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MASTERS: WONG KAR-WAI


The Calgary Cinematheque is proud to showcase the films of Wong Kar-Wai as part of the Masters series. Wong Kar-wai is a genuine auteur whose signature style is instantly recognizable in his films due to the presence of eye-popping visuals, memorable music and characters that linger long in the memory. He has redefined cinema by freeing it from the shackles of traditional scripts and instead turned cinema into a stylish art form where each frame exudes colour and rich emotions.

Wong Kar-Wai is interested in exploring spaces where humans interact, where they make connections or where they narrowly miss each other. He undertakes this exploration by portraying moments which involve glances, an encounter, an affair, heartbreak and agony. These scenes are not presented in silence but are instead stitched together with breathtaking music resulting in seductive, immersive and emotional experiences. This depiction of moments with memorable music gives his film a universal feel and that is a big reason why his films have gotten recognition around the world. His films could be set in Hong Kong or Buenos Aires yet the mood and feelings his characters evoke could take place in any country in the world.

The four films selected by the Calgary Cinematheque highlight the core style of Wong Kar-Wai but also illustrate the range of his filmmaking and the diverse topics he covered.

MASTERS: WONG KAR-WAI


The Calgary Cinematheque is proud to showcase the films of Wong Kar-Wai as part of the Masters series. Wong Kar-wai is a genuine auteur whose signature style is instantly recognizable in his films due to the presence of eye-popping visuals, memorable music and characters that linger long in the memory. He has redefined cinema by freeing it from the shackles of traditional scripts and instead turned cinema into a stylish art form where each frame exudes colour and rich emotions.

Wong Kar-Wai is interested in exploring spaces where humans interact, where they make connections or where they narrowly miss each other. He undertakes this exploration by portraying moments which involve glances, an encounter, an affair, heartbreak and agony. These scenes are not presented in silence but are instead stitched together with breathtaking music resulting in seductive, immersive and emotional experiences. This depiction of moments with memorable music gives his film a universal feel and that is a big reason why his films have gotten recognition around the world. His films could be set in Hong Kong or Buenos Aires yet the mood and feelings his characters evoke could take place in any country in the world.

The four films selected by the Calgary Cinematheque highlight the core style of Wong Kar-Wai but also illustrate the range of his filmmaking and the diverse topics he covered.

NEXT SCREENING

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14
6:45PM, THE GLOBE CINEMA

THE GRANDMASTER | Dir. Wong Kar-Wai | 2013 | 130 min
Presented in
Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese with English subtitles.

Venturing into fresh creative terrain without relinquishing his familiar themes and stylistic flourishes, Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai exceeds expectations with The Grandmaster, fashioning a 1930s action saga into a refined piece of commercial filmmaking.

Boasting one of the most propulsive yet ethereal realizations of authentic martial arts onscreen, as well as a merging of physicality and philosophy not attained in Chinese cinema since King Hu’s masterpieces, the hotly anticipated pic is sure to win new converts from the genre camp. Wong’s Eurocentric arthouse disciples, however, may not be completely in tune with the film’s more traditional storytelling and occasionally long-winded technical exposition.

With a first-rate production package and glamorous casting, notably the luminous Zhang Ziyi trumping co-star Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Wong’s 10th feature might be his first to win over a mass Chinese audience. Set to make its international bow as the opening-night entry at the Berlin Film Festival, where Wong will serve as jury president, the film has already sold to key markets through Fortissimo Films and the Wild Bunch. It’s set to be released Stateside through Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, with Ellison credited as a producer on the film.

Five years in the making and reportedly 16 years in gestation, The Grandmaster is the latest in a string of period chopsocky films (Ip Man, Ip Man 2The Legend is Born — Ip Man) centering on the life of the martial-arts master who taught Bruce Lee and popularized the Wing Chun kung fu style around the world. However, Wong’s interpretation stands apart from its predecessors by taking a less conventional biopic route. Offering an eye-opening pageant of martial-arts schools and their radically different exponents, the multistranded but generally linear narrative never dedicates itself entirely to charting Ip’s achievements. Instead, by focusing on his encounters with other fighters, the film arrives at the enlightened realization that there is no single “grandmaster.”   READ MORE

Awards (with 53 Wins and 51 Nominations, see the whole list here)
2014 ACADEMY AWARDS, USA - Nominated (Oscar, Best Achievement in Cinematography | Philippe Le Sourd, Best Achievement in Costume Design | William Chang) 
2014 BEIJING INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - Won (Tiantian Award, Best Director | Kar-Wai Wong, Best Actress | Ziyi Zhang, Best Cinematography | Philippe Le Sourd)
2013 GOLDEN HORSE FILM FESTIVAL - Won (Audience Choice Award, Won (Golden Horse Award, Best Leading Actress | Ziyi Zhang, Best Cinematography | Philippe Le Sourd, Best Visual Effects | Pierre Buffin, Best Art Direction | William Chang, Alfred Yau, Best Makeup & Costume Design | William Chang), Nominated (Golden Horse Award, Best Feature Film, Best Director | Kar-Wai Wong, Best Leading Actor | Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, 
Best Action Choreography | Woo-Ping Yuen, Best Film Editing | William Chang, Benjamin Courtines, Best Sound Effects | Robert Mackenzie, Traithep Wongpaiboon)
2013 GOLDEN ROOSTER AWARDS - Won (Golden Rooster, Best Supporting Actor | Qingxiang Wang, Best Art Direction | William Chang, Alfred Yau), Nominated (Golden Rooster, Best Director | Kar-Wai Wong, Best Actress | Ziyi Zhang, Best Sound | Gary Chen (supervising dialogue editor/supervising adr editor))

The Grandmaster is the final work of focus in our MASTERS: WONG KAR-WAI series. (Click here to see remaining screenings for the 2017/2018 season

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2017 WHITEPAPERS


Each season, our experienced board of experts, filmmakers, and cinephiles distill their knowledge into a series of whitepapers that reflect our season's themes. 

