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PHOTOGRAPHY

FALLEN ANGELS

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:   96 minutes, three featurettes, interview, stills gallery, trailers

VIDEO:  1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:   Chinese 5.1 Stereo Surround, 2.0 Stereo

Subtitles:   English

 

STUDIO:  Kino/ Fortissimo Films/ Jet Tone/ Block 2 Pictures

RELEASE DATE:   3-31-2009

Wong Kar Wai has a visual style of his own.  Unique to a degree where his experiments in visuals and sounds create a unique atmospheric movie.  FALLEN ANGELS was originally intended to be the third story of CHUNGKING EXPRESS.  However, the first two ran long and the third story was revised for a different movie that focused on two stories: one on a contract killer and the unrequited love his female partner (Michelle Reis) has for him while the other focuses on a mute guy (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who breaks into other people’s businesses while he searches for that one love.  The nute begins to hang out with a woman out to get this woman named Charlie. 

 

The film uses lots of wide angled shots with some extreme close-ups and it’s mixed with a vibrant colors and music that help to create to the mood of the film- all of these three elements are like characters in the film.  The Hong Kong seen in a Wong Kar Wai film is different from the Hong Kong you seen in other HK films.  In FALLEN ANGELS, the Hong Kong is at times like a dream while at other times it is brutally real.  The narration actually works in this film where most films it is a no-no that mostly works in books instead.   One of the scenes I can watch over and over again is the jukebox scene early into FALLEN ANGELS.    Also the humor helps sell the world that is on the line between life and people's dreams.  Each character is looking for someone to share their lives with and yet they don't quite find those connections with each other no matter how hard they try.  FALLEN ANGELS is one of my favorite films from Wong Kar Wai next to 2046.   It is better than CHUNGKING EXPRESS and even might be better than ASHES OF TIME.   It is an experimental and yet romantic film.   Check it out for a tale that you can explore ane examine over and over while enjoying it's atmospheric pleasures.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Three Behind-the-Scenes featurettes are on the disc-

ONLY YOU- a deleted segment of the film (which in a way seems like an alternate ending)

WHOM YOU MISS-   an interview with the manager of the hotel in the film who is actually the real manager of the same hotel.

A BEAUTIFUL EVENING-   focus on the unique visual style of FALLEN ANGELS which uses a lot of wide angled close-ups.

 

Also included on the disc is an interview with Director of Photography Christopher Doyle who has worked on several films with Wong Kar Wai.  Rounding out the extras are trailers for FALLEN ANGELS and HAPPY TOGETHER

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  FALLEN ANGELS is another unique atmospheric tale about love from Wong Kar Wai.  If you’re looking for something different from the usual love films or something different (and yet beautiful), check this film out.

 

This DVD Review is (c)4-5-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com