At the Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild 25th anniversary party and award presentation, ‘The Grandmaster‘ won 4 awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Wong Kar-wai, Best Actor for Tony Leung and Best Actress for Zhang Ziyi. It was Tony Leung’s first award for the film.
When Zhang Ziyi accepted the Best Actress award she said, “I don’t make many Hong Kong films. Since 2046 I started working with Wong Kar-wai, I feel that my performance and my English have improved. Only my Cantonese has deteriorated. Thus I hope to be able to work with different Hong Kong directors like Derek Yee.” She again won Best Actress for playing Gong Er, but was she confident that she would win again at the Hong Kong Film Award? Zhang Ziyi, “Let it take its natural course, actors can only control their performance on the set. Box office, word of mouth and awards are bonuses.” She regretted that ‘The Grandmaster’ did not win at the Oscars.
Tony Leung won Best Actor for playing Ip Man, he said that he represented the film team and could only take 10% of the credit. It also proved everyone’s hard work of the past 5 years. Although ’The Grandmaster’ lost at the Oscars, Leung felt that reaching this step was already a honor. “The admission already proves the competitiveness of Chinese films. Although this is just the first step, success needs coordination from luck.”
Director Wong Kar-wai said that the awards represented countless words. He even admired Zhang Ziyi for being able to have different acceptance speeches for the numerous times she won awards for her role, but he only had “Thank you everyone”.
HONG KONG FILM DIRECTOR’S GUILD AWARDS 2013
BEST PICTURE: THE GRANDMASTER
BEST DIRECTOR: Wong Kar-wai (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ACTOR: Tony Leung (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ACTRESS: Zhang Ziyi (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST NEW ACTOR: Babyjohn Choi (THE WAY WE DANCE)
NEW DIRECTOR: Adam Wong (THE WAY WE DANCE)
COMMISSION SPECIAL PRIZE: Derek Kwok (AS THE LIGHT GOES OUT)
March 9th, 2014 • 0 comments
March 9th, 2014 • 0 comments
The Wong Kar-wai directed film ‘The Grandmaster’ was nominated for Best Costume and Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards but won neither. Wong Kar-wai said, “It doesn’t matter because it’s very hard. Gravity, for example, had several thousand people on the production, and they had labour unions too. Each person was connected, but I feel being nominated was already not easy.”
Two nights later, Wong Kar-wai returned to Hong Kong and prepared to attend the Hong Kong Film Directors Guild anniversary banquet. How did the Oscars atmosphere feel? He said, “Their organizations are very strict, the production is great and very united.” (Did the Hong Kong Film Awards have anything to learn?) “The Oscars is a very large scale show, with over 1 billion viewers worldwide. They have a lot of resources and enormous in scale, but the Hong Kong Film Award is already very well done.” He also revealed that earlier he met with Gong Li. Would they work together again? He said, “We definitely will have a chance.”
January 18th, 2014 • 0 comments
Yesterday, the nominations for the 86th Oscars were announced. ‘The Grandmaster‘, which is directed by Wong Kar-wai and starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Zhang Ziyi, did not receive a Best Foreign Film nomination but was still nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. William Chang Suk-ping is nominated for the Best Costume Design award, whilst French photographer Philippe Le Sourd is nominated for Best Cinematography. A spokesperson for The Grandmaster’s distributor Jet Tone congratulated the two nominees, saying ”They represent Hong Kong and are the glory of the Hong Kong film industry”.
The Ang Lee directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon not only won the 73rd Oscar Best Foreign Film but also brought Hong Kong film professionals Tim Yip and Peter Pau the Best Art Director and the Best Cinematography Oscars. Years later, cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd is nominated for an Oscar after winning the Golden Horse Award and at the Asian Pacific Film Festival. He will compete against his counterparts from Gravity, Prisoners, Nebraska and Inside Llewyn Davis.
On the other hand, William Chang Suk-ping is nominated for Best Costume Design, the first time a Hong Kong film is nominated in the category. He will face his colleagues from American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, 12 Years A Slave and The Invisible Woman. William Chang, who has worked frequently with Mr. Wong, said he was “deeply honoured” for his costume-design nomination. “This is a recognition of the great team effort that went into bringing this film to life.”
The 86th Academy Awards will take place late on Sunday March 2 2014, at the Dolby Theatre.
January 17th, 2014 • 0 comments
November 27th, 2013 • 0 comments
The 50th Golden Horse Awards took place at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taiwan on the 23rd November. Zhang Ziyi‘s performance in The Grandmaster won her her first Golden Horse Best Actress. With 11 nominations The Grandmaster was the big winner with five awards. Alhough director Wong Kar-wai lost both Best Director and Best Feature Film to Stray Dogs and Ilo Ilo, The Grandmaster was deeply popular with the audience as it won the viewers’ choice award.