FEATURED WHITEPAPER | MASTERS: WONG KAR-WAI
Board member and programmer, Sachin Gandhi explores the beautiful style of Wong Kar-wai’s films.

The Calgary Cinematheque is proud to showcase the films of Wong Kar-wai as part of our Masters series. Wong Kar-wai is an auteur whose signature style is instantly recognizable in his films due to the presence of eye-popping visuals, memorable music and characters that linger long in the memory. This style jumps out even if the film genre is  crime (As Tears Go By, Fallen Angels), romance (Happy Together, In The Mood for Love), sci-fi (2046) or wuxia/martial arts (Ashes of Time, The Grandmaster). The four films selected by the Calgary Cinematheque (In the Mood for Love2046Ashes of TimeThe Grandmaster) highlight the core style of Wong Kar-wai but also illustrate the range of his filmmaking and the diverse topics he has covered. - READ MORE

 

2017 WHITEPAPERS


Each season, our experienced board of experts, filmmakers, and cinephiles distill their knowledge into a series of whitepapers that reflect our season's themes. 

FEATURED WHITEPAPER | MASTERS: WONG KAR-WAI
Board member and programmer, Sachin Gandhi explores the beautiful style of Wong Kar-wai’s films.

The Calgary Cinematheque is proud to showcase the films of Wong Kar-wai as part of our Masters series. Wong Kar-wai is an auteur whose signature style is instantly recognizable in his films due to the presence of eye-popping visuals, memorable music and characters that linger long in the memory. This style jumps out even if the film genre is  crime (As Tears Go By, Fallen Angels), romance (Happy Together, In The Mood for Love), sci-fi (2046) or wuxia/martial arts (Ashes of Time, The Grandmaster). The four films selected by the Calgary Cinematheque (In the Mood for Love2046Ashes of TimeThe Grandmaster) highlight the core style of Wong Kar-wai but also illustrate the range of his filmmaking and the diverse topics he has covered. - READ MORE

 

2017-18 Program Preview

We are pleased to announce the following series as part of our 11th season, which runs October 2017 through March 2018. In addition to these three series, our Contemporary World Cinema series returns with bold and diverse films from different regions of the world.

View our growing CALENDAR here of upcoming screenings and events! Click on our MEMBERSHIP page for more details and to get our newsletter.

MASTERS: WONG KAR-WAI

The Calgary Cinematheque is proud to showcase the films of Wong Kar-Wai as part of the Masters series. Wong Kar-Wai is a genuine auteur whose signature style is instantly recognizable in his films due to the presence of eye-popping visuals, memorable music and characters that linger long in the memory.

CLICK IMAGE TO READ WHITEPAPER

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SPOTLIGHT: WEXLER & WILLIS

In a new direction for CCS, we're shining a spotlight on cinematographers, choosing two Americans, Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler, and their politically charged films of the 1960s and 1970s.

 

 

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FOCUS: LANDSCAPES

More than a mere setting , a landscape and the representation of it undergoes differing treatments in cinema. At the intersection of topography and narrative, there are films that evoke, and exercise a landscape’s capacity as a kinetic and tactile character.


OVER TEN YEARS OF CRITICAL CINEMa CULTURE IN CALGARY

Calgary Cinematheque brings people together to foster a critical cinema culture.

See our current listings: SCREENINGS

We are Calgary’s year-round champion of challenging and under-represented global cinema. Our eclectic programming features selected films that expand Calgary’s movie-going options to include benchmark retrospectives, classic restorations, masterworks, and acclaimed screen rarities. We curate programs constructed around thematic links, historical or current movements, and the work of individual artists. Our programming includes overlooked contemporary world cinema, discussion sessions with guest speakers, and community events. We frequently collaborate with other organizations including the University of Calgary, Calgary International Film Festival, Calgary Underground Film Festival, containR, and Theatre Junction.

As a local hub for cinema as an art form, Calgary Cinematheque has a dedicated member base and 800+ subscribers ranging from passionate cinephiles to the simply curious and adventurous among the filmgoing public. We offer Calgarians the chance to experience significant cinema in its full grandeur: on the big screen surrounded by an audience of film lovers. We build community around the enjoyment of cinema art in a shared theatrical experience.

 

Film is more than the twentieth-century art. It's another part of the twentieth-century mind. It's the world seen from inside. We've come to a certain point in the history of film. If a thing can be filmed, the film is implied in the thing itself. This is where we are. The twentieth century is on film. You have to ask yourself if there's anything about us more important than the fact that we're constantly on film, constantly watching ourselves.  - Don Delillo

Does art reflect life? In movies, yes. Because more than any other art form, films have been a mirror held up to society's porous face. - Marjorie Rosen