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Berlin 2013: 'The Grandmaster' Shortened by 15 Minutes for International Release

The Grandmaster - film still

The new version of Wong Kar-wai’s martial arts epic, which will make its bow in an press preview in Paris on Sunday evening before receiving its official premiere at Berlin on Feb. 7, will now run just under two hours.

BERLIN –Wong Kar-wai has just finished the international version of The Grandmaster, with the auteur trimming 15 more minutes off the cut released in China last month.

The latest version, which will be shown to a selected group of European journalists in Paris before making its bow as the curtain-raiser of the Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 7, represents a further condensation of a film of which the first cut ran to four hours.

Wong eventually edited the film to 130 minutes for its Jan. 8 release in China, where it has since generated healthy box office earnings of US$45 million. The director has hinted in interviews last month that the longer version will be released later as a director’s cut.

Revolving around a fictionalized account of the early years of real-life Wing Chun martial arts expert (and Bruce Lee’s mentor) Ip Man (played by Tony Leung Chiu-wai), The Grandmaster is shown in Berlin as an out-of-competition entry, with Wong serving as the chairman of the festival jury this year.