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The Peerless Style of Chinese Director Wong Kar-wai

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: The Peerless Style of Chinese Director Wong Kar-wai Reply with quote

The Peerless Style of Chinese Director Wong Kar-wai
By Calum Marsh on July 21, 2014

Renowned Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai has long been synonymous with style, but usually only cinematically—he’s such a virtuoso that every image he commits to film looks painterly. But one of Wong’s less remarked upon virtues is chiefly sartorial: he’s a director whose impeccable sense of style extends to every outfit that graces his screen, and consequently his movies offer some of the best-dressed characters in modern cinema history. From dreamy pop romances to sweeping historical epics, his films boast no shortage of great looks to emulate. (The man himself has proven something of a style icon too: his sunglasses are so ubiquitous in press photos and on the red carpet that they’ve become his trademark.) Because he's less recognized for his sartorial achievements than some Western directors, we thought we’d take a look back through some of the best looks in his movies.

Chungking Express

Wong Kar-wai’s greatest film is a watercolor blur of bodies in motion, zooming through the Hong Kong streets with the freewheeling spirit of the French New Wave. It’s only fitting that the fashion, too, has a breathless, jazzy feel, with looks both casual and formal smashing together at all times. Here Wong shows us the simplest way to dress down a tie: mix and match colors and patterns to break the office wear mould, and pair an eye-catching tie with a shirt you wouldn’t think would go with it. The result makes for an unconventional take on a traditional look as appropriate for the work day as it is for after-hours.

In the Mood For Love

It should hardly be surprising that Tony Leung’s Chow Mo-wan made our list last year of the most stylish movie characters of all time: few leading men have embodied old-world elegance and refinement as effortlessly, as Wong Kar-wai makes a point to showcase throughout his sumptuous romance In the Mood For Love. The film, set in Hong Kong in the 1960s, beat Mad Men’s obsession with precision-tailored suits and skinny ties by nearly a decade, and you can feel the influence of Leung’s style in the film looming large over the menswear landscape to this day.

The Grandmaster

Wong’s most recent film, last year’s kung-fu period epic The Grandmaster, also ranks among his best, not least for being one of the best-looking movies in recent memory. In it, Tony Leung plays the legendary fighter Ip Man, though despite his sharp outfitting it would be difficult, given the time difference, to pull off much of what he wears throughout the film today. But one key item stands apart: that lily-white straw hat, worn through fight after fight without the slightest scuff or mark. It’s the perfect touch in a film full of them, and a great item you can steal for yourself even without kung-fu mastery.

Days of Being Wild

One of Wong’s earliest films, Days of Being Wild is a fast-and-loose romance in the spirit of Chungking Express. As in that film, the styles here are the perfect blend of casual looks and touches of formal wear. Chinese megastar Leslie Cheung plays York, a partygoer and philanderer in Hong Kong in the 1960s, and his take on fashion reflects it: the looseness of everything, from shirt collar to tie, suggests a guy who wants to look good while taking it easy.
My Blueberry Nights

Wong’s first and only English-language feature co-stars Jude Law as a Brit living abroad in New York City, and that distinctly international scenario speaks volumes about the spirit of the picture. Leave it to Wong to transform Law—no stranger to dressing to the nines on screen—into someone much more laid-back and casual, forgoing the suits in favor of loose-fitting tees and patterned button-ups.

Last edited by Sandy on Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

China’s Alibaba to Finance Wong Kar Wai Movie Slate (EXCLUSIVE)
July 20, 2014 | 05:30PM PT
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has struck a deal to be involved with the upcoming films of top auteur Wong Kar Wai.

The company revealed the deal in a regulatory filing by Chinavision, the Hong Kong stock market listed company that is soon to be renamed Alibaba Pictures Group.

“The Group has entered into several motion pictures development cooperation agreements with leading movie producers and directors, including cooperations with (i) Block 2 Films Limited and Mr. Wong Kar Wai (王家衛), a highly acclaimed and nationally renowned director, producer and script writer,” the Chinavision statement said.

Block 2 is a Hong Kong-based film production investment company that has been involved in several of Wong’s movies including “In the Mood for Love,” and “My Blueberry Nights” as well as others produced by Wong’s main company Jettone, including Taiwanese pictures “Miao Miao,” and “Touch of the Light.”

A spokesman for Wong confirmed the Alibaba deal and told Variety that details would be announced at a future event.

Chinavision, however, also suffered a setback. The company warned that it would lose between HK$97 million (US$12.5 million) and $23.3 million in the six months to end of June, compared with profits of $17.9 million in the same period last year. Revenue has dropped by some 70%, compared to a period when Chinavision was a minority investor in Stephen Chow’s record breaking “Journey to the West: Conquering The Demons.”

The Alibaba parent group is preparing for one of the most significant IPOs anywhere in the world this year. In a filing to U.S. market regulators last week Alibaba valued itself at $130 billion.

