Wong’s Hong Kong (A Photo Tour)

This fall will see the return of a grand master when Wong Kar-Wai releases his new movie The Grandmasters. The world’s most romantic filmmaker directing what is promised to be a “real kung fu film” (with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai playing Ip Man, Bruce Lee’s teacher) is a mouth-watering prospect. The fact that it is Wong’s first movie in over seven years to be made in his native Hong Kong has raised anticipation and expectations even more. Although working slowly has since become his modus operandi, in the mid-1990s Wong was synonymous with the frenetic urban energy and unique East-meets-West flavor of Hong Kong after releasing Ashes of Time, Chungking Express and Fallen Angels within an astonishing span of just 13 months.

In 2006, I travelled to Hong Kong and visited many of the iconic locations featured in the delightful Chungking Express / Fallen Angels diptych. Here is my own personal photo tour of Wong Kar-Wai’s Hong Kong:

The central location of the first half of Chungking Express is Chungking Mansions, one of the oldest and most famous buildings on Hong Kong’s Kowloon side. (This is where Brigitte Lin’s character, the Woman in the Blonde Wig, recruits the Indian drug smugglers.) The first floor consists of dozens of retail shops, some of which are no larger than phone booths, with the upper floors containing hostels that cater to international travelers. (This is not an endorsement. It is reportedly an unsafe place to stay.) Watching Chungking Express is even more fascinating after having visited this location, as one can really appreciate the accuracy with which Wong captures the building’s singularly grungy poetic quality. Especially impressive is the way the film evokes what it feels like to wander around the first floor – with different ethnic music drifting out at anyone walking through the maze of myriad shops. This is also where Takeshi Kaneshiro’s mute character, He Zhiwu, lives with his father in Fallen Angels.

Outside of Chungking Mansions:

In a dilapidated corner of the building’s interior:

“The Woman in the Blonde Wig” inside of Chungking Mansions:

The central location of the second half of Chungking Express is the fast food restaurant Midnight Express. This is where Faye (Faye Wong) serves black coffee to heartbroken Cop 663 (Tony Leung) every night. The restaurant also makes a cameo in Fallen Angels when He Zhiwu briefly works there. By 2006 Midnight Express, located in Lan Kwai Fong (the nightlife district of Hong Kong Island), had closed and the space was being used as a tobacco shop. From what I understand it has since been converted again, this time into a 7-11.

Faye and Cop 663 in Midnight Express:

Outside of the First In Tobacco Shop (formerly Midnight Express):

In Chungking Express, Cop 663 and Faye make a date to meet at the California Restaurant. Any Wong Kar-Wai fan visiting Hong Kong for the first time will probably be amazed to learn that it is on the same block as Midnight Express (but on the opposite side of the street) – a much closer spatial relationship than one would ever deduce from watching the movie.

I drank a beer inside of California Restaurant (I particularly like this shot because it looks like it could be from a WKW film):

But unlike Cop 663 I didn’t talk to any empty bottles:

Cop 223 eats a burger outside of a Tsim Tsha Tsui McDonald’s (Kowloon side) in Chungking Express. This is also where Leon Lai’s hitman meets Blondie (Karen Mok) in Fallen Angels:

Outside of the same McDonald’s 12 years later:

Next to Wong Kar-Wai’s star on Victoria Harbour’s Hong Kong “Walk of Fame”:

The above photos of me were taken by the great Mia Park

Update 01/14/12: Of all the old posts on this blog, this one has remained the most popular because of the number of people constantly looking for information about the locations where WKW shot his films. Someone even linked this post to the official Wikipedia entry for Chungking Express. Therefore, I’m going to provide more detailed information about the addresses of the locations discussed above.

Chunking Mansions is located at 36 – 44 Nathan Rd. in Kowloon.

California Restaurant is located at 32 – 34 D’aguilar St. in Central.

Midnight Express is now a 7-11 and is located at 3 Lan Kwai Fong, a very short walk from California Restaurant.

The basement McDonald’s that figures in both Chungking Express and Fallen Angels is located on Salisbury Rd. in Kowloon. I don’t know the exact address but it’s easy to find.

About michaelgloversmith

Filmmaker, author and Film Studies instructor. View all posts by michaelgloversmith

41 responses to “Wong’s Hong Kong (A Photo Tour)

  • Corrine

    Thanks, for the photos!

