Every Thursday there is a list. Today is Thursday. This is a list.
This Thursday list was inspired by this post, which pointed to a clip from the original theatrical release of the only movie ever made, Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express, in which star Faye Wong's Cantonese-language cover of the Cranberries' "Dreams" (also featured later in the movie) plays over a scene accompanied only by ambient sound in the DVD version available in this country from Kino. I had no idea. (I'm not sold on the repetition, honestly; I think it loses some of its power.) Wong, of course, likes all kinds of music, and frequently casts pop stars in his movies, but I like his taste in American music best, baby. So no bossa nova or anything here, let's just focus on, for instance, the talismanic use of the original Mamas and the Papas version of "California Dreaming," also in Chungking Express, and the Cantonese-language version (like "Dreams" seemingly recorded over the original instrumental track) of "Take My Breath Away", in his first film As Tears Go By. And of course his Happy Together takes its name from the Turtles song, an English-language cover of which (by Cantopop singer Danny Chung) plays over that movie's fucking great ending.
But what other Asian movies feature English-language pop songs? A rundown of other cross-cultural, pure-pop moments:
This Vietnamese movie by the director of The Scent of Green Papaya should be much better than it is, but this scene is exactly as good as it should be: