Hello, July! As usual, Monday starts with a new movie influence in this blog. This time, Jason from Genkina hito’s J-Film Reviews shared one of his precious movie (one that on my watch list too), Chungking Express (1994). But first, a quick summary :
Many people have their own movies they think highly, praised and probably started seeing things differently after watching them. I’ve shared mine and I always wanted to know what others have. I asked other people which movie they think to have the best influence on them.
Scroll down to read more of Jason and Chungking Express!
For a guy who spends most of his time obsessing over Japanese films, picking one from Hong Kong may seem odd but Chungking Express (1994) is one of the best films ever. It is a romantic comedy where ordinary men and women can, through chance encounters, find magic and romance that shake them out of their world.
In what way does the movie changed you?
When I watched the film I was in high school, indifferent to life and not really into appreciating films as anything more than entertainment. Chungking Express changed that by giving me a story full of comedy, melancholy, loneliness, love and hope and it opened my eyes to the world of cinema, aesthetics, and the beauty of life.
What I noticed was the ways Wong Kar-Wai filmed individuals which opened up new emotional dimension on screen. He could show their existential loneliness by having the backgrounds sped up into a blur while the characters at the center of the story are running in a slower state, inhabiting a different temporal universe, disjointed from their surroundings and those around them. Recognizing that for myself and without the aid of a film critic left me initially stunned but feeling a growing connection to events on screen and a degree of recognition of feelings I myself held. As a result I became much more willing to explore film and the way it can convey meaning. I also gained a much more positive outlook on life.
What point of the movie you find so moving?
I’m tempted to say the end but I loved all of these emotionally confused characters and the way their normal lives went a little insane. If I had to pick just one then it would be the birthday message for Cop 223. Overall I loved the way Hong Kong was a world of rich and vivid colors, an ethnic melting-pot full of danger, intrigue and the possibility of change. I also fell in love with Brigitte Lin and Faye Wong. It gave me such joy that I watched it nearly every weekend for months after that (in a double-bill with Battle Royale).
What character of the movie you could relate to?
Officer 223… He expended so much energy on romantic dreams and his job but didn’t achieve all that much. I recognized that although I adored Faye and her urge to escape normality as exhibited by her incessantly listening to California Dreaming by the Mamas and Papas. I practically memorized the song since I watched the film so many times.
Favorite quote of the movie?
Out of context this dialogue exchange sounds meaningless, in the movie it is magic!
Faye: Where to?
Cop No. 663: I’m easy. Wherever you like.
If you could summon/conclude the entire movie’s message, what would it be?
The movie’s message is that life is full of possibility and we all get a moment of romance and beauty we just have to be aware of it, keep our eyes open, embrace change and not take life too seriously. That and Faye Wong is cute.
And for anybody who is interested here’s the Japanese poster for the film :
I.n.t.e.r.e.s.t.i.n.g! I wish I could watch this movie right away. Thank you Jason, for participating and sharing your influence. Folks, you can read previous posts by clicking this link. And, as usual your comments are always welcome.