Thursday, August 09, 2007

Transfigured Night: Fallen Angels Back at BAM

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - So apparently BAM is reviving Wong Kar-Wai's glorious 1995 feature Fallen Angels for the week starting yesterday. (If only I had both heard about it before going into the city yesterday, I might have spent a little extra time to catch it!) It's a brand new print struck by Kino International to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

As much as I love this film---in fact, it may well be one of my favorite movies of all time, and personally, I find it more entertaining than his recent films In the Mood for Love and 2046, as much as I respect both of those films---I'm not sure if I feel a great driving need to go out of my way to trek out to Brooklyn to catch it on one of BAM Rose Cinemas' big screens, the same way I did earlier in the summer when I checked out their brief revival of Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 feature Pierrot le fou---and part of the driving need to see Pierrot came from the fact that I was left a bit cold by that film the first time I saw it on VHS a few months ago, so I figured seeing it on a big screen might possibly turn me around to loving the film (it didn't quite do the trick, alas---I still think the film loses steam by its second hour---but it was still lovely to see Raoul Coutard's wonderful color photography in bigger dimensions). Besides, I've already spent so much money in the past few weeks for trips to NYC for internship interviews... But if there's any movie that would probably gain from being seen on a big screen, Fallen Angels---in all its garishly colorful, nocturnal, neon-lit, hyperbolic, lonely and oddly moving splendor---is one that would, I imagine, gain immensely.

In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, here's a link to a piece I wrote for the film blog The House Next Door about the film, in which I try to argue for its importance in Wong Kar-Wai's body of work, straddling the fence between his youthful, gleefully modern earlier films (Days of Being Wild notwithstanding) and his more mature and reflective later works, Happy Together onward. What my piece probably doesn't capture, however, is just how intoxicating the experience of watching the film is, especially alone and with all the lights out at night.

Here's a trailer to tantalize anyone who's interested:

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