I watched the Redux Version. In my humble opinion, ASHES OF TIME is director Wong Kar-Wai's overlooked masterpiece. It offered a different kind of Wuxia genre. Although I gave the same five-stars, I (slightly) liked this movie than CHUNGKING EXPRESS. It's poetic, intriguing, and beautifully filmed. I loved Christopher Doyle's camerawork from the first minute I saw this movie. I'm gonna watch this movie again soon...
Containing the great Leslie Cheung most thoughtful performance, this is also Wong's most ravishing film. Again forgetfulness is a major theme and consolation for some of the heartbroken characters. Some seem unable to remember who they are from moment to moment. The flash editing style in the monumental battle scenes is elegant, disorienting and has to be seen to be believed (or not.) Drink the wine, forget.
The landscape as a mirror, reflecting the characters' inner turmoil, solitude and grief. No conventional plot to speak of, but fragments of memories scattered across the fields, the play of light, and the poetic voiceover create a two-way confessional between protagonist and viewer. Faint traces of Godard - the voice on the landscape: mournful, tragic, contemplative - but anchored by Wong's whirling melodrama.
Rare case of the english title being better and more thematically appropriate than the original. If Dragon Dynasty got their hands on this it woulda been called "Legend of the Swordsman" or some generic shit like that.
Easily the most complex of his films, where he prefers "painting" scenes and characters rather than using a more conventional narrative structure. Yes, his almost trademark non-use of a script can put certain persons off (and I can't blame them), it is so remarkably directed and choreographed that you have to surrender to the flow and let your spirit go.
This is my least favorite of Wong Kar-wai's movies. It feels like one giant over-saturated music video, which is odd because most of his movies are hyper-kinetic and feature pop music, but they're looser and less forced.