  • jilliemae

    I’ve never seen some of these photos, where have you been hiding them?! Do you have a secret photo stash that I’ve never seen?! They are great, though.

  • michaelgloversmith

    Mia Park took them and burned them onto a CD for me. I hadn’t seen most of them for years until I decided to create this post. I feel bad for the smoking pics though. (Don’t smoke, kids. It’s bad for your health.)

  • Suzi

    You definitely look like you could be in a Wong Kar Wai film, with the leather jacket and shades. But, you smile too much–you need to be more melancholy.

  • michaelgloversmith

    You’re right, Suzi, but I couldn’t help myself. I was just so damn happy to be there!

  • steven pate

    Love the photos. Thanks for getting “California Dreaming” stuck in my head.

  • chris r.

    Thanks for the post. Headed to HK next month and I was curious about these locations. Google sent me to your blog- exactly what i wanted to see.

  • Jhamie

    This is awesome! I’m taking a day trip to HK when I visit the mainland in a couple of months. I can’t stay overnight and it’ll be my first time there so I’m a bit worried I might have trouble locating all these places if I didn’t have a reliable list. I was ready to do some heavy research (and mark places on Google maps!) but you made my life so much easier now. ^_^

    Thanks a lot! You have no idea how you’ve made this wong kar wai fanatic several shades happier. no kidding.😀

  • David

    Great tour,great photos,Mike.I will visit HK this April and will locate the Chungking Mansion as you did!! The last picture,I thought you took it in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood,never had the idea it’s in Hongkong and it’s Wong’s block.

  • David

    A following question,how did you locate those places?? did you watch the films a couple of times before you went there?? haha

  • My Movie Journey to Hong Kong(A Photo Essay) | Taste of Cinema

    […] a year ago,I was introduced to an fascinating photo essay about a Wong Karwai fan’s Hong Kong tour by the author himself,who’s also a regular […]

  • Annie Oakley

    It looks like you had a great time

  • Lapiskamay

    wow!! thanks for this post! I”m a big fan of the film. Next year I’ll be joining in the HK marathon so definitely I’ll be geeking out these places. thank you sir!!!

  • Rob Miller

    Great post – missed this before I left for HK (truth be told I kinda left it late and chanced it on the ground) – but it was handy when scouring the web for further info. on my return. Blogged as comprehensively as I could on the experience too (forgive the cryptic tone, just part of my, er, ‘thang’) http://brawbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/wong-kar-wais-hong-chung-king-kong.html

    • erica ganzorig

      Chungking express was just an interesting and fun movie to watch, even though it did go by fast it was really easy to follow, i loved it! For some reason i felt like this movie had more of a american twist to it, probably because of the optical effects that they used. I can see where american films got that idea from, i had no idea this movie was the first movie to have optical effects in them. This is so popular in american films and used a lot. The two locations midnight express and chunking mansions are such good locations to make a romantic comedy, and it was captured so well throughout the film. Wong kar-wai did an amazing job on getting the vibe of these locations, with people walking by, people selling stuff, drug dealing, you can see the energy of the streets through the screen. What i really loved about this film is this wasn’t a typical romantic movie, not where they instantly fall in love and go with each other but this film is where they build up to it. The comedy with each of the characters was genuinely funny, which made it even better. The second part of the characters, they weren’t in love because the girl was kind of stalking him but i feel like he knew but did not want to mention anything. Its funny how they fell in love, because how the girl approached him is not what usually happens in romantic movies. All of the characters had their own style and own humor and really made it their own and individually that they put into the film. Overall this film had a different approach of romance, comedy, and suspense all in one which made it great to watch. Also I’m so glad you went to go visit these actual locations in hong kong, looks incredible to visit especially after watching this film.

