Chungking Express

472 Words2 Pages
Although Wong Kar-wai experiments with numerous elements of film in Chungking Express, one of the most notable aspects of the movie relates to sound. Using both diegetic and non-diegetic sound cleverly throughout the film, Wong creates an atmosphere in which his audience is able to form a connection with his four central characters. He commences what could be considered the first act of the film with dramatic instrumentals, introducing Michael Galasso’s “Baroque” as it is juxtaposed with chase scenes enveloped in the night and illuminated only by few vibrant colored signs of shops. The same instrumental song appears several times more, restricted to only the first act of the film and only establishing its presence during similarly action-oriented…show more content…
It is an example of Wong’s usage of diegetic sound, as it is primarily contained within scenes set in the bar the woman in the wig frequents, played by the bar’s jukebox. The song comes to act as almost a theme for the woman in the wig and her likely questionable lifestyle, as its first appearance coincides with the introduction of the drug dealer who she serves, along with his lover. The notion that the song is a theme for the woman in the wig’s lone storyline is further reinforced by its numerous reappearances in the film’s bar scenes. However, the song also crosses over to non-diegetic sound twice. The first occurrence serves as another foreshadowing of the later meeting between Officer 223 and the woman in the wig, with the song beginning in the bar and following the woman in the wig outside and then carrying onto play as the camera returns its focus to Officer 223. The second time the song becomes non-diegetic signals the end of the woman in the wig’s storyline, beginning as music from the bar’s jukebox then continuing to play in the background as the camera follows the drug dealer outside, to his death, and to the woman in the wig’s escape. Consequently, Brown’s “Things in Life” seems to accompany the woman in the wig’s lone storyline in the film, as well as when it intertwines with Officer
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