Dung che sai duk (1994)
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- Ashes of Time
- 100 min.
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A gorgeous, intoxicating film with typical WKW dialogue.
Ashes of Time Redux is a re-edit (necessary after the master was lost) of Wong Kar-Wai's first feature film, a star-filled historical epic extremely loosely adapted from a Louis Cha swordplay novel. I wasn't sure my KFF crew was ready for Wong Kar-Wai's artiness, and I'm still not sure. I love it though. The visual poetry is enough to sustain my interest at the very least. Ashes of Time has an elliptical structure based on the Chinese almanac, but I wouldn't call it a plot. It's more like a series of short stories intersecting the life of a mercenary swordsman or "fixer". Some are Buddhist fables, other end in excitingly (but unusually) filmed action sequences choreographed by Sammo Hung. Constant are the film's visual inventiveness and the high romance inherent to the characters.
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #13 in Wei Jun Zi's 100 Classic Martial Arts Films
This movie ranks #18 in LoveHKFilm.com's The Best Hong Kong Films Ever
This movie ranks #33 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #36 in HKFA's The Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures
This movie ranks #53 in Golden Horse's 100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films
This movie ranks #418 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #902 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema