Sneak Peek at Ashes of Time Redux Bonus Features

Mark Pollard at Kung Fu Cinema just posted a handful of preview clips from the extras accompanying Sony Pictures Classics’ upcoming DVD release of Wong Kar-wai’s Ashes of Time Redux (I tried to include one here, but was having some trouble with embedding the clip so instead I’ve included the trailer). Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t really get into kung fu flicks, man…” but let’s not forget this is Wong Kar-wai (along with cinematographer Christopher Doyle) we’re talking about. While the film incorporates characters and situations adapted from Louis Cha’s wu xia novel “Legend of the Condor Heroes,” and does indeed contain scenes of swordplay, saying this film is about martial arts is like saying Hitchcock’s Psycho is about Marion Crane stealing a load of cash. Ashes of Time is a kind of tone poem on love, loss and memory, and the rare kind of film that’s so densely layered with tiny details of plot and character that it actually becomes richer with repeated viewings. And speaking of becoming richer, the Redux in the title refers to Wong’s loving overhaul of his 1994 classic. It’s been re-mastered, re-edited and color-adjusted, and none other than Yo-Yo Ma has added haunting cello solos to composer Frankie Chan’s original score. The result is a martial arts film unlike anything that came before, and unlike anything that’s likely to come after.

(via Kung Fu Cinema)


2 Responses to “Sneak Peek at Ashes of Time Redux Bonus Features”

  1. February 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I am going to pick it up on Tuesday for sure after seeing it in the theater last fall.

    I am not too thrilled with the DVD cover art but 1) it’s not as bad as a Dragon Dynasty cover and 2) I can’t recall any poster or promotional artwork for this film that did justice to it.

    Maybe WKW has bad luck with poster art or is it just me? In The Mood had nice posters but all the others were just…blah as far as I’m concerned.

  2. March 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    You know, I was going to mention the design, but thought I’d end up hijacking the point of the post with a rant! But since you got me started:

    1) That’s a pretty lame photocollage that just seems like a lame attempt to shoehorn the film’s two male leads into the same space (What, no Brigitte? No Maggie? Really?), while including an army and a sword so that us dumb uh-mur-icans will be sure to realize that there’s “kung fu fightin'” included inside.

    2) This is a Wong Kar-wai (and Christopher Doyle) film, and one of the most gorgeous and colorful they’ve made, especially in this redux version, so why on earth would the designer(s) shoose to go the route of a tinted b/w image rather that ravishing full color? It makes even less sense from a marketing standpoint, when you consider that some consumers unfamiliar with the film may look at the cover and assume the movie itself is an old black-and-white production. For a perfect example, just look at the DVD covers for the early Zatoichi films that Image Entertainment put out a few years ago.

    3) I think running the type vertically is more than a bit clichéd (It’s a Chinese film. We get it), and plus even though they’re using the perfectly respectable Helvetica Condensed Black, visually it’s “reading” as Impact, which is widely regarded in the design community as the second most vilified font after Comic Sans.

    4) Let me say something positive… just for the hell of it! Love that they quoted Manohla Dargis, and love that they did include the title and director’s name in the original Chinese.

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