Movie Talk

Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’ to open the Berlinale

Photo: Everett Collection

Critically acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai's latest picture, “The Grandmaster,” will be opening the Berlin Film Festival, or Berlinale, this year. “The Grandmaster,” an epic biography of martial arts legend Ip Man, who mentored Bruce Lee in his later years and earlier was a major figure in 1930s China. The film will screen out of competition, avoiding any potential conflict of interest surrounding Wong's position as president of the Berlinale jury this year.

The film stars Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, a frequent collaborator of Wong's in pictures such as “In The Mood For Love” and “2046, as Ip Man, who has been portrayed numerous other times, including two recently celebrated films starring martial arts star Donnie Yen. The supporting cast also includes Ziyi Zhang of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” fame and “Red Cliff”'s Chang Chen.

Wong describes “The Grandmaster” as “a dream project....that I'd been developing for many years.” Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick called “The Grandmaster” “an artful, visually powerful genre film,” a description that should no doubt excite fans of both Wong's work and martial arts cinema in general, for whom “The Grandmaster” should surely be one of the major film events of 2013.