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Ashes of Time (1994)

Dung che sai duk (original title)
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A broken-hearted hit man moves to the desert where he finds skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings.

Director:

(as Kar Wai Wong)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) (as Kar Wai Wong)
9 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Li Bai ...
...
Peach Blossom
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joey Wang ...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Ou-yang Feng lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi, who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong's sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang's continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman, a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman who doesn't like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give... Written by Scott Hamilton <stomptokyo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 September 1994 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Ashes of Time  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

HKD 40,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Redux)

Sound Mix:

(Redux version)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2008, Kar-Wai Wong re-edited and re-scored the film, re-releasing it under the title "Ashes of Time Redux". See more »

Quotes

Blind Swordsman: Looks as if I shouldn't have come for this duel at all. Is it all right just to leave a hand?
Duellist: By 'leave', it must be a life!
Blind Swordsman: [after killing the duellist at one stroke] When I asked, becuase I knew you were no match to me. But you insisted on giving me your life.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Slow, beautiful and intense... best viewed if you are alone
25 April 2004 | by (Milano, Italy) – See all my reviews

Although I enjoy them, I seldom re-watch slow and introspective movies. Ashes of Time is the exception to the rule, as it haunts me so much that I have already given it three viewings! It may be because of the wonderful pictures, the essential yet poignant dialogues or the grave & epic music, nevertheless Ashes of Time is a fascinating movie!

Set in a tavern in the middle of the desert, it tells us stories of different swordsmen and deals with the theme of unrequited love. All the people, in fact, had to face a rejection.. and now strive to find a way to overcome the delusion and go on with their life. Swordsmanship is mostly viewed as an outlet to bring out the inner passions and frustrations.

The protagonist, Ouyang Feng [Leslie Cheung] is one of those swordsmen, who left his lady [Maggie Cheung] and his village to pursue fame and glory, convinced that she would have waited for him to return. Now instead he faces loneliness and the fact that she has married his elder brother.

The most peculiar aspect of the movie is the pictures, so beautifully shot that each still can make a wonderful portrait. Even the battles, rather than being filmed continuously, are rendered as a sequence of separate shots, thus remaining more indelibly impressed in our head. Indeed, the movie also focuses about memory (whom the movie title probably refers to) and its power to keep alive moments of the past, that otherwise would perish in the flow of time. Highly recommended! 9/10


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