Biography of Wong Kar-wai

Biography of Wong Kar-wai

por remi mourany

"He is the painter of the city and the human heart, of our desires, our secrets, and our frustrations."

Born in Shanghai in 1958, Wong Kar-Wai emigrated to Hong Kong with his parents in 1963, just before the Cultural Revolution. He studied graphic arts and photography and developed a love for American cinema, particularly classic Hollywood, and European cinema, especially the French New Wave directors.

Wong began his career as a production assistant for a Hong Kong television station before turning to screenwriting across various genres, including Kung Fu films, dramas, and romantic comedies. He also engaged with the "new wave" movement, collaborating with Patrick Tam. His directorial debut came in 1988 with the gangster film "As Tears Go By."

Two years later, he released "Days of Being Wild," which was a commercial failure. Wong achieved significant acclaim in France with "In the Mood for Love." His filmography is diverse, drawing inspiration from various genres such as wuxia in "Ashes of Time" and Kung Fu in "The Grandmaster."

In 2006, Wong became the first Chinese director to preside over the Cannes Film Festival jury, awarding the Palme d'Or to Ken Loach's "The Wind That Shakes the Barley." In 2007, he directed his first English-language film, "My Blueberry Nights," featuring a star-studded cast, including Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, and singer Norah Jones in her acting debut. In 2013, Wong reunited with Tony Leung to adapt the story of Ip Man in "The Grandmaster," marking his return to martial arts cinema.




Wong Kar-Wai was born in Shanghai and moved to Hong Kong at the age of 5 with his parents. In 1988, Wong directed his first feature film, "As Tears Go By," which was showcased at the Critics' Week at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. His second film, "Days of Being Wild" (1990), won five awards at the 1991 Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. That same year, he founded his production company, Jet Tone Productions.

Wong directed "Ashes of Time" between 1992 and 1994. During a short break in post-production, he directed and released "Chungking Express" in 1994, gaining international acclaim. This was followed by "Fallen Angels," premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1995. In 1997, "Happy Together" won Best Director at Cannes. In 2000, "In the Mood for Love" was also in competition at Cannes and became a global success, listed among the 25 greatest films of all time by Sight & Sound magazine. Wong subsequently directed "2046" (2004), "Eros" (segment "The Hand") (2004) co-directed with Michelangelo Antonioni and Steven Soderbergh, "My Blueberry Nights" (2007), and "The Grandmaster" (2013), which premiered out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2008, "Ashes of Time Redux" was screened at Cannes.

His work has been recognized with numerous awards at major international festivals. A great admirer of the arts, Wong is actively involved in supporting various artistic fields. In 2015, he was the artistic director of the exhibition "China: Through the Looking Glass" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Wong Kar-Wai received the Lumière Award in 2017.



2013: The Grandmaster

2007: My Blueberry Nights

2004: Eros (segment "The Hand")

2004: 2046

2000: In the Mood for Love

1997: Happy Together

1995: Fallen Angels

1994: Chungking Express

1994: Ashes of Time

1990: Days of Being Wild

1988: As Tears Go By