Wong Kar-wai

Infobox Chinese-language singer and actor
name = Wong Kar-wai

imagesize = 250px
tradchinesename = 王家衛
simpchinesename = 王家卫
pinyinchinesename = Wáng Jiāwèi
jyutpingchinesename = Wong4 Gaa1wai6
birthdate = birth date and age|1958|7|17
birthplace = Shanghai, China
yearsactive = 1982–present
origin = Hong Kong
occupation = Film director
hongkongfilmwards = Best Director
1991 "Days of Being Wild"
1994 "Chungking Express"
Best Picture
1991 "Days of Being Wild"
1994 "Chungking Express"
goldenbauhiniaawards = Best Hong Kong Film of Past 10 Years
1997 "Days of Being Wild"
hkfcsawards = Best Film
1994 "Ashes of Time"
Best Screenplay
1994 "Ashes of Time"
Best Director
1994 "Ashes of Time"
2000 "In the Mood for Love"
Film of Merit
1995 "Fallen Angels"
1997 "Happy Together"
2000 "In the Mood for Love"
2004 "2046"
awards = Best Director Award (Cannes Film Festival)
1997 "Happy Together"
César Award for Best Foreign Film
2000 "In the Mood for Love"
NSFC Award for Best Foreign Language Film
2001 "In the Mood for Love"
NYFCC Award for Best Foreign Language Film
2000 "In the Mood for Love"
2004 "2046"

Wong Kar-wai BBS (zh-tsp|t=王家衛|s=王家卫|p=Wáng Jiāwèi; Cantonese Yale: Wòhng Gà Waih; born July 17, 1958) is an award winning Hong Kong film director, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylized films.

Early career

Born in Shanghai, he moved to Hong Kong with his parents at the age of five. Coming from the Mainland and speaking only Mandarin and Shanghainese, he had a difficult period of adjustment to Cantonese speaking Hong Kong, spending hours in movie theatres with his mother. After graduating from Hong Kong Polytechnic College in graphic design in 1980, he enrolled in the Production Training Course organized by Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) and became a full-time television scriptwriter. In the mid-1980s, he became a scriptwriter/director at The Wing Scope Co. and In-gear Film Production Company, the production houses owned by renowned Hong Kong actor /movie producer Alan Tang. Wong's current nostalgic artsy style took shape during his apprenticeship with Alan Tang Kwong-Wing, who invested in the first movie Wong directed, "As Tears Go By" (1988). Wong's career took off when he directed the film "Days of Being Wild" (1990), despite losing Alan Tang millions of invested dollars. Wong subsequently graduated to feature film work. He is credited with about ten scripts between 1982 and 1987, covering an array of genres from romantic comedy to action drama, but claims to have worked to some extent or another on about fifty more without official credit. cite book |last=Stokes |first=Lisa Odham |authorlink= |coauthors=Michael Hoover |editor= |others= |title=City on Fire: Hong Kong Cinema |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year=1999 |month= |publisher=Verso |location=London |language= |isbn=1-85984-203-8 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] He considers "Final Victory" (最後勝利, 1986), a dark comedy/crime story for director Patrick Tam, his best script.

Work as director

Feature films

He made his directing debut in 1988 with "As Tears Go By", also produced by Alan Tang. A crime melodrama of the kind then hugely popular, it heavily borrowed from Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" (1974), but already displayed one of Wong's principal trademarks in its atmospheric and sometimes expressionistic color palette. It is his only box office hit to date.

His next film, "Days of Being Wild" (1991), produced by Alan Tang, a drama about aimless youth set in the early 1960s, established his trademark form: elliptically plotted mood pieces, with lush visuals and music, about the burden of memory on melancholy, misfit characters. "Days" was a box office failure but now regularly tops Hong Kong critics' polls of the best local films ever made. It has been described as a sort of Cantonese "Rebel Without a Cause".

He also established his own independent production company, called Jet Tone Films Ltd. in English. His partner in the company is Jeffrey Lau, a director and producer who tends to work closer to the populist vein of mainstream Hong Kong film.

