Theatrical release: March 8, 1996.
The film was shown at the New York Film Festival in September 1994.
The first film distributed in the United States by Quentin Tarantino's company, Rolling Thunder. The film was a major influence on Tarantino's PULP FICTION. After seeing CHUNGKING EXPRESS, Tarantino said, "I just started crying. I'm just so happy to love a movie this much."
The film was shot in only 23 days.
Wong Kar-Wai modeled Brigitte Lin, who plays the woman in the blonde wig and
sunglasses, on Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes's GLORIA as well as on
Greta Garbo. In fact, at the Bottoms Up bar Lin orders a whiskey--the first
words ever spoken onscreen by Garbo were "Gimme a whiskey," in NINOTCHKA.
Lin's character also talks about wanting to be alone, a Garbo trademark. CHUNGKING EXPRESS was Lin's final film.
Wong had spent so much time working on ASHES OF TIME that he needed a break
from editing that picture and ended up making CHUNGKING EXPRESS in the
Faye Wong, who plays Faye, was a Chinese rock star, and she made her
feature-film acting debut in CHUNGKING EXPRESS. She can be heard on the
soundtrack singing a version of the Cranberries' "Dreams." Faye also sings
two other songs--"Random Thinking" (also known as "Weird Thinking") and "Know Oneself and Others."
The song that represents Faye throughout the film is the Mama and the Papas'
Tony Leung's character, who is never named, is cop number 663.
Takeshi Kaneshiro plays He Qiwu, who is cop number 223. His telephone account number is 368, and his password is Undying Love, which can also be translated as "Love You for 10,000 Years," which helps explain the film's English-language tag line: If my memory of her has an expiration date, let it be 10,000 years...
There were originally going to be three main stories in the film, but only two were used; the third one became FALLEN ANGELS.
The apartment where cop numer 663 lives is in actuality the apartment of director of photography Christopher Doyle.
At the 1995 Honk Kong Film Awards CHUNGKING won honors for Best Film, Best
Director (Wong Kar-Wai), and Best Editing (William Chang Suk Ping).
Dinah Washington's version of "What a Difference a Day Makes" also appears
in the film.