The Arts

Wong Kar-wai

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Hong Kong’s greatest film director, Wong Kar-wai is a global titan of arthouse cinema


A cinematic legend, Wong Kar-wai has been Hong Kong’s king of arthouse filmmaking for decades, drawing international acclaim and influencing a generation of directors with his dreamy, evocative style featuring spectacular, colour-saturated visuals, and a loose, experimental approach to narrative. A native of Shanghai who moved to Hong Kong as a child, Wong started his career working on TV soap operas, often as a screenwriter— ironic, seeing as he has since been known to dispense with a script entirely. He broke through with his directorial feature debut, the 1988 crime drama As Tears Go By, then won critical acclaim with 1990 historical drama Days of Being Wild, but really made his name in 1994 with contemporary romantic film Chungking Express. He followed it up with a series of landmark works, including Happy Together (1997), the groundbreaking story of a troubled same-sex relationship; the ravishing anti-romance In the Mood for Love (2000), often rated as his greatest achievement; and the Ip Man biopic The Grandmaster (2013).

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Wong Kar-wai likes to keep working with the same actors: his favourite, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, has appeared in seven of his ten feature films. 

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