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 <email@example.com>
In a scene Wah incidentally encountered Mabel which was supposed to rain heavily, there were many people across the street seen walking nonchalantly, suggesting that the rain was in fact a custom set. See more »
I just wanted to say...I found that glass.
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When released in the UK, this title was cut by 17 seconds. According to the BBFC: Two cuts were made to reduce the level of extreme violence in the video One of the cuts seems to be in the scene where Jacky Cheung is attacked by some men. One of them grabs a small metal gas bottle and throws it at Cheung's chest. You see a shot of the guy throwing it, but then you only see the bottle already by the side of Cheung's body, who's screaming in pain, after the impact. The other cut was to shots of Wah being beaten with a baseball bat. The cuts were waived for the 2005 Tartan DVD. See more »
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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