Wong Kar‐wai, Auteur and Adaptor: Ashes of Time and In The Mood for Love

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This chapter analyzes Wong Kar-wai's approach to film adaptation, paying particular attention to his attempts to explore and extend possibilities latent in the source text. Ashes of Time, adapted from a martial arts novel, shows Wong to be an adventurous adaptor aiming to rewrite the tradition of martial arts fiction and film. The cultural significance of this rewriting will be discussed, with an emphasis on adaptation strategies designed to discover options and discern lines of flight. In the Mood for Love will be considered as an unofficial adaptation of a novella inspired by the idea of tête-bêche, a joined pair of inverted stamps. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which Wong incorporates the idea of tête-bêche in the film to allow us to see the same in a new light and avoid a nostalgic return to the past.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Wong Kar‐wai
EditorsMartha P. Nochimson
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781118425589
ISBN (Print)9781118424247
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2015


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