Wong Kar-wai will not make a Leslie Cheung biopic

Leslie Cheung WKW

Sina:

The late actor Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing does not only have a special place in the hearts of fans, but even international director Wong Kar-wai and producer Hsu Feng who have worked with him felt that no one could replace him. Not only would they not remake “Farewell My Concubine” but there will also be no Leslie Cheung biopic.

Wong Kar-wai recently revealed that he has no intention to make a biopic about good friend and actor, Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing. Wong expressed his feeling about the 10th anniversary of Cheung’s passing online saying, “I don’t think I would make a Leslie Cheung movie and cast anybody to play him, because I think he cannot be replaced. He was a very special person.”

During his lifetime, Cheung has worked with Wong in many films, including “Days of Being Wild“, “Ashes of Time” and the controversial “Happy Together“, where he was nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards. In a few words, Wong  stated how unique Cheung was in his eyes, bringing his characters to life and leaving a deep impression with the audience.

Meanwhile, producer Hsu Feng also refused to remake Leslie Cheung’s film, “Farewell My Concubine”, stating that no one would be able to replace him in the movie.

However, it was recently revealed that a South Korean film company is interested to remake Leslie’s hit film, “Moonlight Express“, which also starred Japanese actress, Tokiwa Takako. It was reported that the right of the film has already been purchased and that the new version will be fully helmed and cast with South Korean stars.

Farewell My Concubine

Takako Tokiwa Leslie Cheung

Wong Kar-wai to lead master class at 37th HKIFF

wong-kar-wai

HKIFFS:

Organised by The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Jockey Club Cine Academy (JCCA) Master Class is known for offering the local audience a prestigious opportunity to interact with world-class filmmakers, having brought JIA Zhangke and Keanu REEVES to town for its 2011 and 2012 editions respectively. Today the HKIFFS announced that Wong Kar Wai, one of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time, will conduct this year’s Master Class on 21 March during the 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).

Wong has been widely acclaimed: the visionary auteur who helped catapult Maggie CHEUNG and Tony LEUNG Chiu-wai to international stardom; the first Asian to win Best Director at Cannes Film Festival (for his 1997 work Happy Together); one of the top three in Sight & Sound’s list of Top Ten Directors of Modern Times; and the meticulous perfectionist behind this year’s Berlinale opener The Grandmaster. Indeed WKW has become an instantly recognisable and internationally revered name.

“We are very honoured that Wong has accepted our invitation,” said Roger Garcia, Executive Director of the HKIFFS. “With his unique and mesmerising stories and aesthetics, he has created a universe entirely of his own. His admirers hail from all over the world and he has helped advance the cause of Hong Kong cinema internationally. I am sure cineastes in Hong Kong would be thrilled to hear the master himself share his experience and insights at the Master Class.”

The Master Class will be held at 7:30pm on 21 March 2013 at Theatre 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with simultaneous interpretation between Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Free and open to the public, registration starts 3pm, 28 February 2013 at http://jcca.hkiff.org. The JCCA is also receiving applications for another popular programme, Festival Tours, targeted at moviegoers aged 16-25 and featuring post-screening discussion sessions with film critics and scholars who act as tour guides during the HKIFF. Registration is free and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wong Kar-wai’s road to celebrated director

wkw3East Week:

Wong Kar Wai’s anticipated film, ‘The Grandmaster’, is now finally playing in theaters. The martial arts movie is a yet another biopic of the Wing Chun master, Ip Man, and is the fourth Ip Man feature film to be released in the last six years. ‘The Grandmaster’, however, is unrelated to Wilson Yip’s highly successful Ip Man trilogy, the series that started the current Ip Man and Wing Chun trend. In fact, Wong’s idea to make a biopic for the legendary martial artist was conceived more than a decade ago, when he was working on his 1997  film, ‘Happy Together’.

Known for his slow-paced art films, Wong’s productions never coincided well with mainstream cinema. His announcement on ‘The Grandmaster’ project pricked up ears, but despite past skepticism on Wong’s ability to do action cinematography, ‘The Grandmaster’ has been a box office success, and has become Wong’s highest grossing film of his career.

Wong is now an internationally acclaimed and award-winning director, but there is no such thing as overnight success. Although Wong was immediately propelled to stardom after the release of his debut feature film, ‘As Tears Go By’, in 1988, the long-awaited stardom took many years of blood, sweat, and tears.

Born in Shanghai, Wong and his family emigrated to Hong Kong when he was five years old. His family was not wealthy. Wong’s father was a sailor, and rarely had the opportunity to stay at home with his wife and son. Soon afterwards, Wong’s father found a job as a hotel manager in Malaysia, leaving Wong and his mother behind in Hong Kong. At the time, Wong’s mother used to bring him to the theaters every day to watch movies, which allegedly contributed to his interest in filmmaking.

Wong graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1980, majoring in graphic design. After his graduation, Wong briefly worked as a sales clerk in a clothing store. In 1981, Wong auditioned for TVB’s scriptwriting class, where he met his wife Chan Yi Kan, a variety program producer for the television station.

Wong struggled as a scriptwriter during his days with TVB. Chan then encouraged Wong to leave the station to focus on directing and writing his own films. After Chan’s many long meetings with various film distributors and investors, Wong’s debut film, ‘As Tears Go By’, was finally released in 1988 by In-Gear Film Production. Chan also produced the film. ‘As Tears Go By’ was a critical and box office success. Grossing over $11 million HKD in the Hong Kong box office, the film received ten nominations at the 8th Hong Kong Film Awards, and won two awards.

