New kung fu film screened in LA

Updated: 2013-07-25 11:18

By China Daily (China Daily)

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New kung fu film screened in LA

Wong Kar-wai and Zhang Ziyi, female lead of The Grandmaster, attend the preview of the movie at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Monday. Provided to China Daily

A sneak preview of The Grandmaster this week warmed up the market for the film's premier in Los Angeles in late August.

As part of an on-going celebration of kung fu films, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted the event as a salute to Hong Kong-based writer/director Wong Kar Wai and his new film about the instructor who trained Bruce Lee in martial arts. Lead actress in the film, Zhang Ziyi, made a surprise appearance at the event.

According to the Academy, Wong stands out for his "unique sense of style and emotionally resonant work". He was the first Chinese director to win the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his 1997 film Happy Together. Wong has been called a "poet of time" by Sight & Sound and "perhaps the most revered and singular of Hong Kong auteurs" by the New York Times.

The Grandmaster tells the story of martial arts grandmaster Ip Man (Tony Leung), who trained Bruce Lee. As he seeks to perfect his practice of the Wing Chun fighting style, Ip Man locks horns with another determined kung fu master, Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi), during the 1937 Japanese invasion of China and the tumultuous years that follow. The cast also includes Wang Qing-xiang, Chang Chen, Xiao Shengyang and Song Hye Kyo, as well as hundreds of Asia's top martial artists.

The Grandmaster reportedly took Wong 13 years to make. The rain scene alone - used in the movie poster - took a month to finish. Zhang said that Wong spent two years filming the movie's snow scenes.

The film has already been released in the Chines mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France and Japan.

Reviews say the film presents a beauty that is appealing to both Oriental and Western tastes. Other critics gave the movie a mediocre two and half stars out of five because of the kung fu performances.

The Grandmaster will hit US theaters on Aug 23.

(China Daily USA 07/25/2013 page2)