8 February 2013 6:50 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Wong kar-wai's movie, which opens this year's Berlin film festival, is less Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and much more a study of ideas and textures

There's been quite a bit of radio silence from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, right; since 2007, in fact, and his epically self-indulgent American-set road movie My Blueberry Nights.

Now he's back with, of all things a kung-fu movie: one that tells the story of Ip Man, the legendary martial artist who has a pop-culture claim to fame as one of Bruce Lee's teachers in the 1950s.

Wong, however, with his predilection for woozy atmospherics, riper-than-ripe visual tropes, and shimmering decorative surface, has delivered a far from conventional example of the genre. Ip Man has already been celebrated fairly recently by a couple of straight ahead biopics with Donnie Chen; all the more reason, perhaps, for Wong to be allowed to take his habitually oblique approach. »

- Andrew Pulver

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