Chunking Express is probably the criterion film that I saw first. It was when I first got into film school, I never really seen a foreign film before; I wasn’t really watching a lot of foreign films. I just remember being sucked in, and having this feeling of how big the world was, but also how small it was at the same time. Because, I don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese, never been outside of the state of Florida, yet I’m watching this film and I’m feeling all these things. And then stylistically it was made in a way that was different than any film I’d ever seen before.

I always obsess over the Dinah Washington montage. This guy basically summarizes an entire relationship in 2 minutes and like 34 seconds. It starts out with this toy airplane. That moment has always struck me as something that was just ridiculously beautiful, even though its mournful at the same time. I’d never seen anything like that in a film, ever, in my life. And here’s Dinah Washington, this somewhat tragic soul singer from America. And here’s this guy, in Asia. It’s like, how small is the world! I just like how much freedom there is, in the way he juxtaposes images.

Barry Jenkins on Chungking Express
Stephanie Winarto