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Song Hye-gyo wraps The Grandmasters, back to Korean film

Newly transformed action star Song Hye-gyo (Full House, The World They Live In) just wrapped on the set of Wong Kar-wai‘s martial arts film The Grandmasters, and has returned home. She’s headed straight into her next project, as if she’s purposely trying to make me look lazy or something.

I can’t wait to see what The Grandmasters looks like. Wong Kar-wai is my one cinema indulgence: as in, I give everything he makes a fighting chance to steal my heart, because his earlier work just owns my soul. Frankly, his later films (post-In the Mood for Love) are missing that spark for me, mostly because I think he was better when he was looser, less polished, and freer as a cinematic storyteller. His early films always felt like he had this rushed, burning desire to tell a story and show a world that just somehow…got out of reach (making them utterly addictive). Or perhaps his languid-pace-fiery-characters combo has become old hat? Either way, I’m looking forward to his re-foray into martial arts, because I’m a sucker for stylized action, and for Tony Leung Chiu-wai.

The Grandmasters is a biopic about Ip Man, a pioneer of the wing chun style of kung fu, who trained a young Bruce Lee. The film is reportedly action-packed, although I think it’s safe to assume with Wong’s track record that it’s also going to be lush and narratively off-kilter. The film also stars Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen, and is preparing for a Cannes 2011 premiere.

On the heels of wrapping her overseas shoot with Hong Kong heavy-hitters, Song Hye-gyo returns to Korea and gears up for her next project, Nobody Somebody with director Lee Jung-hyang. It’s been eight years since her critically lauded film, The Way Home, making this a highly anticipated follow-up.

Song stars as a PD who loses her fiance in a tragic accident, and deals with the aftermath. The film also stars Nam Ji-hyun, who played childhood roles in Queen Seon-deok, Giant, Will it Snow For Christmas?, and East of Eden.

Looks like Song will be showing some diversity in the coming year. We’ll see if her range follows suit, and if she carries some weight as a martial artist and as a serious actor.

Via Star News

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Her name's not on the poster...

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hm. i'm not too keen on this even though it's wong kar wai and tony leung (love his acting, but not recent projects). zhang ziyi is a bit of a red flag and when i think of song hye kyo and acting, it's usually in terms of "acting? snerk".

i still like his "in the mood for love" best. very hard to resist the power combo of tony leung and maggie cheung <3

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Just wondering why Zhang Ziyi is a 'red flag' for you?

I used to be on the fence about her, but I saw her in 'The Road Home' and thought she was great. I actually also really liked her in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.

Song Hye Kyo can definitely stretch her acting skills though. I think she's better in rom-coms than serious dramas or films, even though I thought her acting improved in Hwang Jini. However, Ha Ji Won totally killed that role in the drama.

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"Just wondering why Zhang Ziyi is a ‘red flag’ for you?"

Not Chinese, huh? I personally think ZZ's talented, but she's maybe the most disliked actress in the Mainland. The anti-Zhao Wei.

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@ belleza

Haha, no I'm not Chinese but that's not why I asked the question. Even though I don't know much about ZZ's private life, I've heard rumors and know that she's one of the least liked actresses in Mainland China. I was simply curious to know why snow felt that way since she didn't give reasons for her statement.

However, in judging an actor's or actress' acting ability, I don't take his or her private affairs into consideration, just the character he or she is playing. I thought ZZ did wonderfully in 'The Road Home' which is a Zhang Yimou film. Since none of the actresses ever played the same character (ZZ, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh), I don't feel the need to compare their acting abilities since they bring something different to the table...yeah, I have a lot of love to give ;D Besides MY, ZZ can act as well as do martial arts in a believable way so she gets a gold star from me since there are so few actresses these days (ever since the legendary Brigitte Lin) who can fight with fire in her eyes and make you feel like it's best if you quickly and swiftly get out of her way. Even Yimou was impressed and casted her in his first wuxia film, 'Hero'. I would also like to point out that with the exception of 'The Road Home', the films Yimou made with ZZ were quite different from the films he made with GL. I wouldn't compare 'Hero' nor 'The House of Flying Daggers' to films that were more compelling like 'Raise the Red Lantern' or 'To Live' to name a few.

