| Simply put, director John Woo re-invented the modern action film and helped open the door for Asian artists to the Western world. |
His hyper-violent, highly choreographed style made him a box office powerhouse, a respected auteur and a revered figure among fellow directors such as Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) and Sam Raimi (Spider-Man).
First discovered by Western audiences through his Hong Kong films The Killer and Hard Boiled, Woo introduced the world to a new kind of action star in Chow Yun-Fat. After gaining some footing in the States, Woo produced a trilogy of hard-charging action films in the 1990s, including Broken Arrow, Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II. His recent films include Windtalkers, Paycheck and he's currently writing Battle of Red Cliff, to be his first collaboration with Chow Yun-Fat in 10 years.
But kinetic, blood-spattered action sequences– now called Woo’s signature “bullet ballets” – represent a dichotomy in the director’s philosophy. The book "John Woo: Interviews" reveals a sensitive, devoutly Christian man at odds with his reputation: a peace-loving, religious father of three who hates violence, yet has become the master of its portrayal.