Wong Kar-wai BBS (simplified Chinese: 王家卫; traditional Chinese: 王家衛; born 17 July 1958) is a Hong Kong film director. His films are characterised by nonlinear narratives, atmospheric music, and vivid cinematography involving bold, saturated colours. A pivotal figure of Hong Kong cinema, Wong has a considerable influence on filmmaking with his trademark personal, unconventional approach, and his films frequently appear on best-of lists domestically and internationally.
Born in Shanghai in 1958, Wong moved to Hong Kong with his family when he was five. He began a career as a screenwriter for soap operas before transitioning to directing with his debut, the crime drama As Tears Go By (1988). While As Tears Go By was fairly successful in Hong Kong, Wong moved away from the contemporary trend of crime and action movies to embark on more personal filmmaking styles. Days of Being Wild (1990), his first venture into such direction, did not perform well at the box office. It however received critical acclaim, and won Best Film and Best Director at the 1991 Hong Kong Film Awards. His next film, Ashes of Time (1994), was met with mixed reception because of its vague plot and atypical take on the wuxia genre.
The production of Ashes of Time was time-consuming and left Wong exhausted; he subsequently directed Chungking Express (1994) with hopes of reconciling with filmmaking.[note 1] The film, expressing a more lighthearted atmosphere, catapulted Wong to international prominence, and won Best Film and Best Director at the 1995 Hong Kong Film Awards. Wong consolidated his worldwide reputation with the 1997 drama Happy Together, for which he won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival. The 2000 drama In the Mood for Love, revered for its lush visuals and subtle storytelling, concretely established Wong’s trademark filmmaking styles. Among his other work are 2046 (2004) and The Grandmaster (2013), both of which received awards and nominations worldwide.