@ snow

Yes, there are many wuxia films that are much better than 'Crouching Tiger', and even though I myself didn't love the film, I have to admit I was curious and enjoyed Ang Lee's take on it simply b/c he's a director who likes to challenge his skills and is definitely not known for doing martial arts films. Even Wong Kar Wai ventured into that genre by turning 'Ashes of Time' into a work of art.

But all of that aside, ZZ's acting in 'Crouching Tiger' was a complete 180 degrees from her character in 'The Road Home'. I loved that and I loved it more that she did it successfully.

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well, i've said my piece on zhang ziyi, so i won't repeat myself. if you think she did well in "crouching tiger" and enjoyed her performance there, then that's fine with me. i personally thought that film was all sorts of a mess, as ang lee has made better films - and no, "lust, caution" was not one of his better works. my favourite film by ang lee remains "eat drink man woman", i thought that was a subtle masterpiece.

and "hero" wasn't really wuxia, more political criticism in zhang yimou style, more meditative and muted than his earlier films, which had more fire, more bite. that said, i quite liked "hero", only because jet li, chen daoming and tony leung were so awesome.

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i have never found zhang ziyi's acting riveting. for me, she will always remain in the shadow of gong li, and the gulf between them is especially obvious if you compare their works with the same director, zhang yimou. gong li has that sort of screen presence that is all the more enhanced by her acting chops, both of which are lacking for zhang ziyi - not that she can't act (she's better than song hye kyo), but there's no x-factor about her, she's just another actress out there.

as for "crouching tiger, hidden dragon", i thought it was awful. the accents bothered me, chow yun fatt looked as though he didn't care, michelle yeoh is a non-entity for me. the only plus point was chang chen, i thought he was promising. there have been better wuxia films/dramas than "crouching tiger".

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Ditto regarding Gong Li v. Zhang Ziyi.

All the politicking aside, I was in Hong Kong/Chinese cinema heaven when Memoirs of a Geisha came out, starring both Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh (whom I adore). Had it had Maggie Cheung in it as well, I would have not known what to do with myself.

Zhang Ziyi is cute but she seems limited in what she can excel at. Gong Li and Maggie Cheung, on the other hand, are grand dames. Incomparable.

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I actually find Zhang Ziyi quite a compelling actress, but I still don't like her, with the exception of Memoirs of a Geisha where she was just sublime. I think the problem is with the kind of roles she's given, I don't think it's the actress herself. I detested her character in 2046, but then she was up against Faye Wong, Gong Li and in a roundabout way, Maggie Cheung too, so fat chance.
She drove me crazy with hate in House of Flying Daggers too, don't know why.

Ditto about Maggie Cheung and Gong Li! <3

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i think it's kinda unfair to even have zhang ziyi compared to the likes of maggie cheung and gong li, I. MEAN. RIGHT? like comparing a ceramic tea cup to a porcelain tea cup. both serviceable, but yeah-- different.

i'll give you this-- as far as ceramic-ness goes, zhang zi yi's the boss. boss ceramic right thurrrr. but gong li-- gong li is porcelain. :)

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"i think it’s kinda unfair to even have zhang ziyi compared to the likes of maggie cheung and gong li, I. MEAN. RIGHT? "

Not at all. ZZ used to be labelled derisively as "Little Gong Li" due to her (personal?) association with Zhang Yimou. Basically when the Mainland gossip media promotes "Western devils corrupting our morals", ZZ is not far from that list. And the ZZ vs. Zhao Wei beef isn't helping. I mean, babe, you're rumoured to steal her husband, now you're going to do your own version of Mulan? WTFHO? LOL

BUT . . .ZZ is also very talented. ZZ is Audrey Tatou if Audrey Tatou played bitches. She was wonderful in Sophie's Revenge (which, yes, SR is Amelie if Amelie was directed by Baz Luhrmann.)

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Didn't this movie come out with two versions? One subtitled and one dubbed? I saw the subtitled one.

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i don't see her name on the poster... :)

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Hopefully working with wong kar wai has improved her acting skills. Always thought her acting range was pretty limited. We will have to see.

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I always wonder how these projects with actors from different countries work, do they all speak one language in the film?

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SHG is pretty, but I've never cared for her in anything. :/

And can you believe that I've never seen a Wong Kar-wai film? I feel like I should remedy this, because people I know keep recommending them..

