Digital artwork of footage from Wong Kar Wai’s ‘In The Mood For Love’ is being prepped for sale. The Sotheby’s film NFT lot comprises previously unseen clips of Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. It will be open for bids from 9th October via the auction house’s Hong Kong branch, as the first Asian NFT film.
The collaboration marks the 30th anniversary of Wong’s production company, Jet Tone Films. The director’s first attempt to step into the world of non-fungible tokens, it will also be the first Asian movie made into an NFT and sold through an international auction house. At the time of writing, there is yet to be an estimate of their worth.
This is Sotheby’s First Asian NFT film Sale
The asset is entitled ‘In The Mood For Love — Day One’ but differs from the finished version of the film. Leung and Cheung do not play the same roles as they did in the full movie. The idea is to accentuate the generative nature of creative processes and highlight how work can change in the time between an idea’s inception and the final product.
“All creation originates from a single thought. Where did the first thought of In the Mood for Love originate from? Hard to say. What’s certain was that February 13, 1999, was the first day when I put that thought into action,” Wong said in a statement.
“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,” he continued. “Today, we are able to eternalise this first day in a brand-new form. In the world of blockchain, this arrow can chart a new course.”
A ten-second teaser for the NFT has already been unveiled, with Leung shown looking mysterious behind dark sunglasses, while Cheung can be heard saying: “Now I know what love’s about. Come to my place tonight.”
Another key part of the sale is a leather jacket that was worn by Cheung in another of Wong’s films, 1997’s ‘Happy Together’. Meanwhile, on 10th October Sotheby’s will also host a sale centred on the archives of Jet Tone Films. Seeing that this will include 30 collectibles hand-picked by the director himself we expect this to attract plenty of attention, too.
Wait, I’ve Never Seen In the Mood for Love’
Like the name suggests, Asian film NFT ‘In the Mood for Love’ is a romantic drama. Released at the cinema in 2000, the plot follows a man (Leung) and woman (Cheung) as they first discover their respective spouses are having an affair, and then find they have feelings for one another.
A hugely successful title, it premiered at the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the coveted Palm d’Or, and Leung walked away with the Best Actor award. He was the first Hong Kong actor to win the gong in question.
In 2016, a BBC survey ranked the movie the second-best film of the 21st Century. Overall, it lost out to David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’. Silver screen-related NFTs continue to have mass appeal. Recently, director Brian Taylor launched a short film non-fungible token. Elsewhere, Bollywood superstars Sunny Leone and Amitabh Bachchan have also stepped into the space.