The nocturnal streets of Hong Kong come alive with intersecting tales of love, lust and madness.
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 angels’ stalking the backstreets of Wong’s Hong Kong are a wordless hitman (Leon Lai), his PVC-clad fixer (Michelle 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 Yeung, 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 35mm 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.