Wong Kar Wai

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Wong Kar-wai was a rare commodity within the Hong Kong film industry - a maker of "art" films. Moreover, he made these films with studio backing and all-star casts, with some of these projects even making money. In an ... Read more »
Born: 07/16/1958 in Shanghai, CN

Filmography

Director (15)

Bmw Short Film Series 2014 (Movie)

(Directing the 3rd installment in the series.) (Director)

The Grandmaster 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

The Lady From Shanghai 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

As Tears Go By 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Ashes of Time Redux 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

My Blueberry Nights 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Chacun son cinema 2007 (Movie)

("I Travelled 9,000 Km to Give It to You") (Director)

2046 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

Eros 2005 (Movie)

("The Hand") (Director)

In the Mood for Love 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Fallen Angels 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Happy Together 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Chungking Express 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Days of Being Wild 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Ashes of Time 1995 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (11)

The Grandmaster 2013 (Movie)

(Producer)

Ashes of Time Redux 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

Miao Miao 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

My Blueberry Nights 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

2046 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

Eros 2005 (Movie)

("The Hand") (Producer)

Sixteen Years of Alcohol 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

Chinese Odyssey 2002 2003 (Movie)

(Producer)

Fallen Angels 1998 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Chungking Express 1996 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Eagle Shooting Heroes: Dong Cheng Xi Jiu 1993 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Writer (8)

The Grandmaster 2013 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Lady From Shanghai 2012 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

As Tears Go By 2008 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ashes of Time Redux 2008 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

My Blueberry Nights 2008 (Movie)

(Story By)

My Blueberry Nights 2008 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

2046 2005 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Eros 2005 (Movie)

("The Hand") (Screenplay)
Actor (2)

Words In Progress 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Biography

Wong Kar-wai was a rare commodity within the Hong Kong film industry - a maker of "art" films. Moreover, he made these films with studio backing and all-star casts, with some of these projects even making money. In an entertainment arena dominated by over-the-top actioners, florid melodramas, and broad comedies, this was no small achievement. For Wong, genre merely provided a template through which he worked out his ongoing thematic preoccupations, such as the transitory nature of experience, the importance of memory, the influence of pop culture, and the lasting sting of rejection. His bold stylistic signature - slow-motion action scenes blurred and pixilated by step-printing; huge, distorting close-ups and compacted fight sequences shot from disorienting angles - had tended to overwhelm most conventional generic concerns. But what distinguished Wong most of all, was his not ever using a script - like Miles Davis with Kind of Blue, Wong sketched basic ideas and trusted those around him, particularly the actors, to help him improvise his films - a stunning achievement, given the difficulty of making even a descent movie from the best of scripts.

EDUCATION

Hong Kong Polytechnic College

1980
Quit school during his second year

1980
Enrolled in the Production Training Course organized by Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB)

Milestones

2007

Helmed first full English-language film, "My Blueberry Nights"; featured singer-songwriter Norah Jones in her acting debut

2006

Became the first Chinese director to preside the jury at the Cannes Film Festival

2004

Filmed "2046," the third chapter of a shared story that began with "Days of Being Wild" and continued with "In the Mood for Love"

2001

Directed the short, "The Follow"; one of five film advertisements for BMW shown over the Internet at bmwfilms.com

2000

Helmed "In the Mood for Love," a period romance set in 1962 Hong Kong

1997

Directed the well received, "Happy Together"

1994

Feature debut as a producer, "Chungking Express"; was the first feature to be released through Rolling Thunder, the specialty distribution label at Miramax created by writer/director Quentin Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender (released in the US in 19

1991

Wrote and directed "Days of Being Wild"; film was a financial failure

1989

Feature debut as writer/director, "As Tears Go By"; received nine nominations for the Hong Kong Film Awards

1986

Conceived the plot for "As Tears Go By" while working on helmer Patrick Tam's "The Final Victory" as a writer

1982

Credited with about ten scripts; wrote and produced

1982

Left Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Limited

1981

Scripted the thriller-soap "Don't Look Now"

1980

Quit school during his second year and enrolled in a training program at Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Limited

1963

At age five, moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong with his mother; the Cultural Revolution broke out a month later, trapping his father, sister and brother on the mainland

Studied graphic design at a technical school but was more interested in photography

Became an assistant director at the station

Began working as a production assistant on several dramatic serials

Bonus Trivia

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"I'm fascinated by video," Wong admits. "The way it blurs and flattens real life, the way it never looks like you thought it would when you play it back. And so my films, which always deal with memory, start taking on the quality of video - a form of physicalized memory that can be experienced again and again, or recorded over, or screened until it literally falls apart, until it pixilates right in front of you." - From Eye Weekly, Jan. 25, 1996

.

"Usually I find that genre conventions get in the way of dealing with certain areas of character psychology, but one of my inspirations for 'Ashes [of Time]' was 'The Searchers' - a film which suggests how you can get inside an apparently opaque protagonist. In Ford's film, I've always been extremely touched by the relationship between the John Wayne character and his sister-in-law, which you see only in the way she passes him a cloth. It must amount to about three seconds of screen time but the hint is enough." - Wong Kar-wai quoted in Sight and Sound, September 1995

.

"Before I start to film a movie, I take a lot of drugs, the time for my interpretations and me to find a single rhythm. Of course, I'm very careful with the number of dosages." - from Positif, No 410, April 1995

.

"For me, shooting an action scene is no different from shooting a love scene. What really matters is what happens before the penetration and not after." - Wong Kar Wai quoted in Interview magazine, November 2008

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