7.2/10
12,143
45 user 126 critic

Ashes of Time (1994)

Dung che sai duk (original title)
Trailer
2:20 | Trailer
A broken-hearted hit man moves to the desert where he finds skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings.

Director:

Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)

Writers:

Louis Cha (novel), Kar-Wai Wong (screenplay) (as Kar Wai Wong)
9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Brigitte Lin ... Mu-rong Yin / Mu-rong Yang
Leslie Cheung ... Ou-yang Feng
Maggie Cheung ... The Woman
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Blind Swordsman (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Jacky Cheung ... Hung Chi
Tony Ka Fai Leung ... Huang Yao-shi
Li Bai Li Bai ... Hung Chi's Wife
Carina Lau ... Peach Blossom
Charlie Yeung ... Young Girl
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joey Wang ... (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Ou-yang Feng lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi, who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong's sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang's continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman, a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman who doesn't like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give... Written by Scott Hamilton <stomptokyo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Spain] | See more »

Country:

Hong Kong | Taiwan

Language:

Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

17 September 1994 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Ashes of Time See more »

Filming Locations:

China

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Box Office

Budget:

HKD40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,372, 12 October 2008

Gross USA:

$174,273

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,912,490
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Redux)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Redux version)| Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film had an exhausting effect on Kar-Wai Wong. While on hiatus during the editing process he wrote and shot Chungking Express (1994) (Chungking Express) to "clear his head". See more »

Quotes

Ou-yang Feng: Before I took him to the villagers, I bought him a pair of shoes. It's because there's quite a difference in the fee paid to a shoeless swordsman and one with shoes.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Wong Kar-wai revisited the film and created the Redux version which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2008. This version has alternative footage and changes in the order of scenes. The Redux version has new opening titles, and the season's fade-ins introducing each chapter are new. It also has a new color-scheme and a new soundtrack. Some scenes from the original version have been deleted, for example the two main character's introduction in the beginning. The overall run time of the Redux version is slightly shorter than the original theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Follows The Eagle Shooting Heroes (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A slow dance of color and regret
1 May 2005 | by susan-269See all my reviews

Without a doubt, Ashes of Time is a beautiful, deeply felt movie. The acting and cinematography are outstanding. The color and camera angles are poetic. But the DVD quality is barely acceptable and the plot, what there is of it, is very confusing. The movie is less a journey from point A to point B than it is a dream-like dance around a central theme: regret for the way we treat those we love.

For those who would watch the movie for the martial arts-- the main characters are mostly swordsmen and martial artists-- the movie is less than satisfying. The fight scenes are highly stylized, employing fast cuts, blurs of motion, and disorienting lighting and camera angles. The fight scenes are more about camera technique than martial arts technique.

Ashes of Time is not a movie that can be absorbed in one viewing. For many viewers, though, it will be worth a second or even third.


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