Please tell what you think about this…what i believe is a ‘Masterpiece’ from Wong Kar Wai.
I watched this a few years ago when I was first getting into my Kar-Wai kick and it’s one of his better films IMO. It’s a much more abstract version of the novel, but that’s not really a big deal in my mind because there’s very few similarities between the two anyway. I actually really like the redux (I tend to be unenthusiastic about reduxs) version.
I regard it as one (if not the best) of Kar-Wai’s best work, including some of the best cinematography of all his films and a really unusual “spiritual” (though I don’t mean that too literally) atmosphere that fits perfectly. Great film.
I haven’t seen it but I’m interested in any Wong Kar Wai.
Netflix has Ashes of Time Redux but not Ashes of Time. Should I watch that one, or try to get my hands on the original cut?
It’s a brilliantly conceived film, if not perfectly. A far cry from Chungking Express (both released the same year) but it shows his passion for imagery and storytelling—albeit the narrative is anything but cohesive.
What amazes me is that this was his third feature. How many directors do you know have risked so much so early in their career?
I wrote a little about the film on my Cinema 21 essay
Jirin, watch the redux. Most fans will agree I think.
This film really impressed me. In the film WKW mixes many genre elements, sprinkled with WKW’s ponderings on memory. I enjoyed the action even though it was very impressionistic. The visuals are great. The sensuality that WKW is know for is also there. Of what I’ve seen of him I would rate Ashes of Time Redux among his best.
@Deckard – Thanks For your comment…:)
@Jirin – I have not seen the original so can’t comment but, in my opinion Yes , you should watch ‘Redux’ .Coz The Effects, The Lighting and obviously The Cinematography looks much more fab..
You can watch trailer of both of the version on you tube or vimeo for comparison…
thanks for you comment….:)
@Patapon…. Thanx for your comment..:)
@Bejaun.. Thanx for your comment ,You are absolutely right Sprinkled.with Kar-Wai’s….Pondering’s on Memories….
This Remind me of the beautiful line which say ‘The Reason of all the sadness in our life is memories’…
Or something like that…
Saw the original version in a theater back in ’96 and it made me allucinate. Amazing. Afraid to see the Redux version because of the digital trickery.
I saw Redux, and liked it quite a bit—although I don’t know if I’d choose this as his Wong’s best film. Despite the lack of coherent narrative (Wong’s usually not big on narratives, anyway), I just liked his sense film language—the choice of framing a shot, the sequence of scenes and images, etc. Btw, does anyone feel like I should watch the original?
@Francisco Thankx for your comment..:)
@Jazzaloha— I believe ,Yes you should see the original. Coz even at that time technology was not that bad and for studying the comparison of digitally supervised versus film camera cinema it would be a great thing to do..
thanks for your comment..:)
UK readers: this is on Film4 tonight.
I remember enjoying the first half hour.
FWIW, Wong is Wong Kar-Wai’s family name, so one would generally say “Wong’s Ashes of Time” rather than “Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Times”.
“FWIW, Wong is Wong Kar-Wai’s family name, so one would generally say ‘Wong’s Ashes of Time’ rather than ‘Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Times’.”
Yes, this is true of many Asian names. Generally the family name comes before the given. Hayao Miyazaki for example is often just referred to as “Miyazaki” which is in fact a rather common Japanese given name. His surname is Hayao. “Hayao Miyazaki” is how the name is written in Japanese but “Miyazaki Hayao” is how it should really be written using our system of “name + surname.”
The Ashes of Time is a great movie and a very uncharacteristic one for Wong Kar-Wai (or Kar-Wai Wong, if you will) I found. I really enjoyed it, personally.
…also yes, watch the redux.
I dug it.
@paulo thanx for your comment
@Matt thanks for commenting…
@Anonymouse thanks for your reply….
@Rishi thanx for your thanx
@paulo you grab the lube, i’ll me you in ten…
I can’t really add much except to reiterate that it is definitely a WONG Kar-wai movie in that it is almost exclusively in the past tense, steeped in a nostalgia for what was and might have been. The joining of this to a martial arts epic is unusual in that the martial arts aspect takes a backseat, and though we have characters who would appear in that type of film, the film itself focuses on aspects that would ordinarily be absent (or subtext; here it is almost like the typical fights/battles are left as subtext, mostly implied by the attributes of the characters, their emotions and their time, while the emotional motivations are made text, as opposed to the opposite being true in many of this type of movie), making it something else entirely.
I originally watched the original version via a torrent after having watched two of his movies, and I bought the Redux blu-ray and watched it after seeing several more, thus my experience is tinted by exposure on several counts: first, it was my second time watching it, so I may have paid more attention to certain details than I did initially (though there was a year or two between these viewings); second, as I had watched more of his movies, I was better acquainted with his themes, concerns and style. That noted, I, too, preferred the Redux, in part because it seemed to flow better as a movie.
As to the name issue, Anonymouse I believe you may be incorrect about Miyazaki? Checking the usual suspects (Wikipedia, Google), it appears that MIYAZAKI Hayao is correct (family name in all caps). In general, where I see most difficulty in distinguishing family-given name names is in Chinese and Korean names which, Romanized, contain a hyphenate (WONG Kar-wai, PARK Chan-wook). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I also believe that typically such hyphenated names are not both capitalized, but that only the first is—I am not certain of the rule, if any, which determines this, however.
Confusion about Japanese and other non-hyphenate Asian names comes, it seems to me, generally from the lack of standardization among languages using the Roman alphabet: sometimes the names are written to follow the original (family-given) order, sometimes to follow the Western (given-family) order. Personally, I like to try to follow the family name in all caps standard, regardless of the order, in order to make that distinction clear).
@ A smith thanks for commenting buddy…
Great movie, in both original and REDUX versions. Purists will probably prefer the former, but the touch-ups and change of soundtrack are all good in the latter. Interestingly it is WKW’s only truly historical film (well, I don’t consider the 1960s to be all that historical I guess, since that’s the decade I was born in) and only attempt at wuxia martial arts. Due to the fragmented nature of the storyline and the difficulty I had keeping all the main characters separate, I definitely enjoyed this film on repeated viewings.
Obviously, there are some really amazing compositions in the film:
By the way, Wong’s next film, The Grandmaster is another martial arts film:
Too many canted angle for my taste.
Cant say I agree, Jerry.
(sorry . . . I like puns)
Yes, the cantings are certainly one of the more noticeable features of the film.
A huge distraction. Takes away from the simplicity of colors and mise-en-scène.
@prudence thanks fox commenting
@matt thanks for posting the trailer…
you dudes are crazy. this movie is straight up shitty.
I’ve seen it (the Redux version) twice and I recall having a very strong emotional reaction to the ending the first time, which was not replicated to the same degree the second time. I can’t really explain what provoked that reaction in the same way I could with, for example, Late Spring, but it was strong.
The film is imperfect and has a very flimsy and incoherent narrative, and not anywhere near the same plateau of cinematic greatness as In the Mood for Love, but I admire it a fair bit.
It’s ambitious, but Wong, a filmmaker who is always “searching” for his films while making them, never quite finds this one. But it is a noble, interesting failure, despite being one of his weaker efforts.