World of Wong Kar Wai: Chungking Express

(Hong Kong/1990—directed by Wong Kar Wai)

With his lush visuals, stirring soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.

The DFT presented a retrospective of newly restored WKW classics virtually during the pandemic last year, but we’re happier still to now be presenting four of his masterworks in stunning 4K resolution on the big screen, the way they cry out to be seen.

Wong Kar Wai’s breakthrough feature represents the first full flowering of his swooning signature style. The first film in a loosely connected, ongoing cycle that includes In the Mood for Love, this ravishing existential reverie is a dreamlike drift through the Hong Kong of the 1960s in which a band of wayward twentysomethings— including a disaffected playboy (Leslie Cheung) searching for his birth mother, a lovelorn woman (Maggie Cheung) hopelessly enamored with him, and a policeman (Andy Lau) caught in the middle of their turbulent relationship—pull together and push apart in a cycle of frustrated desire.

The director’s inaugural collaboration with cinematographer Christopher Doyle, who lends the film its gorgeously gauzy, hallucinatory texture, Days of Being Wild is an exhilarating first expression of Wong’s trademark themes of time, longing, dislocation, and the restless search for human connection. A 4K digital restoration from the original 35mm camera negative. In Cantonese with English subtitles. (94 minutes)



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