Crossings: John Woo (2004)

Hong Kong emigre John Woo is the first Chinese director to break into Hollywood in 1993 with Hard Target starring Jean Claude van Damme, starting a migration of Hong Kong talent to Hollywood that has changed the face of the Hollywood action film. In just ten years, through equal measure of true grit, talent and serendipity, John Woo directs five more features including Broken Arrow and Face Off. With Mission Impossible 2, he becomes one of the rarefied directors to gross more than half a billion dollars, coming a long way for a man who needed an interpreter to help him work on his first American film.

Crossings: John Woo starts with Woo’s emotional homecoming to Hong Kong in 2004 to promote his latest blockbuster, Paycheck. It leads you through his teen years where he made avant garde films, his apprenticeship with Shaw Brothers martial arts director Chang Che, and his coming of age as a director directing slapstick Hong Kong comedies through the 70s and 80s. It charts the genesis of the groundbreaking A Better Tomorrow starring Chow Yun Fatt, a film that creates a new genre in Hong Kong cinema and launches Woo’s career into the international arena.

Featuring rarely seen clips: Story of a Discharged Prisoner (Lung Kung, 1967), Dead knot (1969), Vengeance (Chang Che, 1970), A Better Tomorrow (1986), The Killer (1989), The Making of Hard Target (1992)

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Premiered on Discovery Channel Asia
Sun, 20 June 2004, 7.00pm (Singapore/Hong Kong)

Photo by Cheryl Koh