Mise En Scene Analysis

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Hong Kong is a hybridity city for it has gone through the cultural legacy of British colonialism and American cultural imperialism and is now undergoing China upbringing, which causes the image that Hong Kong cinema is more transnational. However, made in early 1990s, Chungking Express emphasizes on the concept of the local. Covering two individual yet associated stories, the film describes the city life in Hong Kong. By analyzing the mise en scene, especially the obstruction of framing in the first story and the urban space in the second story of Chungking Express, the identity of Hong Kong cinema as a city of loss and rejection as well as a city of love and desire will be demonstrated in the commentary.

The sense of isolation and
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The cinematic technique applied in this scene explains the struggle of the inner world in both of them: today is the deadline. The Cop 233 is recalling the old relationship while the drug dealer is considering where to find the Indian. It proves the idea Gan (2003: 1) pinpoints that although they are in physical closeness because of the shared space, their emotion still has distance. These visual discontinuities reveal the ‘diasporic condition’ (Lu, 2000: 281) of the urban life in Hong Kong.

The second story between Cop 663 and Faye concentrates more on the urban space of Hong Kong. ‘The labyrinthine storefronts, beehive buildings, dingy apartments, crowded streets,’ is how Huang (2001: 130) describes the city. In the second part of the film, the Mid-level escalator, the longest stretch of escalator in the world which connects Central and the residence area, presents a space where voyeuristic desire is allowed to dominate (Gan, 2003: 5). Being infatuated by the policeman, Faye arises her desire on the escalator walkway in that the apartment that Cop 663 lives in is located on the lower sections of the escalator. It is the desire that motivates her to sneak into the apartment, removes every sign of the air hostess and pretends herself as the hostess. Therefore, the escalator also is a metaphor of the beginning of the romance between Cop 663 and Faye.

The process of Cop 663 falling in love with Faye is explained through the sharing space of them:

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