  • Alejandro Magdaleno

    The film Chungking Express was different but a great film. It was different because it was two different films in one. The first story with cop #223 was so interesting because it had the bad ass women in the blond wig, which was probably the first film where they make a women play the role of a bad ass drug dealer/criminal, there all usually played by men. This first part showed something different that I haven’t seen in a while. It showed great shots of when the women is running and everything in the background is slow movement but its suppose to be as if its fast pace because she’s running fast trying to find the indians that got away. I liked the first part a lot but I didn’t feel like there was much romance in it besides the guy misses his girl and is trying to hide his emotions and falling in love with the blond lady that he will never see ever again.
    Wong Kar-Wai did a great job with the second part. It was sort of a weird, creepy romance that Faye and cop #663 had. It was a depressing and sad second part of romance because of of the girl who left cop #663.It was hard to understand what Faye and the cop had between each other towards the end of the film because I felt like Faye was being a stocker and was simply being really creepy and was hard to tell if she really like cop #663. The second part of the film required a lot of attention in order to remember what was changing as the time went by. A great scene of romance was towards the end of the film when Faye comes back and sees cop #663 in hers uncles old kitchen and the cop tells Faye that he’ll go wherever she wants to go. This part was very important because it showed how the cop was still waiting for Faye someday. Overall, I really liked the film and it was something different to watch. I don’t remember the last time Ive seen a romantic Hong Kong or japenese film, this was the first one and Wong Kar-Wai created different things that were never before seen.

  • Nidhi Patel

    Chung King Express was a very enjoyable movie. I really liked watching the movie. It was something different then what we normally watch in class. This movie has two stories back to back with a similar concept. The first story was about cop #223 and a woman in a Blonde wig. I was actually really confused about that story. I understand how the Cop was heart broken and trying to find another girlfriend, but I don’t understand what the lady with blonde wig was trying to do. Of course she was doing some illegal stuff and involved in a lot of crime. I had no clue why she randomly shot two men. The second story was very interesting to me. I loved that one actually! It had a mix of humor, romance, and suspense. This story was between cop #663 and Faye. Faye falls in love with cop #663. She tries to get close him, but it doesn’t seem to go off that well since the cop is in love with someone else. Faye breaks into the cops house and fixes everything for him. She cleans the house for him and buys him new food. The strange thing is that he never noticed anything. Although others might find this to be creepy I thought it was kind of cute. She was like a secret admirer. She was just helping him and trying to make him happy. She did not expect anything from him in return and I think that is what love is. Although it may seem a little childish or creepy, but it was a good representation. I liked the second part of the movie better than the first part. The love story between cop #663 and Faye was much better than the first one.

  • Sana Aktar

    Chungking Express was a striking movie, and actually one of my favorites from the ones we’ve watched in class. I thought the film was especially authentic because it was true to the depiction of an urban lifestyle and the ironic loneliness that often accompanies it. For instance, the step-printing optical effect used allowed the audience to see Cop 663 sip his drink at a normal speed while the other pedestrians rush around him. I felt like this really illustrated how paradoxically isolating it can feel to be in a city while also showing the speed of an urban setting through cinematography. Another notable scene in this film that also showed the dynamics of the city was when the woman in the blonde wig opened fire. The combination of music, blurred running people, and sounds of cars and trains created a picture of exactly what I’d imagine the seedy part of this city to be like.

    In general, I enjoyed this film greatly. There were some meaningful lines that really expanded on character development; for instance, when Faye said that she liked music “the louder the better because it keeps me from thinking so much,” I got a glimpse into the persona the actress was trying to portray. The film definitely had a strong entertainment factor to it well. The humor and drama made me care for each of the characters and understand their emotional spectrum. Although different from the other romantic comedies I’ve seen, Chungking Express was no less remarkable.

