Photo courtesy of singtao.com
Wong Kar Wai in order to fulfill Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing's wish spent 4 years to remaster ASHES OF TIME REDUX and brought it on a world tour. Gor Gor, "Big Beauty" Brigitte Lin (Lam Ching Han) and Maggie Cheung Man Yuk were a classic team that many missed, but actually 15 years ago Wong Kar Wai shot a Gor Gor and Ching Ha kiss scene. Unfortunately he still decided to cut this scene.
Wong Kar Wai's ASHES OF TIME REDUX on the 6th anniversary of Cheung Kwok Wing's passing this year started its worldwide release tour. On the 28th it returned to Hong Kong for release.
15 years ago when ASHES OF TIME was released, Cheung Kwok Wing revealed to director Wong Kar Wai his hope for the film to break out of Asia to Europe and America, even the Cannes Film Festival. In order to fulfill Cheung Kwok Wing's wish, Wong Kar Wai spent 4 years to edit the REDUX. Earlier he even completed Gor Gor's wish with a Cannes Film Festival, European and American release tour. For its final stop, Wong Kar Wai chose to "return" to Hong Kong, "Gor Gor's home" for release and for a perfect ending.
Actually When Lam Ching Ha shot ASHES OF TIME in Yinchuan 15 years ago, she did not have many friends in Hong Kong. Because Ching Ha was homesick during the shoot and constantly wished to return to Taiwan, the film company rented a hotel style residence for Ching Ha. Everyday the cast received a ride and Gor Gor and Ching Ha were assigned to the same vehicle. Their relationship thus grew closer. Gor Gor also took special care of Ching Ha and due to this film they became good friends.
In ASHES, Cheung Kwok Wing and Lam Ching Ha each had their own love. Cheung Kwok Wing loved Cheung Man Yuk while Lam Ching Ha loved Leung Ka Fai. When Gor Gor and Ching Ha talked about their relationships,they had an awkward relationship. When Wong Kar Wai made the film 15 years ago, he originally shot a Gor Gor and Ching Ha intimate scene but finally Wong Kar Wai decided to cut it. Wong Kar Wai wanted to leave the audience with space for imagination. This classic intimate scene was only published once 15 years ago in the ASHES OF TIME pictorial collection. This photo was extremely valuable and well worth a glimpse for Gor fans for nostalgia of Gor Gor's glory. When Gor Gor and Ching Ha shot this scene, they were already good friends and had in depth exchange. Thus they without any special preparation completed the shot with one take.
Wong Kar Wai's REDUX not only did not shoot any new footage but also had an all new production team like editing, subtitle, color, sound effect and music. The production was 10 million as if he was making a new film. The sound effect and special effect were more perfect than the production 15 years ago. Reportedly, REDUX added more Gor Gor and Leung Chiu Wai scenes. Lam Ching Ha in the old version had Cantonese dubbing, but the new version would use the original Mandarin original sound recording.