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That is a shame that you've never seen a Wong Kar-wai film. You must see one. I recommend Chungking Express and some other earlier works, but In The Mood For Love is very delightful visually and the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful.

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The bigger shame is not seeing Tony Leung as directed by Wong Kar Wai. What a magnificent actor; what a team.

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"do they all speak one language in the film?"

Have you seen 2046? :D

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glad she is back. miss her in drama. I love Way Home good movie.can't wait the grandmasters and nobody somebody.

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Wong Kar-wai's work rules my world. "Chungking Express" and "Happy Together" are just gems.

My crush on Song HG renders me incapable of saying she isn't a good actress so I'll say her acting abilities are like tiny, wee, minuscule, melting, invisible particles of faerie dust.
But She.Is.Dreamy.

A good story, a fantastic director and some acting colleagues worth their salt might do wonders. I'll see it for sure.
Fingers crossed.

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"And can you believe that I’ve never seen a Wong Kar-wai film? "

In The Mood for Love is his most accessible film. Chunking Express is the film that made his name in the West.

But the proper movie to start is "Days of Being Wild"

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My MOB gf!

Days of being Wild is pitch perfect esp for the actor involved captured at their absolute prime/brink of uber superstardom.

WKW is a serious time sink/indulgence for me, it can replace a glass of wine or dark chocolate.

I always thought planning a big outfit while watching In the Mood of Love = magic. It usu ends w/ me jealous of every body part of Maggie Cheung.

tbh I think talent-wise ZW and ZYZ r in the same ballpark, but likeability? heaven and earth. I dont hate ZYZ half as much as most Chinese but I dont <3 ZW nearly as much either.

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I can't say exactly why but I don't like her. I find her too cold and unreal. there's something making me away and frozen when I see her. I don't even mention her acting ability because there is not!

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OOhh!! I really want to watch this!!

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lee jung hyang! i LOVE LOVE LOVED the way home... oh, thinking about it gets my tear ducts runny! excited to see what she does next...

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Would expect Zhang Ziyi had the true starring role, though WKW kinda makes up his movies as he goes. The fact that SHK's finished shooting her scenes doesn't reflect that Grandmaster's story has been set. It's all improvisation in the editing room.

As for SHK's acting, WKW is totally different territory (almost no script, almost no real "story", all improvisation), and she might thrive in it. WKW loves iconography more than he loves "acting", and that is why a Faye Wong or Kimura Takuya can resound beautifully in his work. Or a reckless, beautiful thespian like Leslie can be so iconic as to be the Eternal Shadow of WKW's art for essentially the rest of WKW's film discography. Almost every WKW movie really is a dialogue with Days of Being Wild.

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I know a lot of people love Leung but I don't cuz he's just too petite and I don't like petite men; his acting is pretty good. Ziyi is pretty good as an actress but she is one tough cookie and it's hard to like her. As for Song, I'm still waiting for Full House II...??? I like her. Random thoughts, sorry.

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I love her, I think she is beautiful and loved her in Full house. Wish her luck with her future projects. does anyone know is she is still with Hyuin Bin I hope they are still together loved them in Worlds Within.

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yayyy can't wait!!

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"She’s headed straight into her next project, as if she’s purposely trying to make me look lazy or something."

I can honestly say that most (if not all) korean stars make me feel this way. Perhaps we can learn from them? Or not.

Either way, I haven't seen much of her work aside from Full House years ago. Maybe this is my chance to play SHG catch up.

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JB: Word! Everything you said about WKW's earlier works.
I've watched DOBW and ATGB a stupid number of times and yet no rewatch can take away its magic.

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The WKW film "Fallen Angles" has a scene with the "manager" of the hitman just walking , all you see is her feet walking and the music ... quite perfect
As for Zhang Ziyi it is like she is made of stone, her face doesn't move @11 muge mentioned "cold" I agree with that.

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Love the poster for the Grandmasters. Reminds me of the old Shanghai mob movie.

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This is all good news to me, but what would be GREAT news is to hear her making a comeback to TV for a k-drama.

Something like Full House, with a touch of Autumn Tale Starring alongside Rain and Won Bin. Ok, you can wake me up now.

