Dung Che Sai Duk Redux
China, Hong Kong | 2008 | Wong Kar-wai
The Grandmaster is not the first martial arts movie by Hong Kong’s master of cinematic style, Wong Kar-wai. In 1994 he released Ashes of Time, a trippy, ethereal, somewhat mystifying work with an all-star cast (Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, The Grandmaster’s Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, et al.), about a swordsman who arranges hits for paying customers. 14 years later—after comparing release prints of various lengths, re-cutting and rearranging action, and digitally tweaking cinematographer Christopher Doyle’s sensuous colors—Wong assembled his “definitive” version of this dreamy period piece. The Redux cut does not clarify all of the original movie’s narrative ambiguities, but it expertly showcases Wong’s peerless poetry: flashy, abstract visuals; the familiar mood of regret and romantic longing; his obsession with time.
93 min. 35mm. Subtitles.
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