Wong went on to direct several more feature films in the 1990s produced by Jet Tone, which allowed him to work at his own pace. Among these were "Chungking Express" (1994), which follows the lives of two love-struck cops in Hong Kong and the mysterious women they meet and fall in love with. Originally intended to be a distraction piece for him to get his mind off of the heavily delayed "Ashes of Time", it ended up being one of his most popular films, if not "the" most popular. "Fallen Angels" (1995), was originally intended to be the third act of "Chungking Express", but when the tone didn't fit with the other two parts, he cut it out and made it a standalone movie instead; it is seen as a semi-sequel to "Chungking Express" as is a neo-noir film about on a disillusioned killer trying to overcome the affections of his partner, a strange drifter looking for her ex-boyfriend, and a mute trying to get the world's attention in his own ways, all set against a sordid and surreal urban nightscape.

Wong's fourth movie, "Ashes of Time" (1994), released between "Chungking Express" and "Fallen Angels", applied his approach to a star-studded wuxia (martial arts swordplay) story; the desert shoot in Mainland China dragged on for over a year and resulted in one of contemporary Hong Kong cinema's most notorious commercial disasters.

His first major international recognition was at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival where he won the Best Director prize for "Happy Together" (1997). A film that "uses gorgeous, saturated images set to an eclectic soundtrack of tango by Argentinian maestro Astor Piazolla, Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso and Frank Zappa instrumentals to chronicle the stormy affair of a gay couple living as expatriates in Buenos Aires." [ [http://www.multilingualbooks.com/foreignvids-chin-wongkarwai.html Chinese Directors - Wong Kar-wai ] ]

Despite his background as a scriptwriter, one of Wong's trademarks as a director is that he works largely through improvisation and experimentation involving the actors and crew rather than adhering to a fixed screenplay. This has been a frequent source of trouble for his actors, his financial backers and many other people connected with his films, including sometimes himself.

The filming of "In the Mood for Love" (2000) had to be shifted from Beijing to Macau after the China Film Bureau demanded to see the completed script. This was all in all a minor setback in the "very complicated evolution" of the project which goes as far back as 1997. It was Wong's intention to make two films, one of which would be titled "Beijing Summer", the plot unclear at the time, but eventually taking form in Macau. Here Wong planned to call it "Three Stories About Food", but saw it better to settle for only one story, "A Story About Food", that centers on a writer. Together with scenes shot in Bangkok and Angkor Wat, the filming took as long as 15 months. This was an especially arduous time for lead actress Maggie Cheung whose hair and makeup reportedly took a daily five hours, and who appeared in a different cheongsam in each scene. She famously compared the lengthy shoot to a cold she couldn't get rid of. Working without deadlines, the film's upcoming premier at Cannes nonetheless put some pressure on Wong to finish editing. Intending to name the film "Secrets" he was dissuaded by Cannes, and finally named it "In the Mood for Love" after Bryan Ferry's cover of the song "I'm in the Mood for Love" he was listening to.cite web |url=http://www.indiewire.com/people/int_Wong_Kar-Wai_010202.html |title=INTERVIEW: The "Mood" of Wong Kar-wai; the Asian Master Does it Again |accessdate=2007-08-22 |last=Kaufman |first=Anthony |date=2001-02-02 |format= |work=indieWIRE |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] cite web |url=http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/feature/55/ |title=In The Mood For Edinburgh |accessdate=2007-08-22 |last=Rayns |first=Tony |authorlink=Tony Rayns |date=August 2000 |format= |work=Sight & Sound |publisher=British Film Institute |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Wong's "2046" (2004), a film about capturing lost memories, was the third chapter of a shared story that began with "Days of Being Wild" and continued with "In the Mood for Love". Infamous for long drawn out shoots without any real regards to deadlines, a running joke amongst the crew was that he would finish in the year 2046.

In 2006, he became the first Chinese director to preside the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

Wong Kar-wai's first full English-language film, "My Blueberry Nights", opened the 2007 Cannes Film Festival as one of 22 films in competition. The lead, American singer-songwriter Norah Jones, made her acting debut in the film.

Wong Kar-wai was the jury president of the 2008 Shanghai International Film Festival which was held from June 14-22, 2008.

hort films

Wong Kar-wai has directed various short films, television commercials, music videos, or combinations thereof, all faithful to his style.


