Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster Co-presented with Toronto Outdoor Picture Show
Toronto Outdoor Picture Show is the presenter and programme curator for the screening of The Grandmaster.
Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster creates an intimate world in the golden age of Chinese Martial Arts, showcasing the lyrical movements of both the art of Kung Fu and the art of love. Spanning several decades of legendary Grandmaster Ip Man’s life, the film emphasizes the social role of Kung Fu in Chinese society, and how the public performance and teaching of the art forges (and breaks) deep bonds between its disciples. Wong’s unmistakable style (previously seen at CPFF’s 2018 screening of In the Mood for Love) illuminates top-of-class fight choreography with artful avant-garde montage and cinematography, paying homage to classic Kung Fu and Wuxia genre films while grounding the drama in real human relationships.
Paired with The Grandmaster is Emptying the Tank, a short documentary that further highlights the beauty of martial arts and the strength that drives its practitioners. Chippewa boxer and Muay Thai fighter Ashley Nichols hones her emotional, physical, and spiritual strength in the ring. Quebécoise-Anishinaabe director Caroline Monnet constructs a visually stunning portrait of Ashley as she trains, conveying her dedication and passion for the sport as an embodied, deeply resonant practice that unexpectedly connects Ashley to her Indigenous roots. In The Invisible Tiger and Crane, local filmmaker Jiachen Peng pays homage to the campy style and impeccable choreography of classic Shaw Brothers-style Kung Fu films, playfully staging a philosophical disagreement through the flying fists of a student and Master.
Content advisory: moderate violence and mild profanity.