Are you in the mood for more In the Mood for Love? Director Wong Kar-Wai sure is.
The Hongkong auteur is auctioning off next month a NFT (Non-Fungible Token) featuring never-before-seen footage from the Tony Leung-Maggie Cheung-starring 2000 drama’s first day of production.
An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. It usually bought and sold online with cryptocurrency, and it gives the buyer digital ownership rights.
Called In the Mood for Love — Day One, the minute-and-a-half long short will be sold by Sotheby’s on Oct 9 in Hongkong, as part of the company’s Modern Art autumn sale alongside jewelry, watches, Chinese ceramics, paintings, and wine.
In the Mood for Love’s first day of shooting was on Feb 13, 1999. It has its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2000, where it won Best Actor for Leung and a Technical Grand Prize for cinematographers Christopher Doyle and Lee Ping Bing and production designer William Chang.
In a statement about the short (via Variety) — hyped as the first Asian film NFT ever offered by Sotheby’s — Wong said, “The first day of every film production is like the first date with your dream lover — it is filled with fright and delight, like skating on thin ice.
“An arrow never returns to its bow; 20 years on, this arrow is still soaring. Today, we are able to eternalize this first day in a brand-new form. In the world of blockchain, this arrow can chart a new course.”
According to the international auction house, the short will feature Leung and Cheung as “characters utterly different from the iconic lovers in the original film.”
A muted, 10-sec teaser released online shows Leung (with a moustache) brooding behind sunglasses while Cheung says, “Now I know what love’s about. Come to my place tonight.”
Besides the NFT, Sotheby’s is also selling the leather jacket worn by the late Leslie Cheung in another Wong classic, 1997’s Happy Together.
Wong, 63, said of the apparel, “I have always kept this yellow jacket because it symbolises a memorable presence: tenderness, rebellion and solitude.”
To mark his company Jet Tone Productions’ 30th anniversary, Wong will put on sale on Oct 10 30 other collectibles handpicked by him, including props, costumes, posters, photographs and box-sets, each with a certificate signed by the director. Memorabilia from Wong’s movies can be bought from the Jet Tone website.
Wong hasn’t directed a film since 2013’s The Grandmaster, the Ip Man biopic starring Leung and Zhang Ziyi. His next movie is said to be the sequel to 1994’s Chungking Express. He’s also working on two adaptations of the Shanghai-set novel Blossoms by Jin Yucheng, one as a feature, the other a TV serial.