A graying black-clad swordsman slays palace guards, as he flies through the air to an uncertain purpose. Centuries (or is it days?) later, gun-toting, Armani-clad super policemen -- Hong ... See full summary »
A low-level triad "big brother" has a hot-tempered "little brother" who can't keep out of trouble, and consequently is in constant need of being bailed out by his protector. The "big brother" is super cool, but lacks the ambition to rise in the ranks of the triad societies - and once he meets his cousin from Kowloon and falls in love with her, he even thinks about leaving "the life". Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wah's facial bruises shift tremendously near the final scene from the time he got on the bus to the time he met Fly. See more »
I did a lot of things for our godfather too. By the age of 14, I was already getting paid to kill. I've got more guts than most guys, right? But look at me now. I'm just an ordinary guy!
At least you were a hotshot for a while! But what about me? What about me? Everyone looks down on me. Does that make you happy? People think I'm nothing, like some stray dog just following you around! Did you know that? I'd rather be a hero for one day than go on being a fly all my life!
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No better one day film school can be found in watching "Mean Streets" and then this.
Superficially they seem the same and Kar-Wai has told us that he patterned this, his first feature after Scorsese's first.
Here's the lesson: Scorsese belongs to a school of thinking where actors create characters, real extreme and powerful characters. These characters literally create the situations around them. The filmmaker's job is to attach the camera to the characters. Nearly all Italian and Italian-American filmmakers believe this. This is fine if you can live on espresso, but most of us in a film life need something to sustain us.
Kar-Wai in his later films is clearly in another camp. He literally starts with no script. He creates a cinematic tone. Into that tone is spun a place and his actors are expected to find their way within it. Only then do we see characters, and the camera is never, ever glued to personalities.
It is a world of difference, as different as people who can talk only about other people contrasted to those who can create another world in a conversation.
Sooner or later, all lucid watchers must make a choice about how big their film universe can be. This was Kar-Wai's beginning. It is hard to see unless you know his later stuff. But it is there, like the pollen in the air.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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