Chinavision said that its results also reflect the postponement of other strategic decisions relating to Alibaba’s takeover of the company. That acquisition of 60% of Chinavision’s stock through Alibaba offshoot Ali CV Investment Holding, has now been completed.

Chinavision recently announced the resignation of well-known producer Dong Ping as its CEO and the appointment of Alibaba executives Shao Xiaofeng as chairman and Liu Chunning as acting CEO. However the company has not confirmed recent reports that former number two executive at China Film Group Zhang Qiang will make the unusual leap from state owned enterprise to private sector giant take over as CEO from August.

Chinavision said Alibaba ownership will transform it from humble production company to part of a budding entertainment colossus.

“Given the strengthened financial position and relationship with Alibaba Group, the (Chinavision) board is of the view that the group is now better positioned strategically to broaden the scope of its content production and to capitalise, through the Alibaba Group’s ecosystem, on new opportunities related to online entertainment and other media-related areas in addition to its core competence in film production and distribution. By leveraging the ‘Alibaba’ brand and relationship with Alibaba Group, the (Chinavision) Group will be also able to further strengthen its cooperation with renowned producers, directors and artists in the content production industry,” it said as a followup to the loss warning.

The latest Chinavision filing also confirmed production finance deals with other high-profile filmmakers; Peter Chan Ho-sun’s We Pictures company, and Giddens Ko, the Taiwanese novelist who became a hit film-maker with his sophomore directorial effort “You Are the Apple of My Eye.”

Chinavision has a seven-year option with Hong Kong-based We Pictures to invest in the production of up to five movies in which Chan, who last year directed smash hit nostalgia drama “American Dreams in China,” has a role as producer, director or screenwriter. It has a five-year, five-film deal with Taiwan-based Star Ritz Intl. Entertainment covering the films of Ko (who also works under the pen name Nine Knives) and producer Angie Chai Zhi Ping.

Chinese media have recently reported that Wong will next direct a romance film that is an adaptation of a short story, about a married man’s affair, from the “I Belonged to You” collection written by mainland Chinese author Zhang Jiajia.

Zhang tipped off the media with a posting on his Weibo social media site. But Jettone last month told Variety that Wong would produce, not direct.

Patrick Tong, CEO of another Greater China media group Mei Ah which part-financed “The Grandmaster” said that it too would be financing a new Wong Kar-wai film. But the company has not responded to Variety’s queries and the projects may be unconnected.

Wong, who has long been globally cherished as an arthouse icon, is a hot property in China after “The Grandmaster,” his auteurist martial arts biopic became by far his biggest box office success in China and Hong Kong. Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Zhang Ziyi, the picture grossed $45.7 million in China and amassed huge hauls of prizes at the Golden Horse, Hong Kong and Asian Film Awards events.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alibaba pacts with high-profile trio
21 July, 2014 | By Liz Shackleton

ChinaVision Media Group, which will soon be renamed Alibaba Pictures Group, has signed production deals with Wong Kar Wai’s Block 2 Pictures, Angie Chai and Giddens Ko’s Star Ritz International Entertainment and Peter Ho-sun Chan’s We Pictures.

The deals emerged in a profit warning filed by ChinaVision on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday. ChinaVision is being rebranded as Alibaba Pictures Group, following ecommerce giant Alibaba’s acquisition of a controlling stake in the company in April.

Alibaba has also reportedly hired China Film Group vice president Zhang Qiang to head Alibaba Pictures Group. However the company has not confirmed or responded to the reports.

ChinaVision reported expected losses of $12.5m (HK$97m) to $23m (HK$180m) for the six months to June 30, 2014. However it added that losses were due to a lack of films released during this period, and that business was expected to pick up in the second half of the year.

“With the existing business cooperation arrangements in place and the reasons stated above, the board expects that the group will pick up its buisness activities in the second half of 2014,” the company said in the filing.

Block 2 Pictures has produced many of Wong Kar Wai’s films, including The Grandmaster and My Blueberry Nights, along with films directed by up-and-coming Taiwanese filmmakers such as Chang Jung-chi’s Touch Of The Light and Cheng Hsiao-tse’s Miao Miao.

Based in Taipei, Angie Chai and Giddens Ko are one of the hottest producer-director teams in the Chinese-speaking world following their smash hit You Are The Apple Of My Eye. Chai also produced mainland hits Tiny Times and Tiny Times 2 with writer-director Guo Jingming.

We Pictures produces films from Peter Ho-sun Chan, including his recent hit American Dreams In China, as well as other director’s films such as Aubrey Lam’s romantic comedy The Truth About Beauty. The company is currently producing Chan’s child kidnapping drama Dear Children.

Alibaba is gearing up for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. The company valued itself at $130bn in a filing to US regulators.
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