Director Wong Kar-wai receives the Lifetime Achievement award by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore, at the International Film Festival of India, in Panaji, Goa, Nov. 30. Actors Waheeda Rehman (r) and Nana Patekar (l), and directors Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (2nd. from l) and Ramesh Sippy (3rd. from r) are also seen. (Press Trust of India)
Noted Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai wishes to work with Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan if he takes up an Indian project in future.
The 56-year-old filmmaker thinks the Hindi film industry is a pool of talent.
“I think there is loads of talent in Bollywood and I am a big fan of Bollywood films. Bollywood films are full of fun. If times allow me or projects are there I would like to work with people like Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan. I feel working with them would be very nice,” Kar-wai told PTI in an exclusive interview at IFFI in Panaji, Goa.
Kar-wai, who is considered as the pioneer of new wave cinema in China, was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement” award on the concluding day of International Film Festival of India, Nov. 30.
His latest film The Grandmaster closed the festival.
The director calls himself a great admirer of Satayjit Ray’s film and is in tune with the latest work being done in Indian cinema.
“I am a great admirer of Satyajit Ray and I have watched many of his films. I follow Bollywood films and recently I have seen an Indian film called The Lunchbox. The movie is very nice. I heard he (Ritesh Batra) is a first time director, but I think he is a very promising talent,” he said.
Sporting his trademark black shades, Kar-wai said his connection with India is not new as he has been here earlier.
“I have been to India many times. I even shot a commercial film in India. But this is my first visit to Goa. We were almost for an hour in the city to have dinner last night. Goa is a very young and vibrant place, seems like people are having lot of fun here,” said the director, who looked perturbed by the humid weather of the beach state.
Kar-wai feels the Lifetime Achievement award has come too early in his career.
“First of all it’s a great honor. But it is also a big surprise as it came to me a little bit early. That means I would need lot more knowledge to deserve this,” he said.
With China being the focus country for the ongoing festival, Kar-wai said both the nations (India and China) have many things in common.
“Both the countries have one of the oldest civilizations in this continent. Each country is very active in the film industry. We have many things in common,” he said, adding, “The bilateral pact signed between both the nations will encourage more active collaboration between filmmakers from both the sides.”
Kar-wai’s latest martial arts drama chronicles the life of the Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, whose life has been dramatized by other Chinese and Hollywood directors.
But Kar-wai said his movie shows the history of Chinese martial arts through the life of Ip Man.
“All the other films which were made on Ip Man were after we announced The Grandmaster. They worked much faster than us, but it does not much affect me when I am doing my version because my approach is very different. Most of the films focus on the life of Ip Man, but my film is talking about the history of Chinese martial arts through the life of Ip Man,” he said.
The director has a unique style of working on film projects without a script at hand. The filmmaker, however, says it is not a good way to make movies.
“I would not advice others to do that. But to work with the script is not the way I prefer. I prefer to work in a more organized way, but that does not mean that every day is happening. In fact, I know the story so well that I can make adjustment during the process,” he said.
Kar-wai said the Chinese film industry is growing in terms of screens and scale of the production.
“You can see in last two years the industry has been very active and it is second biggest film market in the world. That is really helpful for the filmmakers in China to have their resources and the scope to pursue their dream of exploring new subjects,” he said.
When asked about the element of Indian cinema that he would like to see in Chinese film industry, he said, “I see cinema has no boundaries. We may make films in different languages or different cultural background, but one thing is common which is always appreciated by the audience – that the film should touch their heart.”
The filmmaker is currently working on a show for Metropolitan Museum in New York. The show is about the influence of Chinese cinema on western fashion.
– By Rupesh Samant & Nanda Das