The three Best Actor favourites, Hong Kong representatives The Grandmaster‘s Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Unbeatable‘s Nick Cheung and Cold War‘s Tony Leung Ka-fai, lost to Stray Dog‘s Lee Kang-Sheng. Leung stood up and shook hands with the newcomer; however, when the event arranged for past Best Actors and Best Actresses for a group photo, he was pouting and looked unhappy. Singapore film Ilo Ilo won four awards, including Best Feature Film, Best New Director, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. Its performance was second only to The Grandmaster.
The 34-year-old Zhang Ziyi won her first Golden Horse Best Actress after 15 years in the business with The Grandmaster‘s Gong Er. When Zhang Ziyi received the award from Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau, she was teary eyed and choking back her tears. She said, “I have been nominated several times for the Golden Horse, today I finally got it. Thank you to the Director Ang Lee led jury, making me the Best Actress on the Golden Horse’s 50th birthday. Making The Grandmaster was long and tough, but the process was happy. Thank you to on and off screen grand masters, without them I wouldn’t be here. Thank you Leung Chiu-wai, he will always be the Best Actor in my heart. Thank you Wong Kar-wai. When my heart was suffering the most I ran into Gong Er, telling me to believe in myself. I did it. Today Mama is here too, last month was my birthday and this award is the best birthday present. Yesterday I got a call from Papa, he is sick. I hope this award will make him recover soon.”
BEST FEATURE FILM: ILO ILO
BEST SHORT FILM: BUTTER LAMP
BEST DOCUMENTARY: BEYOND BEAUTY, TAIWAN FROM ABOVE
BEST DIRECTOR: Tsai Ming-Liang (STRAY DOGS)
BEST NEW DIRECTOR: Anthony Chen (ILO ILO)
BEST LEADING ACTOR: Lee Kang-Sheng (STRAY DOGS)
BEST LEADING ACTRESS: Zhang Ziyi (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Li Xuejian (1942)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Yeo Yann Yann (ILO ILO)
BEST NEW PERFORMER: Kuo Shu-Yau (STEP BACK TO GLORY)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Anthony Chen (ILO ILO)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Li Qiang (SO YOUNG)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Philippe Le Sourd (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Pierre Buffin (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ART DIRECTION: William Chang Suk-Ping, Alfred Yau Wai-Ming (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST MAKE UP & COSTUME DESING: William Chang Suk-Ping (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ACTION CHOREOPGRAHY: Jackie Chan, He Jun, Jackie Chan Stunt Team (CZ12)
BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE: Lim Giong (A TOUCH OF SIN)
BEST ORIGINAL FILM SONG: I LOVE YOU (ROCK ME TO THE MOON)
BEST FILM EDITING: Mattieu Laclau, Lin Xudong (A TOUCH OF SIN)
BEST SOUND EFFECTS: Tu Duu-Chih, Kuo Li Chi (SOUL)
OUTSTANDING TAIWANESE FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR: Yeh Ju-Feng
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD: THE GRANDMASTER
FIPRESCI PRIZE: RIGOR MORTIS
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Chen Chen
September 25th, 2013 • 1 comment
The Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong Ltd has picked Wong Kar-wai‘s ‘The Grandmaster‘ as Hong Kong’s representative at the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category. The China co-production was chosen over two other finalists: Herman Yau‘s ‘Ip Man: The Final Fight‘ and Dante Lam‘s ‘Unbeatable‘. Due to The Grandmaster‘s North American box office takings of US$ 6.3 million and its selection as one of the Telegraph’s 2013 Top Ten Best Films, its chances to receive to be shortlisted in the Oscar’s Best Foreign Film category are even higher. Many Hong Kong films applied for the honour. The box office hit ’Unbeatable’ was fierce competition with ‘The Grandmaster’ but in the end Wong Kar-wai’s film came out ahead.
“The film is very artistic and it shows a lot of local Chinese elements,” federation chairman Crucindo Hung Cho-sing said. “The Oscar academy usually chooses films that reflect the country’s features, so there’s a big chance it will be a nominee.” Comparing ‘The Grandmaster’ to previous films based on Ip Man, board member Patrick Tong Hing-chi said earlier ones focused more on action, while Wong’s version was more emotional. “He paid a lot of attention to shooting techniques,” Tong said. “The kung fu moves are very elegant.”
The spokesperson of the movie’s producer said the production crew are exciting about the news. “It’s our honor to have it selected to represent Hong Kong in the Oscars,” said the spokesperson, “We are thankful to the recognition by the selection committee in Hong Kong, and we do hope ‘The Grandmaster’ can shine in the top notch international venue.” Actors Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi were happy for Wong Kar-wai when they received the good news in Qingdao and they hope to be able to walk the Oscar red carpet again.
