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Chungking Mansions

I’ve recently been indulging non-tourist Hong Kong, taking a stroll through Chungking Mansions, a 17-story jumble of guesthouses, curry restaurants, and shops where traders from Africa and South Asia do business and back-packers find a cheap place to rest. 4,000 people are said to live in The Mansions. It is also a setting in Wong Kar-wai’s “Chungking Express”. Last night, I saw Kar-wai’s directorial debut, As Tears Go By (1988) at the Hong Kong Film Archive (the gem of my neighborhood). This crime melodrama apparently borrows from Scorsese http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wong_Kar-wai. Very violent! The woman next to me, at least 80 years old, never averted her eyes.