Chinese Kungfu film The Grandmaster has been given Oscar nominations for best costume design and best cinematography, the highest Oscar accolades yet paid to a Chinese film.
"William Chang Suk Ping’s nomination for best costume design and Philippe Le Sourd’s cinematography nomination are not only to the credit of Hong Kong's film industry, but also international recognition for all filmmakers in Hong Kong,"said Wong Kar-wai, having himself missed out on a nomination for best director.
The Grandmaster provides a unique perspective on the story of legendary martial arts Master Ip Man, which unfolds against the turbulent decades of China's mid-20th century history. The Chinese martial arts film has won recognition from overseas viewers and harvest the highest office box for a Chinese film in North America in past ten years.
"Heat to heart communication - the only way to transcend language barriers" said Wong Kar-wai, director of The Grandmaster.
As distinct from earlier Chinese films like "Farewell My Concubine" and " Raise the Red Lantern", which reflected the backwardness and insulation of old China, The Grandmaster's philosophical and cultural connotations make it much more than a martial arts spectacular.
As the Hollywood special effects master Richard Anderson once said: "The Americans are interested in China. Just as most Chinese have never been here, most Americans have never been to China. And movies are a good way to see the rest of the world."
The Oscars will be handed out on Sunday March 2nd, giving nominees and their promoters about six weeks to debate, argue, cajole, and generally convince the world that they deserve to win the award.