A romantic tale of honour and revenge, The Grandmaster centres on the legendary Ip Man who brought the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu to Hong Kong and mentored its most beloved star, Bruce Lee.
Tony Leung (In the Mood for Love, Lust, Caution) and Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero) star in Wong Kar-wai's dazzling first film in the wuxia (martial arts) genre since the renowned Ashes of Time (1994).
In the midst of a driving rain storm, a group of thugs attack a lone man. With precision and grace, Ip Man (Tony Leung) single-handedly dispatches his aggressors, thus setting the scene for one of the most spectacular martial arts films in recent memory.
In 1930s mainland China, the league of martial arts disciplines must chose a new Grandmaster. They meet in the south where Ip Man is bestowed with the honour, much to the chagrin of the outgoing Master's protégé, Ma San. During this ceremonial gathering, Ip Man encounters the beautiful and fierce Gong Er (Ziyi Zhang), the Grandmaster's daughter, whose gender unfairly precludes her from becoming her father's rightful heir.
When the Japanese occupation of the mainland intensifies, Ip Man exiles to Hong Kong where he is reunited with Gong. However their love remains unrequited with each estranged by codes of honour.
The lavish wuxia action set pieces beautifully choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping are infused with pensive glances, mesmerising slow-motion camerawork and a romanticism that are the unmistakable trademarks of Wong Kar-wai. This is an unmissable film for fans of the genre from one of contemporary cinema’s most essential directors.
Film, Talks & Performances
Modern Day Wuxia
Writer and journalist, Dan Edwards will explore the rich, historical legacy of the Wulin – or World of the Warriors – through Chinese literature, charting the wuxia tradition as it developed on screen in the Hong Kong and Taiwan film industries.
Includes screening of The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai, 2013).