A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-wai, 1995)

Leon Lai and Karen Mok in Fallen Angels
Wong Chi-ming / Killer: Leon Lai
The Killer's Agent: Michelle Reis
Ho Chi-mo / He Zhiwu: Takeshi Kaneshiro
Charlie / Cherry: Charlie Yeung
Punkie / Blondie / Baby: Karen Mok
Ho Chi-mo's Father: Chan Man-lei

Director: Wong Kar-wai
Screenplay: Wong Kar-wai
Cinematography: Christopher Doyle
Production design: William Chang

Feverish, fascinating, and violently funny, Fallen Angels is a kind of companion piece to Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express (1994), sharing some of the same setting and, in a very different role, the actor Takeshi Kaneshiro. I'm not steeped enough in Asian pop culture to appreciate it as fully as some, but I found its frantic camera tricks and frequently over-the-top acting somewhere between tiring and tonic. I'm glad I saw it, but I'm more glad that Wong showed us that he could move on from the frenzied youth culture of these early films to the mature brilliance of In the Mood for Love (2000).

Watched on Filmstruck Criterion Channel

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