Berlin 2013: Wong Kar-wai to Offer Retweaked 'Grandmaster'

Wong Kar Wei - P 2012
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The Hong Kong auteur is still busy working on his latest hit, which has earned $45 million in China.

ROTTERDAM – Known for his habit of reworking his movies up until deadline, Wong Kar-wai is now rushing to finalize a latest version of The Grandmaster, which will make its international premiere as the out-of-competition curtain-raiser of this year’s Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 7.

Originally slated to meet the European press in Paris on Sunday, Feb. 3, the Hong Kong auteur will now arrive in France a day later because he is still polishing the Berlinale cut in a post-production lab in Thailand. Wong will then head on to Berlin, where he will also serve as president of the competition jury.

The Berlin festival program had listed the film with a running time of 120 minutes – ten minutes less than the version released in mainland China and Hong Kong on Jan. 8. Even then, Wong had to postpone a press preview in Beijing for a day because of his late rush to finish that version of film.

The Grandmaster, which will be distributed in the US by Annapurna Pictures, has been released in China to both critical acclaim and commercial success. The film, which is still running in the country, has earned $45 million (281 million yuan), making it the highest-grossing film in the director's career. The amount was four times the total of the combined domestic earnings of his past four films (In the Mood for Love, 2046, My Blueberry Nights and Ashes of Time Redux).