HONG KONG: Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai has been given France’s highest cultural honour.

Wong was named a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) 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 work has long been acclaimed in France. He won the Best Director award at the 1997 Cannes film festival for “Happy Together” and picked up a Cesar, the French equivalent of an Oscar, in 2001 for “In the Mood for Love.”

His induction into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres sees him follow in the footsteps of fellow stars from the film world Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery and Michael Caine, as well as other illustrious artists including the poet TS Eliot and singer David Bowie.

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