Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Grand Master: Wong Kar-Wai reunites with Tony Leung!

Yay! Tony Leung reunites with Wong Kar-Wai in new biopic about kungfu master Ip Man. Yi Dai Zong Shi or translated as The Grand Master is scheduled for release in 2010, and recently started shooting. However, Tony Leung, who plays the lead actor Ip Man, recently injured his arm while sparring with the martial arts instructors.

The Grand Master tells the biopic of Ip Man, the first martial arts master or "sifu" in Cantonese to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun openly, according to Wikipedia. Ip Man's most famous student was Bruce Lee.

If Ip Man sounds familiar, it's because in 2008, there was a movie with the same name, on the same topic, with action star Donnie Yen playing the kungfu master. I've yet to see Ip Man, as I'm not a fan of kungfu flicks (the only reason why I watched Bruce Lee films growing up was coz my dad's a huge fan of Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris - typical male fare) but I would watch anything that Wong Kar-Wai does, even if it's just an ad! Ip Man 2 has been announced for 2010 with Donnie Yen reprising his role.

Wong Kar-Wai is one of my all time favorite directors of all time. Take a still from any of his films and they're like gorgeous artwork generously painted with emotions, even his sightly underwhelming English language venture My Blueberry Nights. To me, Leung is the definitive leading man, which by the way, is really difficult to find in Asia -- Leung is old school good looking, debonair, pensive yet exudes a sense of silent strength. Dare I say that Leung is Cary Grant-esque? Heck yeah!

Wong Kar-Wai and Tony Leung always equals magic. Leung has collaborated with Wong Kar-Wai on six previous movies: Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, Ashes of Time, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love and 2046. According to IMDB, the cast list for The Grand Master also includes Chen Chang (Three Times, Red Cliff), with Gong Li and Brigitte Lin rumored to join The Grand Master. If this list is indeed correct, this is cast with some beautiful, talented people.

What will be interesting though, is to see how Wong Kar-Wai approaches The Grand Master, knowing that there will be action and fight scenes involved; whereas Wong Kar-Wai has always been known for his arthouse, meditative pieces that delve deep into basic human emotion like love, longing and loss. My first thought was that The Grand Master might turn out looking like Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers or Hero but it's impossible since both directors have such different styles, although both take a very stylized approach to film. Oh well, we'll have to wait and see.

Here's a fun trivia - have you ever seen Wong Kar-Wai without his signature black shades? Never!

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Blogger 1minutefilmreview said...

Nice write-up. Can't wait to see it!

10:26 AM  
Blogger audreytang said...

Thanks. Love Wong Kar-Wai! Can't wait to hear more about his new film!

7:09 AM  

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