In 1996 he shot "wkw/tk/1996@7′55″hk.net" for Japanese designer Takeo Kikuchi, starring Tadanobu Asano and Karen Mok; in 1998 he did a commercial for Motorola starring Tadanobu and Faye Wong [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20000310164547/www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/9038/motorola.htm Motorola commercial ] ] [ [http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Towers/6617/cityent.html WKW Interview ] ] [http://web.archive.org/web/20060902074815/http://www.addictfilms.com/zoom_film.asp?film_id=111&real_id=5 Addict - zoom sur un film ] ] [ [http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=3591 Bright and Beautiful Images - Film - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper ] ] [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20000610080929/http://geocities.com/Broadway/Orchestra/7838/startac.html Star Tac commercial ] ] ; in 2000 he produced a commercial for Suntime Wine with Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Maggie Cheung [ [http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/baht/suntime_wine_e.html Suntime Wine CM by Wong Kar-Wai ] ] , and directed another one for JCDecaux, "Un matin partout dans le monde", featuring different kinds of dawns in cities around the world shot by famous movie directors [ [http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/baht/jcdecaux_e.html JC Decaux CM by WKW ] ] ; in 2001 he shot the TV spot "Dans la ville" for the French mobile network company Orange France [ [http://www.buf.fr/WORK/popup?class=comm&year=2001&section=2001.Commercials&key=Orange3&index=0 BUF Compagnie ] ] and the short film ".

Music videos

In 2000 Wong directed a music video of Tony Leung's duet with Niki of a song from the "In the Mood for Love" soundtrack to be included in Tony Leung's CD by the same name and on the French DVD release of "In the Mood for Love". In 2002 Wong made the music video "Six Days" for DJ Shadow featuring Chen Chang and Danielle Graham. [http://www.addictfilms.com/zoom_film.asp?film_id=69&real_id=5]

hort film

His short film "Hua Yang De Nian Hua" is a montage of scenes from vintage Chinese films, most of which were considered lost until some nitrate prints were discovered in a California warehouse during the 1990s, set to a song from the soundtrack of "In the Mood for Love", it was shown at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival [ [http://www.dighkmovies.com/v2/128/128a.html Hong Kong Digital #128a: In The Mood For Love ] ] .

Filmography as director

Feature films

hort Films

criptwriter and producer

As already mentioned, Wong is officially credited with about ten screenplays while having worked on another fifty in one way or another before his directorial debut. He has yet to direct a feature based on a script other than his own (though "Ashes of Time" was adapted from a Louis Cha novel), which would be highly unlikely considering his method of improvisation. Wong, through Jet Tone, is also the producer of all of his own films since 1993 with the exception of "Ashes of Time", a project that began much earlier. Through Jet Tone or otherwise, Wong has also produced various films, some directed by his partner in the company, Jeffrey Lau. Here are lists of films other than his own that Wong wrote screenplays for or produced:

Writing Credits:

"Once Upon a Rainbow" (1982), "Just for Fun" (1983), "Silent Romance" (1984), "Chase a Fortune" (1985), "Intellectual Trio" (1985), "Unforgettable Fantasy" (1985), "Sweet Surrender" (1986), "Rosa" (1986), "Goodbye My Hero" (1986), "The Final Test" (1987), "Final Victory" (1987), "Flaming Brothers" aka "Dragon and Tiger Fight" (1987), "The Haunted Cop Shop of Horrors" (1987), "The Haunted Cop Shop of Horrors 2" (1988), "Walk On Fire" (1988), "Return Engagement" (1990), "Saviour of the Soul" (1992).


"Flaming Brothers" aka "Dragon and Tiger Fight" (1987), "The Eagle Shooting Heroes" (1993), "First Love: the Litter on the Breeze" (1997), "Chinese Odyssey 2002" (2002), "Sound of Colors" (2003).


* 1991 Hong Kong Film Awards, Best Director ("Days of Being Wild")
* 1995 Hong Kong Film Awards, Best Director ("Chungking Express")
* 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Best Director ("Happy Together")
* 2000 European Film Awards, Screen International Award ("In the Mood for Love")
* 2001 César Award, Best Foreign Film ("In the Mood for Love")
* 2004 European Film Awards, Screen International Award ("2046")

ee also

* Art film
* Cinema of Hong Kong
* William Cheung Suk Ping



* Abbas, M. A. "Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance". Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8166-2925-0.
* Bordwell, David. "Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment". Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-674-00214-8.
* Dannen, Fredric, and Barry Long. "Hong Kong Babylon: The Insider's Guide to the Hollywood of the East". New York: Miramax, 1997. ISBN 0-7868-6267-X.
* Dissanayake, Wimal, and Dorothy Wong. "Wong Kar Wai's Ashes of Time". Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2003. ISBN 962-209-585-2.
* Lalanne, Jean-Marc, et al. "Wong Kar Wai". Paris: Dis Voir, 1997. ISBN 2-906571-67-9. fr icon
* Tambling, Jeremy. "Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together". Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2003. ISBN 962-209-589-5.