  • Zoe

    Chungking Express easily slid its way into heart and might be one of my new favorite movies. It was charming, funny, and incredibly innovative. I couldn’t believe that this was the film that invented the technique of an actor moving very slowly then sped up in post to make the background move in high speed. I’ve seen that done everywhere and it was so amazing to see what started it all.
    Learning that Wong Kar-Wai wrote and made this film as a mental break from editing an hour long period epic makes a lot of sense. It’s a simple film, but so refreshing and full of heart. You said that a lot of the script was improvised, as Wong Kar-Wai hadn’t finished the script before starting to film. If that’s so, it makes both stories feel so much more real. I found a quote from Won Kar-Wai; “When I started to film, I didn’t have it written completely. I filmed in chronological order. The first part happened during the night. I wrote the sequel of the story in one day! Thanks to a brief interruption for the New Year festivities, I had some more time to finish the rest of the script.” That lack of script works well during the filming of the first part of the first story, where the camera moves quickly following The Woman in the Blonde Wig around as she hustles her potential drugs mules about on errands to get them ready. That lack of set dialogue works so well in the film’s favor. We get to see everything without explanation which creates a better payoff when we realize what she’s doing.
    The themes of time, deadlines, heartbreak and love are so universal, but artfully presented in this film. While from the outside, we could see the ridiculousness of a man buying a can of pineapples every day with a certain expiration date. But the heart can convince the head of anything. Such as in the second story where a police officer thinks that his soap loses or gains weight, or his tattered red kitchen rag turns into a new white one.
    Though made in just two months and shot quickly, it never feels thrown together. It feels like real life, rushed, improvisational, and hurried at times, but slow, self-refelctive and sad in others. We’ve all been Cop #223 who can’t accept that a breakup has happened, that holds out hope on some self-made deadline before we can take stock and move on. And we’ve all been Faye, who falls for someone and is completely incapable of admitting out loud to the other person. Granted, hopefully we don’t go so far as to break into their apartments.

  • DM Watson

    Films that were progressive for their time tend to collect a layer of dust and feel dated after some decades have passed. “Chunking Express” catches lightning in a bottle and feels absolutely current (pagers notwithstanding). Perhaps it’s the delicate balance of old and new that permeates the Far East. Perhaps it’s that Wong took risks and hit the right notes in a universal theme. Maybe it’s a combination of factors. In the end, “Chunking Express” is ageless.

    Centralized around a diner called the Midnight Express, Wong tells two stories of police officers on different tracks but have a commonality that goes beyond their profession: heartbreak, their attachment to the diner, and an affinity for canned goods.

    “Chunking Express” is one-part screwball comedy, one-part romance, one-part crime drama, one-part coming of age story, and 100% captivating. It’s easy to forget that this film was made in the early ‘90s by the style, pace, and plot. Wong pioneered storytelling techniques and sucks readers in through these almost invisible but memorable tricks such as handheld chases and optical effects.

    All the characters in “Chunking Express” could use some time on a therapist’s couch by today’s societal standards, but that’s what makes them real and watchable. I know I’ll never look at pineapples and jogging the same. We all have become a little unhinged at some point in our lives.
    Officer 223 lives his life according to a self-imposed doomsday clock, and at the 11th hour, he meets a drug trafficker who frees him to move on. The woman in the blonde wig is a total badass, but she meets Officer 223 and lets her guard down a bit after a hellish day of mayhem. The second half of the film, in my opinion, is about Faye. Officer 663 inspires her to take a risk. Although we don’t know why she’s there beyond she is a bit of a vagabond, the shop owner’s cousin, and Mae (Officer 223’s former flame) has left a void in diner staffing. She matures through caring for Officer 663’s broken heart-induced zombieism. Although she went to extremes, she helped him find himself while she found herself.

    I think Wong was trying to tell us that caring for others heals us, and that is a timeless message.

  • itsnayanicole

    I really enjoyed watching “Chunking Express,” by Wong Kar-Wai. The film was very interesting because it was two love films with similar stories, shot for one movie. In the first part, was about a cop 223 who broke up with his longtime girlfriend May. He was so heartbroken that he went to the store to get a can of pineapples with the expiration date of May 1st. He believes that he will reconnect with his love and if he doesn’t hear anything by the end of the month, his love will expire too. He makes a phone call every day and gives a passwords to see if May has called him but she never does.

    One day at a local bar he meets a women that has a blonde wig and she is also a criminal. I was a little thrown off why she was going around committing crimes and what she was looking for; but he found her attracted and wanted to talk to her at the bar and she didn’t give him the time of day.

    The second half of the film was about cop 663 that just broke up with his flight attendant girlfriend. Every night he goes into a local diner and gets a cup of coffee when he meets a girl that works there. Eventually as time passes they become friend and start to have casual conversations. One day the flight attendant ex-girlfriend comes and drops off a letter and everyone at the diner reads it, cop 663 did not want to read it and tells them he’ll pick it up some other time. The girl that works at the diner starts to fall for the cop and starts doing weird things like rearrange his apartment when the cop is at work. Cop 663 eventually catches her being a creep and she runs away. He wants to take her out on a date after he catches her but she left to California, years later they meet again.

