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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Kar Wai WONG
王家衛 | WONG Kar Wai

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Wong Kar-wai was born in Shanghai in 1958 and moved to Hong Kong with his family when he was five. He studied graphic design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic College and in 1981, enrolled in the first phase of Television Broadcasts Limited’s (TVB) production training program. After completing the course, he became a production assistant for a drama series by the famed producer Kam Kwok-leung, later moving on to directing. He left TVB in 1982 to become a screenwriter and his credits include Once Upon a Rainbow (1982), Chase a Fortune (1985), Rosa (1986), Goodbye My Hero (1986), Flaming Brothers (1987), Saviour of the Soul (on which he collaborated with his close friend and partner Jeff Lau and received story credit), among others. His script for the Patrick Tam Kar-ming-directed Final Victory (1987) was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

In 1987, Wong’s script for Flaming Brothers (1987, co-written with Jeff Lau) caught the eye of Alan Tang, the film’s star and owner of its production company In-Gear and a powerful figure in the film industry. A year later, Wong was given his first chance to direct, making the feature, As Tears Goes By (1988) for In-Gear. The film was met with critical praise and screened at the International Critics’ Week at 1989’s Cannes Film Festival, prompting Tang to invest in Wong’s sophomore effort, Days of Being Wild (1990). The film’s unique aesthetics and ambiguous ending attracted much attention and debate and, despite its failure at the box office, cemented Wong’s position as one of Hong Kong’s most important directors. Days of Being Wild swept the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1991, winning several top prizes, including Best Picture and Best Director. In Taiwan, it was awarded Best Director at the Golden Horse Film Festival.

Wong then founded Jet Tone Films, which produced his next film, Ashes of Time. The stylized, idiosyncratic wuxia drama won Best Cinematography at the Venice Film Festival in 1994 while also earning Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor honors from the Hong Kong Film Critics Society. Wong won Best Picture and Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards again with Chungking Express (1995). For his next film, Happy Together (1997), he was named Best Director at Cannes, becoming the first Chinese director to receive the prestigious prize and entering the pantheon of the world’s best. Cannes also championed Wong’s following film, In the Mood For Love (2000), with a Technical Grand Prize and the Best Actor award for star Tony Leung Chiuwai. 2046 (2004) - a sequel of sorts to In the Mood For Love which took five years to make - premiered at Cannes in 2004 as part of the main competition. Ten years in the making, The Grandmaster (2013) depicts the legendary exploits of Wing Chun master Ip Man and other martial artists. Aside from directing, Wong had also produced, with such titles as First Love: the Litter on the Breeze (1997), Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002), Sound of Colors (2003) and Touch of the Light (2012) to his credit.

In 2001, Wong was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In 2006, he served as president of the jury at Cannes Film Festival, and was conferred a Knight Legion of Honor by the French government for his contribution to cinematic arts. In 2007, the Open University of Hong Kong presented him with an honorary doctorate and in 2013, Wong acted as the president of the jury for the Berlin International Film Festival. Later that year, the French Cultural Ministry appointed him a Commander of France’s Order of Arts and Letters.

Year Chinese name English name Directors
2013 《一代宗師》
The Grandmaster
2007 《藍莓之夜》
My Blueberry Nights
2004 《愛神》
2004 《2046》
2000 《花樣年華》
In The Mood For Love
1997 《春光乍洩》
Happy Together
1995 《墮落天使》
Fallen Angels
1994 《東邪西毒》
Ashes of Time
1994 《重慶森林》
Chungking Express
1990 《阿飛正傳》
Days of Being Wild
1988 《旺角卡門》
As Tears Goes By