Author Topic: WONG KAR-WAI  (Read 18686 times)

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takitani

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #75 on: May 18, 2006, 07:59:21 PM »
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that's all critic talk.  it's like when Herzog makes a film, all the French will talk about is his German neo-realist tendencies, until they learn about neo-romanticism, and then that's all they see in Herzog's films--and at the same time, the Americans look for nazi references in his films because he's from Germany.  I think Wong KarWai and Chris Doyle are a pair of very conscious cats whose characters inhabit a real world with real geo-political and socio-economical implications, but film school papers on what one character is saying and what it cuts to and what It All Means to world cinema as well as Chinese cinema, is to undermine the pair's visceral approach to filmmaking--grasping the energy and the space of people instead of scripting everything to voice some kind of great political ideal.
the pair in happy together deal with problems all immigrants abroad face, especially the ones without much money or sense of community: loneliness, isolation, and homesickness, on top of their troubled relationships with their family and each other.  their national identity is amongst the least of their worries.  97 is obviously a scary number to citizens of hong kong, and maybe one can argue that the anxiety seeps into wong's works.  however, to have one shot of one immigration officer touching one part of the passport and to say that that is wong karwai exploring the national identities of his characters, is pure academic bullshit.
There's also that central conflict when Tony Leung takes away Leslie Cheung's passport. And there's some kinda geo-political motif to that river that the two had - from the beginning - wanted to visit together.

And btw, I think isolation and loneliness can be considered part of a displaced national identity (if that is, indeed, what WKW was trying to conjure up). You can look at a film from several different levels. I don't think there's a wrong or right answer... especially when WKW draws so many figurative metaphors in his work - it's the audience who, in the end, gets to decide on his/her own interpretation since being literal is not exactly WKW's forte.

But like I said, I don't think I really "got" Happy Together, so... 

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this kind of soulless scrutiny/ intellectual masturbation has always bothered me, because it always inevitably turns filmmaking into this intellectual exercise, or circular logic algebra: the passport must signify x therefore whenever the passport appeas wong karwai must be saying x.  it takes away the organic nature of filmmaking, that is particularly celebrated in wong karwai and doyle's collaborations.  allegories are easy, metaphors are hard, but still easier than poetry.  capturing the spirit and the energy of the times is very different from being political.
One could argue that capturing the "spirit and energy of the times" is political. And I think it's subjective to say that allegories and metaphors should be considered separate from poetry. I personally think WKW's poetry contains a bunch of stuff. And the two happens to be allegories and metaphors.

Like I've said, I'm personally shaky on Happy Together. But upon repetitive viewings of In the Mood for Love, I notice - and love it - how WKW deftly packages all that pop culture, psychology, and nostalgia into an intimate but historical time capsule.

I'd like to argue that that's exactly why I love WKW moreso than, say, all those heavy "preaching to the choir" George Clooney films released this past fall or to a more hyperbolic extent, Michael Moore docs. WKW knows that politics seeps into our lives in the most unexpected ways. Hence, he doesn't preach or do any of that punditry stuff. He only infuses his emotions onto the screen through impeccable style. He documents the mentality of average people who feel displaced in their own personal lives. It's not capturing politics on its boring top hierarchal levels. It's about the affected masses who are not exactly certain of the changes that are happening, but nevertheless, know that it is imminent deep down.

On a lesser note, WKW himself has personally talked about the politics of all these films (I'd like to note that the whole auteurist fixation of the filmmaker's life can certainly go overboard in academia... but I think it's interesting in this context). He has since told reporters how In the Mood for Love was his most autobiographical film. He was just a little boy when he moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong, amidst all that political and economical upheaval. The way and manners of how the Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung character dressed and conducted themselves were reportedly mirrored reflections of WKW's own parents.