    I really enjoyed this movie and how it was filmed. It was really easy to follow along and understand what was happening. The movie was also really funny and relatable, I definitely would recommend Chunking Express to a friend. Great film!

  • Annie Stavins

    The film took my interest but I found the plot to be unappealing. The first part left me wanting more. So much happened in such a little time. The woman in the blonde wig was so badass, I wanted to learn more about her life. The way this film was shot was unique. All the blurry shots to show how fast everything was happening. The second part was strange to say the least. Faye became obsessed with cop 223 from meeting him for less than 5 minutes. Her whole life becomes centered around him. She knows his whole schedule and breaks into his house regularly. It seems like she spends more time there than at her own home. She puts so much effort into renovating it and the cop doesn’t seem to notice. I loved the scene where he catches her there and she stays and he plays her CD and pretends it was his exes. He seems to catch on he just does’t reveal it. This makes the film that much more confusing. I think it’s cool that the shot of the cop drinking the coffee with all the people passing super quick was actually filmed in slow motion. That’s impressive that he was the person to come up with it. Although I found the plot to be unappealing I really enjoyed how the film was shot. It was put together beautifully and was unique.

  • andrei podariu

    As we went deeper and deeper into the semester, the movies also became deeper and deeper. First Holy Motors, then Change Nothing, and now this. These movies have all been unusual and a bit hard, for me at least, to follow. This movie was pretty interesting overall because it was two movies basically in one. Different actors took over half way through the film, but the movie didn’t really change. It was still a romance movie. Although the movie didn’t really appeal to me, it was still a good movie. The camera work where the had the main character move in slow motion and then sped it up in editing was really interesting and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in another movie. That was pretty smart, and it made for some good scenes.

  • Enkhjin Dorjkhand

    This film Chunking Express made a fresh impression to me. It was like two movie in a one film and it was exiting. Both cops were good but i liked the first cop better because cop number 233 was more handsome in my opinion. The blond lady in the first half never really shows her face. Even when she was sleeping she didn’t take her glasses of. I think this means that she never shows her inner side or open her heart to any one. so, when she killed her boss and took of her wig at the end, she finally decided to be free and be herself. As for the second part i didn’t really understand Faye’s action in generally. it was unknown territory for me. I get that that she likes cop number 633 to the point she acts like a stalker. But, when the cop # 633 found out about that she was breaking into his house and asked her out Faye left leaving a letter behind. Maybe she liked him only when he didn’t know about her doing. Maybe she lost her excitement when she no longer had the power to change things in the cops house.

  • Jacob Reyna

    I was pleasantly surprised with Chungking Express, and that’s putting it somewhat lightly. I was a little skeptical at first about being able to enjoy a foreign romantic comedy, not so much because it was foreign but more because it was a rom-com. Director Wong-Kar-Wai did a fantastic job making this film both funny and engaging to the point that I was genuinely happy for cop 223 to receive his birthday message from the woman in the blonde wig and fairly upset when cop 663 and Faye never got the chance together that seemed inevitable. Splitting the film in to two completely separate stories with nothing linking them besides the location of the restaurant I thought was brilliant. I kept thinking in cop 663’s story that I would see some sort of sign of the existence of cop 223. At first I didn’t think it made sense to not link up the stories, but then I realized that these stories might have meant to played out months or even years apart from each other. That simple non-detail of the possible change of time really made me appreciate Chungking Express that much more.

