For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool, detached partner. Thinking it's dangerous and improper to become involved with a colleague, he sets out to find a surrogate for his affections. Against the sordid and surreal urban nightscape, he crosses path with a strange drifter looking for her mysterious ex-boyfriend and an amusing mute trying to get the world's attention in his own unconventional ways.
Sometimes "goodbye" really means "until we meet again."
For a follow-up to a film that in no way, shape, of form needed one, Fallen Angels not only admirably lives up to the pressure of being a sequel to Chungking Express, it manages to expand the themes of the previous two segments (putting all in a much clearer and distinct light), and does so in such a tonally and structurally different way that it's difficult to tell which is the stronger piece in the end. It's apples and oranges to compare the two, but they're in the same basket - if that makes any sense. Truth be told, I'd rather consider them a single film; Chungking Angels - a three hour…
Are you feeling a little down lately? A little lovelorn and a little lost? Is there a dull pain in the pit of your chest that just won't go away? If you have watched a Wong Kar-Wai movie recently, you may be experiencing a phenomenon known as Wong Withdrawal. Other such symptoms of Wong Withdrawal include but are not limited to:
1. An increased exposure to and fascination with a wide variety of groovy music
2. An intensified attraction to Asian women (I can vouch for this one. Whoa Nelly, do I got the Yellow Fever.)
3. Feeling like even more of a hopeless romantic than usual
4. An inexplicable desire to start smoking
5. Pretending like everything is in…
Did you ever have a first date, one that didn’t go badly, but didn't make your heart flutter? I’m sure you have. Despite that, have you ever gone onto a second date and completely fallen in love? I certainly never have ... in real life that is. In the imaginary world of Wong Kar Wai, I should have expected it. There have been more than a few Wong first dates I’ve gone on that were less than stellar, only to be won over completely by a subsequent rendezvous.
During my first Fallen Angels watch, I saw similarities to Chungking Express ( that I also didn’t fall in love with on first date ), but aside from a nod or two,…
Let it be known to all! In the wee hours of the morning, I watched my very first Wong Kar Wai film. It’s been a long time in the making, and I was in a daze and immediately went to Netflix to find a film to pull me out my stupor. After searching and searching with no good results, I happened across Fallen Angels. It was beckoning me in, and I took the bait. What I experienced next was one of the most expressionistic and unique cinematic experiences I have ever had. And at the time of writing this, I’m still having a hard time putting into words why I liked this film so much.
Fallen Angels tells a couple…
Beautiful and twisted, and a totally different film than In the Mood for the Love, The Grandmaster and even Chungking Express, it's spiritual sibling. Wong Kar Wai really is a versatile director, but in all of his films there's almost too much to look at, as there's always something going, tons of vibrant colours and a lively camera. He really is one of cinema's most powerful auteurs.
Fallen Angels is, to put it mildly, a feast for the eyes and ears all the way through. For me the trick to enjoying the film lies in the numerous emotions and feelings one gets out of the experience rather than plot or character development. It's more about soaking in what…
Takeshi Kaneshiro's shining hour.
What is Wong's deal with pineapples, though? Haha, twisted.
As in Chungking Express, the natural companion piece to this (Kaneshiro "poses" on the counter of the fast food joint from the former in a scene here), Fallen Angels centers around two stories with two couples, even though love doesn't come into the equation for all the players involved.
A hell of a lot more violent than Chungking, but just as stylishly filmed.
I've mentioned Kaneshiro already. This has to be one of the most loveable performances I've ever seen, and that includes his sadistic inclinations, he really makes the most of a part where he plays a mute. What he's unable to express through words, other…
A hitman and his female partner, a girl that was left by her boyfriend for another woman, and a hard working mute are the type of people who you could never imagine connecting with each other. Yet, in Kar Wai Wong's beautiful story these 4 do much more than just connect. An extraordinary love story that illustrates loneliness and obsession in the most abstract way. A way that had me glued to the screen from start to finish. Fallen Angels is a unparalleled piece of work that I could not possibly describe in simple words. Maybe its because I'm still in awe, who knows?
Fallen Angels is seen as a sequel or spiritual descendant of WKW's most popular film, Chungking Express (1994). Released a year after that, Fallen Angels was originally conceived as the third story for that film. Just like 'Chungking', this film has two different stories. But unlike it, they are somewhat interconnected because of the geography and themes, the characters from each of these stories run into each other. The first story features Leon Lai as a hit man named Wong Chi-Ming as well as a woman who is his 'partner', played by Michelle Reis. The connection between the two characters is that they work together even though they have never met, until of course the very time that the opening…
This film sticks to you like glue, but you have no intention of shaking it off. It immerses you, it climbs on your taste buds and dances ‘till sunrise. It makes your veins burst through your skin and your lungs bellow out of your chest. You experience every colour splattered into each frame until your body is ravished. Fallen Angels looks amazing, Fallen Angels feels amazing. There’s something about the world at night that’s alluring, mystical, and just different. The air is thicker. Different creatures run the earth. I’m not sure there’s a better film about the strange beauty of the middle of the night and the lives that operate within the hours where different rules seem to apply. If…
Damn. In the Mood for Love is due for a rewatch but this could be my second favorite WKW movie after Chungking Express. Easily the most visually impressive of his movies, in my opinion, with its fisheye lens, restless camera, and bright colors. I'm glad that WKW decided to spin this off into a separate feature because he would've risked fucking up the perfect alchemy of Chungking Express and, worse, rid us of one of his best works.
Stylistically, it is astonishing, probably Wong Kar-Wai's visual masterpiece up to this point (and probably in the top 3 of his career as well). A shame then, that almost all the people populating this tale feel so unrealized, being such caricatures just to be moved along to the next visual set-piece, thus severely limiting investment in their personal stories or emotional well-being.
It's one thing to have emotional damage manifesting itself in unnatural behaviors, and another to design specific and loud odd-ball behaviors that are somewhat off-putting. And in the case of Blondie, her screeching antics in all of her appearances destroy any mood the director is trying to build in those scenes (with the possible exception of that mood…
"We've been business partners for 155 weeks now."
Time weights so heavily on Kar-wai characters.
I wonder if he likes Rumble Fish? I get the sense that he really, really likes Rumble Fish.
Coolest film of the 90's
I wasn't a fan of the visual style of Fallen Angels, but then I wasn't a fan of the visual style of Chungking Express, so that was no surprise. What did surprise me was the deeply uninteresting, annoying characters, who lacked any of the depth, likeability or humour that Chungking had in spades. As the linked stories drew to their conclusion, I recognised moments in the mute's tale that should have been sweet and moving, but by that point I was so bored of him that they completely failed to resonate. On the other hand, he looks a bit like an Asian Antonio Banderas, so that's something, and I appreciated not having to hear 'California Dreaming' any more times. I'm clutching at straws here, but that's because I was so deeply disappointed by this, my first Wong Kar-Wai film where the appeal is completely lost on me.
"The night's full of weirdos."
Wong Kar Wai's weirdos are night owls desperate for love, companionship, money, work. His direction, shots, framing and soundtrack is unique; charming and stylish to the max.
Hard not fall in love with this one.