Interview: Wong Kar-Wai Talks Kung Fu, The Different 'The Grandmaster' Cuts & His Favorite Directors

Interviews
by Drew Taylor
August 22, 2013 3:22 PM
2 Comments
  • |

Was there ever a thought of perhaps putting more Bruce Lee into the movie? Since that's I think where at least Western audiences know the Ip Man story.
We all know, a lot of people follow Chinese martial arts through Bruce Lee. And why Bruce Lee is so iconic and so attractive [is] because not only is he a very good fighter, also he's very modern, charismatic, but most of all he's very civilized, he's well educated, he explored about his ideas and his philosophy about his gifts. In a way when you look at other books and interviews that are done by Bruce Lee you can see a lot of his inspiration is actually coming from Yip Man, the man who trained him. So when you look at the story of Yip Man it's very interesting because this guy hadn't done this kind of work before and he belonged to a certain class that is very different from our idea of a martial arts fighter. He's not a fighter, he took it as an art, so in a way, we can see, through Yip Man, where Bruce Lee got the idea.

Now was the love story an actual part of Ip Man's story?
Oh, no. That part of the film actually is fiction.

Do you have anything planned next?
There is nothing at this point, because I'm still in jet lag from 1930 to now.

Are there any types of movies you'd like to make that you haven't made yet?
I don't know. There are so many different options, at this point I think I'd need a break.

"In the Mood for Love" was originally supposed to be two different films — the other one was called "Beijing Summer." What was that about? Is that something you would ever return to?
No. I think that the reason we wanted to do that film is because it's before the handover, and we visit Beijing six months before the handover and we see there is a clock countdown at Tiananmen Square. So I think it would be interesting to make a film based on two Hong Kong couples working in Beijing, and have the story go against this chapter. And now the time is gone and I think we have to put it aside. Sometimes, it's really about the timing.

Yeah, do you watch contemporary cinema? Do you have favourite filmmakers who are working now?
Yes, of course. Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese of course and Quentin Tarantino, I think they are great filmmakers.

And what about their films inspire you?
I think each of them has their own world, it's like they are seeing things from a very specific angle, which gives you, something fascinating. 

I wanted to ask what it was like working with Megan Ellison?
She's the most hardworking producer I have ever seen.

And she let you shoot for 22 months over 3 years.
Yes she did. She's great, also she's very young, but she's very committed to the film.

"The Grandmaster" opens in select cinemas this Friday. 

You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

2 Comments

  • Robert Thornton | October 2, 2013 12:28 PMReply

    Wonderful movie but I think it was far removed from the life of the real Ip Man especially the love interest with the gorgeous Ziyi Zhang. There are many other less artistic Ip Man movies which all seem to fabricate his real life.

  • amber | August 22, 2013 4:44 PMReply

    Great interview!

Email Updates