  • Grace Collamat

    Wong Kar-Wai’s nineties film, Chungking Express, was made because he needed a break from the previous film he was making; to which made me think it will be a badly done movie because, it is just an “on the side project,” but I was wrong, and I’m glad I was wrong! Chungking Express has a different set up of film making, after all, director Wai was known to be the first to invent a camera shot that is now widely utilized in today’s films. The movie has two different chapters with both having cop characters; in the first segment we see two main characters, the blonde lady and cop 223, or as I like to call him, “the cute guy,” what was so likable about this chapter of the movie are the actors themselves. The blonde woman has a swag attitude in her that I cannot directly describe, she might remind you of a little bit of Marilyn Monroe because of her sex appeal, and then you have “the cute guy,” which for me sends innocence after juxtaposing his character to that of the blonde woman, and last but not the least, you have the Indians, who you think they are the people who are being used, but actually ended up as being the user. On the second chapter, we see another cop, cop 663 to be exact, who oftens stops by a coffee shop for some refreshments; it is there that a young woman, Faye, awaits for cop 663 who she secretly has a crush on. As the story goes for these two young people, we see that Faye increasingly takes actions that we resemble her to that of someone who has problems; Faye would routinely go to cop 663’s apartment and start making arrangements as if she has the right to do so.
    One thing I love about the movie, Chungking Express, is their resemblance about one universal topic, love. In the first chapter of the film, cop 223 spends most of his days checking expiration dates on canned fruits, because it reminds him of his past girlfriend, while on the second chapter, cop 663’s belongings in his apartment, like his canned foods, is being label replaced by Faye, probably because she wants his crush to eat the freshest food there is. In both segments of the film, it also tackles the idea of being lonely, even though you are always surrounded by a lot of people, and that clearly shows in both cops 223 and 663. As I was going through your travel blog in Hong Kong, I quickly realized that I actually stayed in the same mansion as the place where Wai shot his movie and had gone to similar areas around the neighborhood as well, it suddenly brought back many memories, from the small space area in the above hostels to the diverse smells of the market downstairs.
    Therefore in conclusion, cops 223 and 663 share one thing in common, and that is about their constant struggle on love and being lonely even though they live in one of the most populated cities in the world. Director Wai’s film style of the movie is something I have not seen before, from its shots and to the use of the environment around him; the region of Hong Kong is a beautiful representation of what the movie tackles, because it is all hustle and bustle, but still trying to find time for oneself.

  • Sandra Kogan

    Chungking express was an interesting film in the way the stories were told and shot. The stories in the film were very simple, but the characters were far from it. Both stories revolved around the central theme of love, but it was a very unique way of portraying love. Rather than portraying love as simple and constant, it shows the loneliness behind love. I really liked the scene of cop 223 continuously searching and eating expired pineapples to create some sort of deadline for when he can finally move on from his ex-girlfriend. It was a comical, lighthearted moment, but it made me feel so bad for him. Then, there was the relationship between Faye and Cop 663. Faye was a very intriguing character in my perspective, and she was a little insane at some moments, but everything she did was in attempt to truly find herself. She kept on playing the song “California Dreaming,” while she talked about traveling the world. She seemed like a lost soul. The woman who wore the blonde wig was definitely one of my favorite characters in the film. She was independent and strong willed. There have been so many films where the man is portrayed as a hard-core criminal, drug dealer, and it was refreshing to see the roles switch and have a women portrayed this way.There were many scenes that seemed very dreamlike. I found it particularly interesting to see where the technique of an actor moving slowly while everything else in the background moved quickly. This technique has been used a lot, and it was really awesome to see where it originated. Overall, the themes in this film were presented in such a unique, artful way, and they were easily relatable. Maybe we might not go to the extents of craziness of some of the characters in the film, but the central idea behind them was definitely something everyone could relate to, such as the heartbroken individual that just broke up with their partner, or the individual who is desperately in love with somebody else. It all felt so natural, like this could happen to anyone. This film left me feeling happy and satisfied, and it was very sweet and charming.

  • Marisa

    Chungking Express was surprisingly one of my favorite films that we have watched in class. It was really funny, the second part of the film was more entertaining to me. I couldn’t get over the fact that this girl got the cops key and she would go into his apartment. Leave it to a rom-com to have a guy fall for a girl who would break into his apartment and arrange stuff and change it. If this was me I would have a restraining order in place real fast!! When she was in his apartment I loved how she just did what she wanted and he was oblivious to it. I wonder if he really knew what was going on.

    In the beginning of the film the way he film the chase scenes were really giving me a headache. The way it would like make the background look blurry when they were running. It was a really cool affect and I feel like it really fit the film. They were really cool to look at. My eyes weren’t used to that type of filming, I had to look away at some points, but I really didn’t want to. It is something that reminded me of Fast and Furious: Tokyo drift.

