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Ashes of Time: the Tragedy and Salvation of the Chinese Intelligentsia

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Among the films of Wong Kar-Wai, the most avant-garde Hong Kong film director, Ashes of Time (1994) stands out most discordantly and merits special attention. Contrary to Wong Kar-Wai's other films1 which depict invariably the contemporary, modern, urban, and under-world, Ashes of Time is a martial arts costume film which claims to be an adaptation, or more precisely, a prequel, of The Eagle Shooting Hero by Louis Cha (Jin Yong), the most distinguished martial arts novelist. In this light, a comparison between the film and the novel presents an interesting angle to start my examination of the film.
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Keywords: Ashes of Time; Chinese intelligentsia; Louis Cha; Wong Kar-Wai; martial arts; prequel

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-09-01

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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