Turning 22 seconds into an eternity

A film fanboy gushes…

http://thedissolve.com/features/movie-of-the-week/221-how-wong-kar-wai-turned-22-seconds-into-an-eternit/

Time is elastic in Wong Kar-Wai’s movies. As in The Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like An Eagle,” it keeps on slippin’, slippin, slippin’. The first of Chungking Express’ twin stories involves a countdown: Cop 223’s girlfriend has dumped him, but he isn’t yet ready to accept that she’s gone, so he contrives a monthlong waiting/mourning period that gives their already-dead relationship an expiration date. The film’s second story ultimately pivots on a hand-drawn boarding pass good for a date one year in the future. Wong’s characters almost never fully exist in the present moment. Some part of them is forever looking forward or backward, either anticipating or remembering. Often, paradoxically, both at once.

The notable exception to this rule in Chungking Express is one of my favorite shots in all of cinema.

It occurs in the second story, just a little past the halfway point of the film as a whole. The shot lasts 22 seconds, and nothing whatsoever happens during that time. Cop 663 (Tony Leung) drinks a cup of coffee, and Faye (Faye Wong) watches him. That’s it. The coffee isn’t poisoned, and there’s no narrative value to be found elsewhere in the frame. The shot could be cut without impeding the story in any way. Nonetheless, it’s one of the most fervently romantic interludes of all time—22 seconds of pure rapture. As a demonstration of what movies at their best do that no other medium can, it’s hard to beat.

22_seconds_cop663_faye_coffee

22_seconds_cop663_faye_coffee

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Hope I don’t end up talking to and consoling thinning bars of soap and limp crying towels:
梁朝偉在家的獨白(重慶森林)
Tony Leung – Home Alone Monologue (Chungking Express)

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And I don’t want to be Pinned:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYS9Cj96C3U#t=125

hurt_by_a_pin_大头丁

hurt_by_a_pin_大头丁


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Hai… Loving and losing air stewardesses… Who hadn’t been through that.

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