Describing the plot of a Wong Kar Wai film may seem antithetical, since the Hong Kong cinema director values mood, theme and character above all else (and to sublime success!) If there’s a narrative in Fallen Angels, you’d be hard pressed to nail it down, but here goes: there is a hit man, there is a hit woman, they barely spend time together, nevertheless they’re obsessed with each other. The hit man doesn’t want to fall for his colleague (office romance!) so he spends time with a prostitute named Blondie (who’s hair is actually pink-peach-hued). On the other side of town a mute (played to perfection by Takeshi Kaneshiro) falls for Cherry (whose name is also Charlie) and at some point all lives intersect in the frenetic nightlife of urban Hong Kong. All you really need to know is the movie is sexy.
In celebration of TIFF Bell Lightbox’s highly anticipated A Century of Chinese Cinema, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai’s canon is must-see filmmaking. Anyone who has any interest in desire, unrequited love or yearning will be as obsessed with his films, as the characters are with each other. When we talk about filmmakers ‘interrupting’ the language of cinema we have to think of WKW’s cinematographer Christopher Doyle (who is actually Australian). Doyle’s influence has been worked into the lexicon of music videos, (think Canadian born Floria Sigismondi), art cinema (think Montreal born Xavier Dolan) and mainstream movies equally.
Kate Moss’ better-half’s musical other half (anti) fashion it-girl Alison Mosshart of The Kills totally nails the Fallen Angels vibe with her pink-peach hair and commitment to leopard and leather. Poppy De Villeneuve’s short film for Nowness.com, starring extraordinary Chinese model Lui Wen, also captured the look with it’s bed head subway glamour. And although the fishnet stocking features prominently in Fallen Angels, update the influence with Alexander Wang’s Spring Summer 2013 fishnet dress! Speaking of obsession….