Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Logic of Dreams

Chungking Express
1994. 102 minutes. China. Directed by Wong Kar-Wai. Watchdate: 11/2/2012.
Chungking Express expresses romance and a sense of longing through moments, images and somewhat poetic abstract structure that take prominence over the two intersecting central narratives. The narratives do not follow a standard story logic, rather they use the associative logic of dreams: Qiwu is in love with May and his birthday is May 1st while he understands their relationship through canned food expiration dates; Tony Leung’s character gets over a relationship with a flight attendant by falling in love with a woman who later becomes a flight attendant and when he invites her to meet him at a restaurant called California, she ends up going to the state of California instead.

The movie lies somewhere between the real (in that it depicts how people really live in Hong Kong to a certain extent) and the surreal in that it follows this odd associative dream logic I just attempted to describe. So pretty much the same deal as Fallen Angels yet this movie felt somehow warmer. I don't mean that to be derogatory to Fallen Angels, both warmer movies and colder movies appeal to me in different ways.

Anyway, Wong Kar-Wai has not yet fully captured my imagination. But his work appeals to me probably because the weird associative logic of his narratives reminds me of my own tendencies in storytelling.

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