Thursday 26 November 2015
Tuesday 24 November 2015
Friday 20 November 2015
|A typical Shaky Cam WKW tribute....|
Finally we're going to cover the Mid-Levels escalators - more info. on them here - which feature in the scenes concerning Cop 663 (Tony Leung)'s apartment.
|Cop 663 takes the elevator (from CE).|
Had Agent Rob not visited The Peak that afternoon then it's unlikely he would have ventured this far - by chance these elevators were mentioned on a scenic commentary and so his interest was, er, piqued, um....
Makes sense to start our trip at the top(-ish) of the elevators, seeing as that's the daytime direction they just so happened to be travelling in. Most of the street locations are "near enough", our Agent piecing them together from detective work, often identifying where the photos were taken by means of searching for the legible business names online....
|It's all downhill from 18:00....|
|From Princes Terrace(?) down Shelley towards Elgin St.|
|On Shelley Street before Elgin Street intersection.|
|From Caine looking down Shelley towards Elgin St.|
Around this point we must have stopped off for a welcome (and contented) swill in Soho, as quite suddenly darkness is upon us....
|Looking S/W on to Wellington Street.|
|Looking N/W on to Stanley Street.|
|Cochrane St looking S/W (back) into Central, parallel to elevators.|
|Looking S/E on to Queen's Road.|
The market scenes in the fillum seem to have been shot at the Graham Street Market - another area set for redevelopment? - which at I guess I assumed was Stanley Street above. To add to the confusion Graham Street seems to be called Gage Street on all the maps too....
|Graham Street Market (from CE).|
Here's the maps covering the elevators, running in the same order as the photos were taken (kind of bearing in mind you're travelling up and off to the right at 45 degrees, each map joining the next at the bottom l/h corner and finishing at the top r/h)....
|Mosque thru to Elgin Street.|
|Elgin thru to Hollywood Street.|
|Hollywood Street thru to Queen's Road.|
|Queen's Road thru to Des Voeux Road.|
Other handy links to check out on the subject are here and here - the former, the Wong Kar Wai forums was essential in scoping out the various locations in situ, and the latter, White City Cinema, proved a handy reference point once our Agent had his feet planted firmly back on British soil....
And that is that. Time to dust that last Martini and swagger off into a suitably blurry sunset....
Wednesday 18 November 2015
|Star Ferry crossing.|
Best we begin our second post with Agent Rob and his Bond girl taking the quick and cheap journey by Star Ferry across to Central District. From there the first stop is Lan Kwai Fong (map later), home to the famous Midnight Express.... Or what used to be....
|Midnight Express, now a 7-Eleven.|
|Midnight Express (from CE).|
|Just merge this and the above in your mind (from CE).|
Another stop in the film (and one I passed without truly knowing it) is the California Restaurant which is part of a block that has since been redeveloped - more info. here - Street View from July 2011 shows this in progress along D'Aguilar Street....
|The California Tower/Entertainment Building, Street View.|
|We know how you feel, Tony....|
The Midnight Express/7-Eleven is pretty much bang on the corner where the Lan Kwai Fong 'flag' is on the map, and you can see D'Aguilar Street runs alongside.
|Lan Kwai Fong.|
The final stop on our trip will be the Mid-levels Escalators. Please enjoy some OST action in the meantime....
Monday 16 November 2015
It's not often Agent Rob is able to indulge in some globe-settin' jet-trottin' action, so when the opportunity arose to visit Hong Kong it was duly accepted in the typical James Bond-ish fashion. This allowed him to visit the locations of his personal 'fillum freak' favourite Chungking Express - "Two melancholy policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents", or so sez IMDB - as watched a month or so ago as 'homewurk'....
|Chunking Mansions remodelled entrance canopy.|
The Chungking Mansions are located at 36-44 Nathan Road (map's at the bottom) in Tsim Tsa Shui, Kowloon - you'll know you're getting near when you are assailed by countless Indian tailors asking you to take just 5 minutes to come visit their workshop where they'll kit you out with arguably the finest suit and shirt in the known Northern Hemisphere. Failing that, you could always buy a watch....
|Entrance Foyer from Nathan Road.|
|Entrance foyer from Nathan Road (from CE).|
In the detail below you can just see what looks like the white strip with red writing from the film still above, as previously hidden by a detailed address board - refer to the pre-2011 canopy photo below - and now mostly obscured by some sort of ducting.
|The now obscured lettering.|
|Entrance canopy prior to remodelling, circa 2011.|
Evident in the 20 years since the film that the building (and clientele?) has undergone something of an extensive renovation, but it still has plenty of character (the atmosphere surely enhanced by a familiarity with the fillum itself).
|Inside Chungking Mansions (from CE).|
|Inside Chungking Mansions.|
The exterior certainly seems to have undergone a considerable refurbishment when you compare with an earlier photo (the original used below can be seen in context here). Looking back from Peking Road on Street View, dated August 2011, you can see the Mansions shrouded in (bamboo!) scaffolding....
|Chungking Mansions, Oct 2015|
|Chungking Mansions (Street View), Aug 2011.|
|Chunking Mansions prior to refurbishment, 2010?|
The Chungking Mansions are practically impossible to miss - in fact, the abundance of tailors accosting you in the street can be very handy should you happen to venture off towards your hotel in the completely wrong direction, er....
If you walk from Chunking Mansions and Nathan Road and along the aforementioned Peking Road - which, if I recall, is initially and somewhat confusingly called Canton Road on the ground, as it were, before the pedestrian kink - you will then come to the basement McDonalds as seen in the film.
|The same McDonalds, again prior to a refurbishment (from CE).|
If you fancy picking up a wee souvenir then be prepared to wander 20-40 minutes (depending) or so up Nathan Road to rummage around the Temple Street Night Market or the Ladies Market (making sure to check the surrounding street markets) and you might just come across a little fridge magnet that fits the bill....
|Chungking Mansions fridge magnet - 10 HKD (approx. 90p).|
Thursday 12 November 2015
Tuesday 10 November 2015
Thursday 5 November 2015
* a point of note worth mention in addition to the, ahem, last post's Chronicle of Doom....
Agent Johnny seemed in a decidedly 'depressy' and reflective mood last Woden'sday, resigned to the fact that his recent drawin' output seems to have fallen short of expectations (and certain demands), bemoaning his helpless servitude to the 'one-eyed god' and complainin' of bein' simply too 'nakt' and sufferin' from 'aches and pains' to bother. Perhaps in an attempt to alleviate (t)his mood he presented this Agent with the 6 thus-far-completed pages of the Agent of S.M.E.R.S.H comic (the opening page rough here is from a letter circa 2010, a pitch of sorts for its intended inclusion in Kurt Sibling's Nexion #3 - before Evil Hollywood became an (on)going concern).
Well, what to say? What an absolute corker 'Death March of the Missile Men' is shaping up to be! (Hard to imagine it failing with a brilliant title like that!) No doubt in my mind these pages feature some of John's very best work - every panel crackles with energy, simply pops with startling imagery! It seems our Agent's style has evolved yet again, as he's gone big, bold and gnarly in his faces and layouts, meaning there's plenty space for him to run riot with his beautiful op-art touches. - there's brain-boggling 'beezom' fashions on every page! One particular panel, a simple enough shot looking from behind a cat standing on a desk, was so simple, so striking in its execution that it had this Agent agog. Shame that exposure to this as-yet-unfinished epic (3 or more pages to go?) left this reader in something of a 'depressy' funk. In the company of sheer genius why bother indeed...?