And to each to their own, but I don't think any of this intellectual kinda stuff is flat-out soulless. It certainly can be. But if you relate it back to life, it takes on greater meaning. Mental masturbation? Well, yeah, kinda. But it also gives some props to the filmmaker himself (and don't get me wrong, for some cases, some filmmakers get more credit than they have any right to deserve... the French New Wave guys while back at their Cahiers du Cinema days reportedly did this to some filmmakers). Stephen Teo, who yes, is one of those bullshit scholars, manages to do just that for WKW's films.

pete

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #76 on: May 20, 2006, 12:40:34 AM »
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referring to events of the time is pretty different from being political, and capturing an era is also different from becoming an allegory.  I hope you don't ask me how they are different.  wong karwai does not participate in discussions about party platforms or sloganeering.  he does not even speculate on the idea of democracy and representation under a red china.  he doesn't discuss how hong kong deals with its economic crisis and boom in the 60s.  he makes movies that take place in a hong kong that he knows, and please stop embarassing the films with buzzwords such as "displaced national identity" or whatever other educated speculation, with WKW quotes dubiously misinterpreted for your weak arguments (how does "autobiographitcal" translate into being politically active?).  this is not censoring, this is respectfully telling you to view a film out of the reach of the ivory tower, which is quickly ruining people's understanding and appreciation of filmmaking by tainting everything with circular logic contexts and subtexts.  seriously, step out of of the brainwash tank and just soak in raw images and emotions, without your precocious half-assed research of the history and the anxiety of hong kong through petty interviews and reviews.  WKW and Chris Doyle are intelligent, but they're not intellectuals and have no use for intellectuals translating their films for other intellectuals.  if you wanna watch movies that suck the cocks of the intellectuals, go decipher a gus van sant film.
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takitani

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #77 on: May 20, 2006, 04:43:03 AM »
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referring to events of the time is pretty different from being political, and capturing an era is also different from becoming an allegory.  I hope you don't ask me how they are different.  wong karwai does not participate in discussions about party platforms or sloganeering.  he does not even speculate on the idea of democracy and representation under a red china.  he doesn't discuss how hong kong deals with its economic crisis and boom in the 60s.  he makes movies that take place in a hong kong that he knows, and please stop embarassing the films with buzzwords such as "displaced national identity" or whatever other educated speculation, with WKW quotes dubiously misinterpreted for your weak arguments (how does "autobiographitcal" translate into being politically active?).  this is not censoring, this is respectfully telling you to view a film out of the reach of the ivory tower, which is quickly ruining people's understanding and appreciation of filmmaking by tainting everything with circular logic contexts and subtexts.
Since when does politics have to be "party politics"? Of course, you are free to believe that that is the case. But if you must know, there are others who believe it to be differently.

I personally believe that politics isn't as cold as politicos and the media paint it out to be. It affects our lives, our familites, our sense of identity. The impersonal (global and state politcs) affect the personal, as exemplified by the ordinary characters in WKW's films. There's a human face behind all those policies enforced.

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seriously, step out of of the brainwash tank and just soak in raw images and emotions, without your precocious half-assed research of the history and the anxiety of hong kong through petty interviews and reviews.  WKW and Chris Doyle are intelligent, but they're not intellectuals and have no use for intellectuals translating their films for other intellectuals.  if you wanna watch movies that suck the cocks of the intellectuals, go decipher a gus van sant film.
How do you know WKW's intentions? What's more your're contradicting yourself... not that it matters so much, but WKW himself has spoken about some of the historical subtext and setting in interviews. That's his own words.

Of course, you can choose to interpret his sentiments as bull - that's the cool thing about films... the filmmaker has no control over how his films are viewed/interpreted/etc. (Hell if I know, if my own interpretations are right... it's all in the eye of the beholder, really. That's the wonderful thing about criticism - there is no right nor wrong answer.) But to speak for his own artistic/filmmaking intentions - telling me that you instinctively know these intentions - is kinda presumptuous - possibly more presumptuous than you claim I am being.


