Singapore to get more 4K Wong Kar-wai after ticket debacle


The Asian Film Archive will add more screenings of Wong Kar-wai’s classic films in 4K resolution after it was criticized for poorly managing ticket sales.
Responding to furious fans who complained of limited seats that sold out too quickly and poor communication, the archive said yesterday it would add 10 more showings from the iconic Hong Kong filmmaker’s slate starting next month, including Chungking Express and In The Mood for Love starting next month.
“We understand the disappointment of many at not being able to secure tickets for the Retrospective: Wong Kar Wai programme running from 5 March – 4 April 2021,” announced the nonprofit archive, which is known for bringing obscure Asian movies to Singaporean audiences. “We sincerely apologise for this.”
That came after tickets to its original eight screenings sold out within minutes yesterday, with some fans reporting technical difficulties on the Asian Film Archive website. Tickets were priced from S$8 to S$10.
In December, the 62-year-old director announced that he had remastered his selections from his oeuvre for the digital era, including some added “enhancements” he said were consistent with his original vision for the films.
The movies will show at the Oldham Theatre near Fort Canning Park, which had to reduce its seating capacity to only 65 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Other films in the program lineup are 1988’s As Tears Go By , 1990’s Days of Being Wild , 1995’s Fallen Angels , 1997’s Happy Together , 2004’s 2046 and 2008’s Ashes of Time Redux . Asian Film Archive is a subsidiary of the National Library Board.
In its response to Wong Kar Wai fan complaints, the cinema said that it was forced to pause ticket sales during the launch on Feb. 17 as its website could not cope with the surge in visitors. The website crashed again when ticket sales resumed yesterday, despite expanding the bandwidth. Ticket sales were also moved to the Peatix platform, where they sold out within minutes despite no announcement from the organizer. Tickets bought directly from the website after 2pm yesterday were deemed invalid and would be refunded.
Fans who were too slow demanded additional screenings and that the organizer clearly communicated when tickets would go on sale. Asian Film Archive heard them loud and clear and will now have 10 additional screenings for some of the films, with sales starting tomorrow at 7pm.
“You think everybody so free to sit in front of computer or phone the whole day waiting for tickets to go on sale ah? And you know these tickets will be popular, next time provide an ACTUAL TIME that they go on sale,” Jeremy Lee wrote in a now-deleted comment.
“[R]eally poorly managed by Asian Film Archive disappointing! [M]ost of us are working and have no time to sit down and wait for your announcements…makes me think twice about getting your membership,” Mohd Shah wrote .
“Wow, I left for lunch and came back to find this message and all tickets already sold out! Too much love for [Wong Kar Wai], please add more screenings!” User Athos Bacchiocchi wrote .
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