BEIJING–Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai’s long-awaited martial arts film “The Grandmaster” was shown in public for the first time in Beijing on Sunday, after more than six years in production. The film spans several decades of Chinese history to tell the story of legendary martial artist Yip Man, who went on to train Bruce Lee, and features lengthy battles between rival kung fu masters. Wong is best known for his 2000 slow-burn drama “In the Mood for Love.”
His new film, packed with Chinese stars including Hong Kong actor Tony Leung and Beijing-born starlet Zhang Ziyi, appears well placed to capture the local audience. In his first press appearance to promote the film, Wong was also confident that “The Grandmaster,” which runs for over two hours in its current edit and is steeped in traditional martial arts culture, would be well received abroad. “There is no such thing as a Western or Eastern audience … the elements of cinema are the same worldwide, although their expression is different,” said Wong, wearing his trademark dark glasses.