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June 8, 2014

I took a look the other night at the Criterion digital restoration of Wong Kar-Wai’s chungking express. It was interesting to revisit Wong’s homage to the French nouvelle vague and to Jean-Luc Godard in particular, since Godard just celebrated a critical success two weeks previous upon his return to Cannes with Goodbye To Language.

Straight up, chungking express can be viewed as a contemporary reworking of Godard’s Breathless. But Wong also gives a nod to Cassavettes’ Gloria in the opening section of his film.

What always amazes me about Wong’s work is the way he revisits film genres, employing a contemporary style, yet managing in the end to come out making an experimental film. His pictures pay homage to what’s gone before even as he’s pushing the medium forward.

(Wong’s Ashes Of Time Redux is a particular favorite.) 

The actors are also terrific and Christopher Doyle’s camerawork invests each picture with a distinctive energy that is both visually surprising and fresh.

(Check out the May 25th blog entry as well to get a more rounded take on this week’s entry…Thanks all…)

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