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Part of World of Wong Kar Wai.
The whiplash, double-pronged CHUNGKING EXPRESS is one of the defining works of ‘90s cinema and the film that made Hong Kong filmmaker 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 35mm 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.
“The MASCULIN FÉMININ of the 1990s…. CHUNGKING EXPRESS established Wong’s reputation as a major auteur, the most glamorous and enigmatic since Godard. It also marked a turning point in his work, a shift in direction that is actually signaled within the film, when the desultory underworld revenge narrative fades away and is replaced by a love story as simple as it is delirious.” —Amy Taubin, Criterion “Ultimately feels more sweet than bitter, defined by a tone of long-shot hopefulness and a sense that maybe it might all work out for those heartbroken young people…as they watch the first acts of their youth draw to a close.” —Keith Phipps, The Dissolve “…A supreme visual stylist but also a poet of the kinds of love that tear people apart and just occasionally bring them back together again…. He is also a poet of time. No other director since the (distant) heyday of Alain Resnais has been so attuned to the effects of time on memory, sensation and emotion.” —Tony Rayns, BFI