Subscriber login

Welcome to our new site. You will need to reset your password if this is your first time logging in. Please click here to reset your password.
School Closings
COARC Adult Transportation: Open, No Transportation, Open, No Transportation, Staff reportCairo-Durham CSD: Closing Early 10:45a, Elem 11:45a, MS/HS 10:45a, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM BOCESCanajoharie CSD: Closing Early 11:30a, No PM Pre-K, No PM BOCES, No PM ActivitiesCatskill CSD: Closing Early, Elem 12:30p, MS/HS 11:30a, No PM Pre-K, No After School Events, No Late BusCatskill Mt. Christian Academy: ClosedChatham CSD: Closing Early 11:30a, Elem/HS 11:45a, MS 11:30a, Chatham Central School closing early No afterschool activitiesChatham Kids Club: Closed, no afterschool todayFonda-Fultonville CSD: Closing Early 11:30a, No PM ActivitiesFort Plain CSD: Closing Early 11:45a, Elem 11:45a, HS 11:30aGalway CSD: Closing Early 2:15p, No After-School Programs, No PM Activities, No Afternoon Y Care ProgramGrand Gorge Head Start: ClosedGreene County Transit: ClosedGreenville CSD: Closing Early, Elem 11:30a, MS/HS 11:47a, No PM Actvty, No After School EventsHunter-Tannersville CSD: Closing Early, Elem 1:45p, MS/HS 1:30p, No PM BOCES, No PM Activities, No After School EventsLansingburgh CSD: Open, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM Activities, No After School Events, Regular DismissalLexington Center Fulton Co ARC: Closing Early Noon, Dismissing 2 hours earlyMiddleburgh CSD: Closing Early, Elem 12:30p, HS 12:15p, No PM Pre-K, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM BOCES, No PM Activities, No After School EventsMountain Road School: Closing Early Noon, Elem NoonMrs. Puddle Duck's Childcare: Closing Early 2pNew Lebanon CSD: Closing Early 10:30a, Elem 11:45a, HS 10:30a, No After School EventsOnteora CSD: Closing Early 10:45a, Elem 11:45a, MS/HS 10:45aOppenheim-Ephratah-St Johnsville SD: Closing Early, Elem 11:30a, JH/HS 11:50a, No PM BOCES, No After School Events, FREEZING RAIN ADVISORYRoxbury CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No After-School Programs, No PM Actvty, Reg DismissalSchenevus CSD: Closing Early 11:45aSchoharie CSD: Closing Early 11:30aSchonowe Preschool: Delayed Until 9a, Preschool open on time Infant room opening at 9amSharon Springs CSD: Closing Early 11:30aUlster-Greene ARC (Catskill): Open, No TransportationUlster-Greene ARC (Kingston): Open, No Transportation, Training Center is closed.Windham-Ashland-Jewett CSD: Closing Early 11:30a, No After School Events

‘Grandmaster’ is definitive bio on martial arts icon Ip Man

‘Grandmaster’ is definitive bio on martial arts icon Ip Man

“The Grandmaster,” Hong Kong director/writer Wong Kar-wai’s masterful, handsomely shot biography, im
‘Grandmaster’ is definitive bio on martial arts icon Ip Man
Ziyi Zhang (left) and Tony Leung Chiu Wai star in “The Grandmaster,” a biopic on martial arts guru Ip Man.
Photographer: The Weinstein Co.

The figure of Ip Man, also known as Yip Man, is legendary in Asian martial-arts circles. He’s the teacher in early 20th century China who led a colorful, combative life, helped popularize the study of wing chun (a form of kung-fu) and taught Bruce Lee.

He has also inspired a veritable cottage industry of movies with colon-heavy titles - “The Legend Is Born: Ip Man”; “Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster”; “Ip Man: The Final Fight” among them — all of which are entertaining but hardly transcendent.

That changes now with “The Grandmaster,” Hong Kong director/writer Wong Kar-wai’s masterful, handsomely shot biography that immediately makes all the Ip Man films that preceded it unnecessary. It ranks with “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers” as one of the most elegant and beautiful martial-arts films to play American screens.

‘The Grandmaster’

DIRECTED BY: Wong Kar-wai

STARRING: Tony Leung, Cung Le and Ziyi Zhang



RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes; in Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese with English subtitles

But “The Grandmaster” is as much love story as battle cry and, while this might disappoint fans who just want wall-to-wall beatdowns, it’s vintage Kar-wai, the man who gave us the arthouse classics “In the Mood for Love” and “Happy Together.”

The best-known Ip Man incarnation is that of Donnie Yen, who turns in very straightforward performances in previous movies on the topic. In “The Grandmaster,” notable Hong Kong star Tony Leung Chiu Wai (“Hard-Boiled,” “Hero”) plays him with an air of mystery. As the married Ip Man flirts with having a relationship with Er (Ziyi Zhang, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” “Rush Hour 2”), the daughter of a martial-arts teacher who comes to Ip Man’s town in search of worthy opponents, their story becomes the movie’s heart and soul.

The whole enterprise is more about mood and tone though than telling us about the life of Ip Man. Anyone waiting for Bruce Lee to make an appearance is in for a severe letdown.

But, make no mistake, the action scenes — beginning with an opening fight in the rain that’s as much ballet as brawl — are carefully crafted choreography at its best. Wong Kar-wai’s movies always look gorgeous, and “The Grandmaster” is no exception; it doesn’t seem to matter that he’s no longer working with his longtime Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

Some viewers — especially those just looking for a more detailed biopic or just a series of kinetic stunts — might find it frustrating as the narrative is not always linear and the pace is leisurely. This is not the standard “chop socky” or even “wuxia” (a Chinese story with martial themes usually set in the past) film. It’s Wong Kar-wai’s artful twist on the forms.

Still, if you’re going to only see one film about Ip Man, this is it.

You have 0 articles 1 articles 2 articles 3 articles 4 articles 5 articles 6 articles 7 articles remaining of Daily Gazette free premium content.

You have reached your monthly premium content limit.

Continue to enjoy Daily Gazette premium content by becoming a subscriber.
Already a subscriber? Log In