The premiere of career-spanning restorations has been a time to again celebrate the cinema of Wong Kar-wai—but not without complications and conflicted feelings. Rather than give his tales of love, crime, and Hong Kong a 4K sheen and call it a day, Wong’s taken the opportunity to rejig his material in ways both minor and major. There’s a new, uniform style of closing credits to create “a reminder to our audience that these are the restored versions,” which most won’t notice. But in the case of Fallen Angels, he’s expanded the aspect ratio and made certain coloring changes that, as our Managing Editor discovered, are more than a little tinker. Predictably, people have strong feelings.
You can preview this new look and feel in a trailer for the 4K restoration. Having seen it myself, I can at least say the new widescreen transfer works: the images remain fluid, animated, and alien as Wong and Christopher Doyle—who, lest we forget, was involved in this restoration—always intended. Color changes are questionable, albeit the choice of an artist for whom I have immense respect. All in all, this is still Fallen Angels.
Check out the new trailer below, along with restoration trailers for Happy Together and In the Mood For Love, as well as details on Criterion’s box set, just announced for March 23, 2021 release. If you want an early preview of the restorations, they are now playing virtually nationwide.
- New 4K digital restorations of Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love and 2046, approved by director Wong Kar Wai, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks
- New 4K digital restorations of As Tears Go By and Days of Being Wild, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
- New program in which Wong answers questions submitted, at the invitation of the director, by authors André Aciman and Jonathan Lethem; filmmakers Sofia Coppola, Rian Johnson, Lisa Joy, and Chloé Zhao; cinematographers Philippe Le Sourd and Bradford Young; and filmmakers and founders/creative directors of Rodarte Kate and Laura Mulleavy
- Alternate version of Days of Being Wild featuring different edits of the film’s prologue and final scenes, on home video for the first time
- Hua yang de nian hua, a 2000 short film by Wong
- Extended version of The Hand, a 2004 short film by Wong, available in the U.S. for the first time
- Interview and “cinema lesson” with Wong from the 2001 Cannes Film Festival
- Three making-of documentaries, featuring interviews with Wong; actors Maggie Cheung Man Yuk, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Chang Chen, Faye Wong, and Ziyi Zhang; and others
- Episode of the television series Moving Pictures from 1996 featuring Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle
- Interviews from 2002 and 2005 with Doyle
- Excerpts from a 1994 British Film Institute audio interview with Cheung on her work in Days of Being Wild
- Program from 2012 on In the Mood for Love’s soundtrack
- Press conference for In the Mood for Love from the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival
- Deleted scenes, alternate endings, behind-the-scenes footage, a promo reel, music videos, and trailers
- PLUS: Deluxe packaging, including a perfect-bound, French-fold book featuring lavish photography, an essay by critic John Powers, a director’s note, and six collectible art prints