Going back in time to correct mistakes. — 4 years ago
You have to give credit where credit’s due, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem like Wong Kar-Wai gets much when it comes to Ashes of Time.
As a long-time fan of Wong’s films I was extremely glad when he decided to go back to give Ashes a remake, not only because the only DVD release was of shitty quality, but because the film itself… well, it didn’t make much sense. It’s true that all his films are very non-linear and require some careful thought, but Ashes always kind of suffered most, feeling like a huge jumble of unconnected occurrences. The Redux version actually fixes this problem. There are still some problems with understanding the timeline of the film, but overall it flows much better, and the connections between the characters is made clearer.
To comment on the review below, I’d have to say that Ashes is not a film for everyone. The slow pace, confusing story, and non-traditional slow-motion action scenes will most likely turn off those who are looking for Jet Li and John Woo style films, but to those who are familiar with Wong Kar-Wai’s aesthetics, you’ll walk away with appreciation for an auteur who really does care about his work and the way it is received. If anything this is a film about lost loves and missed chances, not bloody sword fights.
Ashes of Time was, and still is, a very unique addition to the wuxia genre of Chinese cinema as well as Wong’s filmography. The Redux version is a great restoration of what is surely an underappreciated film, and I’m glad to see it got the treatment it deserved from its creator.