Film Micrœview #1: The Grandmaster (2013)

09.08.2013 § Leave a comment

Screen shot 2013-09-08 at 5.50.33 PM

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It’s really weird to see Wong Kar-wai’s artsy techniques (stretch-printing, title cards, pervasive ellipticalness, a random subplot which never connects to the main plot) applied to the action genre. I think they work much better for drama. I will say, though, that he wasn’t wishy-washy about the genre switch; the fight sequences read more like The Matrix to me than like CTHD (despite him using CTHD’s choreographer!) Maybe the one place where his artsy lingering obsessively on details worked was in the scattering of elements – water, ice, snow, dirt – upon impact from missed blows. I was also intrigued by how WKW’s oblique storytelling centered on the famous Ip Man as expected while in the end having truly been more about this Gong Er, whose climax comes so surprisingly and unsettling early in the film. So in conclusion, I miss Chris Doyle – but maybe WKW was already spent, anyway.

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