Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: It is hard to believe, at least from my point of view, that the great Wong Kar Wai, perhapsgrandmaster China’s greatest living filmmaker has never once been nominated for an Academy Award. In fact, incredibly, his latest film The Grandmaster is only the second time one of his films has even been submitted in Oscar’s foreign language film race (the first was in 2000 for the classic, In The Mood For Love but for some reason it didn’t make the final five). Hopefully the Academy will rectify the oversight as Grandmaster, the director’s first true venture into the world of cinematic martial arts, is one of the nine finalists in the Academy process that will lead to the choice of the five 2013 nominees for Best Foreign Language Film. In fact that process is underway this weekend as a panel of 20 high profile Academy members in Los Angeles and 10 more in New York are viewing all the movies and will make their selections. The final five will be announced with other Oscar nominees on Thursday.  The film was nominated for an ASC Cinematography award earlier this week for its stunning visuals.  I had the rare opportunity to interview the director for the Palm Springs International Film Festival‘s Talking Pictures series last weekend where he revealed he shot the movie on film. Remember that? But he knew the end was near and his digital career would soon begin when Fuji sent him the last film stock during the long shoot accompanied by a letter that said it would be the last shipment. No more film.  The results on screen are certainly worth it and none other than Martin Scorsese agreed to “present” the film once he saw it in order to bring it an even bigger audience in North America. On Wednesday evening in New York City Scorsese sat down to interview Wong Kar Wai at the Lighthouse theatre. Here is that unique conversation between two “grandmasters” of cinema:

Related: Wong Kar Wai On China’s Growth, Kung Fu, Oscar Contenders & Bruce Lee

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