Wong’s second film in 1990, ‘Days of Being Wild’, was an even greater critical success, receiving nine HKFA nominations and winning five, including Best Picture, Best Director for Wong, and Best Actor for Leslie Cheung. However, it was Wong’s 2000 film, ‘In the Mood for Love’ that shot Wong to international acclaim.

Wong, Chan, and their 16-year-old son currently reside in a million-dollar house in Repulse Bay. The low-key director is often seen eating in outdoor restaurants around the neighborhood. Wong’s son physically resembles a young Tony Leung, which may be a reason as to why Wong frequently collaborates with the actor.

After two weeks of release, ‘The Grandmaster’ has already earned 252 million RMB. The great care in which Wong Kar-wai took with each frame of the film, the props detail, and the action choreography were evident, resulting in a film of great visual beauty and precision.

‘The Grandmaster’ will be the opening film at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, which will take place in February. Wong denied earlier rumors that there will be a four-hour director’s cut of The Grandmaster, but acknowledged he is currently editing a different international edition containing slightly different content from the mainland Chinese version.

wkw1

wkw2

Zhang Ziyi stole Tony Leung’s limelight in ‘The Grandmaster’

zhang ziyi the grandmaster

Apple Daily:

Portraying Ip Man in ‘The Grandmaster’  Tony Leung  jokingly moaned, “I have been training under a Wing Chun master for the past 3 years, yet the scenes I have can’t beat Zhang Ziyi.” Although director Wong Kar-wai had set out to make a biopic about Ip Man, ‘The Grandmaster’ grew into a sprawling account of Chinese martial arts. In the opening scene, Tony Leung fought off 10 of his adversaries in a rainy scene, showcasing Wong Kar-wai’s signature martial arts aesthetics. In another scene, Leung and Zhang Ziyi were dueling at the Golden House; the awe-inspiring exchange proved the hard work both actors had put in throughout their training.

In ‘The Grandmaster’, Tony Leung hardly has many spoken lines, which prompted wife, Carina Lau to nickname him as “The Silent Ghost” after watching his performance. Director Wong Kar-wai explained, “Initially I gave Tony many lines, but I deleted them in the end because Ip Man is a man of few words. Without saying a word, he is able to command the room.” On the contrary, Zhang Ziyi had some of the best lines in the film. At the same time, her internal struggle between her admiration for Leung’s Ip Man and her impulse for exacting revenge for her father proved to be a well-received performance.

Under Wong Kar-wai’s heavy-handed editing, Chang Chen, Song Hye-kyo, and Julian Cheung Chi-lam have little screen time in ‘The Grandmaster’, despite extended filming. Taiwanese actor Chang Chen, trained for three years under a Baji master for his role; however, he ended up appearing in only three scenes in the film. Chang said, “I know Wong Kar-wai’s style, so I have expected this.” South Korean actress Song Hye-kyo, who has been noticeably absent from the film’s promotional events, plays Ip Man’s wife has one line in the entire film, “Is it that cold in Foshan?”, while Julian Cheung only appears for a few seconds.

‘The Grandmaster’ marks Tony Leung’s seventh collaboration with Wong Kar-wai. Since 1990, Leung has appeared in Wong Kar-wai’s movies such as ‘Days of Being Wild’, ‘Ashes of Time’, ‘Chungking Express’, ‘Happy Together’, ‘In the Mood for Love’ and ‘2046′. Will there be an eighth time? Leung declined to comment, likely due to the laborious filming conditions of ‘The Grandmaster’ and physical exertion for his role.

‘The Grandmaster’ was the top film in mainland Chinese box offices, earning 162 million RMB in its opening weekend.

Five Films by Wong Kar-Wai Named in Greatest Chinese Films Poll

The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival has announced the results of its survey of the “100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films“. 122 industry professionals took part in the survey, including film scholars, festival programmers, film directors, actors and producers.
With 73 votes, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s ‘A City of Sadness‘ topped the poll. Edward Yang’s ‘A Brighter Summer Day’ came a close second.
Wong Kar-wai was Hong Kong’s most recognised director with five slots headed by ‘Days of Being Wild‘ in 4th place. The other films by Wong Kar-wai in the list are ‘In The Mood For Love‘ (joint 9th), ‘ChungKing Express‘ (21st), ‘Happy Together‘ (26th), and ‘Ashes Of Time‘ (joint 50th)

Top 10:
1 A City of Sadness; dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien
2 A Brighter Summer Day; dir. Edward Yang
3 A Time to Live and a Time to Die; dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien
4 Days of Being Wild; dir. Wong Kar-wai
5 Spring in a Small Town; dir. Fei Mu
6 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; dir. Ang Lee
7 Yi Yi: A One and a Two; dir. Edward Yang
8 Dust in the Wind; dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien
9= Dragon Inn; dir. King Hu
9= In the Mood for Love; dir. Wong Kar-wai

http://www.filmbiz.asia/news/horse-announces-greatest-chinese-films

Happy Together and Fallen Angels double feature in Tribeca

To celebrate the Blu-ray and digital re-releases of Happy Together and Fallen Angels, courtesy of Kino Lorber, 35mm prints of these two films will be screened back-to-back in downtown Manhattan on Thursday July 22 at the 92Y Tribeca.
Two-for-one tickets.
Apparently there will be freebies and giveaways included as well.

More details:
http://www.92y.org/shop/92Tri_event_detail.asp?category=92Tri+92YTribeca+Film888&productid=T-MM5FJ44