As Time Goes Wild

Chungking Express changes the tempo of pop cinema.

Throughout Chungking Express, the director's control of the medium is nothing less than astonishing, evidenced by the smooth, confident, sensual way he segues between a handful of moods--alternating MTV-style chase scenes and languorous barroom conversations with elliptical depictions of playful boredom. As it turns out, the movie is precisely about how wild transferrals of energy can keep anyone--cop, crook, or clerk--in sync with an ever-changing world. By the end, two of the lovers have traded places, and Wong has pulled a serious switch on what passes for "reality" and "entertainment" in pop cinema. In that Hong Kong is poised to revert to Chinese rule in '97, Chungking Express has a sense of preparing for a much bigger reversal of fortune. CP

Chungking Express starts Friday at Lagoon Cinema.

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