An exhilarating rush of speed, motion, and blurred light, Wong Kar-wai's 1995 reverie Fallen Angels is basically 96 minutes of the best trailer you've ever seen. Initially intended as a third section of his delirious 1994 cult favorite Chungking Express, it's both a continuation of the earlier film and its reverse image.
Once again, the story is split in two, but the protagonists aren't cops but crooks: a lonesome Hong Kong hit man (Leon Lai) who wants out, and a mute ex-con (Chungking's Takeshi Kaneshiro) who breaks into businesses after hours and "operates" them. As in Chungking Express, the heroes make, break and narrowly miss connections with the women who pine for them — especially the hit man's adoring "agent" (Michelle Reis), whose interactions with him are as fleeting as twilight's with daytime. But with his brilliant cinematographer, Chris Doyle, Wong creates a mood that's like the spell of a great, excessive pop tune — a tune with an immediate impact that's altogether different from the emotions that linger afterward.
Watching Fallen Angels on TV is like observing a Jackson Pollock blotscape through a GAF Viewmaster: The size matters, and the reproduction can't do it justice. So don't miss it when it screens as the second of The Belcourt's "Wong Kar-Wednesdays," leading up to the opening of his new martial-arts epic The Grandmaster on Aug. 23.