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Watch: New French Spot For Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’ Highlights 4 Fighting Styles

Watch: New French Spot For Wong Kar-Wai's 'The Grandmaster' Highlights 4 Fighting Styles

Oh snap, kinda forgot about this one. With Wong Kar-Wai‘s long awaited marital arts epic now having premiered and playing in international release, we’re just patiently waiting a stateside release date for the movie from The Weinstein Company. So until that happens, we’ll just have to be content with advertising from overseas.

So with parts of Europe gearing up for a spring release of the movie, a brand new TV spot has dropped in France for the flick, with its thirty seconds devoted to highlighting the four fighting styles featured: Wing Chun, Xing Yi, Ba Gua and Ba Ji. This is all accompanied by a flying fury of kicks and punches, but we’d be hard pressed to spot the differences in the four different ways of kicking ass. But maybe that’s appropriate for movie that we said featured “muddled storytelling that skitters over the surface of mysteries and psychologies that we want to plunge into and explore.” And even the fight scenes aren’t so hot as “the visceral thrills don’t come as thick and fast as we’d like.” Bummer?

Hopefully, you’ll be able to judge for yourself sometime later this year. Watch the spot here — we’ll add an embed as soon one arrives.

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Saw the film, and it's great. The problem though is that the dialogue, while beautiful, is damn near impossible to correctly translate into English.


I saw this on a trip back to China last month, and was blown away. I would argue that the storytelling is not muddled at all for its intended audience — which, The Playlist, is by and large Not You. The subtle inflections are VERY rooted in an implicit understanding of 20th century Chinese history, especially of the geopolitical implications as the Second Sino-Japanese War devastated the country; this is not the kind of thing you can crash-course in with fifteen minutes on a Wikipedia page, it's a page out of modern history that indelibly informs contemporary Chinese identity. The movie is not a biopic, however it might be marked as such; the title should more fittingly be "The Grandmasters", plural, invoking not just one man but an era, an ethos, a way of living. It is also not solely a martial arts movie, whatever else connotations that term might carry; the choreography provides a very crucial asethetic and focal perspective to the film, but that's not what the film is ultimately ABOUT. You can watch for the fight scenes or for a straightforward storyline and be underwhelmed, I suppose, and there's only so much that Wong Kar-Wai can do to streamline the narrative into a palatable one for a western audience because the inherent design of the film limits its accessibility for those at a remove from its cultural context. The only thing I can say is that I saw it as someone who felt the resonance of my heritage, too moved to rise from my seat as the credits rolled.

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