  • Omar Arrez

    “Chungking Express” (1994) was a very distinctive film. Two stories told in one film as parallels. Both films touch the themes of time and memory. The hurt broken characters were passionate and made it possible for the themes of time and memory to be easily incorporated in the film. The innovative visual style was great. This is the first time I got to experience this visual style in a film. It made action more than ordinary, it made it exciding with a realistic touch. The two stories had enough similarities to be shown in the same film. They were mostly connected by the Restaurant and the airport. “Chungking Express” was indeed a great film by Wong Kar-Wai.

  • Bennett Miller

    “Chungking Express” was one of my first forays into Hong Kong cinema, and would have been my first if I hadn’t delved into Chow Yun-Fat’s action-packed films, but “Chungking” is such a different film from any of Yun-Fat’s that I feel this has been a step into the same river. The most commendable aspect of the film is the wonderful acting by every main character, especially the two police officers, cop 223 and cop 663. Their amazing performances gave great insight into their characters, and while I felt a much stronger connection to cop 223 in the first story, Tony Leung as cop 663 was what I felt to be a stronger performance. Wong Kar-Wai’s pioneering of two different styles of filming were commendable, but his method of cutting frames during more action-y scenes completely turned me off from those parts. I would say that I enjoyed it if I felt it brought anything to the film itself, but during the screening I felt that the only reason Kar-Wai included them in the film was to give me a profound headache, which he accomplished magnificently. The other method Kar-Wai imployed of directing his actors to do simple actions over the course of a long time, like he does in the scene of cop 663 drinking coffee, I felt was brilliant. It gives such a weight to these simple actions and it does make the film seem almost dream like. How appropriate that both “California Dreaming” by The Mamas and The Papas and a Cantonese cover of The Cranberries “Dreams” are the two staple songs of the second story. While the film was very good, certainly an influential piece of film, I couldn’t enjoy it as I felt I should have. Maybe I just needed to drink some coffee over the course of ten minutes, but that’s just speculation.

  • Shy Hossein

    “Chungking Express” was one of the first Hong Kong films i have seen. With that being said it was also a very enjoyable movie to have watched. The two films in one made it a little different, but the storys of cop 223 and 663 were still quite interesting. Again the movies were interesting but a bit away from reality. In my mind, breaking and entering in a cops home is a pretty bad move to make. Especially when you get caught. The fact that the cop pressed no charges but instead was okay with it was weird but hilarious.

  • Francesca F.

    The Chungking Express was such a fun movie to watch. I love the way it portrayed city life, the neon lights, the beautiful girls, the music, the humor. Director Wong Kar-Wai really did a wonderful job with this film. I can see how it inspired you to visit Hong Kong!
    What I found really interesting about this film is that it was shot in public, with random people on the street. This really adds to its whole “strangers” theme and gives it such a realistic feel. The two separate stories is something I’ve never seen in a movie before. It tells, separately, of two different love stories in this city. It reminded of something I’ve thought about while sitting on trains. At that moment we’re all in the same place, some even getting off at the same stop as me, yet we all have our separate lives, getting off the train to go do who knows what and be with who knows who.
    I love how the drug packing scene is filmed. It is so high energy, and I love the unique shots such as when the table is upside down and flips the right way. What Wong Kar-Wai did with the coffee scene is also so creative and really conveys the emotion of the character in that moment.
    Faye is absolutely adorable, although crazy. I like her “relationship” with Cop 663 because they are both crazy. She is breaking to his house, and he is talking to inanimate objects. They’re perfect for each other!
    Overall this film tells an interesting story – a blip of someone’s life. Hong Kong is a super cool setting, all the actors are fantastic, and I definitely want to watch Chungking Express again.

  • Syeda Tahir

    Chungking express was an entertaining film. The concept of showing two different stories can be a little confusing but appealing at the same time. I really liked the character of cop 233. He had an innocent look and was really heart broken when his girlfriend left him, anyone would feel sorry for him. The blonde in the wig was mysterious character, but it was confusing to understand, who she was running from. The Character of Faye, was a little weird, as she breaks into the cop 633’s apartment. In reality she would have been in jail for breaking in a cop’s apartment. I liked the ending where Faye and Cop 633 meet again, at least their story had a happy ending.
    This movie had the visual appeal to it and the music was really good too. I can watch this movie time and again; and still wouldn’t get bored.

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