I know, I know…another post about Cannes. Sorry, but I told you…I’m kind of obsessed right now. The good news for all you non-movie fans out there is that the Festival wraps up on Sunday, so, I’ll get back to more juicy “eat”, “do”, and “make” posts very soon.
Speaking of “eat”, wait till you see the Key Lime pie I had in Tampa…amazing! Anyway, back to the shiny film fest on the Riviera…
So, the big news on Sunday was all about the world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls” — more on that later, but for the record, we ordered tickets today for the Friday night show at the Arclight — but for fans of legendary Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, the night was all about the premiere of his re-cut 1994 masterpiece, “Ashes of Time”.
And since “Ashes” is one of the few films of WKW’s that I have not seen — aside from his recent English-language disaster “My Blueberry Nights” — I’m kind of dying to see this definitive, extended version of what many consider to be his first truly great movie.
Though the dreamy, retro vibe of his later films was still years away — if you haven’t watched the Criterion Collection DVD of “In The Mood For Love” you are missing out, man — “Ashes of Time” was the first of his films to really stand out from the rest of the Hong Kong “wuxia films” of the time.
Starring WKW regulars like Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung and Brigitte Lin, “Ashes” is said to be anchored around the central performance of the late, great Leslie Chung (“Farewell My Concubine”). And though Chung was sorely missed by WKW and the rest of the cast at the Palais on Sunday, I can assure you he was there in spirit as he is said to be amazing in the movie.
Interestingly enough, WKW’s longtime-collaborator, iconic cinematographer Christopher Doyle — who is rumored to have had a spectacular falling out with the director after working with him for the last time on “2046” — was also in attendance. And not only was he there — he is the white dude in the pictures above and below — but he held hands with Wong and the cast as they made their way to the theatre as well. Cool!
Here’s hoping that the rift is over and that Doyle returns to the WKW fold for his next film. And in the meantime, knowing that the “Ashes of Time: Redux” was so well received at Cannes gives me hope that a stateside theatrical run might be just around the corner as well!
Or at the very least, maybe I can start dreaming about a special edition DVD — are you listening, Criterion? — to add to my kick-ass Wong Kar Wai box set, pictured below. Either way, long live the king of Hong Kong cool!