Wong Kar Wai addresses controversy surrounding the 4K restoration of his films

The legendary filmmaker is currently busy supervising the 4K restorations of his older work, compiled in a new box set from the Criterion Collection

Legendary director Wong Kar Wai says he is tired of all the talk about cinema being dead as he believes people enjoy watching movies.

The director, who is behind international classics such as “In The Mood for Love”, “Chungking Express” and “2046” among others, is currently busy supervising the 4K restorations of his older work, compiled in a new box set from the Criterion Collection.

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In an email interview with the IndieWire, the 62-year-old director spoke about the controversy surrounding the 4K restoration of his films among his hard-core fans and questions about cinema’s future amid the coronavirus.

“I’m tired of all this ‘cinema is dead’ s***. People enjoy watching movies, period. What makes them hesitant are the risks (under COVID) and the costs of watching films in cinemas today.”

“For people who really care about the future of cinema, I suggest they go buy a ticket to support their local cinemas when they reopen, because many of them are barely surviving. Or at least keep positive,” the director said.

Wong, who last directed “The Grandmaster” in 2013, is currently working on TV series “Blossoms”, an adaptation of a novel by Jin Yucheng.

“I am lucky to be working with my crew in a safe space in Shanghai,” the director said.

Asked about the restoration of his previous films and how they may not go down well with his devoted fans, Wong said there are always things that can be fixed.

“When a film needs to be restored, there are always things that can be fixed, otherwise why bother with the restoration in the first place.” The director has defended the decision to restore his films, the publication noted, with a poetic disclaimer that can be found on the Criterion booklet.

“As the saying goes: ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man’,” the director writes, inviting the audience to join him in starting afresh.

In his interview to IndieWire earlier this week, Wong reiterated his point with a new metaphor. “As someone once said: ‘Art is a never-ending dance of illusions’. It is impossible for us to dance exactly like we did before. What has really changed is not the films but the man on the floor,” the director said.

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