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Wong Kar-Wai

WONG KAR WAI was born in Shanghai and moved to Hong Kong with his parents when he was five. He joined the film industry as a scriptwriter and became a film director in 1989. He soon established himself as an extraordinary talent.

His first film, AS TEARS GO BY was screened as part of the ‘Critics' Week' at the 1989 Cannes International Film Festival. His second film, DAYS OF BEING WILD was set in a vividly imagined 1960s. This film featured several of Hong Kong's popular young stars of the time and won five Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

Director Wong spent the next two years working on ASHES OF TIME, which was shot in remote regions in China. In this film, Wong went against all the standards of the genre to successfully make a period martial arts drama. The film was premiered at the 1994 Venice Film Festival. During a break in the post-production of ASHES OF TIME, Wong made CHUNGKING EXPRESS, which later became a cult hit in many countries. It was also Wong's first film to have world-wide distribution. After that, he created FALLEN ANGELS, which continued some of the themes he started in CHUNGKING EXPRESS.

His next film, HAPPY TOGETHER was premiered at Cannes in 1997 and won him the festival's Best Director Award. In 2000, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE premiered in competition at Cannes where it was awarded numerous accolades, including the Best Actor prize for Tony Leung Chiu-wai. Four years later, he returned to Cannes again with 2046 which continued to follow the life of IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE lead character Chow Mo-wen played by Leung.

Wong also shot a few short films, including a BMW online project, THE HIRE, as part of a series commissioned by the car company from directors like Ang Lee, John Woo, and John Frankenheimer. He worked on DJ Shadow's music video SIX DAYS and he directed one part of the film EROS.

His segment starred Gong Li and Chang Chen. The other two episodes were directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and Steven Soderbergh.

In May 2006, Wong served as the President of the Jury at the 59th Cannes Film Festival. A month later, he began shooting his first English-language film MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS throughout the United States of America.

1988 - As Tears Go By
1990 – Days of Being Wild
1994 – Ashes of Time - Chungking Express
1995 – Fallen Angels
1997 – Happy Together
2000 – In the Mood for Love
2004 – 2046 – Eros (segment The Hand)
2007 – To Each His Own Cinema (segment I travelled 9000 km to give it to you)

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Wong Kar-Wai Facts

BirthdayJuly 17, 1958 (65)
BirthplaceShanghai, People's Rep. of China

Selected Filmography

In the Mood for Love
Days of Being Wild
Chungking Express
As Tears Go By
Fallen Angels
Ashes of Time Redux
Happy Together
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