I'm also perplexed by your implication of "intellectualism". Since when does any of these subjects have no place in, say, a film messageboard? I was getting tired of the IMDb boards in which everything was getting all fanboyish and plagued by opinions and no established arguments whatsoever. I really thought deep down - despite all those claims by critics of the masses being dumb and whatnot - that the masses' intelligence were being underestimated.

I've always thought that it sucked that lengthier discussions on film was always relegated to yes, the ivory tower, where academia resided. When you have something as ubiquituous as film, it's a pity that it couldn't be examined more on a populist level. Because film is us, and we are film. It's a mirror that reflects our ideals, our fears, and our perceptions of what is real and unreal. Why should this kinda stuff be discussed only amongst an elite group of people when it's a collective, inclusive medium by nature?

The wonderful thing about WKW's work, I think, is that it crosses barriers. It's not high, middle, or low brow - none of those superficially constructed - not to mention - discriminating categories. It contains a lot of pop culture references and flourishes of melodrama, but it also compels the audience to think about our surroundings - why do so-and-so exist, and why it might make us feel a certain way.

You know, I would have loved to talk about, say, the airplane toy motif in Chungking Express, or the monologue the Maggie Cheung character in Days of Being Wild had about how fickle time is... but I won't. Because I'm scared as hell of any other fucked up names. You've basically reduced me to the role of a cock-sucker of the elite snobs. Discussing any possible themes about time and distance in WKW's work will only fuel your fodder. The next thing you know, you'll accuse me of doing butt sex to these intellectuals (since homosexual/phobic refs seem to be your forte).

A scared newbie,
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pete

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #78 on: May 21, 2006, 12:58:52 PM »
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wow, can't believed someone's actually agreed to shut up.  keep up the good work!  and I'm doing this for your own good.  the sooner you stop humorlessly overstating everything, the better human you'll be.
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sickfins

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #79 on: May 21, 2006, 06:05:06 PM »
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pete:
your intense desire to suffocate these 'intellectual masturbations' is almost criminal and must be fuelled by some terrible childhood trauma

your crticism of 'academic bullshit' stems from the frustration of a theorist looking too deep (as you insist there is nothing there). extracting symptomatic meaning from film expands perspectives we can see the work from, regardless of their validity in the artist's eyes.  you seem to have decided for us that all theorists assume their opinion was the true intent of the artist.  it does nothing to actively ruin filmmaking from its natural organic state you seem to have delcared

it is censoring.  you are anti-information.

smarten up

pete

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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #80 on: May 21, 2006, 09:34:18 PM »
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I liked you better when you rhymed.

but really, to defend your accusations a little bit, reading a film in a cliched film school manner, that is pretty derivative of book reports and maybe a tiny bit of art criticism, is very far from "information".  instead it focuses on the more petty trivial aspects of a film such as allegory and metaphor and all sorts of literary devices.  this is especially the case with foreign films, as I've mentioned before about the frenchmen and the americans reading his films as "neo-realist/ neo-romanticist" and "nazi", respectively, I've often found these self-proclaimed intellectuals with a very small and narrow worldview appropriating foreign films in very very shallow and limited cultural contexts, then trying to mask it through overwriting.

it's really sad that the both of you are on such high horses that you'll mistake conditioned babbling for insight, and then victimize yourself like you're some kinda red state defender of christmas when others can't take your bullshit.
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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #81 on: October 24, 2006, 05:03:19 PM »
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Nicole Drops Wong Kar-Wai Plan? 
Source: CRIENGLISH.com 

Speaking at the Rome Film Festival, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman said she will give up the role in Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai's project 'Lady from Shanghai'.

The Oscar-winning actress said she wanted to accompany her newlywed singer husband Keith Urban, who entered a rehabilitation treatment center Thursday for alcohol abuse.
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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2007, 11:01:55 PM »
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Wong wings to lesbian drama pic
Busy helmer working on 'Shanghai,' 'Nights'
Source: Variety
 
HONG KONG -- Wong Kar Wai, who has already committed to three pics, has added another to his busy schedule.

