John Woo

John Woo
John Woo attending the 2005 Cannes Film Festival
Born (1946-05-01) May 1, 1946 (age 73)[1]
OccupationFilm director, producer, screenwriter, editor, actor
Spouse(s)Anne Chun-Lung Niu
AwardsSaturn Award for Best Direction
1997 Face/Off
Hong Kong Film AwardsBest Film
1986 A Better Tomorrow

Best Director
1989 The Killer

Best Film Editing
1990 Bullet in the Head
1992 Hard-Boiled

Asian Film AwardsTop-Grossing Film Director
2015 Red Cliff II

Golden Horse AwardsBest Director
1986 A Better Tomorrow

John Woo Signature.svg
John Woo
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

John Woo SBS (Chinese: ; born May 1, 1946)[1] is a Chinese-born Hong Kong filmmaker, writer, and actor.[2] He is considered a major influence on the action genre, known for his highly chaotic action sequences, stylized imagery, Mexican standoffs, frequent use of slow motion and allusions to neo-noir, ‘’wuxia’’ and Western cinema.[3]

Considered one of the major figures of Hong Kong cinema, Woo has directed several notable action films in his adopted home, among them, A Better Tomorrow (1986), The Killer (1989), Hard Boiled (1992), and Red Cliff (2008/2009).[3][4] He is a winner of the Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Picture, as well as a Golden Horse Award, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, and a Saturn Award.Woo's Hollywood films include the action films Hard Target (1993) and Broken Arrow (1996), the sci-fi action thriller Face/Off (1997) and the action spy film Mission: Impossible 2 (2000).[3] He also created the comic series Seven Brothers, published by Virgin Comics. He cites his three favorite films as David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï.[3] He is the founder and chairman of his own production company, Lion Rock Productions.[5]

Early life

Woo was born Wu Yu-seng (Ng Yu-sum in Cantonese) in Guangzhou, China, amidst the chaos of the Chinese Civil War at the end of October 1946. Due to school age restrictions, his mother changed his birth date to 22 September 1948, which is what remains on his passport. The Woo family, Christians faced with persecution during Mao Zedong's early anti-bourgeois purges after the communist revolution in China, fled to Hong Kong when he was five.[1][6]:xv, 3

Impoverished, the Woo family lived in the slums at Shek Kip Mei. His father was a teacher, though rendered unable to work by tuberculosis, and his mother was a manual laborer on construction sites.[7] The family was rendered homeless by the Shek Kip Mei fire of 1953.[6] Charitable donations from disaster relief efforts enabled the family to relocate; however, violent crime had by then become commonplace in Hong Kong housing projects. At age three he was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Following surgery on his spine, he was unable to walk correctly until eight years old, and as a result his right leg is shorter than his left leg.[8]

His Christian upbringing shows influences in his films.[9] As a young boy, Woo had wanted to be a Christian minister. He later found a passion for movies influenced by the French New Wave especially Jean-Pierre Melville. Woo has said he was shy and had difficulty speaking, but found making movies a way to explore his feelings and thinking and would "use movies as a language".[3]

The local cinema would prove a haven of retreat. Woo found respite in musical films, such as The Wizard of Oz and in American Westerns.[10] He has stated the final scene of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made a particular impression on him in his youth: the device of two comrades, each of whom fire pistols from each hand, is a recurrent spectacle later found in his own work.[11]

Other Languages
العربية: جون وو
aragonés: John Woo
Bân-lâm-gú: Ngô͘ Ú-sim
català: John Woo
čeština: John Woo
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euskara: John Woo
فارسی: جان وو
français: John Woo
한국어: 오우삼
հայերեն: Ջոն Վու
Bahasa Indonesia: John Woo
italiano: John Woo
қазақша: Джон Ву
Kiswahili: John Woo
magyar: John Woo
Malagasy: John Woo
Nederlands: John Woo
norsk: John Woo
polski: John Woo
português: John Woo
română: John Woo
русский: Ву, Джон
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: John Woo
suomi: John Woo
svenska: John Woo
українська: Джон Ву
Tiếng Việt: Ngô Vũ Sâm
粵語: 吳宇森
中文: 吴宇森