In The Mood For Gloss

Wong Kar-wai with actress Sandrine Pinna

From Puretrend:

Acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai is collaborating with Shu Uemura cosmetics for a Christmas collection of make-ups in red and blue pigments which repeat the aesthetic codes of his films.
For this occasion, Wong Kar Wai has directed a short film, called “Mask”, in which he reveals his unique perspective of femininity.
Puretrend interviewed the director:

How did you react to the announcement of a collaboration with Shu Uemura?
WKW: I was asked during the filming of ‘The Grandmasters’ martial arts film and I was therefore delighted to take a break to work on a contemporary project focused towards the concept of beauty.

How did this project with a brand of cosmetics compare with your other collaborations? Did you observe any significant differences, encountered difficulties, or experienced enjoyment?
WKW: I enjoyed working with individuals and brands who know how to appreciate art and perfection. Shu Uemura is one of them.

Your film is inspired by the poem by Charles Bukowski “Burning in water, drowning in flames”, embodied by the red and blue theme. How did this idea come to you?
WKW: This poem by Charles Bukowski is a paradox. My film explores this contradiction of passion. I thought that the contrast of red and blue, which reflects the opposition between the hot and cold, was ideal.
What did you wish to express in this short film?
WKW: I wanted to get across a message celebrating life, and carrying positive energy.

How did the filming occur?
WKW: It took place on two very intense days. I was assisted by my usual team, composed of very talented people and a very natural gaiety.

In your opinion, how does a red and blue state of mind correspond with the heat of passion and bathing in a sea of serenity?
WKW: It is a very fleeting state but which makes all the salt of life, one to which we all aspire.
The mask and the palletes seem to be key elements in this film, what do they symbolize? What role do they play in the short and what is their relationship with the red and blue?
WKW: The mask symbolizes the universe of possibility: it releases us from the image we have of ourselves and allow us to free our imagination.

What type of female beauty did you wish to express in this film?
WKW: Mysterious, passionate, victorious, following the example team of the soccer team Nadeshiko.

How did the casting take place? What type of woman did you imagine for the part?
WKW: Sandrine (Pinna) is a young actress whose is already an award-winning talent. When the Shu Uemura project was born, I immediately knew that this role was for her, whose beauty expressed the duality and the exuberance of youth.

What do you think of a Shu Uemura collection dedicated to the end of the year?
WKW: I always have lots of fun to see a concept become reality, especially when it relies on colors of such splendour.

What have you thought of your collaboration with Mr. Uchiide, the artistic director of the make-up?
WKW: I love people driven by passion like Mr. Uchiide. We both loved playing and experimenting with our ideas. It formed innovative concepts, such as the word “LOVE”, which he designed on the lips of Sandrine.

What is your image of Christmas?
WKW: The celebration. A few years ago I spent Christmas in Buenos Aires during filming. In South America, the month of December is in the middle of the summer. The inhabitants cut snowflakes in the white paper, which they threw from their Windows to celebrate the whiteness of Christmas.

Where do you draw the inspiration for your films? What do you find the most exciting?
WKW: I find my inspiration in the creation, and I look at the journey.

The collection is available to buy now.

WKW For Shu Uemura commercial

Wong Kar-wai’s short film/commercial “Mask” has been released to promote his new cosmetics line “WKW for Shu Uemura”.
The commercial stars Sandrine Pinna and is inspired by Charles Bukowski’s poem “Burning in water, drowning in flames.”


Korean star Song searching for seriousness

From AFP:

Song Hye-kyo, one of Asia’s biggest female stars thanks to a wildly popular television series, on Saturday said she is determined to match her success in romantic comedies with more serious roles.
“I want the roles I now play to be very different. I am trying to find very different and unique roles to play,” said Song, speaking on the sidelines of the 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
The 28-year-old South Korean, whose face is plastered on billboards across the region, said the parts she was now choosing were designed to be more challenging.
That’s certainly the case with Song’s latest film role.
In the Lee Jeong-hyang directed drama “A Reason to Live” — making its world premiere at BIFF — Song plays a young woman forced through tragedy to question the rights and wrong of capital punishment.
It is a step change from the bright and breezy romantic comedies that made her name.

The actress is also currently helping acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai piece together his long-awaited martial arts epic “The Grandmasters“, a biopic of Ip Man, the man who taught Bruce Lee how to fight.
Both films had presented unique challenges, the actress said.
“In person I am a very calm character and in Wong Kar Wai’s film, I have to be very active,” said Song.
“I have to use my body and I am still learning how to be more physical. In director Lee’s film I have to express my feelings more than I normally do. I have to use my facial expressions.”
The actress said she had found that though the two directors were known for very different styles of films — Wong is an arthouse darling while Lee favours more gritty material — she had found they had a common touch.
“They are both very delicate when it comes to actors in that they give very detailed directions,” she said.

Song began her career on Korean television and soon became a household favourite across Asia thanks to series such as “Full House”, where she played opposite the Korean singing and acting sensation Rain.
Big screen success has been harder to come by but that hasn’t stopped the actress picking up a string of lucrative commercial endorsements.
And while film fans have been kept in the dark about when Wong’s film might be released — it has now been almost a decade in the making — Song said they would not have to wait for too much longer.
“We are still shooting because Wong Kar Wai is not usually a fast director,” she said. “But I think the film will be released in the next year.”