He will squeeze in a yet-to-be-named drama of lesbian love at a high school in between helming "Ashes of Time -- Redux" (set to be delivered in time for the fall festivals), and English-language pics "The Lady From Shanghai" and "My Blueberry Nights." Latter stars singer Norah Jones in her movie debut and is being readied for a May delivery.

New pic is expected to begin shooting in Taiwan in April, according to Jettone, Wong's company.

Wong's role in the project hasn't been confirmed but Hong Kong helmer Stanley Kwan ("Everlasting Regret") will be executive producer while Yanni Wang will be behind the camera.
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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #83 on: May 15, 2007, 06:46:45 PM »
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Wong Kar Wai: Advertising director
New Dior spot features Eva Green
Source Variety
 
HONG KONG -- Wong Kar Wai as advertising director.

An interesting concept, since he's best known for a meandering creative vision that includes a free-form shooting style and the lack of scripted scenarios.

But Wong can do corporate, evident by his growing portfolio of advertisements.

His most recent project was with Christian Dior's John Galliano for a new Dior spot starring Eva Green.

Wong's side career filming commercials launched in 1997 when he was approached by Japanese advertising agency Dentsu to shoot a short film.

"Little did I know that short film ended up being used as a commercial," Wong says via email.

Since then, Wong has filmed spots for such diverse companies as BMW, Lacoste, Motorola and now Lancome's new Hypnose Homme fragrance, which stars Clive Owen, who also starred in the BMW spot.

"I had a good time working with Clive on the BMW ad, so when this new opportunity (with Lancome) came up, I gladly accepted the offer," Wong says.

The BMW clip was the third in a series of eight that were filmed for an Internet campaign by a high-profile group of helmers: John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, John Woo and Joe Carnahan.

The series, which was a hit with 100 million views on the Internet, was produced by Anonymous Content and RSA. Despite his feature storytelling style, the shorter form of ads wasn't too far of a stretch for the helmer.

"Obviously, I'm not very conscious about my style," Wong says. "I just react to the material and let my instincts guide my artistic judgment."

Wong's company, Jet Tone, also has an advertising division which specializes in producing commercials as well as repping top commercial directors in Asia.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #84 on: May 16, 2007, 11:44:37 AM »
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SPC picks up 'Ashes of Time Redux'
Wong reworks martial arts pic
Source: Variety
 
CANNES — Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American distribution rights to "My Blueberry Nights" helmer Wong Kar Wai's upcoming "Ashes of Time Redux."

Pic, which is repped by Fortissimo Films, is a reworking of the Hong Kong-based director's only martial arts pic.

"Redux" is now in advanced post-production and will be completed late this year.

Pic stars many of the biggest names in Chinese cinema including Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Kar-fai, Charlie Yeung, Jacky Cheung, Maggie Cheung and the late Leslie Cheung.

SPC previously released Wong's "2046."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #85 on: October 05, 2008, 12:41:31 AM »
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Wong Kar-wai’s Phoenix Project, Rising at Last
By SCARLET CHENG; New York Times

TEN years ago the Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai went to retrieve original negatives of one of his early films from a lab going bust. He was startled to find reels of that martial-arts film, “Ashes of Time,” made only four years earlier, already disintegrating. It was a rueful coincidence for an auteur whose work (“In the Mood for Love,” “Chungking Express”) often mines the terrain of the ephemeral present, the disappearing past and the longing for what might have been.

Mr. Wong began hunting down prints of the film, some tucked away in vaults of far-flung Chinatown theaters abroad. “It was like looking for overseas orphans,” he said. Then he spent five years restoring, reassembling, color-correcting and rescoring the film, and now “Ashes of Time Redux,” part of this year’s New York Film Festival, opens at theaters on Friday.

