Thursday, February 7, 2013

[2013.02.08] AN AILING TONY LEUNG CHIU WAI AND AN EXHAUSTED ZHANG ZIYI TOUGH OUT THE GRANDMASTERS BERLIN PROMOTION

Wong Kar Wai in a rare appearance without sunglasses
courtesy of on.cc
courtesy of singtao.com
At the Berlin Film Festival, THE GRANDMASTERS lead is neither Tony Leung Chiu Wai nor Zhang Ziyi, but Wong Kar Wai in his sunglasses.
Wong Kar Wai leads the jury, more than half of which are women.  Tim Robbins still stands out.
Tony Leung Chiu Wai's white socks outshine Zhang Ziyi's high heels
The Berlin Film Festival version is not the rumored 4 hour version, instead it loses 13 minutes to make the story more intense.
Tony Leung Chiu Wai arrives in Berlin to begin two days of intense promotions for THE GRANDMASTERS
courtesy of mingpao.com

The 63rd Berlin Film Festival officially opened yesterday. Although among the 19 films that compete for the highest honor Golden Bear prize, none is Chinese film; luckily the Wong Kar wai directed, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Zhang Ziyi starred THE GRANDMASTERS (YUT DOI JUNG SI) is the opening film. Big Director Wong is even the jury chair. Yesterday morning he led American actor Tim Robbins and the jury to meet the media. In the afternoon he host THE GRANDMASTERS press conference.

Although THE GRANDMASTERS has been in release in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for a long time and its Mainland box office even exceeded 290 million yuan RMB for a new Wong Kar Wai personal record, to Berlin film viewers it is still full of mystery. The premiere ticket was hard to come by, the remaining 3 shows have already sold out in 1 hour.

In order to take care of the overseas (especially European) market needs, Wong Kar Wai earlier stayed in the Bangkok editing room to remove 13 minutes from THE GRANDMASTERS' original 130 minutes to the less than 2 hour International Version. Reportedly the story structure also was adjusted slightly. "The pace is even more intense and the feeling is even more mature."

Actually, Wong Kar Wai has a deep relationship with the Berlin Film Festival. The 1991 DAYS OF BEING WILD (AH FEI JING JUEN) and the 1996 FALLEN ANGELS (DOR LOK TIN SI) both participated in the festival and won European and American film critic word of mouth. This year he is invited to be the jury chair. Yesterday on the eve of the opening ceremony Wong Kar Wai led 6 jury members including 1942's star Tim Robbins, Oscar Best Foreign Film IN A BETTER WORLD's Danish director Susanne Beir, Venice Silver Lion prize winning Iranian director Shirin Neshat and others to meet the media and kicked off the 11 day long film festival.

Another with a Berlin connection was Zhang Ziyi. Her films THE ROAD HOME, HERO and FOREVER ENTHRALLED appeared there. Two days ago THE GRANDMASTERS just completed its Paris promotion and headed to Berlin at night. Tomorrow will be Zhang Ziyi's 34th birthday. 4 years ago she celebrated her birthday in Berlin.

The international film festival frequent guest Tony Leung Chiu Wai was ailing when he met up with Zhang Ziyi in Paris, then they walked the red carpet in Berlin. Luckily his mother tag along, even though he was overseas for this Lunar New Year he would not feel too bad.

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