The 2014 Oscars will be presented on March 2 in Los Angeles.
August 17th, 2013 • 1 comment
A comic book tie-in to the upcoming film The Grandmaster, which was made available as a convention exclusive at San Diego Comic Con International last month, has been released online as a free download.
The Weinstein Company have teamed up with former Marvel and IDW editor Andy Schmidt, along with artists Chris Evenhuis, PH Marcondes, Keison, and Chee and VICE, to create a really cool web comic based on the film.
You can check out the comic, released in conjunction with promotion for Wong Kar Wai’s new film, here.
The Grandmaster opens in NY, LA and Toronto on August 23rd, and nationwide on 800 screens on August 30th.
Download it here:
August 16th, 2013 • 0 comments
Acclaimed martial arts film ’The Grandmaster’ held its New York City premiere on August 13. The film’s stars Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi attended the event along with director Wong Kar-wai. The film’s success at various international film festivals this year generated buzz ahead of its American release, attracting the attention of many Hollywood veterans, including Susan Sarandon and Samuel L. Jackson, who have nothing but praise for the film and spent much time socializing with its stars. Sarandon even traded phone numbers with Leung at the after party, asking him to stay in touch.
The premiere took place at the Regal E-Walk Stadium. Aside from Hollywood stars, well-known fashion designers Vivienne Tam, Anna Sui, and Jason Wu were also present. Wu took several photos with Zhang Ziyi, the two having collaborated earlier when Wu dressed Zhang for this year’s Met Gala.
To further ignite interest in the American market, famed director Martin Scorsese announced his support and granted American distributor The Weinstein Company the use of his name. The film will officially be released in the United States as “Martin Scorsese Presents ‘The Grandmaster’”. Speaking about this endorsement, Wong Kar-wai said, “Marty has always been a great inspiration. We are so thankful for his support of the film.”
Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi mingled with guests at the event, the two spent time chatting with Susan Sarandon and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson shared that he is a fan of Wong Kar-wai and had put aside time so he can attend the premiere. Sarandon had a great time talking with Leung, and invited him to chat more over a drink. At the after party, Sarandon praised Leung’s talents, saying that the effort the cast has put into the film is apparent. She later traded contact information with him, wanting to stay in touch.
The Grandmaster received great word of mouth and box office takings in Asia and caught just as much attention in the U.S. Wong Kar-wai edited the film anew so it would be easier for foreigners to comprehend. At the press conference Tony Leung revealed that the most memorable moment was working for 40 consecutive nights. He said that in the end he only had bronchitis and was lucky not to have pneumonia.
Zhang Ziyi appeared on Good Morning America for a live interview. She even admitted that a live program appearance required courage, luckily she was able to withstand the test. Zhang Ziyi’s English ability was made fun of before, thus she worked hard to learn English. Now she is able to fluently respond on a live program, she truly is a new and improved “International Zhang”.
New York is only the first stop among many as the team prepares for the film’s American release on August 23. Wong Kar-wai, Tony Leung, and Zhang Ziyi will continue to make appearances to support their acclaimed epic, with advanced screenings planned in Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
August 16th, 2013 • 0 comments
Martin Scorsese is lending his support to the upcoming Weinstein Company release of ‘The Grandmaster‘, the film directed by Wong Kar-wai. Scorsese will lend his name in presentation of the kung fu film, and above the line it will read Martin Scorsese Presents The Grandmaster when TWC releases the film theatrically in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto on August 23 and nationwide on August 30. Wong has directed such films as Chungking Express, 2046 and My Blueberry Nights, and The Grandmaster stars Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, and Chang Chen and is executive produced by Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison. The film opened the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. “Wong Kar Wai has turned martial arts into a modern dance,” Scorsese said.
“Every movement hit with precision, every emotion drenched with underlying honor. The Grandmaster, arranged with both elegance and fury, left me mesmerized.” Said Wong: “Marty has always been a great inspiration. We are so thankful for his support of the film.”
TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein said: “Marty Scorsese’s reaction to The Grandmaster couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. When Marty champions a film, nothing is better; it is the ultimate seal of approval. I look forward to audiences seeing this wildly entertaining and artistic film.”
The poster at the head of this post was designed by Vania Zouravliov and will be released by Mondo.
August 1st, 2013 • 0 comments
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honoured Wong Kar Wai‘s contribution to film with a special screening of ’The Grandmaster‘ at 7:30PM on July 22nd. Aside from the chair and the board members, the film’s lead actress Zhang Ziyi also made an appearance and surprised Wong Kar-wai.
The special screening was hosted by ‘Mad Men‘ creator Matthew Weiner who is an admirer of Wong Kar-wai’s films and thus volunteered to host.