With this version of “Ashes,” the director said, he hopes for a better reception than when the film was first released in 1994. Even in a territory known for seat-of-the-pants filmmaking, Mr. Wong’s compulsive rewriting and reshooting on this wuxia, or martial arts, movie were thought excessive, especially since taking two years to make any movie was unheard of in Hong Kong. And the result, with its fractured narrative, blurry slow-motion action sequences and a nearly mystical voice-over, puzzled audiences.

“It’s like a bottle of wine,” said Mr. Wong, taking off his signature sunglasses over lunch recently in Los Angeles. “It needed time. Perhaps it’s finally come of age.” Especially since, he said, international audiences — now accustomed to more contemporary swordplay epics like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Hero” — have had their tastes elevated.

When Mr. Wong set out to make “Ashes” in the early 1990s, it was a boom time in the Hong Kong film industry, which was churning out more than 200 features a year. And he was tapping into a resurgence in wuxia pictures with this adaptation of Louis Cha’s celebrated multipart novel, “The Eagle-Shooting Heroes,” published in 1957-59. The novel featured two older antagonists, Ouyang Feng and Huang Yaoshi; Mr. Wong concocted a prequel that reimagined them as younger men and told how failed romance and emotional reticence sealed their fates. “I wanted to make them more human,” he said.

The shoot, however, was exhausting and costly. The film had some of the biggest Hong Kong movie stars — Leslie Cheung (“Temptress Moon”), Brigitte Lin (“The East Is Red”), Tony Leung Ka-fai (“The Lover”) — but they were so in demand that the schedule was constantly being juggled to accommodate their comings and goings. There was even a scare when Mr. Cheung, playing a key role, was bitten on the neck by a scorpion. (He survived.)

“It was the first production of my company,” Jet Tone, said Mr. Wong, whose international success had yet to come. “We were still figuring out how to do things.”

Those chaotic beginnings were witnessed during a visit to the set in 1992. The movie was being filmed around the clock in Yulin, a remote town on the edge of the Gobi Desert. One day the shooting in a grotto stretched into evening, and a scene with Ms. Lin, delivering lines of an intense dialogue while staring into a spinning bird cage, headed into 40-plus takes. More than a dozen crew members were crammed into the small space, made stuffier when smoke was fanned in for atmosphere. Mr. Wong was in a corner watching on a monitor. Every so often, in his measured way, he made a suggestion to Ms. Lin or called out to his cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, “Is that all you can do?”

Mr. Doyle, now a longtime collaborator of Mr. Wong’s, said in a recent telephone interview that he heard that question as a constant challenge. “It should be the mantra for all people in the arts.”

During breaks, the actors retired to another chamber. Ms. Lin, lying in a hammock, went over her lines. Mr. Cheung was more relaxed. “I’d only do this for Wong Kar-wai,” said the actor, who had starred in Mr. Wong’s previous film, “Days of Being Wild.” “Someday we’ll look back and be proud we were in this film.”

That time has arrived for Ms. Lin. “At the beginning, Wong Kar-wai did give me a script,” she recalled, speaking by phone from Hong Kong, “but he told me, ‘It’s useless because what we shoot will be completely different.’ ” She acknowledged that she didn’t understand the film when she first saw it. “Now, 14 years later, I do.”

“Each image is like a painting,” she added. “The camera is his brush, and it’s only when he picks up the camera that he knows what the film’s about.”

Her thoughts are echoed by Mr. Doyle. “All our films come from the organic way in which we make them,” he said. “My own approach is that you have to be responsive, especially with Wong Kar-wai, where you don’t officially have a script. Day by day you are looking for the film. You’re looking for the style.”

Both Mr. Doyle and Mr. Wong were familiar with wuxia film traditions, but they sought their own shooting style to suit the story. Mr. Doyle cited the blurred-motion technique later used extensively in “Chungking Express” and much emulated. As the character played by Tony Leung Chiu-wai starts going blind, Mr. Doyle said, “We made the camera as subjective as his eyes are,” seeing only partly and hazily.

