7.8

Ashes of Time Redux

Movies Reviews Wong Kar Wai
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Ashes of Time Redux

Release Date: Oct. 10
Director/Writer: Wong Kar Wai
Cinematographer: Christopher Doyle
Starring: Jacky Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung
Studio/Run Time: ?Sony Pictures Classics/Jet Tone Films, 93 mins.

Try to get a grip on these ashes

Before he gained international renown for romantic, impressionistic art films like In the Mood for Love and 2046, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai dabbled in his homeland’s kung-fu fare with 1994’s Ashes of Time. Though it’s never been officially released Stateside until now, varying edits of the movie have been floating around for years. Wong clarifies some vagaries with this new cut—hence the Redux tag. Without knowledge of the novel from which the film draws, Western audiences will no doubt be confused by the interlocking stories of these ronins and their passions. An odd amalgam of D.H. Lawrence, Sergio Leone Westerns and samurai swordplay, Ashes shows Wong’s themes (elliptical time, doomed love, the sensorial human experience over the rational) to be constant throughout his career. And the landscape—expertly captured by the venerable Christopher Doyle—mystifies, as do the visceral and dizzyingly edited fight ?sequences.