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Entries in Wong Kar-wai (9)

Thursday
Nov172016

Wong Kar-wai Aligns with Annapurna for Gucci Movie

A piece of advice for these turbulent, trying times in America: appreciate beauty and take good news where you can find it. Luckily for fans of master director Wong Kar-wai, Indiewire just reported a lovely blend of both. Poised to bring his eleventh film to the big screen with the help of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, Wong’s follow-up to 2013’s elegant wuxia The Grandmaster will be a (no doubt, very nice looking) movie centered around the Gucci dynasty and the murderous, complicated family drama swirling around it. There’s absolutely nothing surprising about hearing the names Gucci and Wong Kar-Wai within the same breath; style recognizes style.

In the interim between now and whenever the film’s release – and in the spirit of swooning more and swooning often – I recommend watching this scrumptious interlude from In the Mood for Love on a loop until you melt into the iconic pot of noodles that Maggie Cheung so gracefully swings. What's your favorite Wong Kar-wai?

Sunday
Jul172016

Catherine the Great, Billie Holiday, Wong Kar-Wai

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1762 Catherine the Great becomes tsar of Russia, rules until her death 34 years later. Many actresses have played her since including icons as great as Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve, and Marlene Dietrich. (Kiera Knightley and Annette Bening both have been rumored for various new Catherine the Great projects but we'll believe those when we see them.)
1898 Berenice Abbott, a major figure in photography, an early LGBT feminist, whose life spanned nearly the entire 20th century and would make a great biopic,  is born. We keep mentioning important women as potential biopic subjects to debunk the theory, perpetuated by Hollywood, that there are only Great Men worthy of movie treatment in history.
1899 Speaking of Great Man biopics...

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Sunday
Apr262015

A.I. "2046"

Who’s ever fallen in love with an android?”

So wonders the train captain, jovially dismissive of his staff of beautiful female robots aboard a train leaving the futuristic district of 2046. The answer, as we know from the annals of cinematic and literary history, is many a man, and Tak (Takuya Kimura) is merely the latest.

Dave continues our artificial intelligence celebration after the jump...

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Saturday
Mar012014

But who did Zhang Ziyi vote for?

I know you. You woke up this morning desperate to know what Zhang Ziyi's Oscar ballot looked like. I am here, as ever, to improve your day with answers and actressness.

The Chinese superstar wasn't* nominated for  Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) or Memoirs of a Geisha (2005, around the time AMPAS invited her to join) despite plentiful US media attention. (I imagine teen and early 20something readers aren't super familiar with her since it's been 9 years since she was a regular fixture in the US entertainment press???) The Grandmaster raised her profile a bit again and she obviously helped the costumes and cinematography to their Oscar nominations on account of good god she's photogenic.

She discussed her ballot with fans on her Weibo account  though she was cleverly vague about whether she was talking votes or predictions (AMPAS members aren't supposed to reveal their actual votes).

She wrote [translated for TFE - thanks Tony!]:

Quite a chaotic year. Voted without taking any precursor awards into account. Some simple predictions based on experience and personal feeling.  

Best picture: Gravity. Animated feature: Frozen. Not just great movies but both female-centric.  Blanchett best actress. J.L. best supporting actress. Leto best supporting actor. For best actor I loved Matthew's performance but voted for DiCaprio, he deserves this no matter what.

For art department and cinematography I'm rooting for the home team of course. Good luck to them. A tip: Mr. Sunglasses** will walk the red carpet

 

In the spirit of Zhang Ziyi's social media sharing you know you want to share this ballot on Facebook or twitter

*As I've stated numerous times Asian actors don't have much luck with the Academy or Hollywood. They don't get invited to present very often at the big show, you rarely seen them in color blind casting decisions, and they rarely get nominated for Oscars even when they have a high profile year like Ziyi or Gong Li before her. In fact, no Asian has ever been nominated for Best Actress (unless you count "Dark Angel"'s Merle Oberon who was half Indian but hid her heritage in the less diverse Hollywood of the 1930s)

** "Mr Sunglasses" would be her director Wong Kar-Wai

Saturday
Jan182014

The Curious Case of The Grandmaster

Dancin' Dan here with a fun bit of Oscar trivia after nominations. When Wong Kar-Wai's gorgeous The Grandmaster didn't make it into the Best Foreign Language Film category. I wasn't surprised. Wong hasn't had much luck with the category (his masterpiece In The Mood for Love was also submitted but Oscar passed on it) and the new film, based on the life and work of Ip Man, has been divisive. I feared that this would spell doom for Philippe Le Sourd's stunning cinematography, thought Nathaniel had been predicting its nomination there for some time, but was heartened by its somewhat surprise inclusion in the ASC's seven-wide field. To my delight, upon looking at the full list of nominations, not only was Le Sourd nominated, but so was William Chang for the film's sumptuous costumes!

Which sets the mind racing... How many films that missed out on a Best Foreign Film nomination been nominated in other categories?

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Sunday
Sep012013

Review: The Grandmaster

Dancin' Dan here with my take on one of my most anticipated films of the year.

It's often easy to forget that the martial arts indeed are art, despite the fact that the word is right there in their given name. Practioners of kung fu, or karate, or judo hone their craft just as intensely (if not more so) as any painter, dancer, musician, actor, or filmmaker practices theirs. And to watch martial artists perform (that is, to fight) is quite often just as much of an awe-inspiring spectacle as it is to, say, watch Cate Blanchett navigate the course of Jasmine's unraveling. Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmaster, far more than any martial arts movie in recent memory, understands this.

One might expect no less from a film directed by Kar-Wai, cinema's premiere sensualist. And on this point, at least, he doesn't disappoint. [more...]

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