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WONG KAR WAI is acknowledged as one of the most exciting and influential directors in contemporary world cinema.

His concerns are typically suppressed desire, isolation, memory, and the loneliness of urban landscapes; his style is dense, moody and lushly atmospheric. Wong belongs to the mid-1980s Second New Wave of Hong Kong filmmakers, which also includes directors Eddie Fong, Stanley Kwan and Clara Law. The Second Wave, is often seen as a continuation of the First, as many of these directors worked as assistants to First Wave directors such as Tsui Hark, Ann Hui and Patrick Tam (with whom Wong collaborated). Born in 1958 in Shanghai,Wong moved to Hong Kong with his parents when he was five years old. He obtained a diploma in graphic design from Hong Kong Polytechnic School, and became a television production assistant. Working on several TV drama series, he became a scriptwriter for TV and later for films in the 1980’s, including “The Final Victory” (1987), which his mentor Patrick Tam directed.

Wong Kar Wai’s directorial debut, “As Tears Go By” (1988), gave him the opportunity to work with actress Maggie Cheung for the first time. The film, which established Wong’s strong visual style, introduced him to the world film community as an up-and-coming talent at the 1989 Cannes International Film Festival, where it screened during “Critics’ Week.” Wong gathered together Hong Kong’s most popular young stars (including Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung) for his next project, “Days of Being Wild” (1991). The film, set in a vividly imagined 1960, won five Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Leslie Cheung). The project was planned as the first of two-parts, but the second was never made.

In 1992, he convened another all-star cast of Hong Kong actors to make a period martial-arts drama, one which deliberately went against all the codes of the genre, in remote regions of China. The shoot for “Ashes of Time” lasted nearly two years. The film world-premiered at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Award for Best Cinematography for Christopher Doyle. During a break in the post-production of “Ashes of Time,” Wong made “Chungking Express” (1994), an up-to-the-minute comedy of longing and romance. Tony Leung, Faye Wong and Brigitte Lin starred in the film, which became a cult hit in many countries. “Fallen Angels,” based on an idea for a sketch that was written for “Chungking Express” but dropped at the last minute, premiered at the 1995 Toronto Film Festival to widespread critical acclaim. The following year, he made a short film, entitled “wkw/tk/[email protected]’55”ht.net.” “Happy Together,” about two Chinese gay men exiled in Argentina during the hand-over of Hong Kong to China, was filmed on location (with pick-up shots done in Taipei). The film world-premiered at the 1997 Cannes International Film Festival, where Wong was awarded the Best Director prize.

The film, which starred Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung, also featured Chang Chen, star of “The Hand.” “In the Mood for Love,” reuniting Wong with Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, was filmed in Hong Kong, Thailand, and at Angkor Wat (in Cambodia). At the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival, the film received awards for Best Actor (Tony Leung) and its three cinematographers. It also won prizes for Best Foreign Film and Best Cinematography (Christopher Doyle and Pin Bing Lee) from the New York Film Critics Circle the following year. Wong next shot the short film, “The Follow,” starring Clive Owen and Mickey Rourke, for the BMW series “The Hire.”

The series also includes shorts by John Woo, Ang Lee, Tony Scott and Alejandro González I?árritu. He also directed a video for DJ Shadow called “Six Days,” which featured Chang Chen. Upcoming for Wong Kar Wai is his first science fiction film, “2046,” which was shot in various Asian countries with an international cast, including Gong Li, Chang Chen, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, and Faye Wong.

Wong Kar-wai
Wong Kar-wai at Toronto Film Festival in 2008

WONG KAR WAI Filmography


Wong Kar-wai

Poster for the movie "Eros"


“Eros” is an anthology of three short films on the subject of eroticism and love, from a trio of the world’s most extraordinary directors,...
Poster for the movie "Ashes of Time"

Ashes of Time

It was only fitting that Brigitte Lin, one of the defining stars of wuxia films, would appear in Wong Kar Wai’s daring transformation of...
Poster for the movie "Days of Being Wild"

Days of Being Wild

The movie is set in Hong Kong and the Philippines in 1960. Yuddy, or 'York' in English, is a playboy in Hong Kong and...
Poster for the movie "Happy Together"

Happy Together

Lai and his boyfriend, Ho, arrive in Argentina from Hong Kong, seeking a better life. Their highly contentious relationship turns abusive and results in numerous...
Poster for the movie "Fallen Angels"

Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels is a 1995 Hong Kong drama film written and directed by Wong Kar-wai, starring Leon Lai, Michelle Reis, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Charlie Yeung,...
Poster for the movie "As Tears Go By"

As Tears Go By

The film centers around Wah (Lau), a mob enforcer who primarily deals with debt collection. His sai lo subordinate, Fly (Jacky Cheung) also works for...
Poster for the movie "Chungking Express"

Chungking Express

Chungking Express is a 1994 Hong Kong drama film written and directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film consists of two stories told in sequence, each...
Poster for the movie "The Grandmaster"

The Grandmaster

Ip Man's peaceful life in Foshan changes after Gong Yutian seeks an heir for his family in Southern China. Ip Man then meets Gong...
Poster for the movie "My Blueberry Nights"

My Blueberry Nights

Elizabeth (Jones) has just been through a particularly nasty breakup, and now she's ready to leave her friends and memories behind as she chases...
Poster for the movie "2046"


2046 is a 2004 Hong Kong romantic drama film written and directed by Wong Kar-wai. It is a loose sequel to Kar-wai's films Days...

In the mood for love

In the Mood for Love (花樣年華) is a 2000 Hong Kong film directed by Wong Kar-wai, starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. It premiered on...

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