To Fall from a Great Height

Was any actor as beautiful as Leslie Cheung? Did anyone bring to the gift of glamour the seductive insolence Leslie exuded? His first appearance in a film — his face soft and smooth, with lips that expertly puckered or pouted — had the impact of a struck match. The screen flared to life; suddenly there was heat, and the incense of sulfur. To see him as the hurtful teddy boy in Days of Being Wild, the proud warrior in The Bride with White Hair and the dominant demon romancer in Phantom Lover is to realize there's nothing more exhilarating than a...

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