Further reading

In English

* Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten. "Films and Dreams: Tarkovsky, Bergman, Sokurov, Kubrick, and Wong Kar-Wai". Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. ISBN 0739121871.
* Brown, Andrew M. J. "Directing Hong Kong: The Political Cinema of John Woo and Wong Kar-Wai". Political Communications in Greater China: the Construction and Reflection of Identity. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2001. ISBN 070071734X.
* Brunette, Peter, and Kar-wai Wong. "Wong Kar-Wai". Contemporary Film Directors. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2005. ISBN 0252029925, ISBN 0252072375.
* Redmond, Sean. "Studying Chungking Express". Leighton Buzzard: Auteur, 2004. ISBN 190366330X.
* Teo, Stephen. "Wong Kar-Wai: Auteur of Time". World Directors. London: BFI, 2004. ISBN 1844570282, ISBN 1844570290.
* Wong, Kar-wai, Yichang Liu, and Kar-wai Wong. "Tête-bêche: A Wong Kar Wai Project". Hong Kong: Block 2 Pictures, 2000. ISBN 9628605119.
* Wong, Kar-wai, and Tony Rayns. "Wong Kar-Wai on Wong Kar-Wai". London: Faber, 2002. ISBN 0571193978.

In other languages

* Aleksandrowicz, Joanna. "Pomiędzy obrazem a wskazówkami zegarów: o estetyce nietrwałości w filmach Wong Kar-waia". Kraków: Rabid, 2008. ISBN 8360236305. pl icon
* Alovisio, Silvio, Vanessa Durando, and Micaela Veronesi. "Le ceneri del tempo: il cinema di Wong Kar Wai". Piombino (LI): Traccedizioni, 1997. ISBN 8872050960. it icon
* Gliatta, Leonardo. "Wong Kar-Wai: [saggio critico, foto, filmografia, dichiarazioni del regista, antologia della critica] ". Roma: D. Audino, 2004. ISBN 8886350775. it icon
* Jousse, Thierry. "Wong Kar-Wai". Les petits cahiers. Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, 2006. ISBN 2866424573, ISBN 2240025190. fr icon
* Schnelle, Josef, and Rüdiger Suchsland. "Zeichen und Wunder das Kino von Zhang Yimou und Wong Kar-Wai". Marburg: Schüren, 2008. ISBN 3894724382. de icon

External links

* [http://www.wkw.freeuk.com/ Chasing The Metaphysical Express]
* [http://www.wongkarwai.net/ What's This Wong Kar Wai?]
* [http://www.eternalshadesofredandgreen.com/ Eternal Shades of Red and Green]

* [http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc44.2001/payne%20for%20site/wongkarwai1.html Robert M. Payne - Ways of seeing wild: the cinema of Wong Kar-wai]
* [http://www.ejumpcut.org/currentissue/wongKarWai/index.html Allan Cameron - Trajectories of identification: travel and global culture in the films of Wong Kar-wai]
* [http://www.mediacircus.net/wkw.html Anthony Leong - Meditations on Loss: A Framework for the Films of Wong Kar-wai]
* [http://www.laweekly.com/ink/01/12/film-chute.php/ LA Weekly - Film Feature: Unforgettable]
* [http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/02/wong.html Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database - Wong Kar-wai]
* [http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/en/beijing/features/2003_23/Reviews_Wongkarwai City Weekend - Wong Kar-wai Review Special]
* [http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501041004-702196,00.html TIMEasia - "2046": A Film Odyssey]
* [http://www.kinema.uwaterloo.ca/chong031.htm/ KINEMA - In the Mood for Love: Urban Alienation in Wong Kar Wai's Films]
* [http://www.tofu-magazine.net/newVersion/pages/Wong%20Kar%20Wai.html Six "Hong Kongs" in search of a Negative Director: Wong Kar-Wai’s alter-Native cinema]
* [http://www.press.ce.philips.com/apps/c_dir/e3379701.nsf/alle/4AB49F36277CF36EC1257316002A8DE3?opendocument Wong Kar Wai to create exclusive film for Philips next generation Ambilight television]

