Chungking Express

My Sharona Scene in Reality Bites

Thirty years ago, Ren McCormack fought for his right in Footloose. “This is our time to dance,” he argued. “It is our way of celebrating life. It’s the way it was in the beginning. It’s the way it’s always been. It’s the way it should be now.” As Kevin Bacon put on his old sweats and threw an old cassette on the stereo for Jimmy Fallon last week, we were reminded in the resonating power of dance scenes… Only, we often remember the most polished dance sequences and forget that “from the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons.” Though lists like to remind us over and over of the usual suspects – the films boasting carefully rehearsed choreography ((500) Days of Summer), musical numbers (Singin’ in the Rain), practiced moves (Dirty Dancing), and audacious comedy (Little Miss Sunshine) – there are many memorable dance sequences that break the barriers. Most are raw and unpolished as they push dance out of its narrowly choreographed confines and use it as a method of exploring everything from idiosyncratic inner tension to the charm of goofy exuberance – and they are a pleasure to behold.

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Fritz Lang

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Sixteen years after the release of Chungking Express – the film that placed Wong Kar-Wai firmly and what seems to be permanently in the realm of international auteurdom – it is repeatedly remembered and recounted as an exercise in Cannes-friendly urban arthouse cool, specifically in its constant comparisons with the style-heavy and suave work of early 60s Godard; Amy Taubin called Chungking Express the Masculin-feminin (1966) of the 1990s, and Tarantino has made vague comparisons to Breathless.

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Criterion Blu-ray Logo

Now you will have to re-buy all your damn DVDs. Again.

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