A master at work: Kar-wai movies
“The Grandmaster,” opening in theaters Friday, offers a fusion of two seemingly disparate styles and genres of filmmaking.
It’s a kung fu movie about Ip Man, the famed real-life trainer of Bruce Lee, complete with bone-crunching fights.
At the same time, it’s most assuredly a Wong Kar-wai film, showcasing the stylized camera techniques and emotional scenes of romantic longing that are characteristic of the great Hong Kong filmmaker.
For kung fu fans looking to get a last-minute dose of Kar-wai’s innovative oeuvre before scoping out “Grandmaster,” here’s the lowdown on his past movies that are currently available for Netflix streaming:
‘As Tears Go By’
Kar-wai’s debut film is often described as a Hong Kong-set “Mean Streets,” about the relationship between a hotheaded gangster and a calmer, older counterpart.
‘Days of Being Wild’
The filmmaker first collaborated with longtime star Tony Leung, who plays Ip Man in “The Grandmaster,” and cinematographer Christopher Doyle in this elliptical, Hong Kong Film Award-winning movie about a troubled ladies’ man.
This dreamy, impressionistic film centered on a hit man doesn’t offer conventional audience-pleasing elements. Instead, it trades in what former Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman called “the ultimate in MTV alienation,” Kar-wai’s “long goodbye to the lost colonial paradise of Hong Kong.”
A Hong Kong couple visits Argentina in a film that earned Kar-wai a best director win at the Cannes Film Festival. The English title is inspired by the eponymous Turtles song.
‘In the Mood for Love’
Widely considered Kar-wai’s greatest work to date, “In the Mood for Love” stars Leung and Maggie Cheung, another frequent collaborator, in the story of a forbidden relationship between married neighbors in 1960s Hong Kong.