* [http://www.astyle.com/interviews/members/wongkarwai.html Asia Studios] Wong Kar-wai Exclusive Interview, by Khoi Lebinh and David Eng
* [http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,386766,00.html Guardian Unlimited] Mood Music, by Jonathan Romney
* [http://www.indiewire.com/people/int_Wong_Kar-Wai_010202.html Indiewire] The "Mood" of Wong Kar-wai; the Asian Master Does it Again, by Anthony Kaufman
* [http://www.bombsite.com/karwai/karwai.html BOMB Magazine] Interview by Liza Bear
* [http://avclub.com/content/node/22777 Onion AV Club] Interview by Scott Tobias
* [http://www.time.com/time/asia/features/interviews/int.wongkarwai05224000.html/ TIMEasia] And The Winner Is..., by Stephen Short
* [http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501041004-702208,00.html TIMEasia] "We love what we can't have, and we can't have what we love", by Bryan Walsh
* [http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?a=4716&s=VisionStream/ Urban Cinefile] Audio Interview with Richard Kupier (RealMedia)
* [http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s1397057.htm At The Movies Interview]

* [http://www.aurea.philips.com/ Philips - "There's Only One Sun"] (Flash)
* [http://www.theyshootpictures.com/karwaiwong.htm They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?]
*imdb name|id=0939182|name=Wong Kar-wai

succession box
title = Hong Kong Film Award for Best Director
years = 1991
for "Days of Being Wild"
before= John Woo
for "The Killer"
after = Tsui Hark
for "Once Upon a Time in China"
succession box
title = Hong Kong Film Award for Best Director
years = 1995
for "Chungking Express"
before= Derek Yee
for "C'est la vie, mon chéri"
after = Ann Hui
for "The Stunt Woman"

NAME= Wong Kar-wai
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=王家衛; 王家卫; Wáng Jiāwèi; Wòhng Gà Waih
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Chinese film director
DATE OF BIRTH= July 17, 1958
PLACE OF BIRTH= Shanghai, China

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wong Kar-Wai — est un nom chinois ; le nom de famille, Wong, précède donc le prénom. Wong Kar wai[1] est un réalisateur, scénariste, et producteur hongkongais né le 17 juillet 1958 à Shanghai en Chine. Wong Kar wai (王家衛) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wong Kar Wai — est un nom chinois ; le nom de famille, Wong, précède donc le prénom. Wong Kar wai[1] est un réalisateur, scénariste, et producteur hongkongais né le 17 juillet 1958 à Shanghai en Chine. Wong Kar wai (王家衛) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wong Kar-Wai — Wong Kar Wai, 2008 Wong Kar Wai (chinesisch 王家衛 / 王家卫 Wáng Jiā Wèi, kant. Wòhng Gà Waih, * 17. Juli 1958 in Shanghai) ist ein Drehbuchautor, Filmproduzent und Filmre …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wong Kar-wai — Wong Kar Wai, aufgenommen im September 2008 Wong Kar Wai (chin. 王家衛 / 王家卫, Wáng Jiā Wèi, kant. Wòhng Gà Waih, * 17. Juli 1958 in Shanghai) ist ein Filmregisseur aus Hong Kong …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wong Kar Wai — Wong Kar Wai, aufgenommen im September 2008 Wong Kar Wai (chin. 王家衛 / 王家卫, Wáng Jiā Wèi, kant. Wòhng Gà Waih, * 17. Juli 1958 in Shanghai) ist ein Filmregisseur aus Hong Kong …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wong Kar-wai — Wong Kar wai, septiembre del 2008. Nombre real Wong Kar wai Nacimiento 17 de julio de 1958 (53 años) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wong Kar-wai — Dans ce nom chinois, le nom de famille, Wong, précède le prénom. Wong Kar wai[1] est un réalisateur, scénariste, et producteur hongkongais né le 17 juillet 1958 à Shanghai en Chine. Wong Kar wai (王家衛) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wong Kar-wai — (Wang Jiawei) b. 1958, Shanghai Film director The Hong Kong film director Wong Kar wai is best known for his innovative uses of cinema to capture experiences of urban life and their relations to Hong Kong’s historical connections with mainland… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • Kar-Wai Wong — Wong Kar wai Wong Kar wai est un nom chinois ; le nom de famille, Wong, précède donc le prénom. Wong Kar wai[1] est un réalisateur, scénariste, et producteur hongkongais né le 17 juillet 1958 à Shanghai en Chine. Wong Kar wai (王家衛) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kar Wai Wong — Wong Kar Wai, aufgenommen im September 2008 Wong Kar Wai (chin. 王家衛 / 王家卫, Wáng Jiā Wèi, kant. Wòhng Gà Waih, * 17. Juli 1958 in Shanghai) ist ein Filmregisseur aus Hong Kong …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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