Presented by ACMI in association with Sydney Film Festival, NFSA, QAGOMA and Mercury CX
The nocturnal streets of Hong Kong come alive with intersecting tales of love, lust and madness.
An exhilarating rush of a movie.
In the space of two years, Wong Kar Wai released Chungking Express (1994), the historical epic Ashes of Time (1994) and his neon-soaked ode to the city, Fallen Angels (1995). In an interview Wong explained, “The hitman (character) originally came from the third story of Chungking Express but I only shot two stories, hence I developed the (third).” The ‘fallen angles’ stalking the backstreets of Wong Kar Wai’s Hong Kong are a wordless hitman (Leon Lai), his PVC-clad fixer (Michele Reis), a dolly punk with a Brigitte Lin-style wig (Karen Mok), a jilted lover (Charlie Yeung) and an anarchic ex-con (Takeshi Kaneshiro). Wilding in the city streets, their lives intersect but in true Wong Kar Wai style, hearts must be broken.
In interviews for the release of the film, the director spoke of this emotional dislocation, “now everyone knows how to protect themselves; everyone understands loving someone can often hurt.” With the exception of Takeshi Kaneshiro and Charlie Young, Fallen Angels features an entirely new cast, which lends an underground quality to the film, backed by the handheld, almost documentary, shooting style. With its freeform plotting and ultra-stylised aesthetics, Fallen Angels still feels contemporary, even two decades after its original release.
This 4K digital restoration was undertaken from the 35 mm original camera negative by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with L’Immagine Ritrovata and Jet Tone. It was supervised and approved by Wong Kar Wai.
Fallen Angels is newly presented in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, a format that Wong had originally envisioned for the film. “The restoration provides the opportunity to realize our artistic intention that we couldn’t have achieved technically twenty-five years ago,” says the director.
15 & 20 Feb 2021
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Medium level coarse language
Love & Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai
In line with current Government requirements, and to ensure your safety, we have reduced the seating capacity for this season.