Sunday, January 06, 2008

In the Room Where Christopher Doyle Dreams

Chungking Express (1994)
directed by Kar-Wai Wong
rating: 3 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from the vaults

Yes, I've seen those pictures of Mathilda with bobbed blonde hair, and yes, I remember Sky Captain, Inman, and Gigolo Joe. If David Strathairn plays a Tony Leung cop with a third of Tony Leung's brio (and twice Tony Leung's bryl!), won't Strathairn's melancholy still be a strictly sexless disconsolate set of eyes? Then again, in Chungking Express, Tony talks to stuffed animals, Wong condescends to the Cranberries' level in his best American Graffiti shorthand, and the slow-motion opening is a too-easy tricky chaos.

But he's still my director for warm, rainy days. The slow-motion shot of Faye watching Cop 663 is as beautiful as slow-motion gets. Same for the sweet Indian staff, slipping away for Faye's big push, the busybody uncle who never quite intrudes, and 663's architectural philosophy. 663's teary apartment is a commercial quantity of red dye away from the bleeding house of The Evil Dead, and how can you help but haunt such lonely habitations?