Parking Mong-Hong Chung

Parking Mong-Hong Chung
As has been the case with the last few Asian import Evokative releases, Parking is preoccupied with questions of an existential nature, playing out like a surrealist dream where the line between reality and fantasy is minimal. There isn't much of a plot to speak of, with the entire movie revolving around Chen Mo's (Chen Chang) quest to find the owner of the car that blocked him in front of a cake shop by double-parking. Flashbacks reveal some domestic turbulence with his wife (Lunmei Kwai), while tangential storylines involving a hooker (Peggy Tseng) and her pimp (Leon Dai) expand on the karmic nature of a narrative focused on setbacks and human crappiness. Because time is fluid and reality malleable, stylization frequently takes the front seat, with each scene bursting with colour and finding the idiosyncrasy of any given moment or image. Similarly, each scene finds its own centre and narrative significance, whether it's comedy, drama or film noir, flipping from frenetic, handheld camerawork to lingering, contemplative shots within mere moments. Not long after Chen Mo spends some time with a grieving elderly couple that mistake him for his son, he winds up cleaning cake off his pants in a washroom with a fish head in the sink, only to wage an unexpected battle with an angry pimp moments later. These sharply handled tonal transitions and off-centre character annoyances stave off predictability, serving up tender human moments and peculiarity with equal measure and acuity. Even if the intended message of necessarily moving forward in a world filled with selfishness and inconsiderate behaviour is somewhat trite, given the lack of alternatives, the journey and consciousness of karma throughout make for thoroughly entertaining, if absurd, viewing. Unfortunately, this release has no supplemental material, which may be of benefit, as learning the secrets behind some of the wilder narrative decisions might spoil the fun and mystery of it all. (Evokative)