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Fallen Angels (1995) September 17, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Film.
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IMDB: Duo luo tian shi (1995)

In short: Chungking express – the hitman years

Thoughts: I recently had a chance to see Fallen Angels on the big screen, at the French Cine Lumiere of all places (they are currently running a Chinese film season). I certainly appreciated it better on the second viewing. The first time I was possibly shell-shocked that ‘Chungking Express 2’ would feature a spread of violence and masturbation, but Fallen Angels has always been the darkest entry in Wong Kar-Wai’s repertoire. It’s difficult to empathise with any of the characters; the women are utterly batty, the men aren’t much more sane. But whilst Chungking Express‘s cast were melancholy, Fallen Angels‘ are damaged beyond repair. Also, where Chungking was shot on the fly inbetween editing of Ashes of Time, Fallen Angels had much more planning, though not to it’s benefit. Much of it feels overambitious and the switching between the two main stories is confusing more than helpful. Overall though, Fallen Angels is still classic WKW with Chris Doyle’s beautiful shots mixed with the usual philosophical narration and extraordinarily atmospheric music. It also achieves a moments of ‘perfection’ like Chungking, particularly one scene where Takeshi Kaneshiro’s mute watches videos of his father, the two of them sleeping side by side as a Cantonese ballad plays in the background.Strangely moving and really makes you want to give your Dad a call.

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