The trauma of making “Ashes” led to Mr. Wong’s breakout film — the serendipitous “Chungking Express,” set in contemporary Hong Kong and shot mostly on location. Even with last-minute rewrites and improvisations, the film was shot and edited in three months, all in the downtime during post-production for “Ashes.”

“Without ‘Ashes of Time’ there would be no ‘Chungking Express,’ ” Mr. Wong said. “By the time we returned from the desert, what couldn’t we do? We had enough confidence to launch immediately into ‘Chungking Express,’ a piece of cake in comparison.” That film was released before “Ashes” and charmed local audiences as well as international ones.

“Chungking” saved Mr. Wong’s fledgling company and his reputation. Now he is betting that an updated cut and more sophisticated audiences will save “Ashes” from its undeserved obscurity.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #86 on: January 30, 2014, 08:25:51 AM »
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Been rewatching some of this dude's films these months, caught Days of Being Wild for the first time. Not my favourite but there's a colder version of his love story which turns up in his later films. I really wish he got to be do the second part of it as intended but there's that little tease at the end which is kinda cool.

Still think Chungking Express is my favourite.



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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #87 on: June 20, 2014, 04:19:15 AM »
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Wong Kar-wai in line for Mei Ah movie
Source: The Standard

Mei Ah Entertainment will get Wong Kar-wai, the award-winning director of In the Mood for Love, to shoot a movie next year.

Mei Ah chief executive Patrick Tong Hing-chi hinted it will be a romantic movie and the main actor is someone "all women are crazy about."

But he refused to say whether it is another cooperation with Tony Leung Chiu-wai, who starred in seven of Wong's 11 movies and won a Cannes Film Festival award for best actor for In the Mood for Love.

Mei Ah, the major film and TV drama distributor in Hong Kong, has invested in many of the films directed by Wong, including The Grandmaster, released last year.

Tong said the company will shoot another film next year, directed by Gordon Chan Ka-Seung, who filmed the Fight Back to School comedy series starring Stephen Chow Sing-chi.
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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #88 on: June 23, 2014, 07:38:10 AM »
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Wong Kar-wai to adapt I Belonged To You


WONG Kar-wai 王家衛 is set to adapt a short story from the collection I Belonged to You 從你的全世界路過 for his next film. Author ZHANG Jiajia 張嘉佳 confirmed the news yesterday on his Weibo microblog.

Originally published on the internet as "bedtime stories", the book is divided into 38 chapters. It is described as a "cluttered" collection of love stories written in the style of a "friend narrating his tales to you in the middle of the night."

Wong is adapting the chapter called 擺渡人 (literally Ferryman), about an affair between a girl and a married artist in Changchun. Rights for individual chapters of the book have reportedly been sold to other film companies, but Wong's adaptation is the first that has been officially announced by Zhang himself.

According to its publisher, stories from the book have been reposted 1.5 million times on Chinese microblogs. In book form it has reportedly sold over two million copies. Zhang previously co-wrote the script of Wuershan 烏爾善's The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman 刀見笑 (2010).

Zhang wrote that the film is set to begin shooting soon with a very strong cast. Earlier this month, Mei Ah Entertainment Group Ltd 美亞娛樂資訊集團有限公司's Patrick TONG 唐慶枝 told local media that Wong was preparing to shoot a romance in 2015.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: WONG KAR-WAI
« Reply #89 on: June 23, 2014, 08:03:15 AM »
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Quote
Originally published on the internet as "bedtime stories", the book is divided into 38 chapters. It is described as a "cluttered" collection of love stories written in the style of a "friend narrating his tales to you in the middle of the night."
Wong is adapting the chapter called 擺渡人 (literally Ferryman), about an affair between a girl and a married artist in Changchun.

Very Wong Kar-Wai. The Grandmaster wasn't bad but it certainly felt truncated. This sounds like classic WKW but perhaps we're long past the best work in his career (look, it's unlikely he's gonna make anything as good as Chungking Express again).

 

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