I probably couldn’t have picked a better movie to watch on a rainy May weekend than Chungking Express, which focuses heavily on the month of May, particularly May 1st, for the first half of the story. And not just the date, also two of the characters are named May. When He Zhiwu (Cop 223 played by Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his girlfriend break up on April 1st, Zhiwu vows to eat cans of pineapple with the expiration date of May 1st every day until his birthday, which is May 1st, giving a month for their love to expire, just like the pineapple, before he moves on. His ex-girlfriend, May, loved pineapple. May 1st comes, and then he meets the mysterious woman in the blonde wig, played by Brigitte Lin.
The movie follows the breakups and romances of two police officers in Hong Kong, with a food stand called “Midnight Express” as the common thread, and the manager of the food stand (actor Piggy Chan) who offers bits of advice and wisdom to his patrons. Throughout the film, viewers get a magical bird’s eye view of daily life in Hong Kong: the food, the markets, the neon lights at night, the way the rain reflects the city on the streets, and we get an intimate portrait of Cop 663’s apartment.
The second story features Cop 663, played by Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, who is dating a flight attendant at the beginning of the story, but they break up soon after. He, too, gets advice from the snack bar owner, and soon learns that one of the employees at the Midnight Express, Faye (played by Faye Wong), has a crush on him.
Chungking Express (1994) is another wonderful film currently streaming on HBO Max. It is written and directed by Kar-Wai Wong, who is also known for his work on Happy Together (1997) and In the Mood for Love (2000).
And for the merry merry rainy month of May weekend… I made more yellow crochet flowers for my Daisy Beach blanket.