Part 3 Project 2 – The Durational Space – Wong Kar-Wai


In the film Chungking Express there is a scene where Cop 633 drinks coffee from a Styrofoam cup whilst Fay, leaning on the serving counter. watches him. The two main characters of the scene are in focus within the depth of field. Outside of the shop, nearer to the viewer, pedestrians move quickly by – outside of depth of field and therefore focus, outside of the light source belonging to the shop’s serving and customer area and unidentifiable.

The scene seems as though otherworldly.

Mike D’Angelo states the scene’s truth came to him late as he was caught in, “the shot’s poetry”, [], which is indeed an amazing feat of temporal distortion.

It is the non-regularity, the otherworldliness, the temporal distortion that indicates that here something significant is going on. It is a scene not merely of perhaps the love which Faye may have for Cop 633 as initially arrived at by D’Angelo (ibid) but the emotions connected with knowing something, of the letter, and perhaps of him not wanting to continue forward towards what both characters know has already happened. And the rest of the world is still content to rush forward in their lives.


D'Angelo, M, How Wong Kar-Wai Turned 22 Seconds into an Eternity, (Oct 16, 2013) The Dissolve, Available at [Last accessed 04/07/2016]

Note - The film clip is also available at







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