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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Apparently, Joey Wong, Veronica Yip, and Kenny Bee were originally also in the cast list of Ashes of Time. Due to Wong Kar Wai's shooting overrun of epic scales, producer Jeff Lau gathered everyone and shot The Eagle Shooting Heroes, a nonsensical comedy version of the story and maintained many of Wong Kar Wai's original casting decisions.
During this break, Wong Kar Wai decided to have a complete overhaul of who plays who. By then, Joey Wong had to leave the production for her other filming obligations. Wong Kar Wai wanted to delete all of Joey Wong's footage, but she was already listed as a cast member in the rushes screened to film investors, hence he retained an 8-second shot of Joey Wong's side profile in the Taiwanese print (this did not survive in the redux version).
Charlie Yeung later joined the production as a quasi-replacement for Joey Wong. See more »
Wong Kar-wai revisited the film and created the Redux version which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2008. This version has alternative footage and changes in the order of scenes. The Redux version has new opening titles, and the season's fade-ins introducing each chapter are new. It also has a new color-scheme and a new soundtrack. Some scenes from the original version have been deleted, for example the two main character's introduction in the beginning. The overall run time of the Redux version is slightly shorter than the original theatrical version. See more »
"Ashes of Time Redux" is Wong Kar Wai's venture into the martial arts genre. However, energetic action and narrative clarity take a backseat to the visual poetry that contemplates wounded hearts, loneliness and the memories of lost love that cut deeper than any sword. Best appreciated as a sensory experience, "Ashes of Time Redux" unfolds as a series of beautiful yet melancholic images like the soft brush strokes of a Chinese landscape painting. Even the sword fights are shot as swirling, hallucinatory dreamscapes. The haunting desert landscape gorgeously captured in saturated colors by cinematographer Christopher Doyle, a brooding cello score by Yo-Yo Ma and the beauty of the actors (an all-star Hong Kong cast) contribute to a movie experience that both pleases the senses and engages the heart.
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