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HK director Wong Kar-wai gets top French honor

Sunday - 5/5/2013, 10:08pm  ET

Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai smiles after he received the Commandeur des Arts et Lettres from French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in Hong Kong Sunday, May 5, 2013. Wong has been given France's highest cultural honor. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai has been given France's highest cultural honor.

Wong was named a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Sunday.

Fabius bestowed the medal on Wong in a ceremony at the French consul-general's official residence in the southern Chinese city.

The filmmaker said the award is "in a way, a tribute to Hong Kong cinema," and that France is cinema's "spirit home."

Fabius said French artist Jean Cocteau might have called Wong Kar-wai "the calligrapher of light."

Wong's movies include "Chungking Express" and "In The Mood For Love." His most recent film, "The Grandmaster," was released this year.

It recounts the life story of Chinese martial arts legend Ip Man, famous for having trained Bruce Lee.


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