September 21, 2013 |
HONG KONG - There is a scene near the beginning of Wong Kar Wai's "The Grandmaster" in which the main character, the martial arts expert Ip Man, expounds on the ethos of his practice. "Kung fu: two words. One horizontal, one vertical - if you're wrong, you'll be left lying down. If you're right, you're left standing - and only the ones who stand have the right to talk. " Lately it seems filmmakers can't talk enough about Ip Man. Born in southern China in 1893, he was notable for having taught the iconic Bruce Lee and popularizing the Wing Chun school of kung fu. Though he died in poverty and exile in Hong Kong in 1972, Ip has become an almost mythical figure featuring in multiple films in recent years.
August 23, 2013 |
Wong Kar Wai is known as an international master of moody romance, making films filled with a yearning melancholy. His "In the Mood for Love" was the only film from this century to make the Top 25 of a recent Sight & Sound poll of the greatest films of all time. So news that he was making a kung fu film tracing the life of Ip Man, who would famously go on to train Bruce Lee, caught many of his fans off-guard. Playing now in Los Angeles, the long-awaited film has already been the biggest commercial hit of Wong's career in China, even with its unlikely combination of a rousing martial arts story and a moving tale of romantic longing.
August 22, 2013 |
"The Grandmaster" is like a meal of all desserts, with maybe the tiniest bit of protein thrown in. You'll feel decadent enjoying it, but everything is so tasty, it would be foolish to object. An exercise in pure cinematic style filled with the most ravishing images, "The Grandmaster" finds director Wong Kar-wai applying his impeccable visual style to the mass-market martial arts genre with potent results. He's found a way to join the romantic languor of his earlier films like "In the Mood for Love" with the fury of Bruce Lee. Working with his alter ego, actor Tony Leung, and an impressive Ziyi Zhang - and leaving the action choreography to the masterful Yuen Woo-ping ("The Matrix," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon")
February 7, 2013 |
BERLIN - The 63rd Berlin Film Festival opened Thursday with an elegant bang - of fists, feet and questions. Kicking off the 11 days of cinematic offerings was jury president Wong Kar Wai's epic martial arts drama, “The Grandmaster” - a graceful telling of the history of Ip Man, the mentor of Bruce Lee. First, though, came the morning's presentation of the jury to the international press in a conference full of polite but pointed queries and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2012 |
Harris Savides, who was widely considered one of the most influential contemporary cinematographers, earning acclaim for his canny visual sensibility on such films as "Zodiac" and "Milk," died Wednesday. He was 55. The Skouras Agency confirmed the New York-based cinematographer's death but released no other details. "If you were looking for a cinematographer with both sizzle and substance, you couldn't find a more adept visual stylist than Harris Savides," Patrick Goldstein wrote in The Times in 2007.
October 5, 2008 |
When THE Asian financial crisis hit Hong Kong a decade ago, the lab where director Wong Kar Wai stored his prints went into bankruptcy. On extremely short notice, Wong had to retrieve all his materials in just one evening. Much to his chagrin, Wong discovered that the lab hadn't been storing his prints in ideal conditions. His first independent production, the 1994 martial-arts epic "Ashes of Time," was in dire straits.