Chungking Express and the East Asian New Wave Aims: Chungking info Narrative Structure Hong Kong in context What makes it Postmodern?
1. Chunking Info Chungking Express 1994 Director and Writer - Wong Kar Wai Cinematographer - Christopher Doyle Cast: Woman in blonde wig
- Brigitte Lin Cop 663 -
Tony Leung Faye - Faye Wong
He Zhiwu (Cop 223) - Takeshi Kaneshiro Air Hostess
- Valerie Chow Manager of Midnight Express Chen Jinquin
Low budget Shot very quickly over a few weeks Made while Wong was having problems editing Ashes of Time (1994) Has been compared in style to a music video Uses many techniques associated with New
Wave filmmaking -Handheld camera -Jump Cuts -Challenges conventional techniques Also adds new discontinuities through slowing down and speeding up of the film stock These, along with the narrative form (two stories
in one film) help foreground the film language -form over content? -style over substance? Reminds the audience that they are watching a film Task: Do the two separate stories follow Todorovs five
stages? 2. Narrative Chunking: -is experimental (in the narrative) - disrupts conventional narrative structure challenges mainstream conventions How does it achieve these?
However There have been mainstream films that have also experimented with narrative structure Can you name any? Love Actually (Curtis; 2003) Crash (Haggis; 2004) Pulp Fiction (Tarrantino; 1994) Memento (Nolan; 2000)
Answer the questions on page 243 3. Hong Kong in context A combination between Eastern and Western culture Has been a British and Chinese colony Britain invaded in 1842 during the Opium wars with China Held sovereignty with a liberal economy until 1997
when it was handed back to China As a result it is seen as a space that -is constantly changing postmodern society -influenced by many different, contrasting cultures -leaves its inhabitants unsure of their national identity and culture
Ackbar Abbas in Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance (1997) claims that the people of the area are in a state of reverse hallucination They are unsure / cannot see what is in front of them Because of how Hong Kong is constantly changing Merging of east and west in Chunking Express
Blonde wig and trench coat Corporate logos (Coca Cola, Del Monte etc.) American pop songs Foreign food (fish and chips, pizza etc.) Different languages (Cantonese, English, Japanese, Hindi, Mandarin) Hong Kong is represented as a conflicted city - part
British, part Chinese Hong Kong lacks identity and is a place of anxiety (of the hand over to a communist state) Also infects the characters -Both policemen long for something which has gone -Cant think or act rationally -Self-absorbed and isolated -They are in a state of reverse hallucination and are a
metaphor for Hong Kong at the end of the 20th century Hong Kong as a conflicted state with an uncertain future can also be seen in other East Asian films of the time Made in Hong Kong (Fruit Chan; 1997: Hong Kong) The River (Ming Liang-Tsai; 1997: Taiwan) Schuzou River (Ye Lou; 2000: China)
As well as Wongs other films As Tears Go By (1988) Days of Being Wild (1990) Ashes of Time (1994) Fallen Angels (1995) Happy Together (1997) In the Mood for Love (2000)
2046 (2004) 4. What Makes it Postmodern? -Style over substance -Hong Kong itself and the characters within the film cannot see what is in front of them (deja disparu) -Mix of eastern and western culture (boundaries blurred)
-Unconventional narrative structure -Intertextuality (song refs) Context Hong Kong had more liberal attitude to filmmaking before the hand over China more repressive (state controlled and heavily censored); see Raise the Red Lantern (Yimou; 1991:
China) Scripts need to be okayed by Chinese government Wong often does not write scripts Wong makes first Hollywood film in 2007 - My Blueberry Nights Read page 247 and answer the questions on 247248
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