Sunday 24 May 1998
Fallen Angels (15). One of the great stylists of modern cinema, Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai is, more than anything else, a fearless romantic. His recent Buenos Aires reverie, Happy Together, one of the great films of the decade, is his most directly moving rendition of l'amour fou. But, even when skirting the edges of genre filmmaking, Wong's work evinces a singularly delirious soulfulness. This 1995 film, a sequel of sorts to the similarly neon-saturated Chungking Express, flits between two stories. The first involves a dour hitman (Leon Lai Ming), the second a charmingly unhinged, mute ex-con (Takeshi Kaneshiro). Shapeless as it is, the film simmers with a seductive, restless energy. As ever, Wong's visual pyrotechnics are underpinned by a profound sense of melancholy; no other filmmaker expresses millennial excitement and anxiety with such startling flair and eloquence.
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