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John Woo: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers (Paperback)) Paperback – September 15, 2005
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Internationally acclaimed in the late 1980s for his impossibly violent, rabidly romantic gangster films, Hong Kong action director Woo was lured to Hollywood by the tantalizing prospect of reaching larger audiences. He achieved some U.S. commercial success by working with such stars as Nicholas Cage and John Travolta and helming the blockbuster sequel, Mission Impossible II; yet Woo, prolific in Hong Kong, has released only six features in a dozen years in Hollywood. The fans who discovered him through such early Chow Yun-Fat vehicles as A Better Tomorrow and The Killer remain enthusiastically loyal, though, and they'll devour these 17 interviews from sources ranging from daily newspapers to movie trade journals. The pieces on his earlier career, including an oral history for the Hong Kong Film Archive and a movie-by-movie discussion of his 1968-90 work, most of which remains unseen in America, are particularly informative; and the later interviews promoting his Hollywood efforts reveal ironic gentleness and thoughtfulness in this man best known for on-screen bloodletting. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
---Provides first English-language collection of interviews with Woo
---Contains Hong Kong film archive interviews translated from Cantonese
---Includes long out-of-print commentary track excerpts from The Killer and Hard Boiled
---Allows Woo to open up for the first time about family and important professional associations --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
John Woo: Interviews succeeds very well at portraying the shy, serious director by meticulous editing, mostly letting Woo's own syntax and verbal mannerisms come through with minimal tampering, and the interviews themselves delve into Woo's troubled relationship with Tsui Hark, his work with both Hong Kong and American film crews, his childhood in Hong Kong, and of course his quartet of Hong Kong classics: A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, Bullet in the Head, and Hard-Boiled. My
favourite interviews are the ones with Hard Target director of photography Russell Carpenter, who goes into the nitty-gritties of working with such a visually meticulous director, and an extremely illuminating portion where Woo dissects the unique qualities of his various leading men -- Chow Yun-fat, John Travolta, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Nicolas Cage, and Tom Cruise.
The editing is smartly done, making the interviews flow into an easy read, and each interview is documented so that we have some context for interpretation. I've been reading up on Woo for quite awhile, but I'd say this is the single most comprehensive, multi-angled and absorbing source of John Woo material yet. A great read for fans of Asian cinema, and filmmakers will especially find this book an invaluable source of information for Woo's unique cinematic magic.