Being that director Wong Kar Wai was named President of the festival, it seems only fitting that a film he directed would open the festival on February 7, 2013. In The Grandmasters (or Grandmaster depending on who you talk to), Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Infernal Affairs) will be playing Ip Man instead of Donnie Yen. Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger) and Chang Chen (2046) also star. Ip Man, as many know already, is a martial arts teacher who is famous for having taught Bruce Lee.
Here is a synopsis of The Grandmasters:
With martial arts getting more popular in the Thirties, more people seek to learn them via the professionals at Foshan in Southern China. Some of the experienced masters like to challenge their counterparts and undergoing battles. To have their whole concentration, it is their practice to lock up the venues and no one is allowed to leave during battles. No food and no rest before reaching any results.
Ip Man is a young rich man extremely talented in martial arts, but he chooses to keep a low profile. Yet this doesn’t keep him out of these troubles ahead. One day he is trapped in this battleground so he has to use every means in order to get out of there. The masters are amazed by his abilities. Master Kung and his daughter Kung Yi are amongst, and the latter is attracted to this newcomer. A high warlord is assassinated by his own guard Yi Xian Tian. All masters in Foshan vow to take Tian down no matter what….
Wong Kar Wai worked with Tony Leung in 2000 on a film called In the Mood for Love. In 2004, Leung also worked with both Ziyi Zhang and Chang Chen on a movie called 2046. Wong is still editing The Grandmasters, which will premier in China on January 8 with the international premier happening at the Berlin festival in February.