pixie waitress Faye (Faye Wong) works. Anything goes in Wong’s gloriously shot and utterly unexpected charmer, which cemented the sex appeal of its gorgeous stars and forever turned canned pineapple and the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” into tokens of romantic longing. 

This 4K digital restoration was undertaken from the 35 mm original camera negative by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with L’Immagine Ritrovata and Jet Tone. It was supervised and approved by Wong Kar Wai.

Reviews

[Wong's] hypnotic images of love and loss finally wear down your resistance as seemingly discordant sights and sounds coalesce into a radiant, crazy quilt.
– Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
To Wong, love isn’t something you can talk about; words are inadequate, empty, inevitably reductive. Love is something you see, sense, feel, and Chungking Express is one of Wong’s purest evocations of its excitement and heartbreak.
– Matt Noller, Slant
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