Posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Here’s the first real trailer for Wong Kar Wai‘s martial arts biopic The Grandmasters. It’s a hell of a thing, with Tony Leung as the literal white hat hero facing down a courtyard full of adversaries as rain falls and water splashes in super slo-mo. It looks a bit like Wong Kar Wai shooting the ‘burly brawl’ from the second Matrix film. (Which itself was obviously a knockoff and amping-up of legions of other martial arts fights.)
The trailer is a bit dark, lacks subtitles, and may come off as exciting and beautiful, or murky and confusing, depending on your appetite for this sort of fight scene. Check it out below.
In 2008 Wilson Yip’s film Ip Man, based on the legendary life of early Wing Chun practitioner and Bruce Lee instructor Yip Man (aka Ip Man) was released with Donnie Yen playing the title role. The movie was a massive hit and spawned a sequel and numerous knockoff projects.
In 2009 Wong Kar Wai started filming The Grandmasters, his own account of the martial arts legend, with his frequent collaborator Tony Leung (In the Mood For Love, 2046, Ashes of Time) playing Ip Man. Wilson Yip’s film took a good many liberties with the facts of Ip Man’s life and, knowing Wong Kar Wai’s impressionistic storytelling style, I wouldn’t expect The Grandmasters to be a more true to life account. But it might be a much more beautiful one.
The film has taken a great deal of time to finish, as is often the case with Wong Kar Wai movies. Indie financier Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures stepped in earlier this year to help the movie keep going. And while there is no projected release date or even a guaranteed fall festival bow, we’re holding out for this one in 2011.