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I am happy to see that you like Tony Leung coz I am a huge fan of his as well. He is like THE best Chinese actor of his generation. Fell in love with him when I watch him in Dr. Mack year ago. Have you ever seen that movie? Tony owns the role. One of his most charismatic, funny and charming performance.

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*sighs* I really miss this lady in dramas that are interesting and a must watch.
Hope she finds one soon to star in. : )

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pretty face but such a boring blank actress

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I miss seeing her on screen. Love her !

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i really cant wait for this movie!!!! WKW's movie always owns my heart too, especially in martial arts!! Ip Man, i've seen the movie, it was such a great movie. but i was wondering what else can they story to us about Ip Man? they didnt just remake the story right?

anyway about SHK, i'm sure she did well in the movie. i dont think WKW is a 'blind' man. and truly, although i'm not her fan, i miss hearing her news. she's been so quiet these days...

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i really cant wait for this movie!!!! WKW's movie always owns my heart too, especially in martial arts!! Ip Man, i've seen the movie, it was such a great movie. but i was wondering what else can they story to us about Ip Man? they didnt just remake the story right?

anyway about SHK, i'm sure she did well in the movie. i dont think WKW is a 'blind' man. and , although i'm not her fan, i miss hearing her news. she's been so quiet these days...

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Okay, I get that it's an awesome team etcetera but what with the lack of ideas?! Hong Kong has done the Ip Man story twice in "Ip Man" and "Ip Man 2" starring Donnie Yen in the past TWO years. C'mon!

Wong Kar Wai has a lot to measure up to. The other two movies were box office hits.

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WKW's Ip Man has been in planning for oh, a decade? that's just his pace. ie Grandmasters is in the pipeline before IM/IM2.

I dun really care 4 IpMan as a movie. Yes, Donnie Yen is an action guru but I'd rather see 2 hours of Tony Leung posing in the rain under some hypnotic vision of WKW. it's my drug.

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I am not exactly sure if I am "waiting" for the movie?
If anything goes, WKW have the potential/habit to "delay" stuffs...

This movie was suppose to have the idea buzzing even before the Ip Man movies starring Donnie Yen happened and that movie already have a sequel and maybe even a prequel in the work... it also spark off some other movie of the same story ie about Ip Man; Bruce Lee's master or some kungfu related movies...

That aside, I watched almost every movie that WKW made, including As Tears Goes By, that was before Days of Being Wild, Chunking Express... INMFL, 2046... But for some compelling reason I have no idea why I wasnt hyped to watch Blueberry Nights... thus with this swings by... I should go watch it. Am curious what role will SHG play and worse, I hope its not dub beyond recognition or maybe she will speak Cantonese/Mandarin!

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"But for some compelling reason I have no idea why I wasnt hyped to watch Blueberry Nights… thus with this swings by…"

I think it veered close to a "Emperor Has No Clothes" moment for Western critics, because there wasn't that "Oriental" novelty to gloss over what seemed deeply artificial and kistchy, like a perfume commercial running 90 minutes. Which -- to be honest -- has been central to WKW's aesthetic (and aesthetics is everything with this dude) since Fallen Angels.

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While I think SHK still needs improvements, I admire of her hardworks. I hope for her success.

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I like SHK a lot as an actress and am eager to see her latest works.

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bookmarking this thread so that I can watch all the movies mentioned, lol. I am a new convert to Wong Kar-Wai, and am definitely a Tony Leung fan, so will check out The Grandmasters for sure. If only I could go to Cannes...

p.s. regarding Zhang Ziyi - I don't think she's a particularly compelling actress, but she kicks butt. I've only seen her in wuxia films, so maybe she's cast for her fighting rather than her acting skills?

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I really think she's spot on in 2046...in which her character is an aggressive call girl , claws out yet vulnerable.

no offense to ZYZ, but we can discuss forever the topic of life imitating art in WKW's world

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Can't wait for her new movies.
hope she'll comeback to small screen.

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Her name should at least be on the poster?

Strange...

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I didn't see her name of poster as well, she probably was invited to be the guest actress. Besides, the main actors and team are from H.K. and Mainland sides.

Anyway, it's good for her to expand her acting knowledge by joining the foreign team. Hope she to do well.

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